Happy New Years everyone! from Canada

The last six months on Google+ went really quick! Guess what my first post on Google+ was? It was me linking to a +TechCrunch article about an extension I wrote for Google+ just hours after I joined this platform! http://goo.gl/mK1eD It only had three +1 and zero comments :) It was the first extension made for Google+ and it is still really popular 75K+ active users.

Ever since that day, I realized the potential of Google+ wasn't being used fully, it felt like home but with many problems. Since I have experience in creating extensions in Chrome, I just started pumping extensions every month.

Up to this day, I published and maintained up to 15 apps for Google+. Every single one of them are free, and source code is completely open and on GitHub. I checked Google Analytics to see how many people downloaded my extensions, and a total of a million downloads. I am still amazed till this day!

So here is the flash back of the last 6 months of Google+...

- Extended Share for Google+ Extension - The first Google+ Chrome Extension created which surprisingly is really popular, allows you to share your posts to many different social networks.

- Facebook Friend Exporter Extension - Extremely easy to use app to move your friends from Facebook to Google Contacts. It went viral really quickly, hundreds of tech blogs/news stations covered the story. I was even called the Data Freedom Fighter. Extremely popular, it had 160K downloads within five days.

- Screensharing within a Hangout - Within the first week of Google+, I used hangouts, and thought it would be really cool to share screens and teach people how to develop Chrome extensions. Many Cam was the buzz word that day. Many people wanted to come to my development hangouts, so we were even the first group that used livestream to stream hangouts on Google+ which failed. The superhero +Cam Meadows created Hangout Party which did stuff right for the benefit for this community.

- Labs for Google+ Extension - An extension developed over a hangout, to teach people how to extend Google+ by writing an extension. It was really cool that we had 10 brains developing this!

- Hangout Pad for Google+ Extension - After the first couple of weeks, we were using Hangouts for at least eight hours a day, clearly the stuff that Google gave us isn't enough, we wanted more. There was no API, so I developed an extension that allows you to collaborate in writing code in a hangout. I reversed engineered the YouTube gadget during that evening to hijack its networking layer.

- My Hangouts Extension - This was implemented five months ago, there was no easy way to find hangouts quickly. Over a hangout (again), I created this extension which is still popular today.

- Hangout Auto Retry Try Again Extension - Lots of celebrities came on Hangouts during those times, and I really wanted to join a hangout, but it was really hard. I created this extension that will always retry to join a hangout, was really useful to myself and others. It needs some work to make it work again since Google changes their DOM really quickly.

- Circle Pong Hangout Game for Google+ - I hosted a Google+ Hackathon during the second week of Google+, and a few of us (+John Barrington Craggs, +James Williams, +Jake McCuistion, and +Lucas Johnson) were creating a game for Hangouts. There was absolutely no API, and we were reversing the Hangout code so we could make it work. The first game created on Google+

- Hangout Academy - A bunch of Google+ friends thought it would be cool to make a Hangouts portal, where we could post real-time topic based hangouts to users. Topics for learning such as photography, technology, programming, etc. Where each user has their own profile and they can join a hangout to learn such subject. Since everything is real-time, they can earn achievements of how they are hanging out, making it like a game. This development was going on for three months, and eventually we decided to close it down because it is currently unstable to develop anything based for Google+. There was no APIs, and Google+ and Hangouts were changing so fast making our work difficult. It is currently in sleep mode until Google+ is stable.

- Stream Filter for Google+ Extension - One night, 5AM EST, I saw all these booberday and caturday posts appearing on my stream. I spent the next 6 hours over a hangout creating this controversy extension that allows you to filter your stream based on keywords and block animated gifs.

- Extended Embed for Google+ Extension - My birthday present to my friend +Lucas Johnson, who I met on Google+. He is a musician, and wanted a way to make SoundCloud more interactive, this extension converts plain Google+ posts to interactive posts. It currently supports Flickr, SoundCloud, and SlideShare. It could in reality support any oEmbed service! +Terra Naomi uses that as well for her SoundCloud posts!

- Trey Ratcliff Notifier Extension - +Jake McCuistion and I created a present for +Trey Ratcliff. Trey inspires me, he doesn't even know it :) I went out and bought my first DSLR, and every time I look at his photos, it makes me smile. So we developed a beautiful extension that shows us a new photo every night!

- Stream+ for Google+ - This was the first app that came out that used the official Google+ API. It basically uses Machine Learning algorithms to classify your stream automatically. It organizes your stream into classifiers that are automatically created, and then ranks them based on what is more important to you.

- Unofficial Google+ Extension API - The current state of Google+ API is extremely disappointing and limited, we have waited 6 months for something we (developers) could use. And tell you the truth, nothing great has been shown. That is why I spent a weekend reverse engineering Google+, and created this unofficial API. Many people are using it now creating beautiful apps.

- Circle Management Extension - Circle Management is getting messy, the purpose of this extension is using the Unofficial Google+ API to manages circles better. Such as, searching circles, removing circles, and showing who is in your circles. It is currently work in progress.

- Hangout Whisper for Google+ Hangouts - The first app released that uses the Hangout API. What it does is basically allows you to locally mute (voice/video) everyone else while concentrating on a single user. My vision in this is basically allow you to locally mute anyone in the chat-room and half multiple conversations.

- Time-lapse Python App - I spent the morning creating couple of python scripts that allows you to do time-lapse videos easily of your desktop. The result of this was the first ever Hangout Time-Lapse, this was done on Christmas Eve!

Everything I have done above is completely open source. Every single one of them was developed over a Google+ Hangout in my spare time at night. Thousands of people cloned, many contributors helped, and over a million people downloaded them.

Many people asked me multiple of times why I do this for free, and the answer to you all is simply this: I love creating software, it is my hobby, it is my passion. I am really good finding what people want, and I love solving challenging problems that make me research design and think for hours. That is one way how I contribute back to the community. Without the community, I wouldn't be where I am right now. So, I should be thanking you for helping me love what I am doing.

So happy new years everyone! And thank you for all the support :-) See you again next year.
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