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Tips for Producing your Google Currents editions
#Currents #google #technology #tech #tips #kolblog #TechTuesday   #ft   #kolt

I've been playing around with this today and finding it very easy to set-up and customise. I've now set-up my blog, my photography and even my Google+ stream on Google Currents (find the direct links at the bottom of this post). But a few tips if you decide to add your blog or site to Google Currents. Firstly...

- Do add your blog or site to Google Currents: Sure it takes RSS feeds from all sites and the result is pretty good in most cases but you can do a lot more with your blog/site in Google Currents. Adding your site to Currents means, for example, you can add your own logo to show up in the library and in searches. It also means your blog/site will definitely appear in the search results when searched in Currents as not all sites are showing up (from what I can see when I do a vanity search in Currents). Head over to here: https://www.google.com/producer/

- Add a table of contents: Just to be tidy. :-) - Add your Google+ stream to Currents: You are able to add your Page or Profile streams as a 'social update' via the Sections page. You could add this in addition to your blog/site or if you only want your Google+ page in your Currents edition then create a new edition, give it a name but don't add your RSS feed. Click Create then go to Sections and add your G+ page via the social updates link. The result will be your G+ stream on Currents, nothing more, nothing less. :-) - "Start thinking about how you post on Google+ or your blog/site*: First thing: pictures, pictures, pictures. If you add a picture to your Google+ posts or blog/sites posts then they appear in Currents. Pictures make things stand out over the wall of text from other post so try adding relevant images to your posts where possible. Also think about how you format your posts, give them a title, tidy them up and add hashtags...

- Use hashtags on your Google+ posts: If you add hashtags to your G+ posts, bonus. Firstly add your G+ stream via social updates link, then add the hashtag(s) in the bottom box. Once created the Section will show G+ posts with only the hashtag(s) appears. It's a good way to share only to Currents only the posts you want to share (not the whole lo!). What you can then do is create sections that are filtered by these hashtags. For example, I've been adding hashtags to most of my posts since the beginning, like #technology , #gaming and #photography . I've now created sections in Currents filtered on these hashtags. Basically the hashtags are now blog categories and you can organise your Currents edition into those categories.

- Add your photos via Flickr or Picasa: Want some colour to your Currents edition or want to show of your photography? Then add your photos page via the Photos link under Sections. I've added my Picasa page (https://profiles.google.com/104405539079062799451) as a section and called it Photography

- Add vi.sualize.us as a section: If your Currents edition needs more colour then why not add your bookmarked images? I use vi.sualize.us to bookmark any interesting or cool images I've found on the web (see here: http://vi.sualize.us/koltregaskes/). I can now add this via the Photos link under Sections as a Media RSS. Note, I added it as a 'Feed' previously and it needed verifying. As you cannot verify an external source like this I swapped to a 'Photo' import.

- Add tags on Flickr or Picasa: You have the ability to add tags to your Flickr or Picasa pics, either in the form of keywords or hashtags again. You can now use these tags when adding your photo page to Currents. For example, I wanted to add my Picasa page as above but only wanted these photos to appear in Currents edition: KolTregaskesPhotography02 | kolint. So I added a "koltregaskesphotography" tag to all of my photos then entered the tag when I added the Picasa page in Currents. It means you can categorise your photos. I now have separate Sections in Currents for my main genres, e.g. landscape and nature. So you can basically create a gallery in Currents using tags you've added on the photo sharing services.

- Add Google Analytics: There is an option to add your GA ID to Currents. So if you want to track visitor stats then head over to here for more details: http://support.google.com/producer/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2373961&topic=1633739&ctx=topic

- Use search operators for filtering: If you are using more than one keyword to filter your content then don't forget to use AND, OR, etc. to tailor the filtering. Note: the default is OR.

- Distribute your Currents link: Currents gives you a URL that you can use to post around and share your new Currents edition. Use it to post to Twitter, Google+ Facebook etc. so that people can find you on Currents. Note: if you change the name of your Currents edition the distribution URL changes as well (yes a little annoying)


Useful Links

Here's a few useful links I've found while playing around with Currents:

Getting custom with Google Currents:
http://clarklab.com/posts/getting-custom-with-google-currents/
+Clark Wimberly (and here +Clark Wimberly) has a few tips on changing the look of your Currents, e.g. linking yout title to your TOC, via a few CSS tweaks

Customize using template tags:
http://support.google.com/producer/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1636194&topic=1694363&ctx=topic#g-link
Support page from the Google Currents Producer guys, explains all the tags to customise the code, e.g the g:link tage

Will Kiefer on Google+:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/114617554755271805426
+Will is one of the Google chaps on the Currents project. He's answered a few of my queries and has a few useful posts and reshares here on G+

Google Currents | A Game Changer?:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/102886708431831530206/posts/ZLyBCrCr6AD
+Caleb Hailey has some excellent tips on re-creating your Google+ stream in Currents, for example, the 'categories' I mentioned above - thanks Caleb!


My Currents

Here's the direct links to my Currents editions. Feel free to share and subscribe to any you wish. I'm still tweaking them so expect them to change a little over the next few days:

Google+:
http://kolt.at/kolcurrents
Complete with photography, technology, gaming and various other sections

My Blog:
http://kolt.at/kolcurrentsblog
My general blog with my favourite images from around the web

My Photography:
http://kolt.at/kolcurrentsphotoblog
My photography, including my blog and Google+ Page


Hopefully some of these tips will help you in creating your Currents editions. As it's very new I'm sure more and more tips and tricks will come up during the forthcoming weeks. If you have any tips or articles you'd like to share them please post them in the comments below. Feel free to share your Currents links as well.

Original link: http://kolt.at/kolgpluscurrentstips1

Blog post: http://www.koltregaskes.com/2013/01/tips-for-producing-your-google-currents.html
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25 comments
 
Don't be put off, this can be used by anyone. It's dead simple and you don't have to have your own site or blog. As I say you can add your Google+ stream, so basically that becomes your 'blog.
 
You're welcome. How did you get on yourself?
 
I'm finishing up two proposals today. I'm going to play with it after that.
 
Bumping for anyone who missed this yesterday. Again, if you have any tips or for #Currents please add them to the comments, ta. :-)
 
Fantastic introduction. Thanks, Kol.
 
+Kol Tregaskes the tips were very helpful, checking out Denny's post now. My approach was pretty straight forward and patterned on your walkthrough.
 
Any luck pulling through a Google Reader feed? I tried last night to incorporate the feed for one of my group labels in Reader but no luck.

Edit: Nevermind, I figured it out. I created a bundle based on one of my Reader labels and that worked. I guess the rss feeds for the labels themselves are private.
 
Anyone know how to properly include in image in a RSS feed so that it shows up in Currents?
 
I dont use feedburner, but I believe my feed has media rss setup, I'm just supplying a thumbnail though.
 
Thank you so much for all of these tips. Just what I was looking for.
 
I never saw that you put this post together - nice work! I've been unable to play with this since my first foray, but I'm going to try to pick it back up again & keep it going. I have, however, continue to publish content to my edition by hashtagging my posts in G+, so that's cool.

My next adventure is to do some styling to my edition so that things look a bit nicer than the default theme / template.
 
Thanks for the excellent tips and resources. As for editions showing up in searches, here is what the Producer help says: "When you have achieved 200 subscriptions to your edition, it will be surfaced in search results based on your edition's name and description — potentially bringing you to the attention of all Currents users." http://support.google.com/producer/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1691529&topic=1633739&ctx=topic

A good tutorial with step by step instructions and screenshots:

How to publish your content to Google Currents
http://www.findingtheuniverse.com/2011/12/how-to-publish-your-content-to-google.html

A few more tips:

Full text of post commentary in social updates posts - By default, in social updates sections (e.g. Google+ and Facebook) only the first couple of lines of post commentary text is displayed. If you want the full text, replace the default article template with this one: Long social update articles http://support.google.com/producer/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2621489

How to get the RSS feed of a Facebook page - To add a Facebook page to a social updates section you need its RSS feed URL, which has the following structure https://www.facebook.com/feeds/page.php?id=XXXXXXXXXX&format=rss20 Replace XXXXXXXXXX with your page ID, which you can find as described here https://productforums.google.com/d/msg/currents-producer/8ty9QGlU714/kqf_ujvKsJoJ

How to get the RSS feed of a Twitter user - It's explained here (second method) Twitter hasn’t killed RSS just yet, here’s how to find your Twitter feed RSS url http://sociable.co/social-media/twitter-hasnt-killed-rss-just-yet-heres-how-to-find-your-twitter-feed-rss-url/

Add an About section - Consider adding an About section to your edition for telling something about you, the content you publish, or providing contact info.

Finally, you may be interested in this currents edition I created: A space organization mobile magazine created with Google Currents http://www.spacetweepsociety.org/2012/05/05/a-space-organization-mobile-magazine-created-with-google-currents/ It provides an example of an assortment of blog feeds, social updates, photos, videos and static sections. Content is in Italian, but this is an occasion for trying machine translation, one of Currents' built in features.
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