Google Profiles: Another Profile, Another SEO Opportunity

googleprofile2Have you seen your Google Profile yet? Visit http://google.com/profiles/me and get started, then!

Google Profiles might be a stealth attempt at building a social network in the shadow of FaceBook’s dominance. The profile isn’t as feature rich or complex as FaceBook … yet … but does offer an opportunity to post a photo, contact information, and links to other sites.

And regardless of where Google plans to take this function, they have already added Profiles to the Google search results, making Profiles an important element in your search engine optimization plan. 

You get to customize the URL, so claim yours early before your namesake beats you to it like he did with that .com domain you never got around to registering.

Check out my Google Profile here:
http://www.google.com/profiles/waynehastings

WordPress Plugins I Actually Use: Part 2

A couple weeks have gone by, and I have been tweaking this site a bit, both in the look and feel of the user interface and in the functionality in the plugins installed.

I added one new plugin, deactivated one and replaced it with another.

Since my last post, I have deactivated ShareThis. I felt it caused too much delay in page loading. In its place, I am using Sociable, which looks prettier and loads faster.

For managing the top level navigation, I found Page Lists Plus. This plugin gives you a great deal of control over the main nav, which WordPress creates based on your Pages. The link to my resume in the top nav is a link to a Google Docs page. And I have created a couple of other pages that I want in the site but that I don’t want in the main nav.

To configure Page Lists Plus to do the redirect, install and activate the plugin. On the Setting page, check this box:

plp1

Then create the Page, where the following appears at the bottom of the admin:

plp2

As you see, I have entered the Google Docs URL in the Redirect To field. Now the Resume page appears in the top navigation, but redirects to an off site URL instead of the page in WordPress.

So, this Part 2 of the series isn’t earth shattering in content, but, in the case of the main navigation, important in managing the functionality of the site.

The limited behavior of the main navigation, based as it is on Pages, belies WordPress’ history as a blogging platform. As WordPress continues to grow towards a more full-featured CMS, little amenities like these need to migrate from plugins into core functionality.

Iconic Me

After Chet twittered about my blog running the WPTouch theme, I was reminded I hadn’t customized it at all.

First things first, a new icon! Now, if you go to this site (waynehastings.net) on your iPhone or iPod Touch, click the Bookmark “+” icon, then click “Add to Home Screen”, the icon will look like this:

whicon1

Thankfully, the makers of the WPTouch theme included a Photoshop document, so creating this icon took just a few minutes. Little amenities like that make using some open source software an absolute pleasure.

Just for fun, I also replaced my Twitter profile picture with this icon.

Embarrassing Blog Posts

Obsessively Googling my name, I found these lovely nuggets.

Facebook — late to the bandwagon again
Thursday, 20 September 2007

So I set up a Facebook page. I knew you were waiting for that.
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=618093298

Twittering
Wednesday, 12 September 2007

I still think services like Twitter are a solution in search of a problem, but hey, I’ll give it a try.

http://www.twitter.com/waynehastings

Follow me!

Now look at me…

Brush with Greatness: Dooce Book Signing

To Wayne, Much LoveLast night I had my first “brush with greatness” since moving to Los Angeles. And this is a story for everyone who claims noone ever made money off of Twitter.

I discovered Heather B. Hamilton (aka Dooce) several months ago while I was still living in Memphis, TN. I spotted a reference to @dooce — one of my Twitter friends had replied to her — and the name caught my eye. Curious, I hit her website and discovered www.dooce.com and became a fan. I really enjoy her sense of humor and general outlook on life.

Earlier in the week, I saw her post that she was going to be at Book Soup in LA on April 2. So last night, we made the trek from our home in Alhambra to West Hollywood for the reading / signing.

It was a lot of fun. Heather was as funny and charming in person as I was expecting. She signed my copy of the book and I think I managed to get away without letting my star struck adolescent self make too big a fool of me.

Now think about this interaction for a moment. Heather is a writer. I found her first on Twitter. I became a fan of her work on her blog which I typically read via RSS in Google Reader. I travelled across town to a book signing at a book store I had not (yet) visited in person. And finally I purchased a book while I was there. 

I can’t say that I would have ever discovered her if I hadn’t been on Twitter at just the right moment. 

I think it is fair to say that being on Twitter was profitable for Heather. She is reaching an audience that might otherwise never find her. And since I have become a fan, I have been sharing her site with my friends (and the whole world) on my blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook, among other places.

Chalk one up for Twitter. If your business isn’t on Twitter, you’re leaving money on the table.

Pink Shirt Day, 2009

If you’ve been following me on Facebook and/or Twitter, you’ve seen posts about Feb. 25, 2009 being Pink Shirt Day, a day to support anti-bullying worldwide.

This weekend, I was playing around in Photoshop and CafePress, and put together a couple of graphics just for fun. (I realized I was too late to offer the design on CafePress as a t-shirt for sale and I don’t have a pro version of CafePress to offer pink shirts to put the design onto, but it looks nice on a white shirt, IMO.)

But here it is as a desktop wallpaper in four resolutions.

Let me know what you think.

Desktop Wallpaper:

1920×1200 | 1680×1050 | 1440×900 | 1280×800

Links in support of Pink Shirt Day:

pinkshirt1-final