Throgs Neck Bridge, Throgs Neck Br, Bayside NY, Bayside, Queens, Queens NY, nyc, New York, Newyork
Throgs Neck Bridge. Picture taken by Mike Klubok Owner of Computer Concierge NY LLC
Fort Totten, Bayside NY, Bayside, Queens, Queens NY, nyc, New York, NewyorkFort Totten

This post could be adopted for almost any city, town, area etc. I live in Bayside,NY and most of my customers also live in Bayside as well. I have wanted to do a blog post about Bayside,NY for a while. Let me first say that for any of the products, businesses, etc. that I mention, I have not received any compensation or assurances, hints, discounts, etc of compensation as of March 30, 2012 for mentioning the products, businesses, etc in question by anyone.  Bayside is bordered by Douglaston and Little Neck on the east, Flushing, Fresh Meadows and Whitestone on the west, Long Island Sound on the North and Jamaica on the south.  Bayside includes the neighborhoods of Bay Terrace, Bayside Hills, and Oakland Gardens.

When doing a Google search using "Bayside" the band Bayside from Queens is shown on the first page as well as a few Bayside, NY related pages and other terms having Bayside in it. Searching under the term "Bayside NY" yields more related to the area. (Hotels, Bay Terrace Shopping Center, Bayside Historical Society are a few).

The local park is Fort Totten which gets a good amount of visitors for the views offered and the historical buildings. Check their website often as tours, fitness walks, canoeing are just a few of the things offered this summer. There will be other offerings in the fall. http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/forttotten/

Winter, Bayside NY, Bayside, Queens, Queens NY, nyc, New York, NewyorkBayside After the 2011 Blizzard. Picture taken by Mike Klubok Owner of Computer Concierge NY LLC
_Bayside, NY also has many restaurants especially along Bell Blvd which is the main street and where most of the businesses are located. Doing a Google search "Bayside Restaurants" brings up a whole bunch of them mainly from Bayside, NY and also other locales such as Bayside Restaurant in Newport Beach, Ca. Change your search to "Bayside NY Restaurants" for a more personalized listing. If you are interested in a particular ethnic cuisine just add that particular ethnic cuisine in your search terms. Note that adding a specific ethnic cuisine will possibly include restaurants outside of Bayside.

You can find out more about Bayside by using Facebook. Put "Bayside" in the search tab on top of the page and you get items for more than Bayside, NY including the band Bayside.  Putting "Bayside NY" gives you largely co-op and condo buildings at first, then a few local businesses. Bayside Queens goes a little further. You can request to join a group "Bayside Queens" for starters. You can also search based upon the "Bay Terrace" and "Bayside Hills" sections. Keep in mind that there are likely to be others by those same name. There is a Bay Terrace section of Staten Island and related items will also show up when searching "Bay Terrace".

winter, Bayside NY, Bayside, Queens, Queens NY, nyc, New York, NewyorkWinter in Bayside Queens NY
_Bayside has a prominent shopping center. The Bay Terrace Shopping Center is located in the Bay Terrace section and contains many well known stores and attracts shoppers from Bayside and the surrounding areas. Bay Terrace Shopping Center is a good place to meet for socializing as well as shopping. They also have a page on Facebook as well.

Another good search are the following Wikipedia sites:
  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayside,_Queens - Wikipedia article on Bayside.
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bay_Terrace,_Queens - Wikipedia article on Bay Terrace section of Bayside.
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Queens_neighborhoods - List of Queens neighborhoods by geographical location.
The Wikipedia entries noted above also provide selected external links that may be of interest.

Last but not least by going onto Twitter (you do not need to log in) and putting the terms "Bayside NY" or "Bayside Queens" you may just find something of interest.

In all Bayside, NY is a nice area to live in or visit. See some of the pictures I have taken in the area and included. If you are new to or unfamiliar with the area, you can learn more about it by using the internet and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. If you live in Bayside, NY enjoy what Bayside has to offer.  If you don't live in Bayside, you will be welcomed with open arms when visiting.

Computer Concierge NY LLC, provides expert computer and technology services in the Bayside, NY area, Including Queens, Albertson, Bayside Hills, Bay Terrace, Bellrose, College Point, Douglaston, Floral Park,  Flushing, Forest Hills, Great Neck, Jamaica Estates, Kew Gardens, Kings Point, Lake Success, Manhasset, Mineola, Munsey Park,  New Hyde Park, North Hills, North Shore Towers, Oakland Gardens, Plandome, Rego Park, Roslyn, The Bay Club, Thomaston, University Gardens, Williston Park, Whitestone and Other Areas in the Bayside vicinity.

Throgs Neck Bridge, Throgs Neck Br, Bayside NY, Bayside, Queens, Queens NY, nyc, New York, Newyork, Mike Klubok, Computer Concierge NY LLC
Throgs Neck Bridge. Picture taken by Mike Klubok owner of Computer Concierge NY LLC.
 
 
Picture
Mike Klubok the Owner of Computer Concierge NY LLC has trained seniors as old as 95 to better use their computer.
The other day I spoke with a high level person in a non-profit organization that has a large senior membership about doing a technology related presentation to members of his organization. The person responded that as many of his members are in their 80s they would not find it useful. After mentioning a few items like how computers can help with health care for seniors, the social aspect, and being an enabler of life learning he suddenly became interested.

Keep in mind that when I talk about computers I am including smartphones and tablets like the iPad , Kindle Fire and others as they are computers.

I have worked with people as old as 95; Helping them to use their computer to keep in touch with friends and family, discover old friends, track their investments, and better use the features of Google search. These are some of the benefits of seniors using computers. Those I have worked with were very motivated to improve their computer skills and with good reason.

Connected seniors are more likely to be happier and healthier than their counterparts who do not use the internet. Evidence has shown that those seniors who are connected are less likely to suffer from depression. In an era where more of us live further from family and friends than ever before the internet has helped to stay connected.  I helped a woman in her 80s set up a Facebook account a while back to keep in touch with her grandchildren and see pictures of them and their travels in life. She also wanted to connect with friends she lost touch with from her childhood in Germany. I don’t know how much luck she had connecting with her lost friends but I know she was thrilled to see pictures of her grandson’s travels in Spain on Facebook that she likely would not have seen otherwise. I worked with another woman who received what she thought was a picture of her great-grandchild living in England who she had never seen and was unable to open it. When I arrived to address the problem she had opening up the file I realized it was not a picture but rather a video. Her tears of joy in seeing the video of her great-grandchild crawling was something special.  When I left she gave me a big hug and thanked me for helping her to see the video. Skype is also a great connector of friends and family that live miles and miles away.  Many years ago the phone company said that long distance was the next best thing to being there. Maybe then it was but now it has to be Skype.

The internet gives seniors better access to health care.  Communicating by email is a method used by more and more doctors. If you want to monitor what you are eating there are sites such as FitDay that allow you to do so. You also can do research.  Want to know more about a drug you are taking? Go to PDR.net.  Sites like WebMD and MayoClinic.com are just two sites that have an abundance of medical information. Both of them also have a symptom checker where you can find possible causes of your symptoms.

Studies have shown that truly lifelong learners have a better quality of life.  The internet provides the ability to quickly get information about world events, politics, sports, etc.  Wikipedia is one factor in why very few people these days have books of encyclopedias at home anymore.    

The last item I will mention is that the internet fosters independence for seniors.  Seniors are now less likely to need someone to take them shopping. I have shown seniors how to shop using Amazon.  Their orders get delivered to their door.  Groceries can be ordered from sites such as FreshDirect.

So if you think you are too old to use a computer think again.  Ask some of the seniors I have worked with how using a computer has added to their lives and don’t be surprised if you see a 90something person in the park Skyping with their friend or grandchild.

Whether you are a senior or advancing towards one day being chronologically gifted I am available to help you better use your technology.  I can be contacted at (917) 572-3468 or email me at mike@computerconciergeny.com .

Feel free to join the conversation and post comments and questions on my Facebook page at Computer Concierge NY LLC  . There also are tips there to better use your computer, smartphoneiPad and other technology you may have or are thinking of buying.

 

Computer Concierge NY LLC provides expert computer and technology services in the Queens, NY area. This includes Albertson, Bayside, Bayside Hills, Bay Terrace, Bellerose, College Point, Douglaston, Floral Park,  FlushingForest Hills, Great Neck, Jamaica Estates, Kew Gardens, Kings Point, Lake Success, Manhasset, Mineola, Munsey Park,  New Hyde Park, North Hills, North Shore Towers, Oakland Gardens, Plandome, Rego Park, Roslyn, The Bay Club, Thomaston, University Gardens, Williston Park, Whitestone and Other Areas in the Bayside NY vicinity.  Our web services are provided worldwide.

 
 
Computer Concierge NY LLC in Bayside NY, computer training, computer repair, Forest Hills Computer, Queens computer,
Computer Concierge NY LLC
I know a few people who still insist on paying their bills the old fashioned way.  They write that monthly check for the mortgage, car payment and numerous other payments that they have.  Even after I tell them the benefits of paying online, they still prefer to pay their bills the old fashioned way.  If only they would listen.  They would save both time and money.

I have been paying my bills online now for almost 15 years.  It is faster (you can set up recurring payments. Just be sure that the money is in your account to cover the payment on the day you set it to be paid) and less expensive (no stamps and you don’t have to buy checks nearly as often).

It also is safe to pay your bills online.  Yes an account can be hacked but there is always the risk of mail theft when paying bills by mail.  If a payee says they never received payment you readily research your account on the bank’s website to see if the payment was made and to whom. I have had an instance or two where I got a letter saying that payment was not made and it was.  What I found out was that the name of the payee or the address was not correct.  After corresponding with the payee, the issues were resolved.

In paying my bills online, I also am helping the environment and contributing to going green. Online payments save paper.  Not just from the written checks but envelopes as well.  Companies have less envelopes to open so their costs get reduced.  This truly is a win/win for all.

Certain recurring monthly payments are allowed to be made by credit card.  You can take advantage of rebates and  my credit card happens to offer me a 1% rebate on all purchases.  Not much but every little bit helps.  If I could pay my cable bill using my credit card I certainly would do so.  It would also be 1 less payment to set up every month as it is now included with my other credit card purchases.

Banks are happier as well.  Online payments reduce their processing fees. Handling it electronically is also simpler for them and merchants like it because of this as well.  Less envelopes to open. Receive their money quicker.  Paying by mail vs paying electronically at the same time.  The merchant will receive the electronic payment quicker.

I do not recommend using online payments from service providers such as electric companies, credit card companies, etc.  If they make an error it can adversely affect your credit rating and per your agreement with them it may be difficult to hold them accountable.  Also if there is an error it can take a while to get your money back.  I prefer paying bills online through my bank.

Paying by check still has its uses.  It is not recommended that you pay federal tax bills through your online bank.  My bank specifically says, “The Online Bill Payment service should NOT be used to pay your local, state or federal taxes.”  When you pay online, the money is deducted from your checking account NOT when the payee cashes the check but when you tell the bank to pay the bill.  You no longer have a “float”.  How many of us will give a birthday gift of $50 by doing it through our online account?  We probably will include a check inside a birthday card.  The same goes for weddings.  On the minus side, it is not as easy to switch banks.  If you do switch banks you need to make sure all pending and recurring payments are cleared.  

If you have further questions about paying bills online, or other technology questions I can be contacted at (917) 572-3468 or email me at mike@computerconciergeny.com

My Facebook page provides information on the current goings on in the technology field with tips to better use your technology.  For timely information, please visit and "Like" my page.

Computer Concierge NY LLC provides expert computer and technology services in the Queens, NY area. This includes Albertson, Bayside, Bayside Hills, Bay Terrace, Bellerose, College Point, Douglaston, Floral Park,  Flushing, Forest Hills, Great Neck, Jamaica Estates, Kew Gardens, Kings Point, Lake Success, Manhasset, Mineola, Munsey Park,  New Hyde Park, North Hills, North Shore Towers, Oakland Gardens, Plandome, Rego Park, Roslyn, The Bay Club, Thomaston, University Gardens, Williston Park, Whitestone and Other Areas in the Bayside, NY vicinity.  Our web services are provided worldwide.
 
 
So you may have heard that Microsoft recently released the much anticipated Windows 8 operating system. It sure doesn’t look like those previous operating systems of Windows that you have seen. Don’t despair since Windows 8 was made with the future in mind as it works well with touchscreens and you will be seeing more touchscreen personal computers over the next few months.

One of the first things you will notice is that there is no start tab. You’re wondering how to turn the computer off. Going to either the upper or lower right hand corner will bring up a bar known as the charms bar. The bottom icon there that looks like a cog a bicycle chain goes around is the Settings icon. Either click on it or if you have a touchscreen tap it and you will see the Power icon at the bottom. Select that and select “Sleep” “Restart” or “Shut Down”.  You no longer are wondering how to shut your computer off.

You also by now have probably noticed that the screen instead of showing the familiar icons on your desktop show tiles. Each of these tiles represents an app (Programs are now referred to as apps like the apps on your smartphone and your friend’s Mac programs which are also referred to as apps). Some of these apps show information. The weather tile shows the weather for the location noted. You can put a calculator app to do arithmetic operations. One great thing about this new screen is if you are looking for a file, setting, or app just start typing the name of it. Once you start the search screen will show. You can see where your search query for apps, settings, files. Also expect to see more Windows 8 phones out there in the next few months. Don’t despair about not seeing a desktop. There is a desktop tile. By tapping it if you have a touchscreen or moving your mouse to it and left clicking, the old traditional desktop (without the start tab) will show.

One disadvantage of the new Windows 8 is when you go to delete a file there is no longer a confirmation asking if you wish to do so.  No last chance to change your mind. However all is not lost. By going to the recycle bin and right-clicking on it, choose Properties, and check the "Display Delete Confirmation Dialog" box. You now will have that last chance to make sure that you truly want to delete that file.  Another disadvantage is a longer learning curve going to a new operating system. The advantages however outweigh the disadvantages.

So should you upgrade to Windows 8? Windows 8 Pro is available for $39.99 but that is only until January 31, 2013. Unless you are upgrading from Windows 7 you will need to reinstall your apps. I upgraded due to business considerations since I will be setting up new computers that use Windows 8 and training people to use it. There is the learning curve I mentioned earlier and you need to get used to not having a start tab. File Explorer (formerly Windows Explorer), is a lot more user friendly, security is improved and boot time is faster making it a possible investment if you are still using Windows Vista or Windows XP. That said, given the age of your computer if you are using XP or Vista, replacing your computer may be a more feasible option. If you have XP or Vista currently, while Windows 8 requires a minimum of a 1GHz processor I would recommend a minimum of 2 GHz. Other than the tiled apps, there is not a real big change between Windows 7 and Windows 8.

If you have additional questions about Windows 8, I can be reached at (917) 572-3468 or email me at mike@computerconciergeny.com  

My Facebook page provides information on the current goings on in the technology field. There are tips to better use your technology. For timely information, please visit and "Like" my page.

Computer training and many types of computer repairs can be done remotely. If you or someone you know needs either training to better use your computer or repairs I am now doing it on a remote basis in addition to in person locally.
http://computerconciergeny.com/3/post/2012/10/joinme-how-to-use-to-allow-someone-to-remotely-view-and-control-your-computer.html takes you to a narrative to use Join.me. It is a very user friendly site and it is easy to temporarily allow control of your computer. I also did an online video as well which is on the following link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyRSqpYNVQY



Computer Concierge NY LLC provides expert computer and technology services in the Queens, NY area. This includes Albertson, Bayside, Bayside Hills, Bay Terrace, Bellerose, College Point, Douglaston, Floral Park,  Flushing, Forest Hills, Great Neck, Jamaica Estates, Kew Gardens, Kings Point, Lake Success, Manhasset, Mineola, Munsey Park,  New Hyde Park, North Hills, North Shore Towers, Oakland Gardens, Plandome, Rego Park, Roslyn, The Bay Club, Thomaston, University Gardens, Williston Park, Whitestone and Other Areas in the Bayside, NY vicinity.  Our web services are provided worldwide.
 
 
So who out there after reading my recent article about backing up http://goo.gl/c2Gl0 still doesn’t back up their data files? I emphasize it in discussions with clients, friends and colleagues yet many people still do not back up their data files or if they do it is not often enough. Their excuses range from: I have no important files; I'll get to it; I can get my files; I don't want to spend the money. The big reason to back up your data is this: In the event of a hard drive failure for whatever reason, you have a backup copy of your data. Important documents, sentimental pictures of children, grandchildren and other loved ones will not be lost in the event your hard drive fails. If you are one of those who still do not back up your files, this is a must read.

Let's address each of these excuses one by one:

-- I have a good friend of mine who never backed up his files. His excuse was that he had no important files. Recently he had an issue where he thought his hard drive had crashed. Suddenly he had important files (including pictures from a recent trip) on his hard drive that he needed to have. Fortunately the issue was not with his hard drive but rather another issue. His data was saved.

-- "I'll get to it" is another excuse I have heard a few times. This is a variation of, “I don’t have the time.” Hopefully when you get to it will be before your hard drive fails. If you have a hard drive failure it is too late. If you are a heavy computer user, you should back up your data once a day. I know someone who had their tax return on their hard drive.  He was going eventually do a backup. Unfortunately, the hard drive crashed and he lost his tax return and the worksheets he used to prepare it.

-- "I don't want to spend money on it" – To paraphrase John Wooden, “If you don’t want to spend the money to back up your data, how about spending a whole lot more to get back the data should you have a hard drive failure?” That is if the data can be recovered. I checked with a national chain. If they can do the job in house the cost would be between $100 - $160 with it being ready in 2-4 days. If it needs to be sent to a data retrieval service the cost can run as high as a few thousand dollars. It will not be ready in 2-4 days but 2-3 weeks. How long can you wait for your data? Your costs to backup your data may even be FREE. Backing up will greatly lessen the anxiety of a hard drive failure.

-- "I can get my files" - A hard drive failure can occur without any previous warning. How will you get your data? See above paragraph for how long it would take and the cost.

The bottom line is you must have a backup in the event your hard drive fails. In the event of a failure you will be glad you had that backup. What would be the cost to you of losing a resume, pictures of children and grandchildren, tax returns saved on your computer with worksheets, schedules, etc? Backing up will save you money, time and aggravation. If you know someone who does not back up their computer, please for their sake make sure they read this.

What is the best way to do a backup? It depends on a few factors such as how much data is on your computer.

If you have additional questions about backing up your files, I can be reached at (917) 572-3468 or email me at mike@computerconciergeny.com 


My Facebook page provides information on the current goings on in the technology field. There are tips to better use your technology. For timely information, please visit and "Like" my page.

Computer training and many types of computer repairs can be done remotely. If you or someone you know needs either training to better use your computer or repairs I am now doing it on a remote basis in addition to in person locally.

http://computerconciergeny.com/3/post/2012/10/joinme-how-to-use-to-allow-someone-to-remotely-view-and-control-your-computer.html takes you to a narrative to use Join.me. It is a very user friendly site and it is easy to temporarily allow control of your computer. I also did an online video as well which is on the following link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyRSqpYNVQY


Computer Concierge NY LLC provides expert computer and technology services in the Queens, NY area. This includes Albertson, Bayside, Bayside Hills, Bay Terrace, Bellerose, College Point, Douglaston, Floral Park,  Flushing, Forest Hills, Great Neck, Jamaica Estates, Kew Gardens, Kings Point, Lake Success, Manhasset, Mineola, Munsey Park,  New Hyde Park, North Hills, North Shore Towers, Oakland Gardens, Plandome, Rego Park, Roslyn, The Bay Club, Thomaston, University Gardens, Williston Park, Whitestone and Other Areas in the Bayside, NY vicinity.  Our web services are provided worldwide.
 
 
If you are having a computer problem someone elsewhere can view your screen and/or remotely control your computer temporarily to fix the problem. JoinMe is a good program to use.  I have used it to help others fix their computer problems. It is very user friendly and no account setup is needed. There is both a free and paid version. I personally have not found a need for the paid version which currently costs $149 for an annual membership or $19 if you choose to use the paid service by the month. Note that if you are not connected to the internet, you cannot use this or any other program to share your computer with someone remotely.  You also have the ability to talk or have a chat using Join.me.

The first thing you need to do if you have not already done so is to download the Join.me program onto your computer. Using your internet browser (for purposes of this illustration I am using Internet Explorer (IE) type “Join.me” in the address bar and then press “Enter”.  The illustration below shows where the address bar is in case you are not familiar with using your browser.



Once you are in Join.me what you will see will include something in the picture below. You will notice the word “share” in orange lettering.  Underneath it is “pro” which is in white letters with a gray background.
What you want to do next is click on “basic” which is next to “pro”. “basic” will then be in white letters with a gray background as shown in the picture below.
You then want to click on the orange arrow to begin the download of the program. The location of the arrow is shown in the blue arrow pointing to it. Clicking on the orange arrow will begin the download.  You may be prompted as to whether you wish to download the program.  Select “Run”  and then “Yes” or some variant of the affirmative.
Once the download has completed and it should only take about a minute. The following icon will appear on your computer screen with other icons you have. For future sessions, clicking on this icon will allow you to share your screen and control of your computer in the manner shown below.
The toolbar shown in the picture below is now showing. When you click on the Join.me icon above in the future it will bring up the same toolbar. Note that the mouse icon is gray.  Keep this in mind for when you actually give control of your computer. You also will notice a 9 digit number.  Every time you share your screen with someone, this number will change. It is the number you give to the person you wish to view your screen and if you desire also control your computer.
When you give the other person the 9 digit number, they enter it from their own Join.me toolbar. Upon doing so, the mouse icon will turn from gray to orange.  Once this occurs, your clicking on it will allow the person you have shared your screen with to control your computer.  Once you click on the icon you will see underneath the mouse icon a menu to determine which viewer you wish to share control of your computer with.  Assuming that only one person is viewing your screen, click on “Viewer 1” or the name of the person if the person has entered their name.  If more than one person is viewing your computer, click on the viewer you wish to control your computer.
Once you have allowed control of your computer, the mouse icon will have an “x”.  When you press the mouse icon at this point and underneath the icon select “stop sharing control”, the person you have been allowing to control your computer will no longer be allowed to control your computer until the next session when the process will need to start over.
Pressing the “x” in the program will allow you to exit Join.me.  You will then be prompted “Exit join.me?” Clicking “exit” which is in orange with white lettering will exit you from the program.


If you have additional questions about storing information on the internet, I can be reached at (917) 572-3468 or email me at mike@computerconciergeny.com 

My Facebook page provides information on the current goings on in the technology field. There are tips to better use your technology. For timely information, please visit and "Like" my page.

Computer Concierge NY LLC provides expert computer and technology services in the Queens, NY area. This includes Albertson, Bayside, Bayside Hills, Bay Terrace, Bellerose, College Point, Douglaston, Floral Park,  Flushing, Forest Hills, Great Neck, Jamaica Estates, Kew Gardens, Kings Point, Lake Success, Manhasset, Mineola, Munsey Park,  New Hyde Park, North Hills, North Shore Towers, Oakland Gardens, Plandome, Rego Park, Roslyn, The Bay Club, Thomaston, University Gardens, Williston Park, Whitestone and Other Areas in the Bayside, NY vicinity.  Our web services are provided worldwide.
 
 
While this blog is a posting of computer related items, cell phones are in fact a computer and this is a potential life saving issue. I am doing this post that indirectly relates . 

In case of emergency (ICE) is a program that enables 1st responders to identify victims and contact next of kin in case of an emergency.  Hence the acronym ICE.  All cellphones should have one or more ICE listings should the unfortunate happen. 

That said, cellphones and particularly smart phones have password protection mechanism where your phone, ICE and all other information cannot be accessed without keying a password or drawing a pattern to unlock all of this.  What I am trying to get at here is if your phone is password protected, ICE is not able to be accessed.  Please have an alternate form of identification that lists an emergency contact(s).  Don't feel a false sense of security having ICE on your phone where there is password protection enabled.
 
 
If you not only enjoy sharing photos but also being able to learn about photography as well, then you may wish to check out Flickr. Flickr is owned by Yahoo and a Yahoo account is required but worth it if you wish to have a Flickr account. As of a year ago, Flickr had over 26 million users.

A free account allows you to only see the last 200 pictures you have posted and you can only post a picture to 10 groups. Groups relate to a topic which can be related to camera gear used, locations, types of photos, etc.  You can discuss in these groups not only photography but also topics relevant to the group. If you are travelling, there is probably a group for the places you are visiting that you can check out for pictures posted in the group and even post questions or comments about the area.  For $24.94 a year you can get a Pro account. This enables you to have stats on your account, unlimited uploads and storage, ad free browsing and other benefits. No matter what type of account you have, you can tag your photos which enables pictures to be found easier when doing a search by topic.

This is such a popular site for photography that in May of 2009 the official White House photographer Peter Souza started to use Flickr as a way to release White House photos.

If you have even a passing interest in photography this is a site worth checking out. You do not need to have an account to go through the site and check out the pictures and groups. You may decide to stay awhile.  Click to see pictures in my Flickr account.
 
 
Last week I posted some of my thoughts of Google+. After using it some more, I have a few others particularly what other social media sites may or may not fall to the new kid on the block in social media. 

While Google+ has been by invite only to date, being able to get a Google+ account has been enabled and disabled on various occasions. While Google has said it had to do with not allowing too many people to sign up at once and Google is better able to develop Google+ by limiting sign ups this is a great way of marketing. By doing this, Google is creating a demand for this new way of sharing. Ever see a long line to get in a club or restaurant? When you do go in, you may note it is not as busy inside as it appears outside. I know how I felt having an invitation but not able to get a Google+ account. Google+ has gotten a lot of attention on blogs such as Mashable and on other social media sites like Twitter and even Facebook.

A lot of people are saying that Google+ will adversely affect Facebook. Facebook has shown their concern and made it more difficult to export Facebook friends. Facebook has also hired some key people from Google the past few months. These people are certainly aware of the workings of Google and have probably communicated this to their colleagues at Facebook. If Facebook were a country it would be the third largest in the world with over 500 million subscribers. I do not see an en mass defection from Facebook of your friends and family despite having a low customer satisfaction rate per a July 19 article in PC Magazine. There will be those who leave Facebook for Google+. This already is happening. There are also security concerns about Facebook that have been noted by many. 

The 140 character limit of Twitter is both a blessing and a curse for Google+. A challenge of Google+ is to become less bloated in my opinion. On one side you have a 140 character limit that you can include links in order to share additional information. On the other hand, there are quite a few times when 140 characters are not enough. When using your smartphone which has a small screen, Twitter has an advantage. If using hashtags (#)  in Google+ were to catch on, this could change the playing field here somewhat. While you also can have lists in Twitter, Circles are easier to manage.  Further Twitter is considered to be an information network (news has been known to break out here) while Google+ is considered a social network. I do not see people using Google+ to report on a national crisis like they used Twitter in Egypt a few months ago.

LinkedIn is where I feel Google+ can do the most damage. For starters, LinkedIn is providing more subscription services. Google+ is a networking device where no definition as to whether it is used for personal as opposed to business use. Once businesses are in Google+, I believe the playing field will change. As a whole, LinkedIn users tend to be more tech savvy than Facebook users (how many 70 year old grandmothers are on LinkedIn?). Dell is thinking of allowing their tech support to use Google+.  They can have a video chat in Hangouts where you can see a face and make their job more of a personal interaction. Hangouts can change how customer service is handled.

There are those who also consider other sites like Skype and Flickr at risk. I definitely can see Skype being at risk due to the Huddles feature of Google+. Huddles allows you to have a video conference with as many as 10 people and at no charge. At present, you need a subscription plan to have a group video conference using Skype. Skype will need to change this.
Flickr is another matter. As someone having a Flickr account, it is largely a niche site for photographers.  Without purchasing a pro account for $25 annually, you can only show and access 200 of your pictures on your account. It also is easy in Flickr to tag multiple pictures at once and relatively easy to manage your pictures. Flickr has good discussion groups to discuss about photography related issues and those who participate are always willing to help with photography tips of their own. From what I am seeing, quite a few who have pro accounts are not renewing or debating whether or not to renew their account. Google+ will for one need to make it easier to issue the same tags to multiple pictures.

As I mentioned in my previous post, it will be interesting to see how Google+ is integrated with Google's other programs such as their calendar and mail applications. No matter what happens I have learned this: What is the hot thing now will not be the hot thing tomorrow. Google is hot now but they will have the day when they are not the hot thing.
 
 
Google launched its new social media site (though they refer to it as a sharing site) Google+ this past June 28 as an invite only. You also need to have a Google account as well. There are now over 10,000,000 users and growing quickly. It is considered to be a rival of Facebook.

A big way it differs from Facebook is you can add someone as a contact to any of your Circles without them adding you as a contact. Circles are a way of organizing your contacts. You can choose Circles like Friends, Family, Business, etc. When you post items, you can determine which Circles are able to see your posts. People that are in a Circle of yours can see they are in one of your Circles. They will not know which one or who is in that Circle. If you have someone in your Circle but they do not have you in one of theirs, you can see what they post subject to their sharing restrictions. For those using Facebook, think of Circles as the Lists you may have for Facebook friends. Your Facebook friends do not know what list if any you have them on. You also may share or not share posts with Lists. Circles are considered a strong selling point of Google+. They are easier and more user friendly to use then than Facebook Lists. Further, there are those who use Facebook and do not realize that Facebook has a similar feature as well.

Another feature of Google+ is Hangouts. Hangouts are where up to 10 people can have a group video chat. For this you will need to download and install the free Google Voice and Video Chat plugin for your computer.

Sparks is another feature. Your Sparks are only visible to you. This is where you identify subjects of interest to you. You get to see streams based upon your interests. Without you putting your interests in your profile, there is not a way for others to see what your interests may be. Facebook allows you to share pages, groups that you belong to. There currently is not an option like this in Google+. This link may be of help in getting a further understanding of Sparks.

Perhaps the biggest selling point is privacy. Not only is Google+ more private, it is a lot easier to manage privacy on Google+ than Facebook. It is easy to determine who you wish to see your posts and personal information.

Will items in Google+ get rated better in a Google search?  That is for Google to decide.  I would hope that the protocols used in a Google search ranking continue to be used here so as to be consistent.

Keep in mind that Google+ is a work in process. Improvements and enhancements are being made on an ongoing basis and as I mentioned it is easier to share interests using Facebook. It is expected that Google+ will be opened to all by the end of July. You are able to share photos and video just like Facebook. The quality of pictures shared in Google+ is better. It will be interesting to see how Google will integrate Google+ with its other products as well. Right now Google is by and large discouraging business use of its new program. When it is ready for business use what will it be like? The jury is out and Facebook may have some heavy competition to contend with. Then again with LinkedIn moving more toward subscription services maybe the niche of Google+ will be a professional networking site. My personal opinion is LinkedIn should worry more than Facebook.  Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for that matter have not gotten where they are by standing still. I would expect them to make changes to their product as well.  Time will tell how it all plays out.
 

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