I joined the Google+ universe back in July 2011 soon after its launch, when I was completely fed up with Facebook and their constant policy changes. At the time, there was all this buzz about how Google+ was the harbinger of Facebook’s impending decline, and would take over as the social network everyone would migrate to. Well, we all know how that turned out.
I moved platforms mainly because of privacy concerns, and thought there might be some respite with Google. So much for that. Looked like Google+ was an even bigger cause for concern than Facebook. In no time, they managed to automatically integrate Google+ with your entire Google account.
I decided to join specific groups instead of individuals because I am not looking to Flickr as a source for photographs, since all the visual content (as of now) on my site will be my own — photographs/sketches/illustrations. I hunted through a lot of groups for illustrators/children’s books, and finally included 3 whose photo streams had comparatively less junk/irrelevant material than some others. Unfortunately, that is an issue with content on Flickr groups; people aren’t always discerning about what they tag and where they upload their content.
I like sites that have a clean, uncluttered appearance and are easily navigable. Since I don’t have too many elements for my planned website, I can afford to have a more minimalist approach. One of the main factors I am looking for in a template is that it should be fairly customizable. I have a tendency to tweak a lot, and it would be good if I could get some results without having much coding knowledge.
The three free themes that I found which I think can work for me are:
1) Yasmin — It’s got a very simple interface, and is well organized. A large image slider can display visual content prominently and the navigation links and widgets are well-placed and clear.
2) Workality — Great layout options for displaying visual and written content; quite customizable
3) Portfolio Press — Straightforward, responsive tiled portfolio layout.
If I actually spent money on a template, my top pick would be the Flexible theme– great layout style; neat and unique blog format, customizable and responsive.
Update: Just discovered a rather nifty site which is archiving all the event data as it happens.