“Thank With Google” Is Coming to WordPress Soon

Mark Root-Wiley builds WordPress websites for nonprofits. He’s also a member of the Post Status community for WordPress professionals.

In the Post Status community, Mark recently shared some interesting changes he had seen in Google’s popular Site Kit plugin for WordPress. Apparently Google is about to launch a new “Thank With Google” payments option for WordPress sites. Mark found some Github issues that referenced the new project (#5366, #5365, #5364 ) and he shared these thoughts:

There is very little information I can find about the feature. This is the only thing on an official Google Site I see: “Thank With Google (Android only) allows en-US users to contribute free or paid digital stickers to sites where the creator has opted in. This appears in the App Menu and in the Follow Feed for enabled sites.” It’s like half reactions/half micropayments. Searching turns up some beta users, mostly DIY and recipe sites. It’s an interesting play. I can imagine how the company bringing you 80%+ of your traffic would be the one you turn to for monetizing it in ways beyond ads. I imagine the data they collect based on who’s making payments will get fed back into all sorts of other platforms.

You can click here to see images of this new feature. I’ve also added a key preview image below (the line across the image is in the original file).

One blogger described the service this way:

I am participating in the pilot program for Thank with Google which allows you to purchase a virtual sticker and directly show your appreciation for content on my website. Seeing the stickers you all send me truly makes me feel appreciated and inspires me to create more delicious recipes. Creating free content online can often feel like a thankless job, but I truly love it and the community we’ve built. Using the Thank with Google feature allows you to purchase a virtual sticker and directly show your appreciation for content on my website. You can feel more connected and engaged because you can express which posts are your favorite. I also love the personal messages you can send along with the paid stickers.

How One WordPress Agency is Supporting Indie Journalism

Blake Bertuccelli runs a WordPress agency called Decubing, based out of New Orleans. Blake recently announced that his agency will be donating 11% of their revenue to organizations that support independent journalism.

The first donation was to the Prison Journalism Project (PJP). The PJP migrated to Newspack in October 2021.

You can click here to read Blake’s announcement. I also asked Blake some brief questions about this move:

Hi Blake. Can you introduce yourself and Decubing?

In 2012, New Orleans’ only major newspaper sacked 200 employees. Two veteran editors tapped me to build an outlet for newly out-of-work journalists. We launched NolaVie (now ViaNolaVie). That project was the first major WordPress news site in New Orleans and led to a windfall of web design jobs that I coded under the name “Decubing Web Services.”

ViaNolaVie is a project of Tulane University. It’s a community-driven digital magazine packed with New Orleanian culture. WordPress provided a natural framework for the site’s highly searchable, taggable content generated by numerous authors.

What led you to focus on supporting indie media?

Indie media, by definition, puts out independent – radical – viewpoints. Radical viewpoints spur opinions and opinions matter. Every citizen must cast their opinion in the form of a vote. What better work can I do than help indie outlets inform new opinions? Beyond just our donation, we hope our 11% initiative inspires new opportunities to sustain the journalism that is the lifeblood of our free and open society.

What changes are you seeing in the media landscape at the moment?

Publications now love templates. Instead of building bespoke WordPress themes, our clients ask for pre-built solutions like Newspack. I celebrate that shift. Good templates lower the cost for smaller journals to publish, increasing the voices that build a better universe.

Create Magazines and Newspaper Issues in WordPress With PublishPress Series

One thing we all know about magazines is that they come out in issues. Normally, they have monthly or weekly issues with a selection of topical content. If you want to do that in WordPress, the best plugin is PublishPress Series.

The PublishPress Series plugin

Magazines organized content into issues because it’s valuable. Issues can be packaged up and sold. In many cases, serialized content isn’t packaged properly, making it confusing, even boring. But that won’t happen when you rely on PublishPress Series.

The PublishPress Series plugin can be accessed for Free via the WordPress plugins directory.

  • Go to the “Plugins” admin page, then click “add new” next to the title.
  • Perform a quick search for the PublishPress Series using the “Search Plugins” column. When the search results come out, do the installation, then activate the plugin.
Installing the PublishPress Series plugin
  • Go to “Posts” and then “Manage Series” in your WordPress admin area.
  • Enter the details of the series you want to display, including the name and a short description of the series.
Creating a new issue in the PublishPress Series plugin
  • When you edit posts, you can now add posts to your series, using the metabox in the image below:
Adding a post to the new series

This image below shows a post using PublishPress Series. This post is part of a series with 3 parts. Take a look at the image and you’ll see these features:

  • This entry is part 3 of 3: This helps readers locate the post in your series.
  • Series Navigation: This provides previous and next links.
  • List of posts: This shows a list of all the post in the series, together with a relevant image.
A post with all the PublishPress Series plugin frontend features

Once you’ve added posts to a series, you can then manage the whole series together. You can reorder content, revise the schedule, publish posts or unpublish posts. You do this via the “Publish Series” feature which is available under the “Posts” link in the WordPress admin area. In the image below, you can see the full “Publish Series” screen with 3 series waiting to be published:

Here are some of the features on this “Publish Series” screen that you can use to manage your series:

The Publish Series screen in the PublishPress Series plugin
  • Update order: This allows you to change the order of the posts in your series.
  • Publish all: Either publish the whole series now, or schedule it for the future.
  • Unpublish all: Instantly remove all the posts in the series from your site.
  • View series in admin: Allows you to browse all the posts in the series in your WordPress dashboard.
  • View series in frontend: Takes you to the visitors’ view of this series.

If you click on “Update order” you will be taken to the screen show in the image below. This feature allows you to drag-and-drop the posts in the Series into a new order. Take a look at the image below and you’ll see that movies are in wrong order.

Ordering posts on the Publish Series screen

You can select each row and drag and post into it’s correct position. You don’t have to use this screen. You can also select the order of posts via the main “Posts” screen and while editing each post in the series.

Re-Ordering posts on the Publish Series screen

Back on the main “Publish Series” screen, the “Publish all” button will also take you to a new screen. In the right sidebar, you can choose a publishing date for all the posts in this series.

Scheduling posts on the Publish Series screen

PublishPress Series Conclusion

The PublishPress Series plugin can organize various posts based on a specific topic or time. For example, you can collect content based on monthly editions or group articles based on similar topics. You can even split posts by chapter or specific episode but still keep them all strung together in a complete story. PublishPress Series is also available in a Pro version for more effective organization of complex content and issues.

Interviews with WordPress Publishers Covering LGBQT Issues

The Institute for Nonprofit News has just published interviews with 3 WordPress-based sites that cover LGBTQ issues. Click here to read the interviews.

Here’s a list the three sites. They’re all non-profits, and a couple of these launched very recently.

  • Yes Magazine: This is the most established publisher of the three. Their focus Explanatory journalism on environmental, economic, and social justice. They also have a printed magazine in addition to their WordPress site.
  • Prism Reports: Aims to record the experiences of people most impacted by injustice and started in 2019.
  • The Buckeye Flame: Covers Ohio’s LGBTQ population, and launched in 2020.

This quote below stood out to me. It explains why publishers like this are needed, and why journalists are launching these new publications:

“The idea is for us to use journalism to disrupt some of the really toxic and frankly, inaccurate narratives that are out there about our communities, and also to really uncover the injustices that are happening, and lift up the truth of what’s happening,”

Rappler Fights to Keep Producing Philippines News

WordPress-powered publisher Rappler is in the headlines itself this week as it fights to stay online. The Philippine government has ordered the site to shut down.

Rappler is a Philippine news website founded by Filipino journalists including Maria Ressa who won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. Rappler comes from the root words “rap” (to discuss) + “ripple” (to make waves). You can read their story and mission here.

Ressa shared the prize with a Russian journalist. They were the first working journalists to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 80 years. They won for their brave coverage of bad government in their home countries.

The Rappler started as a Facebook page in 2011 and evolved into a website on the next year. For years they have covered the corruption of President Rodrigo Duterte despite his fierce attacks on any journalists who disagreed with him. The Rappler team have a timeline of the government’s efforts.