Thursday, April 1, 2010

Archive-Along Part 2: Using Google Profiles to Archive and Promote Your Best Work

Yesterday, Diane took you on a bit of an analog adventure for archiving your best online work. I'm still daydreaming about whipping up little blog collection zines for my friends and family members. It's just a brilliant idea!

Now it's my turn, and today we're going digital.

I knew about Google Profiles, but hadn't looked into them much before a few months ago. I was trying to do some background research on a friend for a story, and when I asked her if she had any articles or information online that I could browse, she sent me one handy link: her Google Profile. There, she had linked several articles about her work and awards, as well as her various online presences (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)

I instantly realized the value of such a page. Not only is it a great way to easily organize links to your best work, but it's a great way of having one place to which you can direct folks when you have a robust online presence. Think of it as less formal than a resume, but more formal than a Facebook profile.

I'm almost tempted to change my email signature to a link to my Google Profile page. Right now, my signature is several lines long, and I still don't have links to everything I'd like folks to check out. If I just had a link to my Google Profile, they could go there and see and use as much or as little as they want. Tempting ...

Another great thing about Google Profiles is that you can include a batch of photos that will rotate when people visit. This is especially valuable for folks who are making things and want to display pictures of them.

How to set up your Google Profile:
You'll need a Google/Gmail account and will need to be logged in when you visit the main Google Profiles page. There, you'll see a button that says, "View My Profile." Click that button to be taken to your profile page. If you haven't added any extra information to your profile before, you'll see a message that tells you you need to add more information before your profile can be featured in Google Searches. Click "Add more information" and let's get started!

From here, it's pretty straightforward. Just fill in the blanks as you see fit. (You don't have to enter text in all the boxes if you don't want to) When you enter cities in the "where I grew up, where I live now, places I've lived" those spots will show up on a small Google Map under "My Places" on your profile.

Under "Short Bio," you can write your personal elevator pitch. I'd recommend keeping it short, sweet and to the point, but not so stuffy that it comes off like a cover letter. You can include links and some formatting in your bio. Use with care!

Now the really good stuff: Links and Photos
Adding links is pretty straightforward as well. I recommend first adding all the places you can be found online: your blog, your Etsy shop, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Follow that up with links to your best work. Find some of your best writing, projects, etc. and link those babies up. Next, if you've been written about online (profiles, interviews) link to those. If you decide you want to change the order of your list of links, just use the little up and down arrows to move the links around. Be thoughtful about your grouping and keep like items together, and describe the links well so folks will be able to determine if they want to click or not.

Adding Pictures:
Click the "Photos" tab at the top of the page to add pictures to your profile. You will be able to pull items from Picasa, Flickr, or an album to which you can link. If you are pulling items from Flickr (not sure about Picasa) you can pull from a specific set. I ended up setting up a specific set called "Google Profile" in my Flickr stream so I could put in pictures from all areas of my work (embroidery, writing, space geekery).

Maintaining Your Profile
Once you've put in the effort to get your profile page all nice an organized, you just need to remember to update it every once in a while. When you publish a great project, get featured on another website, or upload a favorite picture to Flickr, just take a couple of minutes to add the link to the profile and the picture to your set and you'll be all ... set. From there, any time you need to send a succinct set of your best work to someone, you'll have just the thing!


  1. This is so freaking great! I have a Google profile, and I didn't know it could do all this stuff.I'm totally updating mine TODAY. And also, considering that email signature suggestion.

    The other nice thing about a Google Profile is, when someone Googles your name, the profile always appears at the bottom of the first page of search results.

    And it's so cool being able to see all your stuff on one page! There are things in your Google Profile I didn't even know you'd done. Bravo!!

  2. Ah, yes, Diane! Thanks for reminding me about the search part! I meant to include that. ;)

    Agreed - I'm about *this* close to just making my email signature a link to my profile ...

    And the updates are super easy once you get in there and poke around a bit. This is a quick way to put together a polished-looking place for your best stuff if you need to be able to send a link out to someone with your work.


  3. wow, great idea Rachel! I just set mine up using your suggestions -->

    Thanks so much! This is so cool and love yours - checked out some of the links I hadn't seen before, just like Diane said.

  4. Awesome, Susan! I love seeing it. And ditto to both of y'all on seeing stuff I didn't know you all had done. So cool! :)

  5. oooooooooh... me likey! i had no idea Google profiles even existed, despite my love for all things Google-made. where have I been - under a rock?! Thanks for the tip!
    : )

  6. Thanks, Beth! Glad it helped! I was the same way about Google Profiles. Who knew!? :)

  7. rach and diane:
    you guys, once again, win the "most insanely open, organized, chock-full-o'-goodness crafty gals" award.
    it's amazing what the two of you offer our community. just amazing.
    thank you.

  8. Aw, Mz. Kathie - you're just the beesknees! XOXOXO

  9. This is some great information! Thanks so much!

  10. Great post! I need to work on my Google profile. Thank you for the info.

  11. I just recently discovered my Google profile and thought it would be useful, but I hadn't quite thought it through to where it can become the center of the universe! (Well, my universe anyway.) Fantastic!

  12. whoa! I had no idea that this was here - and your idea is genius! It's like a virtual business card to link everything together! I found you via Diane's Craftypod- thank you so much!

    here's mine:

  13. Excellent! I had no idea how useful this function can be. Thanks for letting us know!

  14. This makes me happy. It's about time someone made me happy today, as I sit on my throne, and you have.

    Off to work my profile, now.

  15. Thank You!
    I have been working on what to say in my profile for my blog and Etsy shop so this will be perfect to have a home base. Who knew Google had this?!


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