25 October 2018

Goodbye Google+, Hello Twitter

So you think Google Plus is worthless? Well, you're wrong. Five years ago, after Google forced me to use it (I forget why, but it must have had something to do with this blog), it started to serve as the archive for the blog posts from my various blogs. Shown here is a screen capture of its current look (as I see it).


The upper left link is yesterday's post from my World Chess Championship blog, Gonzo Chess Journalism; the upper right link is the previous post on this Chess for All Ages blog, From Black & White to Brown & Blue. If you scroll down a page or two, you'll see Kasparov Discusses the Showdown, the most recent post on my Chess960 (FRC) blog.

Google is planning to close its Google Plus service. I mentioned this in a recent post about another Google service, A Free Google Service?:-

As for the 'Google Privacy Policy', an incident from earlier this month revealed Google's real policy. See, for example, 'Google+ to shut down after coverup of data-exposing bug' (techcrunch.com), for one report: 'A security bug allowed third-party developers to access Google+ user profile data since 2015 until Google discovered and patched it in March, but decided not to inform the world.'

I don't know when Google Plus will close, but Google doesn't waste time when it takes action. What to do? The archive is useful whenever I have to look at a recent post on a device other than my main laptop. Since Google updates it automatically every time I publish a new post, it takes very little work to maintain. In another post earlier this month, The CCL Was Hacked, I wrote,

Along with dozens (hundreds?) of other chess related items, they [CCL on Facebook] publish posts from this blog and from my World Chess Championship blog. A couple of weeks ago my blog statistics told me that the blog feeds had stopped.

After the CCL returned to service, it took some time to get the feed working again. In brief, I stopped using my own dlvr.it account -- as described in Site Stats and Images (June 2017) -- and switched to a CCL service. Since my free dlvr.it account lets me send blog posts to only one target ('Socials' the dlvr.it service calls them), I could use it for something else. That 'something else' will be my Twitter account, which I opened in 2009 and which has been dormant ever since:-

Mark Weeks (@bemweeks) on Twitter

In effect, my Twitter account will serve as an archive. The 'View my complete profile' link in the sidebar of all my blogs currently points to my Google Plus page. That link is generated by Google's blogger.com and blogspot.com. I can't change it. What will Google use next as a profile?


Later: Re the comment in the main post...

Five years ago, after Google forced me to use Google+ (I forget why, but it must have had something to do with this blog), it started to serve as the archive for the blog posts from my various blogs.

...I scrolled to the bottom of my Google+ archive and found the earliest:-

The second post was:-

That post said,

I realized that Blogger.com, the service that maintains this blog, was trying to force me to upgrade to Google Plus (whatever that entails). I had seen similar messages before, always presented at a bad time, like when I had something more urgent to do. This time, since I was completely blocked, I was forced to follow through with the upgrade, finally receiving the message, 'You are now using a Google+ profile on your blogs'.

What Google wants, Google gets. So why was Google+ such a flop?

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