WordPress 3.3 was just released and I’ve completed upgrading my blog. Nothing to it really. Just clicked the update button and it did the rest. 🙂 Well, I did back-up the database and directory structure before starting the process. I also had to do my usual code tweaks to vars.php and wp-login.php that I do with every upgrade.
They also updated the Twenty Eleven theme to version 1.3; however, since I am using a Child Theme, I lost none of my changes and after doing a file comparison it looks like nothing has changed within the files that my child theme is using, such as header.php.
I also added a GetGlue widget (to find these, go to the Widgets section of your account settings) to both my blog and main website, and updated the Twitter widgets on both as well. After adding the newer Twitter widgets I needed to adjust some of the CSS to allow for a wider side-bar and also widened the main content area of the blog’s main page while I was at it. There was more empty space between the two than there needed to be. I also adjusted the appearance of the H3 header tag when used in the context of a post. It looks cool as a widget title in the side-bar but was getting lost in posts as it’s smaller than the normal text. Anyway, it looks fine now:
H3 header tag In a post.
Here’s the changes I made in my theme’s style.css file to make these changes:
Update February 6, 2019: Due to Google+ being shutdown, I have deleted my profile there. Never really used it all that much to be honest.
I suppose unless you live under a rock or just don’t really care much about these things, Google has taken another stab at a social media network. This time it’s called Google+. The last one they tried, Google Wave, was pretty much a flop. This time, I think they might have got it right, or at least certainly much better. Currently, it’s in a beta phase where you have to be invited to join. Nothing more than a marketing gimmick really; however, I suppose it does help to keep out some of the riff-raff (bots, spammers, etc). Since this is in beta, the final interface and behavior may change from what I’m describing.
Before I go on too much farther, here is my Google+ Profile (link removed) page (I made a custom sub-domain that redirects to the actual profile as I can remember it much easier than my Google+ ID). Since I have shared some items with the Public Circle, anyone on the web can see those posts on my profile. More about this circle business later. Google+ is similar to Facebook in that you can upload photos and videos, share items with groups of people, comment on anything and everything, and it even has its own version of the Facebook Like button, the +1 button. That multi-colored button above this post is Google’s +1 button. You may have noticed when looking at my profile that it has a +1’s tab. These are all the items outside of Google’s network that I have clicked a +1 button on. This is one difference from Facebook’s profile which does not have a “Like” tab. By default, you would not have been able to see this tab; however, I chose to make it visible to the public.
So, what’s this Circle business? This is one of the most important aspects of Google+. Circles are groups or lists of people. You can add anyone to one or more circles. It has a few circles such as Family, Friends, Acquaintances, and Following already defined. You can, of course, make your own circles. For example, I have a NASCAR circle and a EverQuest II circle. Whenever you add someone to a circle (which is like Following someone on Twitter), they are notified that they’ve been added but they will not know which or how many circles they’ve been added to. There are also special global circles. One is the Extended Circles, which is like Facebook’s Friends of Friends list, where it will share an item with everyone in your circles plus everyone in their circles. There is also the Public circle which means anyone on the web. They will see the post on your profile page even if they are not a member of Google+. You can also choose to share something with just individual people.. like sending a private message. You can also choose whether or not anything you share can be re-shared.
Stuff I Haven’t Really Messed With Yet
There are some other features of Google+ that I haven’t messed with yet. One is Hangouts where you can share a webcam feed with a circle of people or watch someone else’s webcam feed. I don’t have a webcam so it’s not something that I would initiate myself. There is also a thing called Sparks which appears to be a list of interests that you want to follow. It seems to find all the shared posts relevant to the topic or interest you specify based off keywords and/or other search algorithms. So, in my case, I could choose to add a Spark that looked for anything NASCAR related. You can also Chat with others but I have not done that either. Come to think of it, I don’t remember me ever doing that in Facebook either.
Is it better than Facebook or Twitter?
All I can really say right now is that it’s different and will most likely augment them. It’s too premature at this early stage to give a final review. One of the problems right now is that Google+ lacks much of the functionality that Facebook and Twitter have due to the lack of 3rd-Party Apps and an API to interface with the service. All of this is coming I am sure. Right now I can update my Facebook status with a Tweet using the Selective Tweets Facebook application. Something like this doesn’t exist for Google+ yet (well, that I know of.. things change so fast these days). There’s also not an automated way for me to update Google+ with the current song I’m playing in Winamp. Although, I did just have an idea about that, hehe.
There are a lot of details I didn’t go into here because if I did this post would be huge and would probably warrant their own post.
For now, all I can say is that Google+ is not too bad. 🙂
After some thought, I’ve decided to get rid of my FriendFeed account. There are a few reasons why:
I mainly used FriendFeed as a bridge between my Twitter and Facebook accounts and the various RSS feeds from my blog, gallery, and shared Google Reader posts. However, some of this functionality has been lost. FriendFeed used to be able to have its own tab in my Facebook profile which allowed those who did not use Twitter to see my Twitter updates if they wished without leaving Facebook. (Yes, I am aware of the many tools to have Twitter updates show on Facebook and I use Selective Tweets for this purpose when I want a tweet to show there.)
It has also been very problematic in grabbing Facebook items and forwarding them to my Twitter account and did not seem to be consistently getting new items from my RSS feeds and sending those to Twitter. I have since started to use Twitterfeed and RSS Grafitti to send RSS feed updates to my Twitter and Facebook accounts and have disabled this part of my FriendFeed account as a result.
It also seems like 90-95% of the content in my FriendFeed stream is being generated by people’s Twitter updates, most of whom I am already following on Twitter anyway LOL. As such, I hardly even look at the FriendFeed site anymore.
So, yeah, it’s time for my FriendFeed account to go the way of the Dodo Bird. 🙂 For those that follow me on FriendFeed, feel free to follow me @mrheadrick and/or on Facebook if you’re not already.
Now that DestroyTwitter 2.1.0 supports themes, I decided to make a NASCAR inspired theme. It’s very similar to the one I made for DestroyTwitter 1.X. You just need to download, unzip the file and install the theme through preferences.
This is just a quick test post for the Twitter Tools 2.4 WordPress plug-in and its new Twitter OAuth mechanism. I “think” I have configured everything correctly and it should be using my URL Shortner/Redirection.