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Using the public data APIs we launched today, together with the +1 Button and it's relatively new share bubble, I wrote a WordPress plugin this weekend to very easily share my personal blog posts to Google+ and to direct all comments here. Check it out.

/cc +Abraham Williams :) +Tantek Çelik

#indieweb
A few weeks ago I quietly (or not so quietly, as it were) disabled comments on my blog. It was something I’d been considering for a while, and I finally resolved to do it after talking with Shane Beck...
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47 comments
 
Ah, so you were testing the API a little while back, weren't you? ;-)
 
You are manually +1'ing and sharing each new post to your stream?
 
+Banz ai I understand that some people may want that, but I actually don't. I want my site to be a simple "object store" of stuff that I create. Discussion about those objects (posts, pictures, whatever) can happen here on Google+, on Twitter, or wherever (of course, I favor Google+ :) ).
 
Ya. I would love to have comment embeds on Blogger. I often crosspost from my blog to here and having a single set of comments in both places would be awesome.
 
oops, just realized I hadn't done a `git push`. Now the updated code should be on github :)
 
Do you manually +1 or post, or call the +1 button backend from the wordpress publish hook?
 
+Kevin Marks the +1 and share is done manually, so it's an extra step after publishing in WordPress. If and when we were to have write APIs, I could do it automatically.
 
Summoning +***** to explain Salmon

hah. Lets try that again Summoning +John Panzer to explain Salmon. Someone else can explain why it picked another email for him on Android.
 
+Danny Ayers Agreed -- and that is the problem with today's Web and the outdated blogging paradigms. A properly semantified decentralized blogging platform could allow users to post and comment from their individual communications channel and at the same time see others' comments appear in the proper comment post stream. So, the comments would be associated with the proper blog post but they might not be classified as "firmly anchored to those posts."
 
Interesting - so it is basically just sending the post here, right? Not like Discus where the comments appear on the blog?
 
"+1 and share is done manually" -- feels awkward, both in the link from your site and the manual step. I get the sense you guys don't want to do write APIs for a while, so we can't do an elegant "publicize" integration like we've done with Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
 
I love the idea of this because I get so much more user engagement on G+ than I ever have on my blog, Facebook, or anywhere else.

+Will Norris Set this up easy enough... but what do I need to do to get the "Discuss on Google+" to show up? Or are you adding that manually as well? If that's the case, is all of this just to test? It seems like you'd end up going through the same amount of steps just posting, +1ing, and adding the comment block to point to the G+ URL manually.

+Matt Mullenweg Ya... a bit awkward and I can't wait for WP and G+ to be able to "talk".
 
Looks like another source to add for http://threadebuzz.appspot.com/
Overall though, given that we have rss feed readers that aggregate content from many different providers, I see discussions moving the same way (hence the ChattrBox demo). Write authentication complicates it a bit, but there's no reason I can't eventually have all my conversations in an inbox, linked to where they come from and stored wherever.
 
+Matt Mullenweg that would be fantastic - I hope that Google holds off on the write API until it also adds filtering features so write doesn't turn into noise pollution.
 
+Matt Mullenweg yeah, it's not as easy as it would be if we had a write API. Good post from +DeWitt Clinton yesterday about that: https://plus.google.com/117377434815709898403/posts/53bL7RAhPxS We're not ruling it out, but are concerned about the potential cost to post quality.

+Paul Spoerry I modified my comments.php in my theme to look for the Google+ URL using: get_post_meta($post->ID, '_googleplus_url', true) If it's there, then I print out the paragraph that you see there. Sorry, didn't clarify that this required theme edits as well.
 
+Kevin Marks and others... One thing we like about the +1 with share flow via JS and the sharebox is that it ensures that there is a human behind the post. We like when there's a human explicitly and intentionally making a post (to their own stream) because we've found that when they are aware of what and where they're posting then they are far more likely to engage with any audience the posts attracts. Not surprisingly, auto-cross-posting has much lower engagement levels, which has a negative impact overall on the ecosystem. It's not just about getting more content (of which there is plenty) but it's also about the quality of the experience when people spend time on Google+. As +Will Norris says, we're not ruling it out, and we have ideas in mind on how to keep the quality bar high along with offering write access. But at the same time, we're not going to do something foolish for the product (or more importantly, the product's users) just because it's technically possible to build an API for it.

+Matt Mullenweg The problem with fire-and-forget "publicize" is that the world doesn't need to yet another broadcast / write-only medium. There are plenty of those. (To be clear, I'm not dismissing them, they offer value. But that's not Google+.) Besides, if we're wrong, we can always move carefully in that direction. Turning around and going the other way is much harder.

That said, Salmon is still very interesting in this context. Even without full bi-directional sync (which again to be clear, I'm not ruling out, especially for comments), having better mechanisms to embed Google+ threads closer to the relevant content could offer value for authors and readers alike. I want authors to publish on blogs. I love the decentralized web.

Good discussion. I think what +Will Norris is doing here is both clever and useful. The JS sharebox technique means that his original content is still self-hosted on his own blog, but he is adding a personalized message for his Google+ audience (including the opportunity to explicitly pick the circles) and it all points back to his own domain. Let's keep working on ways to reduce the friction while maintaining the level of quality of Will's approach.
 
+DeWitt Clinton +Will Norris I know you guys were burned by Twitter import before, but I think there's a huge difference between bringing in a micro-blog stream (which often has many auto-posted things to it already) and the type of long-form, media-rich content people create on blogs. If you want it could be a WP.com-only thing at first so there's no spam and there is more control over what gets posted from both sides. If there's an image or gallery, that should get posted as a native type, a long form post can have an excerpt and a link, a shorter one could post in its entirety, etc. Comments bifurcating isn't ideal, but no worse than what already happens.
 
Thanks +Matt Mullenweg. It's definitely not a question of the quality of content coming from wordpress (especially wordpress.com), which as you point out is long-form, media-rich, and truly awesome, but rather a matter of it not being in anyone's best interest to have authors auto (and perhaps unknowingly) post content to Google+ and subsequently forget to engage with the community. I think we can address these challenges, but we'll need to be smart about it.

That said, I totally agree we can and should do more with oembed-style (if maybe not oembed itself) snippeting, so that Wordpress content explicitly shared to Google+ looks even better, regardless of who shares it. And obviously double down on rel="author" so that we create richer connections (and stronger claims of provenance) across the entire search, WP, and Google+ ecosystem.

For example of the first, did you see what we did with maps? Visit maps.google.com, find something interesting (a point of interest, an address, even driving directions) and click the "share" box in your nav bar. The auto-generated thumbnail and title look awesome. I want to see more of that all around the web, and more of that native to wordpress itself. +Timothy Jordan
 
Given how aggressive you guys are about emailing and the notifications chiclet, I don't think anyone is in danger of forgetting about G+. :) I'd actually be more worried about WP looking bad because G+ gets so many more comments. I did an experiment (manually) posting the same thing to a bunch of different networks, including G+ and WP.com:

http://matt.wordpress.com/2011/09/06/gull-on-the-go/
https://plus.google.com/116394575739281318169/posts/6q4gdWom2Tu
^^ compare the # of interactions

Of course the WP.com got lots of pageviews, but aren't as compelling as a phatic action.

We have an oEmbed thing already we did for another partner if you want to check it out:

http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/wordpress-com-oembed-provider-api-now-available/
 
I've done similar experiments on two different blogs, posting articles to multiple social networks. I found the level of engagement on G+ to be through the roof in comparison.
 
So just to clarify something here - in Wordpress (server based) do you get to pick which posts are sent here for comments? Can it work simultaneously with another commenting system like Discus?
 
+Rob Gordon my snowflake plugin just adds the +1 button to the WordPress admin screen, and stores a couple of metadata values for the post.. _googleplus_id and _googleplus_url. It's entirely up to your theme what you do with those. So yes, it would be entirely possible to do this in conjunction with any other commenting system, it would just require a little more work.
 
Now that we have APIs, are we getting feeds for profiles soon?
 
Sorry, hate to be dense about this, but I just installed it on http://American-Startups.com with no issues, but it says I need an API key. Where do I get that, and where do I put it?
 
+Will Norris Thanks :) Don't mean to be a terrible pain, but it is the sort of feature G+ should have had months ago... at launch ;)
 
+Will Norris ok, sorry, but now I am stuck on Google+ID. The instructions say:

Go to your WordPress profile and enter this number as your Google+ ID

I know my Google+ID - but where is my "Wordpress profile?

Nevermind, found it - under "users" - didn't realize I was a user of my own system.
 
Just did a test post and it seems to work well: http://goo.gl/ees8m Good job. Update - one minor criticism - I noticed the blog post share ends up being part of the post itself, with a partial extract. I would have rather had it be an attached link I think.
 
+Will Norris How will we know if this plugin is updated - if it is? As I mentioned, I think it is pretty good, but it would be nice if it showed the post as an attached link, instead of an excerpt embedded in the post.
 
+Will Norris I couldn't find the link to your Wordpress blog in that link - could you tell me specifically where it is? I think you have already seen my sample post using your plugin http://goo.gl/ees8m I was just asking if that could be an attachment rather then embedded in the post. As if I had made the text of the post, then added a link to my blog onto that post. I think - though I am not positive, this is what +DeWitt Clinton meant when he said "That said, I totally agree we can and should do more with oembed-style (if maybe not oembed itself) snippeting, so that Wordpress content explicitly shared to Google+ looks even better, regardless of who shares".
 
would oEmbed style mean richer HTML in plus? I miss <blockquote> and links with link text
 
Wait, I just saw the main part of this (outsourcing comments). I have to go on record saying it's a terrible idea. You're now requiring people who want to comment to have a Google account.
 
I'm not requiring anyone to do anything. See the paragraph at the bottom of my post: Of course, you're also always welcome to post a reply on your own blog, on twitter, or wherever you choose to publish.
 
+Stephen Paul Weber I don't like the idea of Google "capturing" the comment market either, if that was your point. Will has just designed a plugin that allows you to send your posts here if you want. Check out http://disqus.com/ for an alternative that works pretty well.
 
yeah, it's worth noting that all the snowflake plugin does is allow you to share your post to Google+ and then store the URL of the G+ post. The fact that this data is then used to direct comments to Google+ is entirely a feature of my personal WordPress theme. These are kept separate very intentionally.
 
+Will Norris Oh, hmm, that's a good point. Do you have Salmon/Trackback/Pingback setup so that such replies become part of the conversation?
 
+Stephen Paul Weber: not currently... right now the conversation just fragments. I haven't quite figured the best way to address that, or how much I care. Conversations will naturally fragment anyway, so not sure how much effort it's worth putting into trying to piece back together.
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