Bryan Ruby


Thoughts, Words, and Deeds from Sioux Falls, SD

My Massive Google+ Blogroll

After nearly eight years of being a Google+ user, the time to say goodbye to the social network is almost here. For those of you that never saw the value of Google+, I  don't expect you to fully understand what hardcore users (I'm one of them) will be missing when the platform is no more. I think Mike Elgan's article probably describes Google+ best when he explains it as a place "where smart people gather for long, detailed and interesting conversations" without the streams being "algorithmically filtered" like most social networks. For me personally, I was able to meet a lot of people on Google+ that I wouldn't have known otherwise on "hit and run" sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

At this point and time, many of the Google+ refugees are scattering and fleeing to any number of social networks (many I never heard of until recently). Instead of following these former Google+  users to their social network of choice, I've decided to follow them via their blogs. I've spent the past week looking up the profiles of every G+ user I followed and note if they maintain a blog or personal website. I'm not sure how much value this effort will have to others, but in the end I did this for me. This is simply my way of saying goodbye to Google+ and recognizing my desire to stay connected with the G+ community through their blogs.

Attached below is a list of people I followed on Google+ that currently maintain a blog or personal website.  

Cord-Cutting: Trying out YouTube TV

Trying out YouTube TV for the first time. I'm a current DirecTV Now subscriber and have used SlingTV in the past. 

Technically, YouTube TV isn't being offered for my area so I used the zip code of another location I visit often. For my area, local channels aren't currently available via YouTube TV but I'm OK with that since for the past few years we've been getting our local channels through an antenna and utilizing a TiVO for our DVR. I estimate that we've saved around $2,000 in the past three years by not subscribing to Cable or Satellite TV with this arrangement.

Putting "Me" First in 2019

Following the footsteps of people bigger than me, like Mike Elgen and Dries Buytaert, I've decided to focus this year on my personal blog and spend less time on my other websites and social media networks. This has been a long time coming but probably the straw that broke the camel's back was Google's decision to shutdown my favorite social network, Google+

Out of all the social networks I've participated on, Google+ was the only social network where the people followed you to not only be heard themselves but also to actually listen to what you had to say. Maybe G+ being a "ghost town" is what helped make it so successful those those that actively used the social network. Without family and close friends there, I never had to worry about boring my family and closest friends about computers, software, science, and my obsessed journey to be more interesting tomorrow than I am today. Google+ will be missed  by me and I decided with G+'s absence it is time for me to return to blogging like it's 2001 all over again.

My review of the Snow Joe Two-Stage 80V Cordless Snow Blower

This winter I'll be relying on my newly purchased EGO Power+ Snow Blower to clear the snow off the driveway. However, this EGO snow blower isn't my first battery-powered snow blower as that honor goes to Snow Joe's first two-stage 80V Cordless Snow Blower, the iON24SB-XR (Amazon affiliate link).

As far as I know, Snow Joe is the only manufacturer of a cordless electric two-stage self-propelled snow blower currently on the market. For two decades I had been using a MTD gas powered two-stage snow blower that I bought at the local K-Mart. Whether gas or electric, I prefer two-stage snow blower over a single-stage which is why I originally purchased the Snow Joe over EGO's single stage snow blower. So, during the 2016-2017 snow season I used the Snow Joe two-stage as my primary means of removing snow from my house. I thought it would be good to stroll down memory lane and give you my initial review and overall impressions of the Snow Joe ION24SB in case you're considering to make a similar buy.