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On Blogging and Google Plus

Garth Henson
Personal Life
23 Sep 2011

Blogging and Google Plus (hereafter referred to as Google+) may not be as mutually exclusive as one might initially think. Not only was it Google+ that brought me back to my blog after a six month hiatus, but the more technical contacts I make on Plus, the more intuitive it becomes to use a blog in conjunction with Google+ to have the most reach. For those of you still reading, let me outline the past week of relevant activities.

Having found numerous photographers and web developers recently, I was challenged to update my blog based on the amazing content I’d been seeing. As I thought about it, I realized I hadn’t visited my own blog in a few months, and it was long since time to get some fresh info posted.

Needless to say, I was a bit shocked when I brought up my blog in my browser and had nothing displayed. Not “nothing” as in no posts, but nothing as in a blank white screen without even a directory listing. Quickly, I logged into my server via SSH and discovered to my chagrin that my entire blog directory had been wiped clean. As any good dev would do, once I regained my composure, I contacted my host to find out how something like this could have happened. They were fairly responsive and walked me through the restore process which proved to be its own challenge.

You see, the restore points are only kept for a handful of weeks, and it had been months since my last activity, so there were no longer any restore points available! So, swallowing the note of panic that had risen, I downloaded the newest version of WordPress and decided to start the manual restore process. As you can see, the software was able to sync with the database and update things appropriately, but I lost all the additional media pieces to which I have multiple posts. For example, I have done multiple Flash AS3 tutorials and motion studies in the past, and all the scripts to which my posts refer are gone. I’m going to have to look back through my archives and see how many of them I still have lying around when I have some time.

Anyway, I’m counting my blessings that I was able to restore the blog in general, and though I don’t have my theme or all my plugins back in place yet, I can at least get back to business.

So, where does Google+ fit into all this? Well, I have been impressed with how smoothly integrated Picasa picture sharing and other Google items are for sharing links and other elements from across the web, and I thought I would do my part to spread the word. I decided to take about 15 minutes yesterday and integrate the +1 button for Google+ into the theme here. You’ll notice the little share link at the bottom of each post, and with the integrated WordPress API, even on the main page, it was extremely easy to set up links for each post.

All in all, the crash of my blog was probably a good thing, since it forced me to look into my communication again. I have been working on some HTML5 canvas elements that I’ll be sharing soon, and I’ll do my best to stay active with both my technical and photography interests. Thanks for your patience as I start working to get my blog back into shape!

Garth Henson
Garth is as a lead engineer at The Walt Disney Company, specializing in JavaScript applications.

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