+1'd comment on post by Edward Morbius in Google+ Mass Migration
1. Why was 'originalContent' removed from Google+ Stream Posts JSON data, and can it be added back to the Takeout data? Early on (at least around 2013) Takeout archives had significantly different data in their JSON, in a structure that more closely matched the format documented in the Google+ API and the google-api-client (at least the one written in Ruby). The current format however differs greatly, especially w.r.t. Access Control Lists (Acl), and especially lacks the 'originalContent' data, which contained the content of the Activity (the generic resource name for Posts and other content on G+) as it was originally submitted, rather than only the HTML-formatted data in the 'content' key. I understand the need for refactoring the Acl datastructure to account for new Acl settings for for instance Collections, however I don't quite understand why the originalContent data was removed? I would highly appreciate this data being added back. Why? Google+'s HTML formatted text didn't always reflect the intended original formatting, especially in the early days. G+'s forced auto-linking of text containing @signs also has a tendency to make non-account references (especially Mastodon profile addresses, e.g. @ FiXato @ mastodon.social (without spaces) would get changed to +) illegible. tl/dr (1): please add the unformatted, original source post bodies (originalContent) back to the Google+ Stream Posts Takeout archives data 2. What will happen to other platforms that still offer some form of integration with Google+, Blogger in particular? Some other platforms still offer integration options with G+, in particular your own blogging platform Blogger/Blogspot comes to mind. Blogger for instance offers the options to use Google+ for top-level comments and to automatically share the new entries to Google Plus. Important to note though is that at least 4 of the 'Help' links regarding Google+ Comments inside Blogger are no longer working: = https://www.blogger.com/go/private-blog-disabled (Help link for Settings/Basic/Blog Readers/"Google+ Comments enabled") = https://www.blogger.com/go/gpluscommentshelp ("Learn More" link for Settings/Posts, Comments & Sharing/"Use Google+ Comments on this blog") = https://www.blogger.com/go/gplussharehelp ("Learn More" link for Settings/Posts, Comments & Sharing/"Auto-share new published posts to your Google+ profile") = https://www.blogger.com/go/gplustabhelp ("Learn More" link for Settings/Posts, Comments & Sharing/Share to Google+/"Associating your blog") 2a. what will happen to comments on Blogger articles that were submitted using the Google+ Comments system? Will you offer an option to convert them into Blogger-native comments, will they turn into read-only legacy G+ comments, or will they just disappear completely after Google+ has been shutdown? 2b. what will happen to the automatic Share To Google+ option for new Blogger articles? Will it be replaced with new auto-share options, or just silently disappear? 2c. what will happen to Blogger blogs that currently have Google+ set as User Profile? (Settings/User Settings/General/User Profile) tl/dr (2): please allow for conversion of Google+ Comments on Blogger articles to native Blogger Comments, and list other platforms affected by GPlus' shutdown, and fix help links on Blogger. 3. What will happen to Google+ Pages aka sub-account profiles. This is rather related to the previous section of questions, as it's mostly about integration with other platforms, but due to its potential impact, I decided to list it separately. Within your Google/Google+ main profile, you were allowed to create Google+ Pages, which were/are basically stand-alone sub profiles which (theoretically) shouldn't be publicly traceable to your main profile. As such, quite some users opted to create one or more of these, to separate their online identities, especially during the early days when the Real Name Policy was still in effect, as Pages were not necessarily affected by the Real Name Policy. Especially during the forced YouTube/Google+ integration, one of the options was to create a Google+ Page for your YouTube channel, and bind your YouTube account to that, rather than the main Google Profile. Myself, as well as likely a sizeable amount of other YouTube users, picked this option, rather than to bind it to my main Google Profile, or to create a new Google Profile. Currently my main YouTube channel is still linked to my Google+ Page. What will happen to these Pages and YouTube accounts? Within Blogger as well, you have the option to post from your Google+ Page identities, as well as to auto-share to your Google+ Page identity. Will you continue to be able to switch to these Pages (sub-)accounts from within your main Google profile, even after Google+ has shut down? Will there be a migration option to turn them into full-blown, stand-alone, Google profiles? Or will they disappear completely? tl/dr (3): what will happen to Google+ Pages, and their use as login accounts for YouTube and Blogger? Is there a migration path? 4. Why haven't we been contacted by e-mail yet about the upcoming Google+ Sunset? The Google+ Sunset was first announced as a side-note on the Google Security blog, even before it was announced by the +Google+ Google+ account. Neither of these are sources every Google+ user typically reads. Most of us heard the news through third parties like other Google+ users, or news media outlets. However, this still does not cover all Google+ users. Even yesterday a friend of mine had to hear of the imminent shutdown from me, as it wasn't as widely spread in the news in the Netherlands, as it apparently has been in Google's home, the USA. So, why haven't Google+ users been shown the courtesy yet of being contacted about this important change via the e-mail account(s) associated with their accounts and Pages? tl/dr (4): Bring all of your user-base up-to-speed ASAP via a form of contact that is most likely to get their attention: e-mail. 5. Long filenames get cropped in the Google Takeout Archives: please add a metadata file that provides mappings from their shortened filename to their original filename Currently files with long filenames will get shortened to for instance "Cropped Filena(1).jpeg", resulting in a loss of metadata, as the original filename can no longer be restored. A simple metadata file which provides the original full filename for each shortened filenames, would solve this issue. It could be as simple as a plain text file with on each line: /path/to/Cropped Filena(1).jpeg: /path/to/Cropped Filename That Was Too Long.jpeg Though preferably a JSON file which not only contains the original and cropped filenames, but also an array of the Activity resources and other files in the archive it's associated with (such as relevant photo.metadata.csv and post.json files). tl/dr (5): provide a file that maps the cropped filepaths to their original filename/-path, and ideally also the other files in the archive it's associated with. *6. Provide tools and documentation for the Google+ Takeout Archives Currently the Google+ Takeout data (and Takeout data in general) is undocumented. (If there actually is documentation, it's too well-hidden). There also are no ready-made tools, such as commandline filter tools or scripting language libraries, available to read in the data for easy filtering and processing. Providing detailed documentation including what keys are always provided, which ones can optionally be expected (and in which situation), and what data type the values have (String, Integer, Time/Date/DateTime (and which (ISO) format), is paramount. Providing data model libraries for popular (scripting) languages such as Ruby, Python, Go, JS, C#, which can be used to load in the Takeout archive files, would come a long way towards helping users migrate their data to other alternatives. tl/dr (6): Please provide documentation and libraries to help process the Takeout data 7. Circles data is very limited Google+ Circles Export currently only contains: First Name, Last Name, Nickname, Display Name, and Profile URL This data is a small fraction of what is available to us currently on Users' profile pages. The Profile URL will likely become useless when Google+ is shutdown. Ideally this takeout will contain all data that is currently available to you (depending on the target user's visibility settings): Profile info: = First = Surname = Nickname = Display name as = Banner photo = Profile photo Personal contact info: = Phone number(s) = E-mail address(es) = Chat contact(s) details =Address(es) Work Contact Info = Phone number(s) = E-mail address(es) = Chat contact(s) details =Address(es) Work history = Company listing(s): == Name == Title == Start date == End date == Description Gender, date of birth and more: = Gender = Birthday (taking into account whether "Show year" is toggled or not) = Occupation Story =Tag line = Introduction (retaining rich text formatting) Skills = List of skills Link to album archive Education: = School/universities attended: == Name of school == Main course/field of study == Start date == End date == Description Sites: == Link(s) === Title === URL == Other profile(s): === Title === URL == Contributor to: === Title === URL === Current? toggle Especially the Sites data is paramount for users seeking to find their former followers / people they followed on new platforms. tl/dr (7): Add all missing profile information to Google+ Circles Takeout data 8. List of Followers: Maybe I've missed it, but I haven't been able to find a list of people who are following me yet, in the Takeout archives. This should ideally contain the same data as the above revised data for Circles. tl/dr (8): Add list of Followers along with their metadata, to the Takeout archive. 9. Why was the shutdown announced before the implications of it were clearly mapped out, and could be announced publicly? The way this was announced as side-note in a security blog, makes me wonder if this announcement was perhaps premature, and that not all implications w.r.t. integrations were actually clear yet. It would've been nice if there was more information to us from the start, as it would've resulted in less fear, uncertainty and doubt. — Dear +Google+: We're inviting you to comment to the G+MM community on what if any plans, commitments, capabilities, migration support, etc., Google are planning. My view has been that if Google don't provide some clarification within the first month of the announced shutdown, there's likely to be little if any support. There are three days left in that first month. The Google+ profile has not posted in three weeks, and its recent posts are locked against comments. I've reached out previously to Google directly through its press contact, with follow-up requests, specifically for Ben Smith, VP Engineering, or someone within his group to speak to G+MM. That request stands and is renewed here. As one of the moderators of this 3,000+ member community (all joined since 8 October 2018), we're very much hoping to hear from you, and soon. Normally our format is an Ask me Anything, but at the very least, and even if you don't have solid plans or schedules, we'd like to know what's in the cards, especially the following: Information on any features or capabilities of G+ to be disabled in advance of the final shut-down date. Presumably new-account formation will be among these, possibly new Community formation. The former is fairly understandable, the latter might be useful even at a late date in the migration for on-platform planning. Post-sunset availability of the G+ website itself. Will profiles and content still be Web-accessible? There's a substantial and long-lived set of content here, and a complete shutdown would be highly disruptive. Post-sunset access to users' Google+ data via Data Takeout. It's quite likely that not all users will have attempted, or succeeded, in creating and offloading their Google+ content. If it will still be able to create archives past the sunset date, this would be exceptionally useful information to have. Tools for migrating Google+ data to new platform(s). Numerous present G+ users would like to be able to migrate their personal posts, comments, photos, and other content to new platforms, likely to include other major social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, SmugMug/Flickr, etc.), blogs (Wordpress, Dreamwidth, Blogger, Medium, etc.), and the emerging universe of open and federated platforms. These archives will almost certainly contain non-public data which could be at best embarrassing, and potentially personally catastrophic or worse, if made public. Tools for safely and responsibly handling large data archives are lacking, and the present instructions and data structures within the Google+ elements of Google Data Takeout fail to adequately support this process. We are aware of third-party efforts to create migration tools, including from G+MM members, and Tim Berners-Lee of Solid who has begun work on a G+ Data Takeout migration tool. What specific steps, tools, instructions, and data format changes are Google planning to ensure that this process is effective, efficient, responsible, and respectful of privacy? Further, are Google now taking steps to work with both proprietary and Free Software projects to provide for import tools? Present G+ users will need to store their G+ data takeouts prior to migration elsewhere as well as for some time afterward to ensure full restoration. One of the available storage options is Google Drive, and at the very least, holding G+ data on Google Drive should not change the security risks appreciably over their initial Google-based storage. The size of some archives will push many users over the free service tier of Google Drive capacity. Will Google commit to providing indefinite free storage of Google+ Data Takeout archives on Google Drive without registering the data storage against other user limits? Use of Google Drive also presents an opportunity for Google to provide on-system access and management of G+ Data Takeout archives. Given this, will Google commit to providing native tools for viewing, searching, filtering, extracting, and exporting Google+ archives from within Google Drive, including at least post, comment, image, video, collection, and contact data, as well as for distinguishing public from non-public content, and providing for export to leading endpoints including Facebook, Diaspora, Friendica, Markdown, and a standard minimally complex HTML format, with batch-process (rather than individual item) capabilities? (There are likely other elements I'm omitting from this list and I invite G+MM members to suggest other needs, say, HOA, chat, events, or other G+ features which may be of interest in preserving.) G+ specialised in image presentation and was immensely popular amonst photographers. Classification of photographs, and in particular, sorting through photographic archives is a challenging task, particularly at volume. Google have considerable experience in image processing and recognition. Will Google commit to providing descriptive search capabilities to photo and image collections, as well as other descriptive characteristics such as date, size, format, and EXIF metadata, for searching, organising, selecting, and exporting image collections? Naturally, the sensitive information which may result from such analysis should be limited in access to the archive's owner only and not be provided or made available to any other parties. Google Communities were a major feature of Google+ and range in size to millions of members, with over 5 million communities created. There is presently no mechanism for exporting G+ communities as a whole in any format. This might be of value to either community owners in reconstituting the community elsewhere, or to members wishing to retain access to years worth of contributions. Will Google commit to providing tools for Community owners and members to export G+ Community posts and texts in a useful format? Thank you.