Mike Elgan on G+ as a blogging platform... and my solution to archiving your Google Plus "blog" posts #evang+
This is an excellent article by +Mike Elgan
on why and how he uses Google Plus as a blogging platform (hat tip to +Vic Gundotra
for the story).
I was interested but hesitant to begin a blog of my own and became enamored and inspired to try using G+ as a blogging alternative after reading +Guy Kawasaki
's eBook What the Plus
-- in fact, my first "blog" post was a review of Guy's book, and in my review, I rhetorically ask Guy why he didn't include a chapter on how to use G+ as a blog and how G+ might even be blogging 2.0. You can read that post here: http://goo.gl/eWjr6
One of the weaknesses of using G+ as a blog that Mike points out in his +Computerworld
article is the inability to archive past posts, which brings me to the solution that I devised for my own original posts. It's a bit manual and old-school but it works, and only takes a minute or two of time on each post that you want to archive.
I use a Google Docs / +Google Drive
spreadsheet to archive my original posts. Here's what you do:
1. Create a new Google Docs spreadsheet document,
with headings that you want to use. I use Post Date
(the day I make the post public); Title
(title of the post, which I put in bold typeface (using the * markup that both Mike and Guy recommend); Permalink
(the long url that G+ assigns to the post and can be found in the drop down menu of each public post you create); one column heading for goo.gl shortened link
(which I use to track my referrals from Facebook); one column heading for bit.ly shortened link
(which I use to track my referrals from Twitter); and finally a column heading called Notes
that categorizes the post (useful for sorting by category).
2. Make your spreadsheet public.
Press the Share button in the upper right corner of the Google Docs spreadsheet, and select "Anyone who has the link can view" option.
3. Copy the link and shorten it using goo.gl or your preferred URL shortener.
For convenience, I then took the goo.gl
shortened link and renamed the spreadsheet with the URL shortcut. You can view my G+ archive spreadsheet here: http://goo.gl/fu4LQ
4. Make sure you put a link to the archive spreadsheet in your G+ profile so that visitors can view your archive of past posts (that is, if they happen to view your profile).
Now you're ready to start populating your archive spreadsheet. Here's what you do for each post that you want to archive. Note: I don't make a spreadsheet entry for every post that I create of course, just the ones that are original posts that I've written.
1. Create and publish your public G+ post as usual.
2. After it's public, grab the G+ permalink.
Go to the drop down menu (looks like an arrow pointing down) at the top of the newly created post and select Link to this post
option. Copy and paste the permalink into your archive spreadsheet in the appropriate column.
3. Fill in the other fields in your archive spreadsheet.
You can customize these fields according to your preferences and style.
4. Include links to the archive spreadsheet and past posts in your new posts, as appropriate.
This lets people read your other posts (particularly if they are in a series) or look at your archive, just as you would on a standard blog--in fact, it might be better than a standard blog since many blogs only allow you to see posts by post date. My method allows you to sort posts by the column headings in the spreadsheet.
It's not elegant or automatic, but it works. Speaking of... I have a post on this very subject entitled, It's not very elegant but sometimes you just have to use brute force: http://goo.gl/9qAk9
Let me know if you find this method useful and also what other tips and tricks have worked for you. Happy