How Google could make G+ the perfect blogging platform

In my previous blog post about Google+ I was giddy with Geeky lust. I predicted that G+ could replace Facebook, Twitter and Blogging.

Three weeks later I stand by my post. However, what I really mean is that G+ will become THE blogging tool. At least it will if Google implement the following enhancements:

  1. add G+ auto-save and a draft feature rather than having to faff about using a drafts circle
  2. add the the ability to categorise G+ posts as a blog post. Ideally you would be able to have multiple blogs
  3. produce a a blogging product (enhance Blogger?) that integrates fully with G+. So, when a post is categorised as a blog post it appears on the blog as well as within G+. And it can be done vice versa, so a blog post will automatically post into G+, not as a link but in full
  4. the killer feature would be to combine comments. So comments left via G+ would appear on the blog and vice versa.

If Google implement these features it would be simply amazing. Don’t you think?

How Google+ will replace Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Email & eBay

Google+ is the social media toy of the moment. So far most people seem to think that it might even be so awesome that it could topple Facebook.

I have been lucky enough to have received an invite from @R2UK and below are my thoughts so far as to how Google+ might take over the world and replace blogs, Twitter, Facebook, email and eBay.

Quick Google+ Overview

I’m aware that most people don’t have Google+. In fact most people I know haven’t even heard of it.

Therefore, if you are one of those people, think of Google+ as being rather like Facebook but with greater privacy control settings. You add friends into circles and when you post you can specify whether to make your post public, visible to only certain people, circles or extended – your friends and their circles.

It also has a number of extra features which have cute names like huddle and hangout.

How Google+ will take over the world

Well it’s not going to happen overnight but I like what I’ve seen and once Google+ opens its doors to everyone it will be very interesting to see what happens.

Replacing Blogs & Twitter

It seems to me that sending a public post is similar to posting on Twitter or writing a blog post.

There is some loss of functionality but I am guessing that will come with time e.g. there is no concept of Twitter hashtags.

Also I only seem to come across public posts when one of my friends comments on a post. But the viral marketing opportunities are plenty.

Replacing Facebook

For private posts like photos of the kids or what you did last night, you simply post to certain circles.

But even better is that you can use your circles to only tell those groups of people who you think are interested in certain things – or to exclude certain people from seeing your posts, like your parents or your boss.

And the mute button which turns off notifications for that post is just pure genius – it will I’m sure get used a lot.

Replacing Email

Instead of email, you just post to people or circles.

Again the mute button will be very useful, but it will be both fab and annoying. Great for if you get fed up with the constant difficulty some people have distinguishing between the reply all and reply button. Annoying if someone replies with the expectation that you are listening.

Google+ is definitely the first tool to really put some meat to the idea that email will cease to exist in the future.

Replacing eBay

The cost of selling on Ebay has rocketed. We now use a local Facebook group to buy and sell for free.

Extended posts could be for buying or selling. Where you hope that if your friend is friends with this person it will mean that they won’t rip you off. Only problem is that because the circles work as they do, people will be more relaxed about adding everyone. So I think the extended circles will be less trusted than the same concept in other social media tools.

Do you have a Google+ account? What do you think of it so far? Could you ever see yourself giving up blogging, Twitter, Facebook, email or eBay for Google+?

Which blogging platform? WordPress or Blogger?

Mummy blogging is the new black. There are lots of reasons why mum’s all over the world are turning to blogging, from sharing the highs and lows and keeping the grey matter from self imploding after watching too much CBeebies, to promoting  their mumtrepeneur (yes really, I didn’t make up that word) business.

But having made the decision to share the trials and celebrations of life as a parent, which blogging platform should you choose?

Well fear not, Geeky Mummy has the answer. Which tool to use depends on your technical ability and your reason for starting a blog:

If you are a newbie blogger who is blogging for fun as opposed to blogging for a business then Geeky Mummy recommends Google’s Blogger.

Getting started with Blogger is easy and in next to no time you will be changing the design of your blog by switching templates, uploading garish backgrounds and playing around with fonts. There are also a massive choice of widgets to quickly and easily add your Twitter feed, link to other blogs etc.

If however you are blogging for a business and are technically confident, Geeky Mummy recommends a WordPress.com blog.

If you are really serious (prepared to pay money) about blogging then you may want to consider a WordPress.org blog.

This is where it all gets really complicated. WordPress have two different types of blogs. WordPress.com is comparable to Blogger. WordPress.org is blogging software whereby you have to find someone to host it which will cost you money, and whilst it is very flexible, it is also means that it requires a greater level of technical knowledge (or more money so that you can pay someone to do it for you).

The difficulty of the existence of two different yet similarly named blogging platforms is that performing a Google search on how to do something in WordPress.com often brings back answers for WordPress.org.

This makes life tricky as WordPress isn’t as easy to use as Blogger. Actually, that isn’t true. If you just want to write blogs and publish them, they both do that really easily. But once you start on that slippery slope of self journalism you WILL want more. You will want to design your blog and make it an extension of your personality or business.

So before you can scream ‘but what in the world is a CSS?’ let me tell you that for WordPress.com, changing the colour of links and other fine tweaking requires modifying the CSS, and you have to pay a yearly subscription fee for the privilege. It is only $15 (less than £10) per year, but add that to the challenge of learning what a CSS is and how to modify it and suddenly you only have eyes for Blogger.

So why would anyone bother with WordPress? There are a few features that make it that much more professional – and even the lack of some features of blogger actually are an advantage (just because you can change colours/add images etc doesn’t mean you have to). You can instantly tell a Blogger blog from a WordPress blog – the latter are cleaner and less cluttered.

For me, I chose WordPress.com for Geeky Mummy because there is a great Android app that allows me to manage my blog from my mobile phone. The user experience of reading a WordPress.com blog on your phone is so much better than for Blogger, whereby quite frequently Blogger blogs take so long to load that I give up. In contrast, not once have I had a problem viewing a WordPress blog on my phone.

With regards to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation – all about getting your blog in pride of place in search engine results) nobody seems to be able to agree on which is best, though there is a lot of leaning towards WordPress being better.

Oh and I already knew how to use Blogger and I wanted the challenge of learning WordPress – I am Geeky Mummy for a reason!

So what if you sit somewhere in the middle? Ask yourself where do you want to go with your blog? If you are hoping to go pro, blogging jobs often require WordPress experience. If you want to try to make money from advertising, a WordPress.com blog will be no good for you as they don’t allow advertising, but you can do what you want with Blogger and WordPress.org.

If you like detail read this detailed comparison of the two platforms.

As with most things, it comes down to personal preference. Both are free to set up, so if you really aren’t sure, sign up for both and have a little play. Just don’t let the choice of a blogging platform be your stumbling block to blogging. Pick one and go for it, the world is waiting.

Do you already blog? Which platform did you choose and why?