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Showing posts from 2017

Weekly Update - August 19, 2017: Google+ Discover, Allo on Desktop, Solar Eclipse, Online extremism

As the summer winds down, updates are heating up. Here’s what happened this week:
Google+ launched Discover, a new way to find content and Communities from across Google+. The web navigation menu has been simplified, making it a bit more difficult to find Events and your own Collections.Google Allo is now available on desktop - sort of. You need to be running the Chrome Browser and have your Android phone running Allo linked. Now you can use your Google Home to make phone calls hands free. Calls to the US and Canada are free, and calls to other countries are available for Google Voice and Project Fi customers.Google will be revealing Android O live on Monday (2:40PM Eastern) and has done some teasing about the name (Oreo? Oatmeal Cookie? Orangina? Omelette?)Android devices are getting a redesigned Google app with emphasis on topics and news. Plus there are video previews help you find what you're looking for faster.There are a bunch of new Google Docs, Sheets, & Slides feature…

Weekly Update - August 12, 2017: Monetization, YouTube Sharing, Diversity

So first my good news. My YouTube channel finally reached 1000 subscribers (yay!). Have you subscribed? Why not? Do it now! Next stop, 10k …

Here’s what else was new this week:
If you’re curious about where Google+ers are from, I shared the results of a totally non-scientific poll. The short answer: mostly the United States and India. For the long answer, read my post ;)YouTube introduced a new option for YouTube Partners. If your video is "not suitable for all advertisers" that is more clearly shown in your video manager, and there is a new chance to appeal. At the least this should help Partners understand why their monetized video is never (or rarely) showing ads.Sharing in the YouTube mobile app is now rolling out to all users. If this doesn't sound new to you, it may not be. Sharing has been available by invite for almost a year, and was launched in Canada in January.Facebook is introducing a new video platform "Watch" for personalized discovery and soci…

1000 subscribers from around the world! Thanks Plussers and YouTubers!

This weekend my YouTube channel finally reached 1000 subscribers. Thanks to all of you who subbed!

I know a lot of my video views and subscribers have come over from Google+. I took a poll to see where you all are from, and made a video to give you all a shout-out.

Most of my Google+ followers and YouTube channel viewers come from the United States, India, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom. Those are followed closely by folks from Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, Indonesia, Canada and Malaysia.

Thanks to all of you around the world for reading, commenting, watching and subscribing!

So what does 1000 subscribers get me?

* YouTube for Creators Opal status (this also requires 1,000 hours watch time)
* I can now use Super Chat, if and when I live stream
* I can enable paid content
* I'm theoretically eligible for "Creator on the Rise" promotion (but seriously, I know that's not going to happen)

Now I'm aiming for 10k subscribers, so now is the time to subscribe …

Weekly Update - August 5, 2017: Google+ Search, YouTube, Google Search Console

I’m a happy Plusser this week, as Google+ got a really nice update.
This week Google+introduced a number of really excellent improvements to search. The most noticeable difference is that clicking the search box no longer immediately starts loading the Explore page, which I found hugely annoying. You can sort the results by “Best” or “Most Recent”, filter by post author (including yourself), and easily switch between posts, people, Collections and Communities. And G Suite users can limit search within their domain.As a bonus, the search results Explore page may also show popular topics along the top of the search results, letting you, well, explore. Check it out. Things were a bit more volatile on YouTube.
YouTube posted an update on progress fighting terrorist and violent extremist content online. They are using machine learning, as well as human Trusted Flaggers, to identify violent extremist content. Once it’s identified, it may be removed or eventually hidden behind an interstitia…

Weekly Update - July 29, 2017: Google+, Project Fi, Flash

It’s been relatively quiet in the Googleverse this week. It’s so much easier to keep up with the changes when new features and updates aren’t launched one on top of the other!

What’s new in the Googleverse (and beyond) this week?
Google+ Communities got a nice update. You can use the new Community Member Activity View to see all the posts from a member of a particular Community. It’s useful for moderators, and helpful if you want to see what a specific person posted about.And if you love Google+, and want to give feedback on features under development, you can apply to be a Google+ beta tester! Android early adopters and developers: Developer Preview 4 now available, official Android O coming soon! My big question: what will “O” be? Orange Marmalade? Oreo? Oatmeal Cookie?Adobe announced they will be saying goodbye to Flash by the end of 2020. Even though the use of Flash on the web has decreased significantly in the past few years, but it’s still in use for videos and games. Goo…

Weekly Update - July 22, 2017: YouTube, Analytics, Google+

Here are this week’s updates in the Googleverse and beyond.
For Creators, YouTube gives - block comments with links - and YouTube takes away - Video Editor and Slide Show will be retiredYouTube fights terrorist recruitment by redirecting searchesThe Google+ G+1 button on 3rd party web sites no longer displays +1 count. If you plussed sites in the past, you can download the links and use them as bookmarksGoogle Analytics now lets you ask about your site’s stats in natural English And there are more tips and updates for live streamers, video creators (and watchers), business owners, website publishers, Hangouts Meeters and more.

Image: Google Street View arrives in Space, with a walk-through of the International Space Station. Start here. The image is the Earth’s atmospheric glow and the stars of the Milky Way, and an experiment module at the tip of Japan’s Kibo module on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA (NASA Media Usage Guidelines)

Weekly Update - July 15, 2017: Google+ Photospheres, Desktop Backup, New Music Radio

Weekly Update - July 8, 2017: AdSense, YouTube Gaming, PhotoBucket

There weren't too many updates this week, perhaps because of the US July 4th holiday, or maybe because it's summer. But there are always a few new things for Creators.

Here are my top announcements:
AdSense introduced Native Ads. There has been some speculation that the ads could violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, and Google hasn’t responded to that. Perhaps use with caution?Photobucket breaks images across the internet. In a quiet ToS update, Photobucket disabled imaged embedding and linking, which are now only available to paid accounts that cost $399 per year. That has resulted in images disappearing from blogs and forums across the web.YouTube Gaming has provided more details on sponsorships and custom emojis. Sponsorships are still in beta, but when they launch, creators will be able to offer custom emoji in live chat - the more sponsors, the more custom emoji for the channel. If you are interested testing sponsorships you can apply for the beta program.You can now yo…

Weekly Update - July 1, 2017: Google+ B-day, YouTube Creators, Google Photos Sharing

Summer is heating up, and there are all kinds of nice updates this week.
Google+ turned 6 this week. The celebration was a bit quieter than last year, but there was a nice update, making it easier for Community moderators to remove spammers and other unwanted commenters.There was also another interesting Google+ Collections 101 panel. Watch it to help take your Collections to the next level!There were some tasty announcements at the YouTube Creator keynote at VidCon last weekend, including Comment Topics and Super Chat availability in more countries . There is also a redesign of Creator Studio in the works, and you can apply to get early access to YouTube Studio Beta.A YouTube experiment is rolling out to some users: Animated video preview thumbnails coming to desktopAnd, if you like to share your videos, Uptime, Google's experimental YouTube party app, is available without an invitationGoogle Photos rolling out suggested sharing and shared libraries, which were announced at Goog…

Weekly Update - June 24, 2017: VidCon, Google+ Sharing, Google Posts

Happy summer!

VidCon US was this week, and YouTube had a big presence, including a live show with YouTube stars, and a Keynote address from CEO Susan Wojcicki hosted by Rhett and Link.

There were some stats - 1.5 billion logged in viewers visit YouTube every month, and viewers spend over an hour a day watching YouTube just on mobile devices.

And, of course, there were announcements: a new VR180 video format for virtual reality, mobile sharing rolling out to more countries,improvements to the YouTube mobile apps, 12 new YouTube Red shows and 10 new YouTube TV markets, and more. See the full list of VidCon links below.

Also this week: Google explained four ways it's fighting terrorism online YouTube Trusted Flaggers, better automated detection, content warnings, and counter-radicalization content The Google+ share button on desktop now just reshares to Google+. That means fewer clicks if you just want to share on Google+, but it’s a but harder to share to Twitter, Facebook or copy t…

Weekly Update - June 17, 2017: YouTube VR, Local Guides, Father's Day

Sunday is Father’s Day in the United States and many other countries. You can use Google Photos to make a Father’s Day movie for the special dad in your life. (And you can still make a Mother’s Day movie too). Plus Facebook is offering special Father’s Day cards and Instagram has Father’s Day stickers.

My top updates this week:
YouTube Analytics now offers VR heatmaps so you can see where people were looking at your 360-degree and VR videos. And if you want to give VR video making a try, YouTube Space LA is taking applications for VR Creator LabThe Google Local Guides program totally changed the achievement levels and now offers more ways to contribute. If you are a Local Guide, check your current points (and perks) in the Google Maps app or a desktop computer.If you are a gamer, I’m sure you know this week the Electronic Entertainment Expo AKA E3. YouTube was Live at E3, as was Twitch. Check out all the announcements on the official E3  site.If you are a small business owner and y…

How to Manage Google+ Comments on your Blogger Blog

Blogger offers two different comment systems for your blog. You can use the Blogger comment system, or you can use the Google+ comment system.  They function significantly differently, so it's good to understand what the differences are before you start getting comments on your blog.

I'm using the Blogger Comment system here, because I expect a significant percentage of my readers will not be active Google+ users. Here's my suggestion:

Use Google+ Comments if you expect most of your readers to have a Google+ Profile and you are not concerned about comment moderation.

Use Blogger Comments if you want to allow anonymous posting, or comments from people without a Google+ Profile and you want a variety of comment moderation options.
How do Blogger comments and Google+ comments compare?
.Blogger CommentsGoogle+ CommentsYour ProfileBlogger or Google+Google+ onlyCommenter Profile You set requirementGoogle+ onlyComment ModerationOn posts or in account On posts onlyNon-visible commen…

Weekly Update - June 10, 2017: Apple WWDC, Google Posts, YouTube Adpocalypse

The Googleverse was fairly quiet this week, but there are still plenty of updates:
This week was the annual Apple WWDC, so there are some fruit-flavored goodies. Despite Apple choosing to limit live stream viewership by using their proprietary live streaming technology that doesn’t support Chrome, Android or really anything other than Mac/iOS and the latest version of Windows, you can watch the recording of the keynote on YouTube (not that I was annoyed or anything). Last week was goodbye Google+, this week Google Posts is  part of Google My Business. Beyond the ability to create a post, Google+ and Google Posts are different beasts. But it remains to be seen if business owners embrace Google's latest posting option any more than they embraced Google+.The YouTube “Adpocalypse” is ongoing: advertisers in the UK apparently have pulled their ad buys.Sometimes little changes make a big difference: Google+ says goodbye to the red top bar Plus there are tips and updates for video creat…

Weekly Update - June 3, 2017: YouTube, AdSense, Better Ad Standards, Google+

New this week:
YouTube is rolling out updated Android and iOS apps, with improved navigation and organization.YouTube Partners should pay attention to YouTube’s latest update to the advertiser-friendly content policies. There is also a free YouTube Creator Academy course to help make sure you know and understand those policies.If you want to take your Google+ Collections to the next level, apply to the new Collections mentorship programAdSense introduced page level enforcements and a new Policy centerGoogle introduced Funding Choices, which lets site visitors pay for an ad-free experience. That is part of Google’s support of Better Ad Standards. Publishers and websites should take heed: Chrome will be updated to stop showing ads on sites that don’t comply with those standards. Try the new Ad Experience Report to see how your website fares.Google is using machine learning to block phishing attempts in Gmail and to automatically build charts in Google Sheets Plus there are tips and upd…

Control who can comment on your Blogger blog posts

If you are using the Blogger comment system, you can customize who can comment on your posts, from everyone to no one. You can also choose to moderate comments, rather than having them appear immediately.

Customize your Blogger comment options:
1. Sign into Blogger
2. Click Settings on the left menu
3. Select Posts, comments and sharing
4. Under Comments adjust Who can comment?, Comment locationand Comment moderation settings
5. Click the orange Save button at top right

Note that if you are using the Google+ comment system for your blog, you cannot control who can comment. You can remove comments after they are posted.

Comments can also be completely disabled on individual posts.

Read on for detailed instructions:
Who can comment?Disable commentsHold comments for moderation Are you using Google+ Comments on your blog? Enable and manage Google+ Comments

Weekly Update - May 27, 2017: Photos, Family, Advertising

The dust has settled from Google I/O and we’re starting to get the announced new features - at least for Google Photos. Here are my top updates this week:
Google Photos now lets you Archive images from your Photos screen, and you can personalize Google Photos by labeling your own face.Google Family Groups let you easily share with your family & household: Google Photos, Calendar, Keep, in addition to YouTube TV and Google PlayWe got a peek at some improvements Google+ is working on over the coming monthsThis week was the Google Marketing Next conference, where they announced updates to “Ads, Analytics and Doubleclick”. The focus was on machine learning and mobile - the same themes (not surprisingly) of Google I/O two weeks ago - applied to marketing. Watch the keynote and read an overview of the announcements.Hangouts no longer supports SMS - except for Project Fi and Google Voice. Plus there are updates and tips for AdSense Publishers, YouTubers, live streamers, webmasters, Andr…

Weekly Update - May 20, 2017: Google I/O, Assistant, Android, AI

This week was Google’s big developer conference - Google I/O 2017. This year’s theme: the shift from “mobile first” to an “AI first” world.

What does that mean in practical terms? Machine learning and artificial intelligence are integrated throughout Google’s products. Google Assistant will be available on more devices (including iPhones), Google Home is getting smarter, “Google Lens” will help your phone understand what it “sees”, there are now smart replies in Gmail and Google Photos will make suggestions for sharing.

And Google wants to bring the benefits of AI to everyone. Machine learning is used to predict the properties of new molecules and design drugs, improve healthcare, and even help you find a job. They also introduced the Tensor Flow Research Cloud, offering computing power free to allow researchers to explore machine learning projects.

Beyond AI, Google may also be making your life more entertaining: they announced a new standalone VR headset (no phone, no cables!), s…

Weekly Update - May 13, 2017: Google+ Community Invites, Hangouts Toolbox Returns, Allo Selfies

This week didn't have too may big Google updates (I'm expecting there to be a bunch next week from Google I/O), there are a bunch of tips and news articles to keep you busy.
My top updates:
Google+ introduced the option to invite people to a Community via a linkThe Hangout Toolbox app is now available again for Hangouts on Air , at least for as long as the remaining Hangouts video call apps are available.Google Allo uses neural networks to create cartoon selfie stickersYou will be able to create your own Google Street View imagery with new 360 camerasMicrosoft Build 2017 was this week, so there’s a look at what is ahead for Windows and Microsoft Are you ready for Google I/O (May 17-19)? Learn how you can tune in remotely. Plus news, updates and tips for YouTubers, live streamers, Google+ers, webmasters, bloggers, AdSense publishers, map users, chatters, web surfers and more. Beyond the Googleverse there’s news for Facebook, Twitter, Twitch and Instagram.
Moms OnlineUse Google…

Create a Google+ Community Badge for your blog or website

Google+ Communities let you create a space to interact with other people with shared interests. On Google+ itself, Communities are promoted on the Recommended Communities page and in Topics. However, you might also want to encourage people who aren't already on Google+ to join your public Community.

You can do that by embedding a Google+ Community Badge on a web page, blog post or sidebar.

It can have different looks:

If the Community's cover image is changed, the badge should update automatically.

Note that the button on the badge just opens the Community, where the viewer then needs to click the Join or Ask to Join button to actually join. If they do not yet have a Google+ Profile, they will be prompted to create one.
How to create a Google+ Community Badge 1. Get the Google+ Community URL
2. Open the Google+ Badge creation page (
3. In the badge creation tool, set the "Google+ User" to "Other then paste in the Commun…

Weekly Update - May 6, 2017: Mother's Day Movies, YouTube, Phishing

It was a relatively quiet week this week in the Googleverse - other than the big Google Docs phishing attack, that is. Keep your account safe!

My top updates this week:
Get a sneak peek at YouTube's new design, including a dark themeUpdate to AdSense policy: more mobile web optionsHow Google protects your account from phishing (and how this week's attack worked)Make a nice present for a mother in your life! 
Use Google Photos to automatically create a Mother's Day movie Plus there are tips and updates for YouTube, Live Streamers Google+, Webmasters, Maps users and more!

Do you know what happened last month? Check out my overview of April Creator Updates!

I take a look at: Google+ Topics, updates to the YouTube Partner Program, AdSense content policy, Custom URLs, and more.

Image: Detail from Mother Galanda by Mikuláš Galanda (Public Domain)

Monetize your Blogger blog with AdSense

You can easily earn a little money from your Blogger blog by linking an AdSense account, assuming your blog meets the eligibility requirements. Just bear in mind that unless your blog has a custom domain, you must start on your blog's Earnings tab to associate an AdSense account.
How to connect your Blogger blog to AdSense If your blog is eligible for AdSense, you can easily connect your existing AdSense account or apply for a new Hosted AdSense account.

1. Sign in to your Blogger account and open the Earnings settings for your blog.
2. Click the Sign up for AdSense button
3. Sign in to the Google account you are using for AdSense
4. Complete the AdSense association or application process
5. Customize ad preferences

New applications for AdSense may take up to a week to review, and sometimes longer than that.

Read on for detailed instructions.

Weekly Update - April 29, 2017 - Google+ Topics, AdSense Policy, Maps and Translate

This week Google helps you expand your horizons with updates to Google+, Maps, Translate and more. My top updates:
Google+ launches Topics. There are currently at least 162 topics for you to browse and discover people, Collections, and Communities that share your interests, in English, Spanish and Portuguese.AdSense expands policy prohibiting placing ads on pages with dangerous or derogatory contentGetting around is getting easier. Google Maps now lets you save your parking location, get local business reviews in your own language, and has a new home screen for users in India. Plus Google Trips, the travel planning app, now lets you better manage reservations.Making the internet more inclusive in India: Google introduced improved translation of nine Indian languages in Google Translate and Chrome, 22 Indic languages were added to GBoard for Android, and (along with Oxford University Press) is bringing the Rajpal & Sons Hindi dictionary online. Now anyone  can create a class using…

How to enable monetization on YouTube

YouTube recently changed the eligibility requirements for monetization. Your channel must have at least 10,000 public lifetime views to display ads on videos. And if you are not currently a Partner, you now need to apply for the YouTube Partner program.

While that means you won't be able to immediately start monetizing videos on your new channel, you can set your channel up so it's ready to start monetizing when it becomes eligible.

There is a four step monetization setup process
Is your channel eligible for monetization?1. Review the YouTube Partner Program Policies2. Sign up for AdSense (or link your existing AdSense account)3. Set monetization preferences4. Get reviewed after reaching 10,000 viewsWhat happens next? Earnings and payments 

Read on for detailed instructions.

Weekly Update - April 22, 2017: YouTube Partner Program, G+ Metrics in G Suite, Updated Google Earth