All Posts By

Jansen

Productivity

Why I still use Google Plus

Computers at work

Back in 2011, Google launched a social network that was poised to be a “Facebook killer.” I joined the wave of marketers that adopted Google Plus, and briefly considered abandoning Facebook.

Six years later — Facebook dominates our lives more than ever and G+ is widely viewed as a failure. I however, use Google Plus every day and find it an important part of my productivity.

Why I still use G+

I don’t use Google Plus as a social network, but rather as a convenient bookmarking tool that saves me a ton of time every day.

Like most people, I have a habit of getting easily distracted online — but G+ helps me stay focused in the moment by allowing me to quickly save interesting articles and websites so I can return to them later.

And I actually do this — when I’m stuck in line somewhere, I will open the G+ app on my phone and find what is basically my “to read” list. If I am signed into Google Chrome, things that I posted to my Google+ profile will float to the top of search results so I can find them later.

Two things that make this work:

  1. It’s easy: When G+ launched, it came with a wave of tools like an app and Chrome browser plugin. Every major WordPress theme also integrated G+ buttons, so it is very easy to post something to your G+ profile. I also use Buffer app to simultaneously send articles to G+ and real social networks.
  2. You won’t bother anyone: The lack of people on G+ is also an asset — unlike Facebook and Twitter, I never have to worry about cluttering anyone’s feed on G+. It’s like my own little notebook of things that I find interesting.

I recommend giving “Google Plus as bookmarking tool” a try — it significantly improved my productivity by giving me more control over when I consume interesting content.

dogs

Ingrid turns two

Ingrid the labradoodle explores art in Oak lawn, Dallas.

I sometimes tell people that my labradoodle is still a puppy. She acts like a puppy — hyper, uncontrollably excitable, and easily fooled. But I just realized today that Ingrid is already two years old.

I got Ingrid back in October 2015 (how time flies!) and she’s been tumbling around my apartments ever since. What a quick two years.

Ingrid the labradoodle among the flowers in Perry Heights, Dallas.

Ingrid the labradoodle among the flowers in Perry Heights, Dallas.

Ingrid the Labradoodle at a Highland Park fountain.

Ingrid the Labradoodle at a Highland Park fountain.

Continue reading “Ingrid turns two” »

LGBT

Why we don’t need additional colors on the pride flag

Dallas Pride iLume Drag Queen

The Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affairs recently came out with a new pride flag that adds black and brown stripes.

I am not sure whether the “More Color More Pride” is a cynical publicity stunt or a misguided attempt at inclusion.

Here are the three biggest problems with the redesigned flag:

1. The pride flag isn’t about race.

The colors on the original pride flag designed by Gilbert Baker represented the race-neutral themes of “sexuality, life, healing, sun, nature, art, harmony, and spirit.”
Continue reading “Why we don’t need additional colors on the pride flag” »

Oak Lawn

The busker

The street dancer's platform shoes.

The street performers in Oak Lawn vary — from real musicians and performers to people in the middle of drug-induced episodes.

We recently came across a fabulous Michael Jackson-like performer who reminded me of Disco Stu from South Beach

Disco Stu was this fabulous greasy-haired busker who was well-known on Lincoln Road. He had bedazzled platform shoes and an old boombox that blasted oldies. I saw him almost every weekend in college. Continue reading “The busker” »

memories Oak Lawn

Moving out of the gayborhood

Lightning above the Trinity River in Dallas

I finally moved out of the gayborhood.

This move was yet another tedious experience in which I was confronted by dog hair balls, poor purchasing choices, and clothes that no longer fit.

One unexpected aspect of this move was the rain — I was leaving Ilume Park with a carload of stuff when the sky just collapsed all around me.

Here’s what it looked like in a video posted by a local weatherman:

A video of a "rain foot" over downtown Dallas.

A video of a “rain foot” over downtown Dallas.

The technical term is a “rain foot” or downburst, but it really felt like the hurricanes that I left in Miami.

I then made the great life choice of getting on the Tollway during the downpour. Several of the low points in the highway were flooded and traffic was reduced to a single lane. One guy driving a beamer attempted to blast through the flood waters and got stuck. I made it to the new apartment however. Continue reading “Moving out of the gayborhood” »