Confessions of a Google Fangirl

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes —

Title graphic of Vanessa Blaylock in a white dress wearing Google Glass on a catwalk runway with a white background and with superimposed typography "Vaneeesa Confessions of a Google Fangirl"

Vanessa a Google fangirl? Strange but true! I love Google! Google+ Rocks! I want to have Vic Gundotra’s baby! And now for the truly disturbing part: I’m totally and completely serious.

21st Century Media

The Nymwars were bad. Massive civil rights in cyberspace implications. Sad to see Google on the wrong side. Still, I need to get over it. What should have been clear to me all along is that Google is (mostly) on our side. My cousin Sofia tries to avoid emotional value terms and talk instead of business models. And the business models of Facebook or Apple, are just a lot less aligned with my interests. Of those 3 giant players in the media of our age, only one truly lives in this century.

Facebook

Facebook is the ultimate walled garden. They’ll probably gain even more power as service providers slowly but persistently turn the innovative, young, open Internet, into the mature, profitable, closed Internet. Google Fangirl Vanessa Blaylock, her teased hair blowing in the wind, wears a red pair of google glass and turns across the frame into the collar of a trench coatFacebook works hard every day to take us back to the 1993 hegemony of AOL. Remember 1993: the Web was just starting to get big, and the walled garden of AOL was reluctantly starting to let users go out to the WILD Web? With the admonishment that you’d never find the quality or the safety of AOL out on that sprawling mess. Twenty years later, Facebook is the new AOL.

Apple

There’s no doubt about it, Apple Inc. creates the sexiest products the world has ever seen. Much has been built with Mac. iOS has changed the world. But I still believe it’s wrong to associate Apple with 21st century values. Steve Jobs wasn’t “Silicon Valley,” he was “Hollywood.” Steve Jobs was the last mogul. Or the first of the new age. His message was consistently that you don’t want the “amateur hour” of many-to-many sites like YouTube, you want the good old one-to-many “quality” products of the media empires of the previous century. Enter the curated iTunes store, Apple TV, and all the rest.

BEIJING,CHINA - JULY 22,2009: (CHINA OUT)Passerbys watch the partial solar eclipse with solar viewing goggles on the  Wangfujing street,Beijing,July 22, 2009.(Photo by CNImaging) (Newscom TagID: ciphotos061660)     [Photo via Newscom]Facebook celebrates the innovation of 2 pix on your profile instead of just 1. Google lives up to their other slogan:

Organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Facebook’s business model is to keep your eyes on their site. Forever. Todd Alcott’s frantic slam poem Television, could speak for Facebook just as well:

NoNoNoNoNoNo, don’t look over there! There’s nothing to look at over there! Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!

I Am a Google Fangirl

Google actually wants you to use the breadth and depth of the entire open web. They just want to be the highway system that connect it all. Sure they make lots of money with those billboards on the roadside. But they’re also helping our knowledge and idea cars to go anywhere.

Berry explained in her Google Authorship post that Google tools are helping us. The search engine you already use wants to make your blog more prominent! Is feeding a few more links to Google+ too much to pay? We should all be Google Fangirls and Google Fanboys!

Let’s be more active on Google+!

Hey Vic, wanna date?

Google Fangirl Vanessa Blaylock pretending to be Virginia Heffernan in an actual photo from Virginia Heffernan's Instagram featuring her wearing a white pair of Google Glass and smiling into the camera

L I N K Y . L I N K Y
• Strawberry Singh.com / Google Authorship
• White Hat, Black Belt: SEO Ninjas / Google Fangirl
• iRez / Vic Gundotra

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10 Responses to “Confessions of a Google Fangirl”

  1. peepsideshow
    2013/06/21 at 22:52 #

    I have created a Google+ page, but I admit, it’s totally bare…I think! I guess I need to just dive in and give it a try. I also admit I gave up on trying to link my blog to my Google+ page because it was just too darned hard! And Google, like Facebook, doesn’t like the name, Peep 🙁

    • Vanessa Blaylock
      2013/06/22 at 17:07 #

      Aww, Peep, sorry for the frustration. I’ve certainly had plenty myself. New-media nation-states like Facebook & Google+ do want you to live your life, and spell your name, their way. I’ve come to believe that G+ has something of real value to offer if I’m willing to “play nice.”

      With Google Authorship, you have the real value of more viewers to your content that you’ve crafted so meticulously. Not your content on their site, but your content on your site out on the open web. That’s worth a lot to me and suddenly I decided spelling “Vaneeesa” as “Vanessa” really wasn’t a big deal.

      I already tell my students that if they have a common name, or if their name is Justin anything, then they really need to think about using a middle name or nickname so they can be found online. Kind of like actors have always done.

      I’m sure no one who actually works with, or is friends with, Joseph Gordon-Levitt says “Hey Joseph Gordon-Levitt, how are you doing today?” I’m sure they say “Hey Joe, wassup?” Still, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is way better for being found online, and of course it looks really great on the top of a resume.

      So I guess if I went by Peep, then I might use Vanessa “Peep” Blaylock or Vanessa P. Blaylock as my G+ name. I know it’s lame and I do think FB/G+ are too domineering. For myself, I’ve decided to stop playing “who can be more stubborn” and just work with what optimizes my ability to share the work I’m doing.

      As far as Google Authorship goes, here’s the good news: it’s really easy to do! Google only manages to make it sound totally frickin confusing! You’re on WP.com right? kk, they actually don’t make it quite as easy as WP.org, but I still *think* you only have to do 2 things:

      1. “Claim” your blog on G+. On your G+ > Profile > Links > you’ll see 3 sections > Profiles, Contributor To, & Links. Just add your blog on “contributor to” and say “current author.”

      2. Link FROM your blog TO your G+ page. A nice way to do this on WP.com is with a text widget. Just as you have “Blogs I Follow” or your ABC Badge, you can make one for G+, or just add it to the bottom of any other text widget. Put something like this:
      `< `a href="https://plus.google.com/113232934109577202949?rel=author"`>`G+`< `/a`>`
      G+

      (without the ` which I just used so you could see the code instead of only the result like the 2nd line) That’s my G+ number, so you’d replace it with yours. Where I put “G+” you could put anything, like “Find me on Google Plus” or it could be just a space or period. The point is to get the link to your G+ page on your home page.

      I *think* that’s it. Then you wait a while. It might be weeks. Then Google “might” (I think they don’t officially make any “promises”) start putting your pix in search results. Also it seems like the more stuff you post on G+ the richer your search results are. Yes Google is kind of bribing us to pimp their stuff. Thing is, it’s all the content you were already creating anyway, and it’s the search engine you were (probably) already using anyway, so connecting them together to feature you better is, as they say, “a no brainer.” Sorry they make it sound so confusing. And sorry they’re jerks about your name. For myself I’ve decided it’s not really hard to setup and worth a little spelling humility.

      • peepsideshow
        2013/06/22 at 20:29 #

        Thanks for the tip on the text widget – I’ll give it a try! Oddly enough, PeepDarkward is ok with them as a first name…go figure! I’ll need to change my name on my blog to match up. That was when I stuck it in the “Too hard” basket! Hugs, Vaneeesa…you’ll always be Vaneeesa of many e’s to me 😉

        • Vanessa Blaylock
          2013/06/22 at 21:18 #

          It’s small and silly, but it’s also pretty huge. When someone else tells you who you are, that’s Identity as Oppression… when you claim your own Identity, that’s Empowerment. Whether it’s people giving names to others because of racism, or art snobbery, it’s gone on for many generations. The virtual version may seem somehow more petty, but it’s really the same Celebration Of, or Rejection Of, Cultural Diversity, that’s gone on for so long.

          Nonetheless,

          I want better search results. I already had to be “Vanessa” to get a Facebook account 4 years ago, and thanks to Facebook Connect that “fake” spelling has been propagated all over anyway. And easily half the peeps I deal with call me Vanessa anyway. So I do hear you, and I do feel your pain, but I’ve just decided to sign all my posts “Vanessa” from here on in. I think I decided that a week ago, and it honestly felt awkward. Now a week later it’s just no big deal.

          FB & G+ seem to use similar “smell-a-fake” algorithms, and they really hate repeating vowels (thank Philip I’m not “humuhumunukunukuapua’a” – which actually was my SL “display name” for a while) Something about “Peep” falls on one side of their algorithm, and something about “PeepDarkwind” falls on the other.

          Yes, you are correct unfortunately that I think you have to use the same name / same spelling on G+ and on your blog for it to work. You for sure don’t “have to” claim Google Authorship. But if you’d like the help with search results, I’d find a name version that you and G+ are both willing to live with, and then use it consistently and persistently.

          • PeepSideshow Darkward
            2013/06/22 at 22:51 #

            Well, as you can see from my name on my comment, I’ve switched to PeepSideshow Darkward on my blog to match my G+ page name. AND I’ve added my blog to my G+ page AND found text widget code on the WP Forums to add to my blog – AND I got the link to work lol I’m not a coder, so it took a few tries, even copy/pasting and finding the right spaces and `’s to remove to make it work *grins* But at least it’s working now! Now I just need to pimp out my G+ page and start adding people to my circles. Oh, and you were one of the first I started following 🙂

            Now I just need to wait to see if I’ve done everything right so everybody on the interwebs can see my purty face when they google me 😉

            Thanks again for your help – I wouldn’t have followed through without it ♥

            • Vanessa Blaylock
              2013/06/23 at 00:14 #

              Yay Peep! Serving your master! And who said only Gor had slaves??? 😛

              On G+, if you look at your profile, and click on your name, it will say “Edit Your Name” and then to the right of your name you’ll see “More Options” and if you click on that you’ll get a box for a “nickname” If you put Peep there, then G+ will list you as
              PeepSideshow Darkwind (Peep)

              Here’s how it looks on Lizzie’s profile:
              https://plus.google.com/u/1/116223793175953110250/about

              I’ve looked at your G+ page and your blog and it looks like both are good! 🙂

              The link on your blog is to:
              https://plus.google.com/100742564228868876115?prsrc=3

              Which I think is all you need. I might put instead:
              https://plus.google.com/100742564228868876115?rel=author

              I think that’s not necessary, as long as your home page links to your G+ page I think you’re done. But since rel=author is the whole point, it couldn’t hurt.

              Without geeking out on you, “rel” or “relationship” is an attribute of a link. I think it was introduced in HTML4. It can have different values, and one is “author.” So you can have lots of links: oh, here’s a link to wikipedia, oh, here’s a link to the Second Life wiki… but when you use the attribute “rel=author” you’re saying that this link is to the author of the thing you’re reading. So even though this is a lot about G+, Google’s actually using the HTML standard to do their bidding.

              Anyway! Just like everywhere else on the interwebs, at the end of all that geeky code… it’s all about Your Purty Face!!! 🙂