Many people have already tried Google Currents on their smartphones and tablets. It is obviously Google’s attempt to challenge the mobile reading market. While many users opined that Google Currents is similar to its competitors like Flipboard, Pulse, Zite, etc. and did not really stand out from them. However, ther is one less talked about feature that got my attention: Google Currents Producer.
Google Currents Producer is a tool for all content providers to create their publications for Google Currents users to read. I said “all” because everyone can do it, even if you are a not-so-popular blog owner. Let us see how this function works.
Google Currents Producer – Create Your First Edition
On the main page of Google Currents (http://www.google.com/producer/currents), click “Publish to Google Currents”.
You would be asked to provide some basic information of your new “Edition”. The easiest way to create an Edition is to import the RSS feed of your blog or web site. You can also enter the name of your YouTube channel if you want to create a video-oriented Edition.
You will then enter more details, including an icon and a custom splash image. As the publisher you can choose to collect reader’s email address. This means that people must opt-in by providing their email addresses before they could get your Edition. You can also add Google Analytics code to track the traffic. You can instantly preview the Edition as on Android phone, tablet, iPhone and iPad.
Your content could be divided into different sections. Apart from RSS feed and YouTube video, you can put photos, articles, social updates (including your Google+ updates) as well. The order of sections could be re-arranged.
When you are finished with customizing the Edition, click “Distribute”. You can preview the Edition on your smartphones and tablet using logging in using the publishing account. Click “Distribute to Google Currents” and choose a publishing date to pas it to the hands of your readers. My Edition looks like this on Android phone:
While Google Currents in its existing form still needs improvements on performance, user interface, etc. I see Google Currents producer as a handy tool for individual publishers to extend their readership. It could help bloggers to explore the market because they have an extra channel to be known. The ability to import from RSS feeds, YouTube channels and Google+ updates makes publishing as simple as re-using existing content.