Learning Google+ Socially

Google+So far I’ve spent time on Google+

  • creating circles and adding my contacts to them
  • sharing existing content on Google+
  • adding content that I thought might be interesting to people in my Circles

One of my challenges so far is that many of my clients and friends are not yet using or interested in using Google+.  If you’re interested, please send me an email and I will send you an invitation.

But today was a horizon-expanding day.  Why you ask?

Once a month I join two colleagues to participate in a social learning event.  We get together to share new web tools, apps and products that we have encountered in the previous month.

We have a great time catching up but most of all we have a blast learning from each other.  Social learning is one forum where everyone contributes.  We explore and experiment and share our learning as we sit together. Today is one great example of that.

Here’s a brief summary of what I learned about Google+ along with my colleagues.

My hope is that this will help others who are “on” Google+ but who feel overwhelmed by having to “learn” a new social media platform.

Google+ Hangouts

I think Hangouts take video calling to another level. Want to know why? You can invite as many people as you want to a hangout but a max of 10 people can be there at a time.  For a quick intro to hangouts, check out this video.

Making it work for you

  1. Scroll down your stream and on the right hand side of your page, you’ll see Start a Hangout.
  2. Click on it and then invite your friends to join in.

You can choose a circle or you can invite select people. Your choice.  Nice feature.

In a Hangout, you can watch YouTube videos as well as have a regular meeting or Hangout.  You can use the chat function as you watch a video (left side of page).  I’m not sure yet about screen sharing. If you know, please leave a comment.

Some other things you might want to know about Hangouts:

  • When you invite people to a Hangout, a post will appear in their stream telling them that there’s a hangout going on, along with all the people in that hangout currently.
  • If you invite less than 25 people, they’ll receive a notification. Over 25 and it appears in their Google+ stream.
  • To open the Hangout, you’ll receive an IM in chat with a live link

Hangouts demonstrate greater sharing possibilities than Skype – because of the video capability and because of the ability to invite multiple people. With Skype, conferencing calling is a Premium account feature.

Twitter and Google+

During our social learning time, we found a great browser extension that allows you to add Twitter to your Google+ account.  Grab the Google+ Twitter extension here.  At this point, you cannot send your Tweets to Google+ – I think that’s still in the planning phase in the Google+ project.  Look forward to that in the future.

Making it work for you

You have to download and install the browser extension. Head back to Google+ and refresh. You’ll see a new (Twitter) icon beside your Home icon. Click on it, sign in with Twitter, it will sync and then click on Go! You’ve now integrated Twitter into Google+.

You can send your Google+ updates to Twitter by selecting I want Tweet my G+ post automatically!”

There’s still a lot more to explore in Google+.  I suggest that you get together with a friend or colleague so you can explore together. You learn more and you can enjoy the adventure together.

I’d love it if you would take a moment and tell me about your Google+ adventure so far. Can you see yourself using it in the future?

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Web copywriter, lover of words, WordPress workshop facilitator. When I'm not writing, I am gardening, drinking coffee or letting my cat lounge on my lap.

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One comment on “Learning Google+ Socially
  1. Ruth Maude says:

    I love how you described our social learning time as “a horizon-expanding day”. What a perfect description! It was fun learning with you both. Now I feel ready to start using G+

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