Social media overdose

Of late, I was contemplating upon how I seem to have no time for the things I want to do. While I’m guilty of whiling away time playing games or watching TV, these are things that eat up my time consciously. But, even these activities do not seem to add up to all the time lost doing things I don’t even consider productive. And so, I have begun a hunt to track down those certain activities which are stealing my time.

All this may sound ridiculous – that’s how I felt at the beginning too. I discovered a trend in the way I assimilated/operated on information (mostly restricted to information on the internet). There are many ways in which I obtain information from the vastness of the internet. Many of these are not the direct source of the information but they are aggregates such as Google Reader Feedly, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, email newsletters, and the search giant Google itself.

In truth, my predicament is a direct result of the way in which I consumed information from these sources. Through Feedly, I found an effective way to subscribe to a website’s updates via RSS. This is perhaps the least distracting of all my methods. Because, here, I find just the content that I wish to read – no ads*, related articles, or “unwanted” links.

Email newsletters to an extent behave the same way. I receive regular updates from sources that I have subscribed to. And the new Gmail interface definitely helped reduce clutter in my inbox.

Google or any search engine, in general, is an opt-in method of looking for information. I go there only to find something I want to know more about. For instance, my most recent visit to Google was to find a solution to the annoying upgrade problem that Evernote has on windows!

Twitter is where I follow like-minded people and is where I get most of the information related to programming and technology. The good thing about twitter is if you followed the right people, you’ll get curated information that is worthy of reading. Not just the 140-character message, but also the links that are shared there.

Google+ hasn’t probably received the widespread adoption that Google has hoped for, but this has helped me in some way. Google+ is more like twitter. You add people to circles synonymous with following someone on twitter as opposed to adding a friend and being approved – like on Facebook. I mainly follow Android, Google related sources on G+.

And then there’s Facebook. Facebook is an unpaid, overly curious, seductive and yet unconcerned psychiatrist! It’s free. It accepts any bullshit you spew. It mesmerizes you to return to it often. And yet it remains distant to who you really are. In short, it is an extremely glorified shrink!

Unlike
It’s not you, it’s me.

Honestly, I do not have a problem with it. Like I said before, it has more to do with the way I process information than how Facebook is to be perceived – It is probably doing exactly what it was designed to do. And so, much of what can be found on Facebook is more opinionated and less informative. And I’ve had it! Here’s to a hiatus from Facebook – “I’m sorry dear. It’s not you, it’s me.”

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Google Chrome impressive! Download it now!

Google spread its wings into the browser market today with a pretty impressive and promising package – Chrome. The browser being truly fast, redefines speed. With a load of amazing features, it stands up give a tough fight to Firefox and Internet Explorer. Google released a comic strip to introduce the new browser and all its features: Read it here.

Here is the list of its features in a nutshell:

1. Impressively fast; beats Firefox!
2. The architecture looks promising! Read the comic to know more.
3. Flash, Java and JS applications loads very quickly!
4. Each tab runs on a process of its own, and the browser comes with a built-in process manager to view what website is using more system resources! -Truly innovative!
4. Enhances the Firefox-like location bar to suggest searches, URLs from bookmarks and also from top google searches.
5. By default, a new tab shows the top websites visited by the user and also, recent web searches and most-used web searches.
6. Web applications like GMail works quicker. Hotmail is yet to recognize the browser and shows up a warning saying that the browser may be incompatible and proceeds to the classic version – which seems pretty fast as well.

With Google’s entry into the browser market, the war is expected just to get bigger and the competition much more intense! Conclusively, whatever results from this, eventually benefits the consumer. 🙂

Moreover, Google uses Webkit framework for building Chrome and better yet, it is open source; making way for further rapid updates!

Like Ishwar just pointed out: “The days of ‘Google dominates earth’ is not far..” 🙂

Google Talk Secrets!

Google TalkGoogle Talk. Try it!

In a few words, Google Talk, rather Gtalk, is an amazingly simple tool which acts as an Instant Messenger, PC-to-PC phone, File sharing software, which also provides you with real-time email (GMail) updates and also, scrapbook updates for Orkut users.

90% of the people who already use Gtalk are not aware of all its hidden secrets! Below is a list of a few I compiled. I recently found a website, CustomizeTalk, which is dedicated to Gtalk users. It provides a lot of information to customize, and control Gtalk overall behavior; from start-up to its looks!

One very interesting feature is the simultaneous logging in of multiple accounts. Here is how you do it:

1. Create a shortcut for Gtalk on your desktop. (Or any preferred location of your choice)

2. Right-Click on the shortcut and click on Properties. (Or select the shortcut and press Alt+Enter) This should bring up the properties for the shortcut.

3. In the target field, add /nomutex. And click OK.

4. Use the shortcut to start Gtalk. Now you can run multiple Gtalk instances all with different accounts.

For more such interesting tips: http://www.customizetalk.com/index.php?page=tips

I’m also using a chat theme I happened to like on the website. Its called G3.

Click here to download it. (You’ll also find alternative forms of the same theme too.) Here’s a preview:

G3