Today, sharing information has become second nature thanks to a long list of online social services. One often underused service that can make a big difference in terms of time-saving is Google's free personal profile page.
A Google Profile can be set up easily and will develop into something you'll wonder how you ever did without. It's a handy business card, personal launchpad/start page and bookmark service all in one.
Here are handy tweaks to make your really Google Profile work for you:
You need a Gmail account of course, and I recommend registering a name you’d prefer in your profile URL; for example http://google.com/profiles/XXXXX
When later linked to your free Google Reader, this will automatically be your site name, i.e., "XXXXX Shared Items on Google Reader."
1. Using Sidewiki
My Google Profile has come alive with Sidewiki. My profile isn’t merely a convenient launchpad, it’s become a blog and sharing station all in one.
2. Gmail Widget
You can use a Firefox add-on called Blank Canvas Gmail Signatures and then embed your Google Profile at the end of each email you send. This way, people can get a better idea of what you're about, especially if your Google Profile is really slick.
3. Google Reader Shared Items
I’ve set up my Sidewiki with Google Reader, so you’ll find you’re able to use your Google Reader Shared Items ‘blog’ more intuitively too. Toggle on the setting to show Google Reader Shared Items when you set up your Google Profile.
4. QR Codes in Place of Photos
This is a bit of fun but could be really handy. Upload QR Codes for your sites and then they may be used to reference other links. QR Codes can be scanned by cell phones and then reveal links to Web pages.
Your Google Profile will normally display a sort of slideshow of pictures from Flickr or Picasa. By loading QR Codes on these services, you may add an extra dimension to your profile. (A bit geeky but loads of fun)
5. 'About' Becomes a Favorites List
Tweak your About Me section of your profile to display your favorite links. This adds value to your Google Profile, making it a basic online bookmark service.
Other people viewing your Google Profile might be impressed that you read and link to Greenpeace or the Chinese Daily News.
6. Launchpad to Profiles
My profiles list is an extreme example of what you can do, with about 200 online profiles in alphabetical order.
Tech savvy Internet users have a long list of online profiles. Many basic Internet users also have at least one or two of these profiles by virtue of online memberships that offer these automatically for free.
Your Google Profile can be used to group and sort all of these online profiles.
This is a great plus (for me) and although it's bit of work, it's worth it. Your Google Profile will automatically search for your online profiles too!
Click the image below, taken of my profile, to see these recommendations in action.