Google has just launched a new App for Android phones and tablets as well as Iphone and Ipad. It is a content aggregator service that allows you to optamize your web content for smaller touchscreen devices. I found a few photographers on there from over on google plus, I learned of the launch from Trey Ratcliff from www.StuckinCustoms.com via his Twitter feed.
I spent a couple of hours submitting my website and my wife’s website to Googlefor inclusion in the new Currents App last night. The first problem I had was trying to find a way to access the site. It did not come up on searches for the most part, so after a 15 or 20 minutes of messing with search terms I found it.
So to start you go to www.google.com/producer
After logging in with your Google ID you are set to begin
You will need to find your rss feed address. to do this you first go to your website in your browser click the view tab and select source
Once the window opens with the html source code click on the edit tab and select find
When the search window opens enter RSS in the search field and click next
the search will highlight the rss reference in the source code. Make sure that you do not use the comments rss, it will not deliver any content to your edition. In the photo above the wrong text is highlighted, it should be the one above it that says www.lovingsimpleliving.com/feed/ so your should look like WWW.yoursitename.com/feed/.
Copy and paste this address into the rss section of the google currents page as shown below.
After this I had trouble, I was not able to scroll down with the mouse to click continue I had to hit the tab key to take me to the next dialog. You can also add your YouTube channel or account to Google Currents as well just insert your channel name in the space and it will sync it.
Once you click create you are taken to this screen where the real fun begins
Now you can edit how your Edition will appear on Google Currents. The First tab is for adding a name and description Here I have added a the title of my Wife’s website, loving Simple Living, I also added a description that she wanted. Next I uploaded an Edition Image that is displayed as the Icon for your Edition in Google Currents. The image has to be very small, in square format, somewhere between 64 and 128 pixels in width and height. Anything else will look bad. you can also add an edition Splash Image, I added one for my Edition but never saw it come up anywhere, so do what you like.
On this screen you can also choose whether or not to ask subscribers for their e-mail addresses and you can set up google analytics to track your views on here. I was only able to make it add these stats to my current site stats, it does show you the visits as views of a separate page so you can track you progress. In order to set up google analytics you will need to enter you google analytics tracking id It is usually in the form of UA-12345678-9 it can be found easiest by selecting the old version of google analytics at the top of the page then copying and pasteing the UA code into the blank in Google Currents Edition settings
Next we are on to the Sections tab
Here you can choose to add content, edit how it will look and see what it will look like on all the different devices. If you entered an rss feed at the very beginning it will show up here as your first section. By clicking on it in the left column you can edit how it appears to others, edit the section name and make changes to background colors.
After editing the name of your section, you can change how it will appear to your subscribers by choosing a layout option. You can choose which option you want and you will see how it will appear to subscribers on their devices. you can choose different formats for tablets and phones and you can also change the background color. To change the background color you need the hashtag formated color code for web, you can find them at http://www.web-source.net/216_color_chart.htm scroll down the correct codes for each color will be formated like this #808080, this is the code for neutral gray, the color I chose. I chose neutral gray because my Edition is mostly made up of photo, and neutral grey works well to make colors in photos look their best.
Now you can add other content by clicking on the other types of feeds. At first I added a separate photo feed, but then after looking at it on my phone I decided to stick to one section per addition. it seemed to clutter the screen. I also tried setting up a table of contents but that also seemed to clutter the Edition and make it look less attractive. So my advice would be to create separate editions for separate content.
Now comes the fun part, You get to verify that you are the owner of the sight that you are creating an edition for. It should be an easy process but, I found it difficult and harder than it needed to be. I will do my best to help you figure it out. The easiest should be to verify with Google Analytics. I originally pulled my content from my Feedburner Rss, and that got my content there but then when I went to verify my site it tried to verify feedburner instead of my site. So as long as you pull your feed like I showed you in the beginning you should be able to verify that way. If not they give you a few options that will also work but require a little more work. In the end I had to pull the html code from google analytics and insert it in the header of my website just above the close of the head section. shown in screen shot below
Once you have verified your site you can publish your content, as far as I can tell this sends your edition to Google for review. It took over a month for my wife’s edition to appear in the listings on the Currents App. My site is still pending as far as I can tell, the only communication that you receive is an email notifying you that the edition has been published.