Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Obama, In Press Conference, Calls On Congress To Raise Debt Ceiling

There are two President Obamas: the one before Osama Bin Ladin was assassinated, and the one after Osama Bin Ladin was assassinated. The pre- Bin Ladin Obama seemed tentative and for the most part, not combative and more conciliatory.
 The post-Bin Ladin Obama is not tentative, combative, and conciliatory only when necessary. It was that President Obama who conducted the just-completed press conference, today.

It was that President Obama who said "We've got to get this done. They need to be here. I've been here. You stay here. Let's get it done."

And Obama was rather upset that he was accused he was not presenting "leadership." It was at that point, the President called on Congress to "get it done."

Or else.

Raising the debt ceiling is a necessity. If it's not done, the ratings of all U.S bonds will be downgraded. Interest rates will go up, and the already tight money supply will tighten even more, plunging the American economy into recession.

Stay tuned.

Google Social Network Attacks Facebook And Foursquare

Google wants your attention! Google Social Network is here!

In its never-ending quest to catch up with, rather than work with, Facebook, Google is rolling out its latest effort called Google +, or the Google Social Network.

This blogger is not a beta tester for Google +, but as one who's used Google accounts almost since gmail started, and was prepared to hate the very idea of a Google Social Network, after reading through the online presentation, I have to say, Google may be on to something here.

The main question is, is Google + compelling enough to want to use, and is that enough to supplant Facebook. The answer is yes, but no. Yes, because it combines features, and in a way fuses a Foursquare-like check-in system into its social network, but no, because it totally misses the design element that makes Facebook so popular.

What's cool about Facebook is it's simplicity - everything starts from your profile page. The Facebook news feed is kind of the "town central" for what your friends are up to.

So, in a way, it's like living in a neighborhood with your house as the profile, and the downtown park and mall as the place where you go and see what everyone's up to. When they come to your house, that's when they comment or "like" on something that appears on your profile.

It's that function that makes Facebook so very, there's that word again, compelling.

What's that word again about Google Social Network is its' design, using circles and colors to designate places and actions. But, and I can see this without a beta account, it doesn't have that neighborhood feeling that makes Facebook work.

And I don't think Facebook was deliberately designed to work in the way I described above, it just turned out that way. But if you think about it, that "way" is so organic, so much the way we work as people, it explains Facebook's success.

That Google didn't copy that aspect of Facebook's design is why it will not replace, or really put a dent into, Facebook's dominance.

The problem is that Google didn't think about how the "circles, hangouts, Instant Upload, Sparks, and Huddle," all fit together, or about what really binds people to each other. Google's system connects people but it does not let me see what people - my friends - are doing.

People like to know what other people are doing. Facebook's News feed allows that, even more than the status updates. Google should find some kind of way to incorporate Facebook's user experience into the Google Social Network, or else, it's just not going to catch on with many other than early responders.

UPDATE: PC World, which was invited to try Google + reports that the "Stream" is equal to the Facebook News Feed. From PC World's account, Google does copy Facebook's "feel" but I have to try it for myself to be sure. I'm still skeptical.

Stay tuned.

Ben Parr Is Wrong About Straight Guys And Dating In SF And LA

Happened to run across an infograph posted, but not made by, by Ben Parr, the Mashable Editor-At-Large, on December 27, 2010. It shows that San Francisco and Los Angeles have the largest ratio pools of single men versus single women. But the chart compelled Parr to blog a point of view that was provocative to say the least:

Title: If You’re a Straight Guy Living in LA or SF, the Dating Scene Isn’t in Your Favor

Body: if you’re a straight guy looking to find love, I suggest moving to Chicago or New York City.

Since Ben lives in the Bay Area, or at least did when he attended the San Francisco YouTube Community Roundtable in 2009, and still seems to be a San Francisco dweller, it's not hard to think maybe Parr was having a hard time himself (let's hope not), and used a map to share his pain.

Fear not, Ben, there's another approach to dating life in San Francisco. Love women! San Francisco and Los Angeles have, perhaps, the largest best assembly of smart single women outside of New York or Chicago. Take a look at Ashley, who I met at the BrickYard Bar and Grill in San Francisco on New Year's Day:

Plus, the Gay-friendly culture translates to many available, single, straight women looking for a single, available, straight man. If there's just one draw-back, it's that the society as a whole is transient - women are always moving.

But, if you're in the Tech industry, as Ben is, you're going to have to get away from Tech events and go to fund-raisers. San Francisco is known for non-profits and for fund-raisers for worthy causes. The non-profit game is not "the thing" in LA; it's entertainment. And that means premiers, parties, and hangs.

That's based on my experience.