In my previous post I tried to explain how I was trying to get the internet to do some work for me.
I had been trying to autopost from my self-hosted WordPress account directly to Google Plus.
I tried and failed.
Well, to be accurate, I got so far. I got to the point where my WordPress blog was backed up to Blogger which shared my Google Plus profile and just required simple click of a button in the Blogger Dashboard to post to Google Plus.
But I had wanted to automate even that. When I hit ‘Publish’ in WordPress, I would like my post to go to all the places I want it too, without anymore button clicking. Greedy I know, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
And then Hootsuite came to the rescue.
Hootsuite is one of those ‘freemium’ services which does so much for free, but if you really want to get whizzy you’ve got to subscribe. Fortunately for my purposes, Hootsuite does what I want it too for free.
So I signed up for Hootsuite. I subscribed to Google Plus in it. I took the RSS feed from my blog (I used feedburner to do this) and I went to the Publisher button in Hootsuite (it looks like a paper aeroplane). Then I could choose the RSS feeds option to make my blogs feed appear in Google Plus.
Well I think so anyway. This is my first attempt, so I’m about to see if it works.
I just have to press ‘publish’ and wait.
I’ve been wrestling with the internet. Wrestling with rules that I haven’t written.
What I’m trying to do is to be able to write something in one place and then for it to appear in other places. Some people call this autoposting. I call it saving my time.
Many services offer this already. For example, when you take a picture on Instagram you can make it appear in Facebook, or Twitter, or Foursquare.
For other services you have to do things that are a bit more involved. For example, I choose to keep my blog on a self-hosted WordPress site. This means that I own the data, but WordPress offers some handy formatting. I had previously setup Feedburner to tweet whenever I write a new post. Today I’ve also made ifttt.com do the same job.
What I really wanted to do today is make my new posts appear automatically on Google Plus. But it’s been a bit harder than I thought it would. It appears that there used to be a solution, but it isn’t working anymore. The solution involved a backdoor to Google Plus via an SMS service from Google Voice, however this service doesn’t seem to work within the UK, and I’ve read one or two things that indicate it has stopped working elsewhere too. Reading between the lines of other peoples posts in forums and blogs I detect that Google Plus is trying to position itself as the manual posting place – the place where you go to actually write your content.
Myself, I don’t mind that, but when I write a blog post I like to write it in a text editor of some kind – Google Docs or even Notepad do the job. Then I can cut and paste the text into my WordPress Dashboard. This might seem labour intensive to some, but I have had too many experiences of losing a WordPress blog that I’ve been writing straight onto the web dashboard – I need something I can save regularly – and I can imagine the same thing happening if I tried to get into the habit of writing directly onto Google Plus.
So here’s my solution. I’ve setup a new blog on Blogger at wheregoestheroad.blogspot.co.uk. I can use ifttt.com to autopost from WordPress to Blogger. I have then updated my Blogger account so that it is using my Google Plus profile.
And now, using this very post, I’m going to find out if it will automatically appear on Google Plus.