Building the Converged Teams that Transformed IT and Enhanced Service to the Business

first_imgAchieving our present hybrid cloud environment based on a converged IT infrastructure may have taken two go-rounds for us. But the results have certainly been worth it—for both the business units we serve and for our converged team members.Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) is a privately held, Dallas-based company with a growing portfolio of competitive and regulated energy companies operating in Texas. EFH companies include Luminant, a diverse power-generation business, and TXU Energy, a retail electricity provider with 1.7 million residential and business customers in the state.Technology plays a key role in how we compete for business, engage with customers, and innovate. In 2009, when we first virtualized our IT infrastructure, we made a conscious decision to avoid going with a vertical stack from a single vendor. We didn’t want to be locked in. And we succeeded in creating a robust private cloud environment.But with each major upgrade, we had to spend another $1 million to $1.5 million on labor alone over the six months it took to complete the build. This dated the new environment before we could even leverage it, and the quality of the builds varied dramatically. Equally concerning, our business-unit customers were beginning to think of us in terms of red tape, not getting things done.So, in 2014, we reversed course. We chose Dell EMC’s Enterprise Hybrid Cloud running on Vblock® Systems. And we began a transformation from teams responsible for managing a specific technology such as Windows or UNIX, or networks or databases—to being capable of supporting our entire converged environment from the hypervisor on down.Building the converged teamsWe are very data driven. In creating our converged teams, we reduced the number of outside contractors, which had been the lion’s share of our IT team, and focused on expanding the team members’ skill sets. In many cases, contracts simply weren’t renewed when they expired.Among the factors we considered were:What roles existed then, and what would we need to address in the near future?What roles might we need outside of our converged environment—such as handling patches within a specific OS, or dealing with enterprise equipment such as SANs or NAS?What qualifications were required for each role? Level one, two, or three? Novice, intermediate, engineer, or high-level architect? Improved collaboration and agilityGoing into the transformation, we were of course concerned about the impact on our culture. But the changes were accepted very well—especially with the commitment we made to training. Teams were sent to conferences and training classes and everyone was given numerous opportunities from Dell EMC, Cisco, and our IT team partner to stay current on the latest technologies.This enabled people to keep their skills relevant in a constantly changing operating environment. And it also led to improved collaboration and the agility to respond much more quickly to service requests, even with far fewer resources.It’s also had a tremendous impact on our builds. With the shift to converged, we can now connect, configure, power up, and start provisioning new systems in about a week, rather than requiring six months or more. And we can do that with just one or two resources—eliminating the $1 million or more we spent on labor previously.Impressive results—with more to comeWith the transformation to Dell EMC’s Converged Platforms well underway, we’ve seen some impressive results:Our investment of $20 million in Enterprise Hybrid Cloud and Vblock Systems is expected to return $54 million in avoided costs and net operating savings through 2020We’re providing higher quality service with 75% less IT staffWe’re enjoying performance gains from the Dell EMC converged platforms, averaging 40% to 50%, with improvement on some tasks of up to 300%We’ll have shrunk our data center space from 35,000 sq. ft. to 6,000 sq. ft. by year-end, with a goal of reaching 2,500 sq. ft. by the end of 2017We’re also now able to use our converged teams to pursue our goal of becoming a service broker for business-unit clients. With the implementation of cloud services and automation, I see our teams’ focus shifting away from the simple delivery of infrastructure to providing catalogs of services that will ensure business users can get completely out of the IT business.Just as importantly, this will enable us to see the true big picture of what’s being spent and do a better job of managing IT usage and costs for EFH.To learn more about how Energy Future Holdings benefits from Dell EMC’s Enterprise Hybrid Cloud and Vblock Systems, read our case study and watch our video.last_img read more

The Latest: Minnesota cutting men’s track, gym, tennis teams

first_img“For a single event where many are gathering, we felt this additional safety measure was beneficial,” Texas spokesman J.B Bird said.___Kentucky will limit seating at Kroger Field this season to 20% of capacity, about 12,200, with physical distancing for its five Southeastern Conference home games.The school’s coronavirus protocols announced Thursday include mobile ticketing and parking passes and face coverings at all times, except while eating or drinking. Tailgating and pregame gatherings in the parking lots have also been eliminated, including RVs.Kroger Field will undergo enhanced cleaning and sanitization before and during events and feature hand washing and sanitizing stations throughout. The Wildcats’ home opener is Oct. 3 against Mississippi. ___Boston College has suspended activities for its men’s and women’s swimming and diving program after some team members tested positive for the coronavirus.School spokesman Jason Baum says in an email that the athletes who tested positive are in isolation. He declined to say how many team members had tested positive and whether they were on the men’s or women’s team.As of Thursday, there were 68 undergraduates in isolation, including 28 in isolation housing and 40 recovering at home. Fifteen students have recovered from the virus.___ Associated Press ___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Minnesota is dropping men’s indoor and outdoor track and field, gymnastics and tennis because of budget concerns brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Washington laid off 16 employees and instituted furloughs or reductions in hours for another 35 employees as part of a second-round of cost-saving measures by the school.Washington said the 16 layoffs are a combination of vacant positions and some currently filled roles.Washington had previously announced salary reductions for some members of the athletic department and instituted furloughs for all athletic staff.“We have remained committed to maintaining all 22 of our programs and to providing a world-class education and athletic experience for our students,” Washington athletic director Jen Cohen said in a statement. “In order to fulfill this commitment we are having to make some challenging personnel decisions that impact long-standing and dedicated members of our department. The current pandemic continues to have a major impact on our entire country and we are not immune.”The layoffs and furloughs are part of Washington’s efforts to cut $28 million in expenses from its athletic budget due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The school is projecting a revenue shortfall of more than $50 million and that’s if a winter or spring football season is played. ___The University of Texas will require students to pass a COVID-19 test before they’ll be allowed to attend the No. 14 Longhorns’ season opener against UTEP on Saturday night.Texas has up to 3,000 student tickets available for the football game. To claim a ticket, a student must pass a university-provided rapid test on Friday, the school said. The test will be free to students at a cost of about $90 per test to the university.Texas will allow about 18,000 fans to attend the game at a stadium that typically seats close to 100,000. The testing requirement doesn’t apply to the general public attending the game.Texas doesn’t require students to be tested before they attend classes, although most are taking classes online, and gatherings of 10 or more people are generally not allowed. Minnesota President Joan Gabel and athletic director Mark Coyle said Thursday that the athletic department is facing a projected loss of $75 in revenue for this fiscal year following the Big Ten’s decision to postpone fall sports.School officials said the elimination of the sports will be effective at the completion of their 2020-21 competition seasons, which the teams will play if “health and safety precautions allow.”The athletic department is eliminating eight other positions in addition to those that will be cut because of the four programs being discontinued. School officials said that’s part of a personnel cost-reduction that should save $1.3 million this fiscal year.The 10% salary reductions that Coyle, football coach P.J. Fleck, men’s volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon, men’s hockey coach Bob Motzko, men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino and women’s basketball coach Lindsay Whalen had accepted already will now be extended through the entire fiscal year. That is expected to save about $1.2 million.___ September 10, 2020 The president of Italian soccer club Napoli has tested positive for the coronavirus.The team says Aurelio De Laurentiis was positive following a test taken Wednesday.De Laurentiis attended a Serie A meeting in Milan on Wednesday that included representatives of each of the Italian league’s 20 clubs. He was also in contact with Napoli’s players and staff recently during the team’s preseason training camp in Castel di Sangro.It wasn’t immediately clear if Napoli’s entire squad would be placed in isolation as a precautionary measure.Napoli’s opening Serie A match is at Parma in 10 days and the team is scheduled to play Pescara and Sporting Lisbon in preseason friendlies on Friday and Sunday. The Latest: Minnesota cutting men’s track, gym, tennis teamslast_img read more

Donations still needed for Meals-on-Wheels-for-kids Service Day event

first_img Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (5) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +7 Vote up Vote down Lindsey · 278 weeks ago What a wonderful program!!! You would be amazed and heartbroken at the number of children in this town, that don’t have enough to eat at home. Times are tough, we all struggle or have struggled and these kids are struggling because they are hungry and not necessarily because their parents choices, but also the result for unforeseen circumstances such as layoffs, medical bills, and so forth. This is the future of Wellington! Innocent children- lets help them out! Report Reply 0 replies · active 278 weeks ago +3 Vote up Vote down Maria · 278 weeks ago why do we not have a backpack program for the kids here in Wellington? I lived in Wichita and did a program there and loved it! We packed backpacks with food for the child and any siblings they had to suffice them for the weekend. It was an amazing program. I am pleased that you will be providing meals through the summer, but can we also not get a summer program in place for free meals? They also had meals in the summer time, usually lunch. but it was free only to children and their siblings also. These are things we should be looking into here in our city. I understand costs, but there are a lot of things that we could cut out to provide for these children who are hungry. Report Reply 1 reply · active 277 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down Jennifer · 277 weeks ago Maria, we do have the Backpack program! The kids that qualify get bags of food for themselves and their siblings every Friday! It is such a wonderful program! Report Reply +1 Vote up Vote down mom2mykids · 278 weeks ago Awesome program….and where do we donate? Also Maria, yes we do need this program for the weekends also….too many unfed children… Report Reply 1 reply · active 277 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down Mrs. Defore · 277 weeks ago You may bring or mail donations to Wellington High School. Checks can be made to WHS Leadership. Thank you so much for your interest!! Report Reply Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — As part of the Wellington High School Service Day on Wednesday, April 22, will be the meal packaging event to benefit Meals-on-Wheels-for-Kids summer program.Karla Defore, WHS Leadership Instructor, sent out the following e-mail earlier this week:I wondered if we could get another little shout out about this outreach program — we really want to be able to reach some hungry Wellington children this summer.  I’m not sure if many around town know about the Meals-on-wheels-for-kids program at the Methodist Church, but they prepare and deliver meals to over 100 kids three days a week all summer.  We are wanting to feed them the other days of the week, meals they can easily prepare for themselves.This year’s service day will be on Earth Day. The Wellington Leadership team will be serving in a number of ways around the community, including a few new ones.  Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors will be placed off campus, while freshmen will be working at WHS on a variety of projects.Students will be working on a meal packaging event to benefit the Meals-on-wheels-for-kids summer program, Defore said.“Students will be working assembly line style to package meals for children in Wellington who may not have access to meals in the summer time,” she said.The leadership team will be working with Outreach, Inc (outreachprogram.org) to package high quality, easy to prepare meals for children.The cost is only $0.25 per meal.  The WHS leadership team has a goal of providing 8,000 meals at a cost of $2,000.“If we should happen to raise more money than our goal we plan to donate the excess to the Wellington Food Bank,” Defore said.If you have any questions about the meal packaging event or about Service Day, please feel free to e-mail Defore at [email protected]–Follow us on Twitter.last_img read more

Deputies searching for missing 88-year-old woman in Boca Raton

first_imgPalm Beach County Sheriff’s Office deputies are searching for a missing 88-year-old woman who was last seen Friday at around 1:30 p.m.According to officials, Mildred Granino was last seen leaving her residence located in the 8500 block of Bella Vista Drive. She was driving a 2018 white SubaruImpreza with Florida tag # LPZF57. Police say has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.Mildred is described as 5 feet 2 inches tall, weighing 130 pounds. She has gray hair and brown eyes and was last seen wearing blue jeans and a white sweatshirt.Anyone with information about Mildred Granino’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch at 688-3400last_img

England Golf and TaylorMade-adidas Golf announce new four year partnership

first_img23 Jul 2014 England Golf and TaylorMade-adidas Golf announce new four year partnership England Golf and TaylorMade-Adidas Golf have announced that they are to establish a new partnership to support the England national golf squads.The exclusive four year agreement will commence in January 2015 and will see all the England national squads wearing Adidas Golf apparel and footwear and using TaylorMade golf bags and accessories at international events.In addition, the partnership will secure the brands official supplier status of golf apparel, footwear and waterproofs for England Golf staff and volunteers. TaylorMade and Adidas Golf are recognised as two of the world’s leading golf brands and are market leaders across a number of categories within the golf industry.Both brands support some of the game’s leading players, many of whom were previous England internationals at amateur level, including Justin Rose, David Howell, Sam Hutsby, Eddie Pepperell and Jodi Ewart Shadoff. As one of the largest sports governing bodies in England looking after the interests of more than 1,900 golf clubs and over 713,000 men and women club members, England Golf manages the national performance programmes supporting the best amateur players in the country.The England men’s and girls team are current holders of the Home International titles, the men’s, women’s and boys teams all reached the semi-finals of the recent European Team Championships and individual success saw England internationals taking the 2013 Men’s and Ladies Amateur, Men’s US Amateur and Men’s European Amateur titles.David Silvers, Managing Director, TaylorMade-Adidas Golf EMEA said: “As a business, we are obsessed with inspiring golfers to play more often and become better players. That’s what we do; we design and develop performance products to improve your game and increase the overall enjoyment of the sport. Our partnership with England Golf provides us with a great opportunity to support the game at all levels and deliver our long-term commitment to promote, grow and develop the amateur game. Everyone here is really looking forward to working with England Golf, not only ensuring their players receive the best support possible but also in activating the future plans of their wider strategy to grow the game.”England players will be wearing the very latest Adidas Golf apparel and footwear, engineered with advanced technologies to optimise the body’s potential and promote improved athletic performance.David Joy added, “We are delighted to be working with TaylorMade-Adidas Golf. Our players compete against the world’s best amateurs and have to play in all conditions throughout the year and having access to the most innovative and high quality clothing and equipment can make a huge difference.“As we embark on our new strategy we believe this new relationship will not only provide our players with the best product but also a partner who can work with us as we strive to meet our ambitions to get more people playing golf more often, increase the number of club members and support stronger clubs.”last_img read more

Tech-Savvy Teen ReDesigns Web Site for LS Library

first_imgRBR Junior Ryan McVeety accepts an award from Little Silver Mayor Robert Neff Jr. in thanks for McVeety’s work on the borough library’s web site.By John BurtonLITTLE SILVER — What do you do if you’ve got a computer issue? Get a teenager to help, of course.That’s what the Little Silver Public Library did when it needed a new Web site design.Ryan McVeety is a 16-year-old Red Bank Regional High School junior who donated his time this summer to assist the library in establishing its new site.The library had a Web site, but it was one that dated back to the 1990s and was “very static, very one-dimensional,” explained Anita O’Brien, the library’s acting director.“The subject came up that I was good with technology,” McVeety explained about his involvement. But to say he was “good” with technology appeared to be something of an understatement.Even by the tech savvy standard of those of his generation, McVeety seems to be a go-to guy for computer questions.  “I’m the technical support guy at home,” he acknowledged.McVeety is a student at the high school’s Academy of Information Technology and is currently taking the Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science class. He is also involved in computer competitions including a forthcoming one at the New York University’s Polytechnic Institute, in Brooklyn, where he and his teammates will be competing in a virtual forensic science murder mystery. Along with that, Ryan is taking a cyber security class and is involved with his school’s CyberPatriot national competition program.Ryan’s mom had been a volunteer at the borough’s library and “I always loved the library,” he said, which led him to offer his help. He’s been interested in computers since he was quite young—even younger than he is now—going back to when he was about 10, he said.His design is much more interactive than what the library’s previous site, as well as being very user friendly, O’Brien said.For Ryan the appeal of is, “the problem solving aspect of it,” he said, explaining it has the same draw as puzzles, like Rubik’s Cube. That and video games, such as Call to Duty Shooter and Halo, which may lead him into a career some day designing games, something he’s thinking about, he explained.“He was a big help to me,” O’Brien said of Ryan’s work, which included a program that would allow O’Brien to update the site.And on Monday the Borough Council recognized McVeety’s contribution to the borough by approving a resolution commending his work for his community. “It’s a huge benefit to us,” Mayor Robert Neff Jr. said.“It’s pretty cool,” getting the acknowledgment, McVeety said afterwards. Yeah, but does it compare with Call to Duty?last_img read more

Fans on Twitter react to Mourinho’s United unveiling

first_imgJose Mourinho’s protracted appointment as the new Manchester United manager was confirmed on Friday – and his first words did not go down well with many Chelsea fans on Twitter.The Portuguese, who won eight trophies in two spells at Stamford Bridge, told MUTV: “There is a mystique and a romance about it which no other club can match.”That angered a number of Blues supporters still reeling from his sacking in December.I appreciate Jose is at a big club like Man United But the whole “no club can match” talk is upsetting to hear. #CFC fans always stood by u— Sean Murphy (@Seanie1492) May 27, 2016“no other club can match” seriously jose! you are no more one of us. the love story end right here. #CFC— Al-Usmàn Ismail (@CFCied04) May 27, 2016So this is what you get for supporting a manager unconditionally. Jose, no #MUFC fan will ever love you more than a #CFC fan. Good luck.— Manan Rindani (@TheMananRindani) May 27, 2016Thank you for the memories, Jose. As you said – love stops once a person joins a rival. I’m going to live up to that. #CFC #Chelsea #myclub— Karun Sondhi (@EICFC) May 27, 2016Can’t take away what he did at the club but jose’s definitely tarnished his legacy with this move #cfc— Owen Pocock (@OwenP91) May 27, 2016Jose Mourinho’s sacking upset many Chelsea supportersJose in red hurts more than Frank in light blue #cfc— Jamie Lane (@Laneohh) May 27, 2016Still strange seen Jose as @ManUtd manager #heartbreaking #cfc #onceabluealwaysablue— Terry marshall (@Terry__Marshall) May 27, 2016Still feel sick that Jose has joined them. What were we thinking? Jose is our best ever! #CFC— Stuart Buchan (@sbuchan07) May 27, 2016The Jose saga is like seeing your twice dumped ex going out with the guy you suspected she was flirting with. #CFC— #Symbelmynë (@Namith_117) May 27, 2016Many United fans unsurprisingly lapped up his words and looked forward to Mourinho working his magic at Old Trafford.Jose on United: “There is a mystique and a romance about it which no other club can match.”No truer words have been spoken. #Mufc #cfc— Lucas (@Lucas_MUtd) May 27, 2016There’s a mystique and romance about #mufc 100% correct Jose, #cfc doesn’t come close to what this club is about, the future looks good 😎— Rab Mc™ (@rabmcnaught) May 27, 2016“There is a mystique and a romance about it which no other club can match.” Well that’s me buttered up! #MUFC #SpecialOne #WelcomeJose— Jim Warrington (@bigjaap) May 27, 2016Welcome to the greatest football team in the world Jose #WelcomeMourinho #mufc— Bryan Kane (@BryanKane85) May 27, 2016Mr. Philosophy is now history and Jose is finally ours. Congrats to Jose and all #mufc fans. Exciting times ahead#WelcomeJose— The Special One (@MouTheTactician) May 27, 2016Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

A look into the bond Kevin Durant cemented with Spencer Hawes

first_imgSEATTLE – The fans kept cheering Kevin Durant and yelling out his name.Even as the Warriors’ star attempted to attend to every Sonics fan and luminary he could, nothing would stop him from connecting with someone that has meant the most to him. Shortly after his pre-game routine in his first stop here since his rookie season with the former Seattle SuperSonics, Durant spotted former NBA center Spencer Hawes.Durant gave him a big hug . Durant and Hawes then talked as if they are siblings. In …last_img

GPS Adventures Maze Travels to Colorado

first_img SharePrint RelatedGroundspeak Weekly Newsletter – May 2, 2012May 3, 2012In “Groundspeak’s Weekly Newsletter”Groundspeak Weekly Newsletter – January 12, 2012January 12, 2012In “Groundspeak’s Weekly Newsletter”Groundspeak Weekly Newsletter – May 5, 2011May 11, 2011In “Groundspeak’s Weekly Newsletter” The new GPS Adventures Maze is all set to open its doors just a short drive from downtown Denver. You can navigate the fun, interactive museum exhibit at The Wildlife Experience. Join Geocaching Co-Founder Jeremy Irish and hundreds of fellow geocachers at the opening event on February 9 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.GPS Adventures MazeThe GPS Adventures Maze is open for exploration through May 27. You’ll be able to test your geocaching knowledge and sense of adventure inside the life-size maze. Plus, while you’re making your way through the family-friendly maze you’ll learn the inside-story of GPS technology, unlock navigational history, and discover geocaching fun facts. Those who log the maze will even earn the unique GPS Adventures Maze Exhibit cache type icon. Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

Google+, What’s the fuss?

first_imgIf you are interested in learning a bit more about Google+, join +Kevin Gamble and +Stephen Judd for a free eXtension webinar on Friday December 2, 2011 at 2 PM EST.Launched less than six months ago (June 28, 2011), Google+ is a social networking service provided by Google, Inc. As a social network, Google+ shares traits (ability to share updates, links, photos, and videos) with other large social networks like Twitter and Facebook.I began using Google+ when it first became available in a field-trial status, and have been impressed with its ease of use and the level of interaction among the users. Because users can comment on posted content, there isn’t a length constraint, and comments remain with their original post, conversations are easier to have than they are on Twitter. I’ve also found the ability to share to limited groups easier to use than similar features in Facebook.With the recent advent of Pages in Google+, businesses and organizations can also interact with other Google+ users. I’m holding off on fully endorsing the use of a Google+ page, until features like multiple administrators are made available.Below is some basic information about Google+ and how it works:Your Profile:At the core of Google+ is your personal profile, information you enter about yourself and can include: an Introduction, occupation, employment history, education, places you’ve lived, contact information, demographic information, photos, and related links. There are privacy settings to control which information is visible publicly, versus visible to people you connect to on the service.The Network:The usefulness of Google+ will depend on who is using Google+ among the folks you want to interact with and on making those connections. When you first start using the service, you can search for people in your address book you may know are using Google+, or by searching by name or topic of interest. As you add people to your network, you place them in Circles, which later allow you to publish updates to selected Circles, or view updates from one Circle at a time.Following people is not strictly reciprocal:With Google+, you can follow an individual without them following you back, and vice versa. (This is in contrast to the way Facebook originally worked, where the process of “friending” someone, required the agreement of both parties. Facebook has since introduced the subscribe feature, which changes this dynamic.) However, you do have the ability to block a person, so he or she can’t comment on your posts and will only be able to see information you post publicly.Posting:You can publish content to Google+ through the web interface, mobile applications, Google Reader, or through +1 buttons on various websites. Unlike Twitter, there’s no character limit for Google+ updates, and they can include embedded photos, videos, and links. However, formatting options are limited to bold, italics, and strikethrough. When you publish content, you can choose the people to share that content with, by making it Public or sharing it only with selected individuals or Circles. The users you share a post with will have the ability to comment on or reshare the post, unless you have locked the post or disabled comments.Reading posts:By default, Google+ will display content that people you follow have posted. These posts may have been shared publicly, or shared with you directly or via a Circle the poster has you in. You will also see your own posts. You can comment on, reshare, or +1 these posts. You can filter this view by selecting to view the posts from an individual Circle instead.Other features:Google+ has several other features in addition to content-sharing:Hangouts (group video chat for up to ten participants) (I have found this to be one of the most useful tools on Google+ for enabling real-time collaboration with geographically dispersed groups)Messenger (group text chat for up to 50 people, available through mobile application)GamesSearch (ability to search–based on people and content–and save searches)Photos (share photos from Picasa, and instantly upload photos from mobile devices)Pages (a way for companies, organizations, brands, and other non-persons to share content and interact with other Google+ users)Overall, Google+ has become my preferred social network and I look forward to using it as it continues to change. Like any social network, it will benefit from wider adoption, so that I can find more interesting folks to interact with.If you are interested in learning a bit more about Google+, join me and +Kevin Gamble for a free eXtension webinar on Friday December 2, 2011 at 2 PM EST. Details are at: http://www.extension.org/learn/event/372More information:Google+ Help CenterWikipedia – Google+Author: Stephen Judd (+Stephen Judd, @sjudd) This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.last_img read more