5 of my Favorite Posts from Google Plus – Week of Sep 4, 2011

It’s been a crazy week with Obama’s speech, blackouts in San Diego, terror threats, recovery from a hurricane on the east coast, a typhoon in Japan, more unrest in Egypt, and a tropical storm that hit Louisiana and later brought flooding to the Northeast. That’s why it’s great at times to get lost in whatever your guilty pleasure, escape from reality, mode of entertainment is.

There were a lot of great posts that came through the timeline once again and I could easily post over 20 that I thought were terrific. I have to at least try to follow my own rules (until I decide not to) so here are my five favorites.

shared by chantal gayatri

Shared by viktor skurko

shared by Felix Wang

Shared by Deborah Rosier

Shared by: nader madakto

And this video is honorable mention. I saw it in the stream and went to you tube to watch it but in the process I lost who shared it with me.

I hope you enjoyed my findings. Let me know what favorite things you have found in your social media endeavors this week.


Google Plus – Taking Social Media Discussions to a new level

I am still very excited about Google Plus and the potential for this platform. Today I posted a straight forward question and received several very insightful comments which I have attached below. Whether you agree with someone’s political view or not, this platform has opened a new door for people to connect with others in an unrivaled way. I have engaged with so many unique individuals on the site that I would never had met in either Twitter or Facebook.

What are your experiences on Google Plus? Have you made any new connections?

Original Post: 

James Fierce  –  7:22 AM  –  Limited  MUTE USER
Do you think Obama should be re-elected? Is he doing enough to support business or are there too many regulations stifling the business climate in US? More stimulus? So many questions.
Jason Easley (PoliticusUSA)'s profile photoJason Easley (PoliticusUSA) originally shared this post:

It is worth noting that President Obama and Democrats created more jobs in 2010 than George W. Bush did in his eight years as president.
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Jafar abdul Haseeb – At present I am a bit unsure. It really depends on the nomineee. If it is Huntsman.. Idk..any of others then i will more than likely support Obama.. time will tell
7:27 AM


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Chuck Homsy's profile photo

Chuck Homsy – IMO he hasn’t really shown much backbone or leadership. If he had during the debt ceiling debacle maybe it wouldn’t have turned so sour on him. Then again it’s mostly republicans that hold the purse strings and because of that they probably are the one’s responsible for talking S&P into lowering the U.S.’s credit score. Just because they know they don’t have a snowball in hells chance of having another person elected to the Presidency.
7:31 AM
David Sanders's profile photo

David Sanders – Does anyone think a specific President will really change things much? The corporate influence is so strong, I find it hard to believe any one person can make a true difference.
The left agenda is too left and the right is too right. A mushy wimpy centralist like Obama is perfect. He will be elected again.
7:40 AM (edited)
Jafar abdul Haseeb's profile photo

Jafar abdul Haseeb – I agree with what you say completely. His failure to show leadership started with the Bush Tax Cuts expiration debate. I am no fan of taxes by any means but revenue is essential. His willingness to compromise is good however he needs to grow a spine sometime.
7:35 AM

Chad LaFarge's profile photo

Chad LaFarge – His view of “compromise” is when other people agree to do what he wants, and for most part, what he wants is bad for business.(insert obligatory call for action) I’d love to see a consumption tax so all this “tax breaks for the Rich” crap can go away and we can get back to being the only Super-Power in the world (present company accepted, China 😉 … love you guys over there).
7:47 AM
Jafar abdul Haseeb's profile photo

Jafar abdul Haseeb – I disagree with your view of his view of compromise +Chad LaFarge. I don’t think he wanted the Bush Tax cuts to extend. I think he was compromising because of the 2010 election results and felt this would be a way to forge relationships and compromise for the future. 250 K a year is not my idea of rich..
7:52 AM
Chad LaFarge's profile photo

Chad LaFarge – I took that as his going along with the (D) House and (D) Senate, who both voted to extend, and his not wanting this to be only the third veto of his presidency (the first veto killed H.J.RES.64, which would have extended 2010 appropriations by 2 months, and the second killed H.R.3808, which would have recognized interstate notarization… Notary Public across state lines).
8:11 AM
Jafar abdul Haseeb's profile photo

Jafar abdul Haseeb – Both D’s in the House and Senate voted to extend the tax cuts at his urging. I want him to succeed but I want him to grow a spine. We need the revenue.
8:15 AM
Chuck Homsy's profile photo

Chuck Homsy – Taking from my previous post: This would explain the brainlessness of the Iowans voting Michelle Bachman during the straw poll this past weekend. I can not believe the people of Iowa are that dumb and must be playing a really, really bad joke on the rest of the world.I apologize ahead of time to any Iowans that may be on this feed.
8:15 AM
James Fierce's profile photo

James Fierce – +Chad LaFarge Hey Chad how does a consumption tax work? That’s not the value added tax that they have in EU is it?
8:16 AM  –  Edit
Jafar abdul Haseeb's profile photo

Jafar abdul Haseeb – You would have toth understand the straw poll in Iowa was nothing but a fund raiser for the Republican party there. It is really meaningless. Whoever can bus the most people and buy the most tickets wins the straw poll. Romney won the straw poll in 2007 and tanked in the caucauses (spell check). Ms. Bachman will never be the nominee. The party may be desperate but not that desperate. +Chuck Homsy
8:20 AM
Chuck Homsy's profile photo

Chuck Homsy – Consumption taxes work like this, anything over a certain price point, say a $200 pair of jeans, have an additional % added to the price.
8:23 AM
Chad LaFarge's profile photo

Chad LaFarge – +James Fierce The Fair Tax is the consumption tax that most people think of, and I like it, at least what I know of it. here are some features (pro and con).Your Federal Income tax disappears.
It is replaced by a [some figure between 21 and 27]% sales tax on all items bought by consumers.
Note that businesses do not pay the tax, so it does not pile taxes up in the development of products.
To prevent regressive taxation, all people are send a monthly amount to cover the cost of the taxes for basic necessities up to the poverty line.
The IRS would go from a giant hated department of agents seeking people out to punish them to a much smaller group of people making sure your monthly check is right for your family size. (I loves me some department-shrinking)
Tax credits and loopholes disappear, so it’s not terrific in the mind of people counting on Mortgage Interest Deductions… I’m not sure how that’s compensated for, if at all (see site link below where that is likely addressed).At the same time that you see a giant increase in your take-home home, you’re going to see an increase in the cost of consumer goods, but as not as much as you might think: Much of what we buy now is already taxed, and also has the taxes of its component parts factored into price.

There’s more information here:

It’s certainly worth a read, if nothing else to know the options.

Hope this is helpful.

9:36 AM  –  Edit
Scott Clark's profile photo

Scott Clark – I’ve always liked the idea of a Fair Tax system but I don’t have confidence in our apparatus to support it.- For one, the fraud potential is huge. This would result in a perpetual backlog of cases that the IRS has to chase down probably requiring the same amount of auditors and investigators they have now.
– For another, it makes it that much harder for the government to project their budgets beyond a certain point. An income tax is somewhat predictable and jobs are designed to weather market and consumer spending fluctuations. But unless I totally misunderstand parts of the Fair Tax (which is likely so I’m happy to be corrected!), it being entirely tied to consumer spending makes it just as unpredictable. Maybe it self corrects at this level of quantitative analysis?As James’ original question: I’m not sure if Obama is doing a good enough job to be re-elected. His style of compromise assumes everyone involved in the conversation is in there for the collective well-being. That’s nice when you’re a community organizer, but I woulda assumed the cutthroat IL politics would have trained him on how often people are NOT in for the collective good, but focus more on the personal or small group/constituent/PAC good.

I want a centrist who forces both sides of Congress to work together, or failing that, forces policies through by going around Congress and talking directly to the people. I have seen though more capitulation than necessary to politicians who he wants to assume are listening to their constituents but who often can’t possibly be doing so for the kind of policies they’re pushing.

What’s your Comment

This post is going to be a bit odd but humor me, ok? I want your comments.

That’s it basically. My goal is to get at least 100 comments from readers about anything that comes to mind in this post. Bloggers love to get comments and I am no exception. I have only been blogging a short time and I haven’t really amassed any kind of real following yet so I don’t really receive too many comments. I was looking through my twitter timeline this morning and came across a blog that I didn’t think was all that great, yet there were 60 plus comments. So, I thought, I can get that many comments or more. Just set a goal and go for it.

You can comment on anything you’d like. It could be the weather or it could be the great food you ate last night. Just keep it clean please. After I have collected 100 comments I will post a new blog to discuss how long it took, what variety of comments I received, and highlight any that are especially intriguing.

For inspiration, if you need it, please consider the following:

  • How hot is it where you live?
  • What is your favorite food?
  • Any thoughts on the economy?
  • What do you do first thing in the morning?
  • What kind of work do you excel at?
  • What would you rather be doing right now?
  • What did you do on your vacation?
  • What inspires you?
  • True or False?
  • Google Plus thoughts.
  • Dog or cat lover?
  • Life
  • Ipad2
  • iphone5
  • Who cares?
  • 10 great ideas.
  • Your favorite blogger and why.

Ready, set, go!

3 Totally Amazing Photographers you Should Follow on Google Plus

Google Plus now has over 20 million users and is growing at a phenomenal rate. There are so many different genres on the site already that it can be difficult to decide who to follow. Although I am not a professional photographer, I thoroughly enjoy getting lost in visually stunning photos, and Google Plus has become a visual sensory experience on steroids for me. I am currently following over 100 photographers but there are three that I am especially fond of and would like to highlight in this post.

First, however, let me give you a brief peek at what a Google Plus post looks like and discuss with you why it has so much potential as a visual social media platform.

One thing that I noticed immediately upon registering with the site was how the visual experience on Google Plus was something that I have not seen on any other Social Media Platform. Even something as simple as posting a link to a blog has a visual component to it. Another key factor to the experience is that you get immediate feedback on things you share on the site via comments or a plus one. The pluses and comments reside with the post for life just like a blog.

Posting goes to a whole new level and pops off the page when pictures are added. It’s a dream platform for marketers and advertisers and great for anyone in the arts because you can very easily display your work and get an immediate response or critique from fans and fellow artists. One more great feature is the ability to add a short (or long) caption to your post.

Photographers have taken note and there are many that have joined in and are posting some of their best work on the site. The quality and quantity of work that streams live every day on my timeline is something that I have not ever seen before. Here are three artists I have encountered (when you see their work you will know that they are truly artists). I hope you enjoy their work as much as I have and will take time to get to know them better.

Elena Kalis specializes in underwater photos. I randomly started following different photographers and was blown away when I saw Elena’s work pop up in my stream. I was immediately intrigued and I dug little deeper to learn more about her. I discovered She was born in Moscow Russia, currently lives in the Bahamas, and became an internet celebrity when her Alice in Wonderland series went viral. Elena’s inspiration (the ocean) as stated on the website http://bentrovatoblog.com/ is no surprise:

 -The ocean. It’s vast and multifaceted. One day it is bright, sunny and fun. Yet there is another side which is darkness, unconsciousness, death. I can never get tired from it and it is my main daily dose of inspiration.

She goes on to explain that the the idea for Alice in Wonderland came from her favorite book of all time and she decided to use her daughter in the starring role. Take a look at the photos I’ve included below and tell me you are not in awe. If you just can’t get enough check her out on Google Plus or click here for a very large selection of her photos.


Elena Kalis

elena kalis ben trovato13 Photography by Elena Kalis

elena kalis ben trovato4 Photography by Elena Kalis

elena kalis ben trovato8 Photography by Elena Kalis

elena kalis ben trovato3 Photography by Elena Kalis

Another very intriguing photographer I came across on Google+ is Robert Larson. I was immediately touched by his “Waiting for Haiti” series where he documents life and death from the perspective of a street photographer in the country of Haiti one year after a devastating earthquake destroyed the island. Robert Larson currently lives in Los Angeles, CA but enjoys traveling throughout the world and gives a unique street smart perspective when documenting his encounters on a digital canvas. The following quote is where Robert draws much of his inspiration.

“I wish more people felt that photography was an adventure the same as life itself and felt that their individual feelings were worth expressing. To me, that makes photography more exciting.”

— Harry Callahan

To learn more about Robert you can find him on Google Plus or click here for some of his best work. By the way he is looking for funding for his next trip to Haiti so if you know anyone who would like to sponsor him I’m sure he would be thrilled to hear from you.

Robert Larson

Last, but certainly not least, you will want to follow Trey Ratcliff for some absolutely stunning photos. I first heard about Trey on the “Tech Guy Radio Show” by Leo Laporte. While I had heard about his “Stuck in Customs” website on the show I (and I always thought it was such an unusual name) I never took the time to visit the site. I’m not sure how I encountered him on Google Plus but I am sure glad I did. Trey is probably one the most well known photographer/ bloggers on the internet. His HDR photos are breathtaking and his blog keeps fans coming back for outstanding tips, a very unique point of view, and his always quirky take on life. You can find Trey’s Google Plus site here and his Stuck in Customs site here. If you want to try to understand what inspires Trey click here.

Trey Ratcliff

Google Plus has given me the opportunity to get to know many photographers that I would have never known otherwise. One thing that sets this platform apart from all of the others is its ability to integrate an intense visual experience into every post. Another is your ability to engage directly with the artists and get to know them better.

If you are into art or photography and you browse with Google Chrome be sure to add this extension for Google Plus. It enlarges the photos when you hover over them in G+ and really takes your experience to a whole new level.

Be sure to follow me on Google Plus and I will engage with you and share many more visually stunning photos from other photographers I have encountered  as well as keep you updated on the latest trends, blogs, and really cool stuff I have up my sleeve.

Hangout with Mark Hoppus from Blink 182

From a Google + Hangout

–  Public

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For those of you who don’t know, Mark Hoppus is bass guitarist and one of the lead vocalist for Blink 182. He is also a member of Google+ and just had a short hangout that was public, open to any fan who happened to notice and was quick enough to join in. He only hung out for a few minutes and I didn’t have a chance to join in but I am really glad that he did this.
Hangouts are an awesome feature on Google + and one that I hope more celebrities and Social Media A-listers will take advantage of.  Actually I challenge you A-listers and Celebs to use Google + as a way to interact with the fans who support you and helped you achieve the status you have today.
Let me count the ways you can do this on Google+
1. Once a week or every two weeks, randomly have a hangout that is open to everyone for 10- 20 minutes. You can talk about your latest project, open up the hangout for Q an A, or structure it however best suits you.
2. Randomly post comments in one of your followers G+ stream. I see hundreds of comments posted into your streams why not return the favor and post a comment into one of their streams?
3. Create a post where you will offer something to the first 10 commenters. Maybe you could set up a hangout with them or send them a copy of your book or a personal email. You could do the same but randomly select 5 or 10 people who have commented on a post.
4. You could select people that comment on a regular basis and create a post giving them a shout out.  Think of the followers they would gain just because you took a moment to recognize them. Heck you could even add them to one of your circles.
I am sure there a lot of creative ideas you superstars could come up with to pay it forward to your fans. Google + is the platform  to make it happen. Who will take me up on this challenge?
p.s. Look who else I just caught hanging out:
Bradley Horowitz  –  12:33 PM (edited 12:35 PM)  –


–  Public

Bradley Horowitz is hanging out with 5 people right now!

Join this hangout

LA Carmaggedon

This weekend has been dubbed Carmaggedon weekend in Los Angeles.  The 405 freeway has been shut down between the 101 and the 10 to retrofit the Mullholand Street Bridge and make modifications which will allow the freeway to be widened. It’s Saturday morning and so far the expected gridlock has not materialized. The hype has worked and everyone either left town or are staying home.

In honor of the city of Los Angeles, which seems to be in constant state of freeway gridlock, I assembled some of my favorite things about LA. What I love most, is that contrary to popular belief, there is an abundance of culture in LA, the food selection is immense, and did I mention the weather. By the way I’m hanging close to home this weekend.


What do you love or hate about LA?

It’s More Visual = Google Plus Resources

As I was going through my never ending twitter timeline I saw the following tweet and had to take a look:

GlenGilmore Glen Gilmore, Esq.
19 Essential Google+ Resources –on.mash.to/q1Sbw3 rt @mashsocialmedia
I’ve been playing around with my new toy Scoopit.com and thought I could take this post to the next level and give it a visual pop.
Have you started using Google+?