Save Time Using Daily Photography Themes on Google+
by Eric Leslie
I can remember it very clearly when Google+ was still in beta search didn't exist. At all. It seems like a glaring omission, but it was an invite-only preview so I will cut them some slack. I tried to get #WaterfallWednesday off the ground about six weeks before they launched search and it was pretty stagnant. There was no way to lookup all the submissions, so most of my posts were missed.
Google launched search and shortly there after clickable hashtags to the benefit of the Google+ Daily Photography Themes. It was the wild west for a while. People were creating themes left and right. It was spiraling out of control. You certainly couldn't keep track of everything. Organically, +Melanie Kintz and I banded together to create a curated list. To much controversy, we didn't let everyone on because there was tons of overlap going on. For example, there were three or four water-centric themes and it just didn't makes sense to split it up so we promoted the most prominent theme of the bunch. This was met with tons of criticism because they felt like we were playing favorites when were were just trying to create a clean and healthy environment for the themes to thrive and grow. Looking back I still think it was the right choice.
Fast forward to today and we still just have one huge list of themes and their curators. Despite my effort to make it pretty, it's still big and it's a pain to use. Photographers may like to share a their latest photo with multiple themes. Some themes have multiple curators. It can lead to a heap of curators and hashtags to include in your post. It's very prone to errors and exclusions.
+Yves Goergen brought to my attention a new G+ feature. Normally You can + mention someone by typing a + and then a name to see a list of people that match what you've entered. Sometimes it doesn't always match who you're looking for. Sometimes they have unusual non-English letters on their name so you don't know how to input them. At the very least it's time consuming to tag all of the curators.
So the innovation lies in one's ability to type + followed by a curator's GUID in your post. When submitted, Google will automatically convert this into normal + mentions. It looks something like this +00000000000 where the zeros are 0-9 digits.
So back to the list. I've created a button by each theme that, when pressed, will copy the hashtag, the theme page (if one exists) and all the curators to the clipboard. At the end of your post, Ctrl (Cmd) - V to paste it in.
It's important to remember that they don't get converted to their actual username until the post is submitted. So it's just a matter of checking out the list, finding a theme, clicking the copy button and pasting it into your post.
I hope this post will help makes this whole process easier for you. Not only will it save you time, but it saves your brain cycles. When something is smooth and easy to deal with, I'm more likely to do it. So my goal is drive more participation to the themes! Enjoy. Check it out! Google+ Daily Photography Themes List
I'd appreciate it if you would checkout your theme listing and making sure I have all the current information. I know curators change and many have dedicated pages that I don't have listed. I may not have your theme listed at all. The list is too big to keep up to date on my own, so I need your help curators. Please let me know in the comments.