A Railroad with Relevance

Big Google News

Written By: Alan - Jun• 28•11

In the not too distant past I thought social media was a waste of time. Useless dribble exchanged between teenagers. People tweeting what they were eating for breakfast. Popularity contests to see how many Facebook friends could be accumulated. As far as I was concerned social media was a big waste of time for the most part. And then I met Greg Tirico.

Greg is a bit younger than I. Well, actually quite a bit younger. He is from a generation that grew up with electronic communication gadgets. To him social media is as normal a way of communicating as picking up a telephone. Greg and I became buddies through work. He kept telling me I should take off my blinders and have a look at social media. But I resisted. And I resisted. Upon learning I was entering a new hobby in a big way, model railroading, Greg convinced me it was the perfect time to have a go at social media. Alas, this blog was born.

It is two years later, Greg is now Director of Social Media for Sage, and I have come to fully appreciate social media. No, I don’t tweet that I am eating Captain Crunch (with Crunchberries, of course) nor do I even have a Facebook account. My engagement in social media revolves around the many forums devoted to model railroading. Oh, what a wealth of information. Ask a question, get an answer. And another answer, and another, and another. It is so cool there are people around the globe so willing to help. Without social media I would have been limited to model railroaders with the same zip code as I.

Greg was right two years ago and I suspect he is right again today when he sent me a message about Google’s announcement. He said…

HUGE announcement from Google today.  They are not saying it directly but they just went for the Facebook jugular and released a full-on social network.  I’ve watched the videos (access is slowly rolling out) and, honestly, I think they just built a social network for you.

Take a look…




Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine - Totally electronic, totally interactive, totally free - Each monthly issue, 100+ pages!




You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.


  1. Greg Tirico says:

    There could not possibly be a better compliment in this world. Thank you Alan! I think it goes without saying that you’ve taught me more than you can possibly imagine. Do you remember the first time we met? “Don’t spin your wheels…” was uttered as I headed back to the rental car in the Troy ARC parking lot. Very profound. Thank you.

  2. Flashwave says:

    You know, I’m going to be honest. This will either work, or Google’s going to waste a lot fo bandwidth. Me personally, I know two friends who are raving about Google+. We’ll see.

    I got onto Facebook to keep track of classmates after High School, and it went from there. No differen than an e-mail list or a phonelist, just faster. But I don’t post all that often.

    For perspective, I don’t (have/want) text, I (can’t/don’t/don’t see the point to) watch tv on my cell phone, not can I surf the interwebz. My phone folds in half, and I have actual number buttons. Also, I freely retell the joke from an NPR radiogameshow that asked the question “People post tweets to Twitter. Does that make Twitter posters twits?”

    Google’s going to have to do a lot of convincing to swing Facebook’s control. Fb did manage to do it to MySpace, but with such an expanded Socail Networking world, there’s more people, and more friends. Friends that will get left behind of they don’t jump over with the geeks to Google+. Moreover, they’ll have to swing the advertisers. And I don’t see the benefits. Facebook has already annoucned a Chat page with Skype, about the time Google+ came to my awareness. The relations circle looks an awful lot like Facebook’s groups too, at least in function. Moreover, and maybe I’m just paranoid, but Facebook has enough security holes, I;m not all that fond of putting my info on a server right next to a SEARCH ENGINE. I don’t want someone to be able to type my name in and actually be able to pull up me that easily. I run my Fb page extremely tight too, but when it comes down to it, the programmers and site owners still have what I put up. And the old “I don’t put my personal ifno up” doesn’t hold water, if you ever post anything for your statuses, or for that matter, people’s replies. Not to mention, you can’t rely on other people’s pages to be as secure as yours. that’s just the curses of Social media, just as people were scared of others reading their mail.

    We’ll see how this goes though, shall we?

    (And shouldn’t you be benchworking Mr? We want to see trains!!)

  3. Flashwave says:

    Oh, and by the way. I like the site’s new format. the background match the baseboards and cabinets? it should, after all the work you’ve put into them. 😛

  4. Alan says:

    Yeah, yeah I know benchwork should be further along by now but it is summer. Very little indoor activities during the summer. Grounds-keeping alone eats all my time. If it were purely up to me the benchwork would be done by now!

    The site theme change was to mark the official start of railroad building. Guess that was a bit optimistic. Glad to hear you like it. WordPress makes it so easy.

  5. Flashwave says:

    Gee Alan, you should be in Indiana right now. a Heat Index of 113 sounds like a wonderful reason to be indoors in the basement.

  6. Alan says:

    I spent a day last week on the tractor mowing with heat index of 102 actual temp of 96. It was miserable. The basement would have been a delight that day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.