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February 05, 2019

The Death of Google+

Google + will be shutdown starting April 2 - this is NOT a belated April's Fool Joke ...

Have you received your notification?  Here's a link to the email I received. Nor is it possible to create a new account:

So what does this mean as a user of Google's Blogger?

  1. Sharing new posts to Google+ profile - no longer permitted.
  2. About Me – Goggle+ profile no longer permitted
  3. Google+ Circles etc – no longer permitted
  4. All Goggle+ web content including photos and albums will be deleted
  5. Google+ login credentials will no longer work on sites where they were used.  I'm still unclear how this will affect Google Sync, Google Wallet and other Google apps...

I can work around all of most of these issues. 

With the demise of Google+, not only is my profile being deleted, all profiles are being deleted, as are all Circles.  I’ve been wanting to update my login credentials anyway. 

On the email I received from Google I can ask for all my Google+ content. 
I have requested a download of all material that Google will delete.  Google is obligated and should/will/can provide the files in either a .zip (Windows) of .tgz (MAC, Linux) format.  I have requested both. 
I submitted my request at 8:30 AM 2/2/19 and have yet to receive a response.

Google+ integrations for web apps are also being shut down, this has already begun with an expected completion of March 7. 
Check out all Google+ integrations being shut down from the Google web apps link.

The use of Google+ comments on Blogger posts will no longer be permitted, nor will Google +1, Google Share, Google Follow, etc. 

Here’s the show-stopper gotchya I have not been able to resolve: ”If you've used Google+ for comments on your own or other sites, this feature will be removed from Blogger by February 4th and other sites by March 7th. All your Google+ comments on all sites will be deleted starting April 2, 2019.”

Why do I like Google+ comments? Google+ comments are threaded, which allows me, or any reader, to reply to any specific comment directly to the comment.  I've made a commitment that if a reader takes time to leave a comment, I will take the time to acknowledge that with a response, creating an interactive conversation.  This interaction will no longer be allowed.  For example:

Such interaction between George and myself will no long be available.

The options are:
Blogger comments – these are not threaded, and they do not support a reply to a specific reader's comment, hence that interactive conversation is no longer going to be supported.  However Blogger comments do offer anonymous comments, moderator approval, moderator notification of new comments.

I’ve done a day long search for options that allow threading, replies to comments and notifications. 
Here are some of the products I’ve tested:
  1. Powr.io comments – FREE version allows readers to comment only
    Starter version 5.95 mo adds anon, approval
    Pro version 11.95 mo adds threads and replies
    Does not offer notifications at any price
  2. Disqus comments require registration on Disqus before a comment can be left
    That’s a show-stopper!  I will not solicit reader data for Discus!
  3. Livefyre comments – frick’n expensive!  Adobe Livefyre is after the big commercial user, not the casual blogger
  4. Mashups Easy Comments – Sounds good, but it has already been discontinued!  Bad timing on the part of Mashups.  Just thinking of all the data they could collect for resale, to be clear Blogger is collecting and reselling our data - but offering us little support.  It's an almost free revenue stream for them.
I will not monetarize the blog to cover the expense of what I think should be included in a basic package, and is included with Blogger.

I’ve also looked at migrating Ruffin it with Rufus to WordPress.  Lets face it Google has not been real supportive of the way many of us use Blogger nor the APIs that it supports.

WordPress is a full featured blog hosting site, for its paid features.  I’m looking only at what WordPress offers in its ‘free’ option. 

The WordPress good:
  1. MS Word can be used as  an offline edit/composing capabilities!, but not the public domain Open Office, which is what I use.
  2. It’s easy to import blogs from blogspot.com to a WordPress website <blogname>.home.blog.  In my case I imported all my blogs to ruffinitwithrufus.home.blog.  It’s an ugly work in progress!
The WordPress gotchyas:
  1. The free version of WordPress embeds undesired advertising!  These can be removed for a monthly fee … $3 monthly minimum
  2. Imported blogs lose all in-line comments, tags, theme and widgets.  Note that comments will be lost in Blogger also if the blog is using Google+ comments.
  3. The Reading List, Pages and followed blogs will also be transformed.
  4. The Reading List and Blog Roll is not supported in WordPress, the equivalent feature of a  Reading List featured is not supported, the Blog Roll can be inserted manually via cut-n-paste in either a list or a icon, but not as an icon with description as is supported in Blogger.
For instance WordPress:
 


or

Blogger:


Blogger has a much nicer display.  This option is not available in the FREE WordPress! After importing my Blogger posts I noticed:
  1. Tags are placed in separate menu Pages are not imported into the blog, but treated as links
  2. Comments are moved to the WP ‘Conversations’ Menu. OK not desirable, but it may be workable
  3. Archives are grouped by month NOT year.  Makes for a long list …

WordPress:
or
Blogger:



In Blogger, the Blog Roll was ordered by ‘most recent’, not sure if that can be done in the Free version of WordPress, it looks possible if ‘update’ is selected via HTML edit – that plugin requires the ‘Business Plan’.

I believe most/all of my gotchyas can be overcome with the Business Plan, which is  required to use the WordPress Plugins, including HTML editor, at $25 mo!

HTML is FREE on Blogger … as are all of the other gotchyas mentioned above!

Are any of my readers looking into these changes?  If so PLEASE let me know if you find a decent threading comments plugin, or other solution to the issues of migrating to WordPress. I've used "blogger thread comments widget" as a search, there are lots of hits, but alas none thus far are promising.  Or let me know your personal experiences of the Google+ changes!

Please leave your comments and your experiences, although I will not be able to reply to each comment I will read them all, and reply to them in-line.  In the comments section you'll notice I've turned off Google+ comments and will be using Blogger comments until something better can be found.

It’s again raining, and Google has disavowed its user base and so far there is no alternative.
I hate to say it, but perhaps today is a Bad Day!

Today 2/5/2019 another announcement from Google:
"Following the announcement of Google+ API deprecation scheduled for March 2019, a number of changes will be made to Blogger’s Google+ integration on 4 February 2019. 

Google+ widgets: Support for the “+1 Button”, “Google+ Followers” and “Google+ Badge” widgets in Layout will no longer be available. All instances of these widgets will be removed from your blog. 

+1 buttons: The +1/G+ buttons and Google+ share links below blog posts and in the navigation bar will be removed. 

Please note that if you have a custom template that includes Google+ features, you may need to update your template. Please contact your template supplier for advice. 

Google+ Comments: Support for Google+ comments will be turned down, and all blogs using Google+ comments will be reverted back to using Blogger comments. Unfortunately, comments posted as Google+ comments cannot be migrated to Blogger and will no longer appear on your blog."

6 comments:

  1. I just keep using Blogger the same way as before, someone makes a comment , I reply, I tried Word press many years ago but did not like it , I find blogger works wonderful for me with no issues. G+ was just another Google product in my books.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hope it continues to work for you George, I enjoy following your blog. But for must of us using Blogger we will see some undesired changes.

    ReplyDelete
  3. So I'm wondering if Blogger will be the next thing to go. Glad I changed to paid WordPress years ago. And even with buying my domain name(s) I'm paying less than $25/month for a whole lot of options. Wish I could make enough money on the blog to cover expenses but I'm not into advertising for products I don't believe in. All hobbies cost something. The biggest pain is changing it all. Took me months of slow and steady work to set up the WordPress website. And it's not perfect and gives me problems sometimes. All part of the challenge I guess. Good luck figuring it out and thanks for sharing your process for others.

    BTW, thanks for giving the options in the current comment. My preference is Name/URL.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Gaelyn - I'm still looking for a comments replacement. I was surprised how it it was to move my posts to WordPress, I just can't seem to get them to look the way I want them to. I should have started with WordPress! At one time I owned the domain SandyEggo.com, where I presented local San Diego insights. When the last renewal was at $75 yr I let it go and eventually moved to Blogger. I should have kept, you're right hobbies do cost something.

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  5. This is all beyond me. I chose blogger since it was easier to use than Wordpress. I guess we will see what happens.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I don't see where there is much choice but to 'ride it out'. It's loss of the ability to 'reply' to comments one-on-one that I really dislike, I think we can workaround the other consequences of Google's latest changes, but what a pain! :(

    ReplyDelete

Your comments are always appreciated!