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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Google+ Improvements 2.0

I made a post with a few Google+ improvements that I think would really help the platform last year. (Actually I just checked and it was exactly one year ago to the day. That was not planned. Wow.)

Of course, less than a month after I made my post Google completely overhauled the look of Google+.

My two main points were 'Mark as Read' and 'Starred Posts'. Neither were updated in the overhaul, so I figured I would re-visit them. Well, one of them.

Mark As Read (for the new layout)

This is a simple change. A few simple CSS changes as far as UI goes. The back-end would obviously be a bit more, but that can be saved for someone else to write.

I made a few quick and dirty mock-ups, including New Posts, Read Posts & Updated Posts.

New (unread) Posts: would have a green bar at the top of the card.

Read Posts: All posts (with no new comments) will be greyed out.

Updated Posts: Any post that has a new comment since last view would have an orange bar atop the card and would highlight any new comments.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Google+ Improvements


I have a couple ideas to help improve the Google+ web interface.

  1. The ability to mark posts as read.
  2. The ability to save (or star) posts for later.

Mark As Read

Ever since the release of the soon-to-be-defunct Google Reader (don't get me started about that one) I've yearned for this feature on Facebook, and now on Google+. The ability to mark posts as read will not only speed up the reading process but help users keep up, instead of playing catch up. Side note: if this were to become a feature, Google would need to add 'Sort by Oldest' as well, so posts can be read chronologically.

Starred Posts

This is a simple one. Just the ability to save posts would be great. There is a new Chrome extension (called: Favorite Posts for Google+) floating around that people are using to solve this problem. I don't particularly like this solution though because it's not available on other browsers or mobile phones. I have another solution, that is a workaround, but works on all platforms. Create an empty circle called 'Saved' (or whatever you choose) and then just share posts you want to keep to that circle. No one will see you doing this since it's an empty circle and you can get to the list from any platform. This method even allows for personal commenting on the posts.


I have made a mock-up of what it could look like and I'll try to explain my ideas as best I can. (click for embiggification)
  1. Unread post count should be displayed per circle. The 'All' button would show the total. 
  2. Add a 'Mark as read' option to the post drop-down menu so you can do it manually. Personally, I think posts should be marked as read as you scroll through, but this allows for another method of doing so.
  3. The 'New comments' section would show comments that have been posted on 'read' posts but only since you've marked it as read. This is so you don't miss out on conversations that happen after you've read a post. 
  4. The 'View More' link will take you to a page with all new comments. Total unread count should be shown in link.
  5. Adding a Star button for quickly saving posts for later reading.
  6. Adding the starred count for uniformity.
  7. Once a post has been read, it should be grayed out. 
  8. An additional marker for 'read' posts. This isn't really necessary but I figured I'd include it as an alternative to graying out the posts. 

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Clean Slate


This is a VERY exciting story. Promise.

So, after a few years of pointing to a Tumblr blog, I've changed it to now to just point to my Google+ profile.

When I originally switched to Tumblr, it was because the site is pretty good about allowing full customization and I created a complete design for it. The blog still exists and can be seen at

After a few years with this setup, I got fed up with all the domain errors that Tumblr kept giving me, so I decided it was time for a change.

I also decided to move my blogging platform back to Blogger (after a roughly a six year hiatus) because I don't really post much, but need a place to do so. I have hidden all my old, now irrelevant posts, and am starting anew from today going forward.

I'm not certain I'll keep pointing to my Google+ profile for long, but until I can motivate myself to create a page, it's going to stay that way, especially since it's already a hub for all my internet activity.

See, like I said: "VERY exciting story".
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