Why I’m Using Google Plus More and More

With the advent of Google+ and other nifty social networks, I’ve found I’ve been blogging less and less, yet writing more and more. Well, let me be more clear about this–I’ve been blogging less and less to a “traditional” blog. As I’m usually always logged in to Google and can easily access its rich suite of tools, I am still blogging–just in a different venue. I find I’m using G+ as a way to blog more often and more consistently. It’s so handy and so easy.

If you are still wondering what the heck Google+ is, I advise to just jump in and try it out. Test it with your husband, your kids, your friends–whatever–to see how it works and how you might use it. The main stumbling block, I think, is getting the hang of circles. Even I, sometimes, need to think things through.

The main thing to remember is that you can share content with a person (just like email, so here is one way you can get rid of the email monster), with one or more of your circles that you create, with the public, and/or with a G+ Community. Other people cannot view who is in your circles.

The only posts you can view in your G+ Stream (Home page) are public ones and from people who have added you to one of their circles or of course responses from private messages you have sent. (You can always send someone a message in G+ as long as you know their email address.)

Describing these processes is much more difficult than just getting in there and seeing how it works. One of the confusing aspects for some people is sharing posts publicly. This simply means your posts are visible to anyone who is following you or added you to one of their circles. If you are a member of a G+ Community and share your post publicly, it will NOT appear in the G+ Community Stream. That is because a Community is like a circle–you need to specifically share your content with that community. Think of it–communities would not display all public posts!

Another cool thing you can do with circles is of course just view that circle’s activities. Just like going to a G+ Community to view the posts and comments, you can click any of your circles in your Home page and view content from just that circle. Let’s say I wanted to view content posted from a Small Group Circle I have created in one of my courses. I go to my Home page, click, the “More” tab at the top and locate my circle.

Filtering Content by Circles

Of course, one of the most powerful features in any Google product is the ability to search. In G+, you can search for content based upon the person’s name and any other criteria. Let’s say, for instance, I wanted to locate a post I’d written about Clarify-it. Using the search box in Google+, I enter the keywords Clarify-it and “barbara schroeder.” I obtain the following results:

search results

I can also save any searches.

So, my advice to you is to give Google+ a chance. Try it out for a couple of weeks and let it grow on you. Try using it to communicate instead of always using email. (I’ll be writing a post about why I think G+ is better than email.) I really, really think you will like it and maybe even consider deleting your Facebook account. (I have.)

As always, thanks for reading and feel free to post your comments by clicking the “Comment” link under the title at the top of this post. If I’ve made any errors or you have discovered other tips about circles and sharing in G+, please let us know.

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