Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Forgotten widow of Google Plus

The shutdown of Google+ was reasonably orderly, with everything happening as they promised. It turns out, though, that it seems that they didn’t point out everything that was going away, and one of those was Blogger user profiles. It’s a small thing, and probably unimportant, but it’s an unanticipated leftover from the shutdown of Google+.

People see my profile when they click on “View my complete profile” on the righthand sidebar, and now, as the screen above shows, right now there’s pretty much nothing there—though there used to be. Prior to the shutdown, Blogger was using my Google profile, something I’d switched to in November, 2012, as I blogged about at the time. When I switched to using my Google profile, it replaced my old Blogger one. Now, the form of the old profile is back, but without any of the content, or even a profile photo, or, well, anything. I recently added “Auckland, New Zealand” so it didn’t look quite so fake.

Back in February, when I wrote about Google+ shutting down, I talked about the various things that were going away. Then, when it shut down early in April, I again wrote about it and mentioned some of what I did at the end of the service, like downloading my content. Somewhere in all that stuff I may well have the content of my Google profile, which is good if I want it—and because, to be brutally honest, I have no idea what on earth I’ll actually do with any of the content I downloaded (my content from Google Buzz is still parked on my Google Drive, where it’s been for years—and I last looked at it some six years ago, and I have no idea why).

I think I may also have saved a copy of my old Blogger Profile before I switched to the Google Profile, so I could probably re-enter all that if I wanted to—not that I can be bothered, I don’t think. Maybe a hybrid of the two?

Had I known this was going to happen, naturally I would have made sure I had the content of my Google Profile saved where it was readily available. But I didn’t know, so I didn’t do that. Still, one good thing about all this is that it gives me the opportunity to re-do my profile, meaning fresh content. The bad thing is that I already had two differnet profiles I spent time on, and even if I do have the old stuff, I still have to spend more time on a new one—just maybe somewhat less than if I had to start from scratch.

The reason I’d want to do something is because of something I said earlier in this post: So my Profile and I don’t look quite so fake. In the Social Media Age, the lack of a profile and profile photo raises red flags. Sure, I’ve been blogging for more than a dozen years now, and all those posts are there for anyone to see, but the Profile still looks fake (and, besides, it IS possible to fake very old posts just by setting the creation date to one in the past (this has been possible since 2008, something I accidentally discovered at the time, but you can tell that I don’t do that by how obsessive I am about talking about blog post totals/averages; seriously, though, the profile says I’ve been on Blogger since September 2006, and I can’t fake that). So, all things considered, I do need to make myself bother to change it.

This is the one unanticipated thing I’ve found (so far?) that’s left over from the Google+ shut down. It’s a small thing, and probably unimportant, but it’s still an unanticipated leftover, and the forgotten widow of Google+.

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