Buckle Up, Unette

July 3, 2011 @ 7:35 pm | Filed under: ,

monarch caterpillars 2011

As I mentioned yesterday, we’ve spotted our first monarch cats of the year. From the size of this guy, you’d think we’d have cottoned to him a little sooner, eh?

And our blueberry bushes managed to produce four perfect, perfectly delicious berries. We lost most of the buds weeks ago, unfortunately—transplant shock, I’m guessing. They came home from the nursery LOADED with blossoms but most of them fell off prematurely. Ah well. Those four berries were jewels. Rose, Beanie, and I each had one—no one else here likes them, can you believe it??—and the girls insisted that I take the extra, because the bushes were my Mother’s Day present.

I’m looking at this caterpillar and thinking that another huge metamorphosis is about to occur…after two days on Google+, I have to say I think it’s a game-changer. A year from now, we’re all going to be internetting very differently, mark my words. Not just my words: the murmurings are everywhere. All my musings these past months over the best way to share links and save clippings and log read-alouds and keep in touch with loved ones and and and—well, suddenly there’s this one place where you can do all of those things, and email and chat and etc etc etc—and whether such an entity appeals to you or not, it’s going to change the landscape for all of us in one way or another.

I say this not without trepidation and cautiousness; it’s unsettling to contemplate handing one entity that much power. But a streamlined web life has tremendous appeal. I’ll proceed watchfully but enthusiastically. (And I’m not ditching Facebook…yet. Not ever, as long as my family is there.)

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12 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. adie says:

    Gosh, I am amazed to hear this about Google +. It goes to show how completely out of the loop I am! 😉 I’ve taken the tour and I still don’t like it, but then I have two online identities and they just don’t come together neatly in the way Google + would require. Also, I’m not at all interested in chat. But I’m very glad there is a place everyone who is into it can go! 🙂 I shall watch the changes with interest.

    Congratulations on your four berries and your good-hearted girls 🙂

  2. Melissa Wiley says:

    Adie, I don’t chat often myself (except with Scott, usually within the same house 😉 ), but that’s one feature that people are liking, esp since you can easily do group chats, with video even.

    But that’s just a tiny piece of it. At first glance it looks like the status-update part of Facebook, with cunning “circles” for targeting your updates to specific batches of friends & acquaintances (or you can make them public).

    But after a bit you begin to realize, OH, all the ways I like to share and engage in discourse on the internet can happen *right here* in one place. It’s an intuitive and clever platform that is going to prove very versatile, and the one-stop-shopping aspect of it is going to appeal to many.

    For example—the way I currently use my Tumblr to log articles I’ve read but don’t necessarily want to share: I can do that at Google+. My YEARS-long quest to find a quickeasy way to jot down the titles of picture books we’ve read each day—not the longer Rillabook posts, but just a quick note for my own records—I can do that there. (The data is downloadable, so I can FIND it again, unlike Twitter & FB.)

    The way I use Google Reader & Diigo to share posts with others.

    Sharing photos with friends, quickly, and being able to include people who aren’t on G+ or FB or Flickr—you can add their names and they’ll get the photo or note via email.

    Other stuff, too. I don’t mean to oversell it, though! 🙂 I know it won’t appeal to lots of people. But it’ll appeal to enough people that it’s going to have a ripple effect elsewhere, is my prediction.

  3. Janie Wilkerson says:

    Can you issue Google+ invites to your readers? 🙂

  4. Melissa Wiley says:

    Janie, I just sent you one. 🙂 But there’s an odd time-lag occurring with the email feature at this point, so it may not arrive right away. However, what you can do now is set up or update your Google profile, and then go to http://plus.google.com/. You might get lucky and see a Join button right away—they keep opening the floodgates a trickle and then closing them again, or something like that. So I’d keep checking back.

  5. Laurie M says:

    we had those chubby caterpillars a week ago and I knew by Sunday the plants would be bare. They were so I ran to the store and was able to buy 2 more plants. However, by then we were helping them get to the fence and I caught a few to keep in the house. So we have 11 cocoons on the fence, one on the jade plant, one on the wall and 4 in the house!
    There were 5 cat”s on the 2 plants and my dh kept calling out to me the butterflies visiting the 2 plants all day today, so we’ll have another round of cat”s I hope!
    Remember when I brought you caterpillars last year when our plants were bare?

  6. Melissa Wiley says:

    I loved that! Operation Feed the Caterpillars! 🙂

  7. Leslie says:

    Thanks for the scoop on G+. Great discussion here last night with my teens about it. It is billed as “Not for your mama!”. Since I am not on FB, I thought, “oh yeah???”. Im tempted. Can I grovel for an invitation?

    Happy 4th!

  8. Karen Edmisten says:

    I’m still figuring it out but it does feel game-changing. So easy to organize stuff there!

  9. Jeanne says:

    I haven’t gone to Google+ because for some reason the profile thing creeps me out. I know that is ridiculous considering how on-line I am. And then when they roped me into the ridiculous Google Buzz without my permission. Are you saying this doesn’t have any of that coercive feel to it?

  10. Melissa Wiley says:

    They learned BIG lessons from Buzz and took them to heart. (Here’s one article on that subject.) (And yes, irony of posting a G+ article on FB does not elude me!) 😉

    The Google profile gives you a lot of control over how much info to show to the public. There’s a built-in “view your profile as” window so you can see how it appears on the web, or to g+ friends, etc.

    One thing I’m liking is the emphasis on controling your own data—Google+ allows “data liberation,” i.e. you can download all your status updates, comments, etc.

    And there are privacy layers at every step. You choose who sees what posts. They heard our fury over Buzz (and FB’s ongoing shenanigans) and learned from it.

  11. Melissa Wiley says:

    Oh, and I’ll add this: one of the things I’m liking best is that they’ve managed to include both FB’s “friends” concept and Twitter’s “follow”—that is, if you join, I’d put you in my Friends circle, and presumably 😉 you’d put me in yours (or whatever you name it) because we actually ARE friends; and all my posts would show up in your stream (like FB news feed) and yours in mine–just like friends on FB.

    But there’s no obligation of reciprocity. Just as on Twitter, someone may follow you and you might not follow her back. I follow Nathan Fillion on Twitter, but he FOR SOME INEXPLICABLE REASON does not follow me. Likewise, on G+ you don’t need approval from a person to put that person in one of your circles. You’ll see their public posts, but they won’t see yours unless they add you to one of their circles.

    So it’s like the outer layer is ‘following’—I’m following several of the Google developers right now for their interesting posts on the platform—and you can take it deeper with reciprocity, ‘friending.’ And it’s easy to curate layers of intimacy via Circles. You’d be in my Friends circle which I’m using as roughly equiv to my FB friends, and also in my Homeschoolers circle, and also (if you wished) a small circle I made for friends who don’t mind being subjected to occasional photos of my children. 🙂

    So you see, you have a lot of control over who sees your information and what information you see.

  12. Celeste says:

    Okay, you have my interest piqued. Can you send me an invite as well? I may give this thing a shot. 🙂