Google+ is Google's version of Facebook. It is not the same and yet it is. Let me explain. You can post something, people can comment on it, +1 it (G+ equivalent of a LIKE), or you can share it with your friends or on the public timeline.
It is ideal for photographs, video clips, and plain old blog post links amongst other things. The timeline is sequential. That means a post that was made ten minutes ago, won't show up on my timeline nineteen hours later. It also means that to make best use of the platform, you have to post four to five times per day in various time slots for your post to be seen.
Tagging people is simply a matter of adding a plus in front of their profile names, and there you go. In my case it would be +Linzé Brandon. Now you don't have to figure out how to do the é, by the time you have typed Linz, a list would have appeared from where you could pick my name. (I have to be connected to you for my name to be in the list.)
In G+ you can choose the kind of connections you have with people. They are called Circles, and you can create your own to separate your friends, colleagues, family members, and online connections. You can create many categories, but it is easier to keep the list short and descriptive.
You can follow businesses, or famous people, as it is unlikely that you will befriend a business. Following is another Circle which is a default option on your profile.
As with Facebook, you can have a Page (which acts the same way as a website/public domain site) and a personal profile. Be careful that you always check how you share posts. The default setting may not be your intended audience. You can choose to share only to specific Circles.
G+ Hangouts are like chatrooms. You can invite people to join in your discussion, and it won't show on the public timeline. Check the Hangout settings, if you want to limit the number of people in the conversation, or who can invite others.
Groups can be fun. Writers' groups, readers groups, photography groups, you name it there could be one for you to join. Or start your own.
Hashtags can be used with posts to allow for searches on certain topics. As with Twitter, people can sometimes go overboard with the number of tagged words, or the content of a tagged word - #usingmanywords in one. These are not recommended as they are difficult to search for. Keep to simple words, such as #blog or #blogging, #write, #read and so on.
Tips on finding friends, or following back:
- Check their profiles and the kinds of posts they make. Not a real person in the profile pic? Don't follow. Nothing posted? Don't follow. Social media sites have almost no limits on what people can post, so you have to be careful of fake profiles to get followers.
- If the person has a Western style name, and a profile picture of an Asian woman (and that happens a lot!) don't follow. Male subscribers are notorious for using pictures of Asian models.
- As with all social media sites, NEVER post your telephone number, your address or any other personal information. Businesses are a different matter, but that information is expected if they want potential customers to find them.
Google+ is not as big as Facebook in the number of subscribers, but it is certainly easy to use and rapidly growing in popularity as a social media platforms.
See you tomorrow!
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