So I know what you are thinking – why in the world would little me write a blog post on something that is sort of “techy” and about social networking, with Google Plus (Google+) of all things? Well, it started (not surprisingly) with trouble I have had with Facebook recently, of which I will not bore you here with the details, unless I convince Facebook to do my fixes, and I am so not holding my breath, nor should you.
Out of frustration (and I understand I am not the only one by a long shot), I realized the only alternative social networking that works for business reasons is Google+. A handful of my friends tried to change over approximately 6 months ago, but there were still problems, so they unhappily came back to Facebook. While Twitter works really well, lots of people are still uncomfortable with it, or “don’t get it.” LinkedIn is not really a social network so much as it is a guarded safe-haven used mostly for employment purposes, and (understandably) it is ideal to keep work and private lives separate. So again, Facebook seemed the answer.
Recently however, it appears that not only is Facebook getting worse (without a hope of remedy, as their so-called help is anything but), but that Google+ has really fixed many things that were not working well. Isn’t that good news?
Not only that, Google will not be forcing that god-awful “Timeline” format, which frankly I not only find to be a visual nightmare, but takes twice as long to load – not good. In my experience, people will not wish to go backward in speed and while some people may like surfing Facebook all day, most of us wish to get our stuff done and go live a life! It is clear Facebook makes this stuff up as they go, and while they tend to act arrogant about their decisions as to what you can do with your pages, I think it is a cover-up for their sheer inability to continue to sail their proverbial Titanic after it hit the iceberg.
Yes, I am finally sensing Facebook’s “exodus” is starting to happen now, just like the Myspace exodus that no one ever thought would happen a few years back. I didn’t feel it the other times people told me everyone would leave – but something feels “different” this time, and I have decided to already be in the proverbial lifeboat, rather than drown. So of course, I want to let everyone know, and immediately wished to add my Google+ profile to my sidebar in a visible, prominent place – and to do this, I needed a Google+ logo, and a way to link it.
I discovered there are already a few good plugins to add Google+ Badges to WordPress.org pages.
But, when I went to the “Widgets” section of WordPress.com to see if I could add Google Plus, their awesome developers have not yet made one that will work. Because of my lack of skill, attempting to modify the WordPress.org ones did not work either.
On Google’s pages, I managed to find this Google+ Badge Configuration link but it didn’t have an option of the look I wanted, and more importantly, the coding with placing part at the “header” compared to the coding to place where the badge would go was too confusing for this non-techy (but this could still be a good way for those who want to use it – look into this option first!)
I knew I at least needed the Google+ Logo image to catch people’s eye and let them immediately know I am now on Google+. When I made my profile page not even 24 hours ago, well over 100 people were already right there, without any real effort to find them – so it appears many others are starting to switch too. I hope these directions help others like me, at least until the WordPress.com version of the Google+ badge becomes available! If you leave a comment and sign up for updates on this thread, I will happily keep this thread up to date as more resources become available.
1. Get your Google+ account, and you will notice in the URL for your profile, there is a very long, many-digit number – keep this handy.
2. Log into your WordPress.com account to your Dashboard.
3. In the left-hand column almost toward the bottom, you will see “Appearance” – when you wave the mouse over this, you will see a drop-down menu. Click on “Widgets.”
4. You likely know how widgets work, but just in case, the “Available” widgets take up most of the center portion of the page. The right-hand column is where you put the widgets you wish to use. Using the click-and-drag function of the mouse, click on the widget that says “Text” and drag it to the part of the sidebar yo want it to appear. Consider the order of appearance of the widgets you already use when choosing.
5. At that point, the new text widget will open a pop-up window. The title can be something like “Me on Google+” or whatever you wish, so type that in the title area.
6. In the actual “text” part of this pop-up window, you will type (or copy/paste) the following, but replace the ####### with your Google-assigned number (see #1 above); this will allow it to link your profile, specifically to your “about” page. I have used the larger, first example, and thought I would include a smaller logo as the second example just in case that would look better on your page:
<a href=”http://plus.google.com/u/0/#######/about”> <img src=”http://aartiana.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/googleplus.png”>Google Plus</a>
<a href=”http://plus.google.com/u/0/#######/about”> <img src=”http://aartiana.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/googleplus32px.png”>Google Plus</a>
7. Before saving this, make sure that the box that asks if paragraphs are automatic should be check-marked. Then, save the content, and close the text widget.
Please see mine as a different example (I have other functions in that particular text box). It is too bad WordPress.com does not allow the text-widget function to open a new window, or else that would also be in the coding, but overall, I am not complaining. You can actually do it by right-clicking the link and choosing to open a new window (or tab) from your computer. Thanks for tuning into my “Techy Tips for the Non-Tech” blog post today!
P.S. I must confess I am also VERY much enjoying for business and personal reasons Pinterest! Love this place – add me!