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The Google+ -Refugees ( #gplusrefugee #gplus #googleplus #pluspora) produced a noticeable increase of new postings and "Followers" in my stream in the last two weeks.

This isn't the first wave of "refugees" from other networks to Diaspora since i am here. There were several waves of "Facebook-Refugees" which stranded here over the past years, nearly none of them remained here for more than a week...
But you #gplusrefugee seem to be more willing, engaged, interested and curious to integrate into a complete new community.

So welcome and thanks to you, who chose Diaspora or any other instance in the Fediverse instead of moving to the "next one big company"!
 
The Google+ -Refugees ( #gplusrefugee #gplus #googleplus #pluspora) produced a noticeable increase of new postings and "Followers" in my stream in the last two weeks.

This isn't the first wave of "refugees" from other networks to Diaspora since i am here. There were several waves of "Facebook-Refugees" which stranded here over the past years, nearly none of them remained here for more than a week...
But you #gplusrefugee seem to be more willing, engaged, interested and curious to integrate into a complete new community.

So welcome and thanks to you, who chose Diaspora or any other instance in the Fediverse instead of moving to the "next one big company"!
 

Diaspora CSS tweaks: Notifications pane height


I've just thrown the following into my Diaspora stylesheet using the Stylus CSS manager extention (Firefox / Chrome / Safari, etc.):
.navbar.navbar-fixed-top .nav-badges .dropdown-menu .notifications { 
    max-height: calc(85vh - 4em); 
    min-height: 8em; 
}

I'd found the previous 350px max height far too short, especially for all the love I've been getting. This will dynamically extend the panel to within 4em of the visible viewpane floor.

It might make a nice feature enhancement for Diaspora core.

#diaspora #css #tips #webDev #googleplus
 

Markdown Quick Reference


There are some fun things you can do with Markdown formatting.

Feature Markdown Example
italic _italic_ italic
bold **bold** bold
strikethrough ~~strikethrough~~ ~~strikethrough~~
superscript ^superscript^ ^superscript^
subscript ~subscript~ ~subscript~
links [Description](https://example.com/) Description
bare links <https://www.example.com> https://www.example.com
code `Y29kZQ==` Y29kZQ==
escape \*escape\* *escape*
There are also:

Unordered lists:

* Foo
* Bar
* Baz
* Quz
* Foo 
* Bar 
  \* Baz 
    \* Quz

Ordered lists:
  • Foo
  • Bar
    • Baz
      • Quz
1. Foo 
1. Bar 
   1. Baz 
      1. Quz

Headers:

Header 1

Header 2

Header 3

Header 4

Header 5
Header 6
# Header 1 
## Header 2 
### Header 3 
#### Header 4 
##### Header 5 
###### Header 6

Headers also:

Header 1

Header 2

Header 1 
========== 

Header 2 
---------

Blockquote:
This is a blockquoted text passage.
You can nest your blockquotes.

Or unnest them again.
> This is a blockquoted text passage. 
>> You can nest your blockquotes. 
> 
> Or unnest them again.

To product a code block, as above:
``` 
> This is a blockquoted text passage. 
>> You can nest your blockquotes. 
> 
> Or unnest them again. 
```

Or indent four spaces:

Normal text
Code block
Normal text 

    Code block

Horizontal rule:
----

Image

Bild/Foto
![Dummy text]([url=https://joindiaspora.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/images/thumb_small_3059c10576ae28ec722a.jpg]https://joindiaspora.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/images/thumb_small_3059c10576ae28ec722a.jpg[/url])

Tables:
|Feature|Markdown|Example| 
|:- |:- |:- | 
|italic| `_italic_`| _italic_ | 
|bold| `**bold**` | **bold** | 
|strikethrough| `~~strikethrough~~` | ~~strikethrough~~ | 
|superscript| `^superscript^`| ^superscript^ | 
|links| `[Description]([url=https://example.com/]https://example.com/[/url])`|[Description]([url=https://example.com/]https://example.com/[/url])| 
|code|\``code`\`|`code`| 
|escape|`\*escape\*`|\*escape\*|

#markdown #quickGuide #tips #googleplus #newhere #formatting

Source: https://pastebin.com/raw/HiVi5cYS
 
The shutdown of #GooglePlus is yet another warning sign for anybody providing valuable content to any closed, centralized platform.
Many of us will see shutdown of #facebook, #YouTube, #Twitter, you name it. Think about it.
Use services who support #decentralization and data export & import.
 
Dear #Gplus users,

in some weeks #Google will shut down #GooglePlus.
Have you already looked into alternatives such as #Friendica or #Mastodon?
If not, you maybe to have a look at it on nerdica.net (Friendica) or nerdculture.de (Mastodon)!

See you there!
 

Google Support Announcement on 30 Jan 2019: Shutting down Google+ for consumer (personal) accounts on April 2, 2019

In December 2018, we announced our decision to shut down Google+ for consumers in April 2019 due to low usage and challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations. We want to thank you for being part of Google+ and provide next steps, including how to download your photos and other content.

On April 2nd, your Google+ account and any Google+ pages you created will be shut down and we will begin deleting content from consumer Google+ accounts. Photos and videos from Google+ in your Album Archive and your Google+ pages will also be deleted. You can download and save your content, just make sure to do so before April. Note that photos and videos backed up in Google Photos will not be deleted [Well nothing announce yet...].

The process of deleting content from consumer Google+ accounts, Google+ Pages, and Album Archive will take a few months, and content may remain through this time. For example, users may still see parts of their Google+ account via activity log and some consumer Google+ content may remain visible to G Suite users until consumer Google+ is deleted.

If you’ve used Google+ for comments on your own or other sites, this feature will be removed from Blogger by February 4th and other sites by March 7th. All your Google+ comments on all sites will be deleted starting April 2, 2019.

As early as February 4th, you will no longer be able to create new Google+ profiles, pages, communities or events. See the full FAQ for more details and updates leading up to the shutdown.

So there we have it... it will all be deleted and everything you posted to other social networks that linked back to your original post in G+ will be blank... I hope everyone learns one thing from this: If you are serious about blogging then use your own hosting or a generic service like Wordpress where you can easily export and import it. This was certainly a watershed moment for me (compounded with Flickr's announcement) that cloud services sound a lot sweeter on startup than a few years later when they are shut down or you try to exit. Always stay in control of your data.

See https://support.google.com/plus/answer/9195133

#google+ #googleplus
 

Google+ will be shut down on April 2, 2019


This is Google's official G+ shutdown announcement. Text in full:

Shutting down Google+ for consumer (personal) accounts on April 2, 2019



January 30, 2019

In December 2018, we announced our decision to shut down Google+ for consumers in April 2019 due to low usage and challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations. We want to thank you for being part of Google+ and provide next steps, including how to download your photos and other content.

On April 2nd, your Google+ account and any Google+ pages you created will be shut down and we will begin deleting content from consumer Google+ accounts. Photos and videos from Google+ in your Album Archive and your Google+ pages will also be deleted. You can download and save your content, just make sure to do so before April. Note that photos and videos backed up in Google Photos will not be deleted.

The process of deleting content from consumer Google+ accounts, Google+ Pages, and Album Archive will take a few months, and content may remain through this time. For example, users may still see parts of their Google+ account via activity log and some consumer Google+ content may remain visible to G Suite users until consumer Google+ is deleted.

As early as February 4th, you will no longer be able to create new Google+ profiles, pages, communities or events. See the full FAQ for more details and updates leading up to the shutdown.

If you’re a Google+ Community owner or moderator, you may download and save your data for your Google+ Community. Starting early March 2019, additional data will be available for download, including author, body, and photos for every community post in a public community. Learn more

If you sign in to sites and apps using the Google+ Sign-in button, these buttons will stop working in the coming weeks but in some cases may be replaced by a Google Sign-in button. You’ll still be able to sign in with your Google Account wherever you see Google Sign-in buttons. Learn more

If you’ve used Google+ for comments on your own or other sites, this feature will be removed from Blogger by February 4th and other sites by March 7th. All your Google+ comments on all sites will be deleted starting April 2, 2019. Learn more

If you’re a G Suite customer, Google+ for your G Suite account should remain active. Contact your G Suite administrator for more details. You can also expect a new look and new features soon. Learn more

If you're a developer using Google+ APIs or Google+ Sign-in, click here to see how this will impact you.

From all of us on the Google+ team, thank you for making Google+ such a special place. We are grateful for the talented group of artists, community builders, and thought leaders who made Google+ their home. It would not have been the same without your passion and dedication.
https://support.google.com/plus/answer/9195133

And note that buried FAQ link: https://support.google.com/plus/answer/9217723

#Google #GooglePlus #GplusRefugees #Plexodus
 

Yonatan Zunger on Free Speech and other online forum policy issues

...I have had to sit and make these tradeoffs, so please don't try to bullshit me by explaining how it's more complicated than we think. It is insanely complicated, one of the hardest things I've ever worked on, and I still know when I'm being bullshitted. Twitter chose to optimize for traffic at the expense of user experience. That's why GamerGate, that's why Trump, that's why Nazis....
-- Yonatan Zunger on Twitter (Unrolled thread)

As I'm going through my #GooglePlus contacts, updating notable names lists, and generally reviewing old posts and such -- that's the hazard of packing up and moving, it's not the putting of things in and out of boxes, but processing what they are that takes so damned long, and that's why hired professionals are so much faster, they don't know and don't care -- and am thinking about what makes Good and Bad platforms, and how to specifically articulate what is wrong with some that have turned up, well, there's this.

The accompanying Google+ thread was excellent as well, catch it whilst you can. Yes, it's [url=https://web.archive.org/web/20190119050757/https://plus.google.com/+YonatanZunger/posts/LEj68e4zFwB]been archived[/url], but the Way Back Machine only captures a few comments from G+ posts, a long-standing issue. So most of those comments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain.

For those not aware: Zunger was the original chief architect of Google+, and oversaw many of both its design and policy decisions. This was a massive social network -- at least by registered profiles -- of over 3.3 billion accounts. And though its activity never quite met expectations or operator's claims, it was impressive. Yonatan knows whereof he speaks. He's seen these problems. At scale. He's moved on to other things, and from Google. He's quite busy. But damned if I wouldn't love to tap into his brain and unspool some of those lessons.

And I've got all kinds of ideas on how to specifically address the questions of free speech and free-speech maximalism, which does not in fact maximise access to free speech, online or otherwise.

The #DarcyProject should take heed. @Christian Buggedei ping

#Google #GooglePlus #GplusRefugees #Plexodus #socialMedia #freeSpeech #GamerGate #Twitter #
 

What Ails Google?


Rampant and largely uninformed speculation follows.

Seems to be a bit of an overshoot, but that's a possibility.

There's been speculation, some of it mine, that something large ails teh GOOG. What specifically that is or might be is hard to say.

How it is manifesting is somewhat clearer:

* Google+ is being shut down.
* The shutdown period was cut, without notice by 40%.
* Google employee morale seems sharply down.
* Google employee exits are noticeable, though whether or not they depart from trend is hard to say.
* Communications from Google particularly regarding the Google+ sunset, are all but nonexistent.
* Google are actively thwarting attempts by users (including myself) to share information about the G+ sunset.
* As are Google TC and PE volunteer moderators at the Google+ Help community.

And quite probably more.

We got problems


I'm thinking of the types of issues which might affect companies. These are numerous.

* Revenue shortfall, realised or forecast.
* Major shift of business, realised or forecast.
* Major changes to regulatory environments, realised or forecast.
* Potential political shifts.
* Internal power struggle.
* Union activity.
* Employee revolt at business practices or direction.
* Loss of goodwill / brand equity.
* Criminal investigation(s) or charge(s).
* Civil lawsuit(s) or charges, possibly from customers, users, employees, governments/regulators, and/or shareholders.
* Major competitor lawsuit.
* Regulatory investigations or actions.
* Legislative review or attention.
* Discovery of internal fraud.
* Discovery of external fraud.
* Stock or debt-related malfeasance, internal or external.
* Forecast changes to the investment, finance, or business landscape generally.
* National / international finance or other investigations.
* Unorganised but significant internal criminal or tortuous activity: smuggling, drugs, sexual harassment, child pornography, prostitution, espionage.
* Same, but organised, that is, multiple parties, possibly above rank-and-file.
* National security actions, accompanied by gag order.
* Other legal actions, accompanied by gag order.
* Major hacking or infiltration events, non-state actors.
* Major hacking or infiltration events, state actors.
* Infiltration by organised crime.
* Infiltration by noncriminal non-state actors.
* Infiltration by state actors.
* Significant data breach, possibly ongoing.
* Realisation of major core technological vulnerabilities in software, hardware, network, or other operational vulnerabilities, not readily addressed.
* Death by a thousand cuts: multiple coinciding threats or attacks diverting executive attention.

What symptoms fit the patient?


Several of these are documented as being present -- employee dissatisfaction, possible unionisation, employee revolt, and numerous ongoing lawsuits (not uncommon for large organisations).

The competitor lawsuit is unlikely as that would be publicly filed, as would most civil lawsuits.

Criminal investigation(s) are possible, though unlikely.

The fraud potentials, as well as infiltration, hacking, and data breach possibilities would all require some form of timely public disclosure except in truly extraordinary circumstances.

Major technical vulnerabilities seem to me unlikely to be specific to Google itself, and would therefor likely include other companies acting in some similar fashion, unless they pertain to Google-specific, non-public codebases, hardware designs, or network architectures. Which is possible. I'm not aware of other companies which have clamped down as Google have, though I've also been largely focused on Google+ shutdown issues.

The political landscape is shifting in many ways in many places, with the ongoing capture of US government by Russian influences, Brexit, rising nationalism across numerous other nations, and the like. Which of these have specific impact on Google and Google+ is hard to say, though computational propaganda techniques are one possible aspect.

Massive revenue shortfall could give rise to major internal disruptions, though I don't see it resulting in the specific actions being taken as regards Google+, including the active frustration of data export and organisation amongst users. All of these issues would have material business impacts and have to be reported on financial statements. I'm aware of no such reports, though I've not yet investigated.

This suggests something possibly central to Google+ itself, and involving data or information on the platform of a nature sufficiently diffuse to attempt thwarting most export of same, and or a suspected adversarial user network, again, on the platform. That seems a bit of a stretch, even to me, but I'll present it as a possible cause.

The various crime / tortuous activity angles may be at play, but would tend not to produce what seems to have been at least a three-month, if not an eleven month (March 2018 - January 2019) and ongoing concern, without any public announcement of the nature of the problem. Most criminal investigations take a few weeks, possibly a few months, not the better part of a year. This could be an outlier, though that's low likelihoood.

(I'll note that last year's mysterious investigations and shutdowns at a New Mexico Sunspot Solar Observatory was tied to child pornography. That resulted in an eleven day sealing of the facility, though presumably the janitor involved was not operating at Google scale. There was much speculation over other possible natures, virtually all wrong.)

Regulatory and legislative actions are also typically fairly public, and it seems unlikely that something massive and wide-reaching would not somehow be public.

That leaves various internal struggles, ongoing major investigations of a fraud, criminal, tortuous, or national security nature, major infiltration, major Google-specific technical vulnerability, major non-Google-specific technical vulnerability, and death-by-a-thousand-cuts possibilities as leading suspects from my list.

I'll note that there's nothing obvious in the Google+ data I've been compiling that stands out as problematic with the network itself.

There's the impact on Google employee morale. Generally an external attack tends to increase morale. It's betrayal from within, and most especially by leadership, which tends to decrease it. Which points at a Google-specific, and likely leadership or management issue. A forecast revenue decline could also be at play -- this would manifest as workforce reductions and lowered morale, though not so much as the utter dysfunction which seems to be accompanying the Google+ shutdown.

But I'm just a space alien cat staring at tea leaves. What do I know?

#google #googleplus #gplusRefugees #staringAtTeaLeaves
 

Failure of Communication: No mention of imminent Google+ shutdown on G+ About or App pages


Google's failures of communication on the G+ shutdown are staggering. Crickets, after initially promising:
Over the coming months, we will provide consumers with additional information, including ways they can download and migrate their data.
And on December 12, 2018:
over the coming months we will provide users with information to help them migrate off of G+.
This extends to the Google+ About page and Google+ App page in the Android store.

Here's [url=https://web.archive.org/web/20190104232119/https://plus.google.com/about]today's Internet Archive grab of the Google+ About page[/url]. "Discover amazing things."

But not a mention that the service will be shut down in 111 days.




Here's [url=https://web.archive.org/web/20190109094445/https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.plus]today's Internet Archive grab of the G+ App on the Android store[/url].




Though we've got to give Jerome Williams props for his one-star review:
Jerome Williams
December 25, 2018
Do not waste your money on this game, it is not what it used to be. At one point, this game use to be very active with frequent updates, new content, and events. Now it rarely gets new content and when it does, it's just old content that has been recolored. The one moderator that keeps the game running, only makes decisions that will benefit Spacetime Studios rather than the community it has built. Not to mention, the extreme unprofessionalism with the way he communicates with the community.
Terrible gameplay, indeed.

Though we'll note another metric of G+ uptake: 5.5 million downloads.

#googlePlus #GplusRefugees #google #plexodus
Originally published at #PlexodusReddit: https://old.reddit.com/r/plexodus/comments/ae5lsv/failure_of_communication_no_mention_of_imminent/
 
What if any options are there for running Federated social networking tools on or through #OpenWRT or related router systems on a single-user or household basis?

I'm trying to coordinate and gather information for #googleplus (and other) users looking to migrate to Fediverse platforms, and I'm aware that OpenWRT, #Turris (I have a #TurrisOmnia), and several other router platforms can run services, mostly #NextCloud that I'm aware.

Is #diaspora itself viable on these systems? I'm thinking that may be ambitious.

If not, what are considerations for running a small node through a router? Primary considerations would be capacity planning, bandwidth and load impacts, and configuration and security considerations.

Hoping there's some expertise here.

#openwrt #networking #selfhosting #servers #linux
 

Google shut down the Google+ Moderators Community six weeks ago and never bothered to tell anyone


I've been trying to reach out to G+ Communities especially over the course of the shutdown, a process I'd found frustrating. There are few mechanisms for directly contacting community moderators (unlike, say Reddits "message moderators" feature), and there are few forums for G+ Community owners and moderators to get and exchange information.

One of those is the Google+ Moderators community itself, the official Google channel for mods.

I've been posting and commenting there occasionally over the course of the shutdown particularly my statistical analyses of Community size and activity. There'd been little if any response.

I thought it was simply that moderators on Google+ are apathetic. It's not that.

Six weeks ago, without informing anyone, Google effectively shut down the forum. Posts are "HfR", held for review, and unless they're approved by a moderator, they won't appear for other users. The submitter does see their posts in the community and has no indication that the post has not been submitted.

You can confirm this by viewing the community from an Incognito / unauthenticated session. Doing that just now, I realised that the forum had seen no new activity since December 10, 2018.

The two screenshots here show this. The two-column view with the visible "Sign In" button at top right, shows an Incognito view, with the most recent posts being dated 6 weeks ago. The three-column view is what I see logged in as "Edward Morbius", with several posts I've submitted in the weeks since then. I can see those. Nobody else can.

Incognito view of Google+ Moderators community




Logged-in view of Google+ Moderators community




And if anyone else has posted to the community in the meantime, nobody but them can see those posts either.

This is not only extremely disrespectful and poor business practice, but it's straight up low class.

Google appear to be falling apart.

In other news: You cannot rely on the fact that posts to Google+ will be visible to other users, most especially not in Google's own Communities and spaces. Google are systematically dismantling the ability for users themselves to be informed on Google+.

If you're not using an off-Google channel for information already, start doing so NOW.

Again: there is a subreddit available at https://reddit.com/r/plexodus, devoted to the G+ exodus, run by me. You're strongly encouraged to use this. There are also /r/googleplus and /r/google, run by others, or other communities can be created. Please join one or more of these.

We have and will link other sites as well, and maintain a list of exodus communities.

The unofficial G+ Owners and Moderators Community does seem to be reliably available presently.

#google #googlePlus #plexodus #gplusRefugees
 

G+ Communities: Significant and Recent Activity


We're continuing to get a sense of G+ Communities and how many of these are significant, active, and have some sense of vitality.

One metric is to look by both size and recent activity.

G+ Public Communities with Recent Activity

Members Week Month
1,000 28,823 39,301
100 63,874 105,166
Members is the reported membership of the community on its Google+ landing page. Comparison is greater than or equals.

Recency is assessed as the sampling time minus the most recent post activity, both expressed as Unix timestamps (seconds from 1970-01-01:00:00:00). Week is activity within 86000 * 7 seconds, Month is activity within 86000 * 31 seconds. Comparison is less than or equals.

From previous analysis, it's likely that only 10-20%, generously, of these communities have substantive interaction between users, as opposed to other activity, including spam or link-drops. We have not investigated this dataset yet to assess this characteristic.

Still, that would leave about 3,000 - 6,000 communities of 1,000+ members with weekly or better activity, and 4,000 - 8,000 with monthly activity, and 6k - 12k and 11k - 22k of 100+ members respectively.

There is little relationship between active engagement, measured by plus-one, comment, and reshare activity, and community size. While smaller communities (especially below 100 members) are far more likely to have no activity or no recent activity, the distribution of significant recent activity is fairly uniform across a very broad range of community sizes. On a per member engagement level, the sweet spot appears to be roughly 100 - 5,000 members, though we need to investigate this further.

Very large G+ communities are frequently not particularly engaged. See the WhatsApp Community (6.8 million members) as an example. Interestingly, this doesn't appear in a G+ Community search for "WhatsApp".

Gory Details


URLs for 8,107,099 Google+ Communities were read, with 3,559 found to be deleted when accessed, and 8,103,540 read successfully yielding data.

There were 7,303,513 public, and 800,382 private communities (9.877% private). Membership and post activity are available only for public communities.

Membership status was open ("Join") for 3,689,488 (45.51%), and closed ("Ask to join") for 4,414,407 (54.45%) communities, status was unavailable for 3,204 (0.04%) communities.

Membership percentiles (preliminary):

Memb. Policy 1% 5% 10% 25% 33% 50% 67% 75% 90% 95% 99%
All 0 1 1 1 1 1 4 8 40 110 859
"Join" 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 17 50 380
"Ask" 0 1 1 1 1 3 7 13 58 158 1253
(NB: we want to confirm that the Join and Ask to join stats are correct as previous analysis showed higher membership for open-membership sites, though that sample excluded the very largest G+ communities. It's possible sense is inverted. Spot checks say we're not fouling this one up.)

Source


Web-scraped query of 8,107,099 Google+ Community landing pages between 5 Jan and 6 Jan, 2019.

#googlePlus #communities #stats #rStats #plexodus #gplusRefugees
 
Bild/Foto
How does Pluspora actually compare to Google+

I still have friends on G+ who are going to stay until the bitter end and are convinced they will not find any sort of alternative so I will list some of their concerns about Pluspora.
  • Concern about data collected, how secure it is and who can read it.
  • Not able to edit a post
  • No communities
  • What happens if the pod just closes or breaks down ?
  • Where are photos stored and can people access them ?
  • Can you move a profile to another pod?
  • The app from the Play store does not work that well so how safe is it to download the dandelion app from F-Droid
  • Do the existing G+ refugees recommend this place
I have made this post public so hopefully my friends on the other side will be reassured by some of your answers

It is my view that this pod (pluspora) will eventually be the ideal replacement for G+ and even in it's present state has a much better spam control, display, communication and "circle" management system

#googleplus #googleplusrefugee #gplus #pluspora #diaspora #help
 
Bild/Foto
How does Pluspora actually compare to Google+

I still have friends on G+ who are going to stay until the bitter end and are convinced they will not find any sort of alternative so I will list some of their concerns about Pluspora.
  • Concern about data collected, how secure it is and who can read it.
  • Not able to edit a post
  • No communities
  • What happens if the pod just closes or breaks down ?
  • Where are photos stored and can people access them ?
  • Can you move a profile to another pod?
  • The app from the Play store does not work that well so how safe is it to download the dandelion app from F-Droid
  • Do the existing G+ refugees recommend this place
I have made this post public so hopefully my friends on the other side will be reassured by some of your answers

It is my view that this pod (pluspora) will eventually be the ideal replacement for G+ and even in it's present state has a much better spam control, display, communication and "circle" management system

#googleplus #googleplusrefugee #gplus #pluspora #diaspora #help
 
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