Saturday, July 16, 2011

Tips and information on Google+

After trying out Google+ for a little more than 2 weeks, I'm starting to get the hang of it.

First Look at Google+ (G+)

Design: It looks and feels like a Google product, all white and clean looking. Even the Google+ application looks clean.

Usability: Google+ is not like Google Wave, filled with tons of things you can do. Its essentially simple and clean. Here are the following features:

For Mobile + Web
- Home (Stream) - Nothing new, like Facebook news Feeds.

- Huddle - Huddle is basically a group-texting feature for the Circles you create.

- Photo - The photo editor is essentially Facebook photos but with a photo editor. It’s quick and well-organized, making it a welcome addition to Google+.

- Profile - Google+ Profiles essentially port the existing data on your Google Profile. Nothing new here.

- Circles - Much easier to use than Facebook friend list or Twitter lists. Drag and drop feature is fantastic!

- Notifications - Tells you updates which may concern you. Similar to Facebook Updates.

Web only

- Hangouts - Hangouts is one of the more innovative concepts of Google+, it’s a cool approach to getting users to accept group video chat. The camera switching feature (it changes who’s on camera based on who’s talking) is far superior to having multiple video feeds open at the same time. That said, it will require users checking their Google+ streams every day for potential chats to join. This is indeed better the Skype!

- Sparks - Google created a recommendation engine! It’s designed to augment Google+, and if it works as Google designed it, it will create winners and losers in the publishing world, making Google +1 buttons actually matter.


Google is opening invites to more people, I was able to use the different features more.

What I like about Google+

Circles: The drag and drop feature using HTML5 is indeed great and user friendly. Instead of mass conversations happening, Google puts the communication back in the different overlapping circle of friends.

It makes a lot of sharing more relevant and targeted, and your friends will feel less "spammed" as the information is more relevant to them.

Hangout: The video chat thing is indeed awesome. Its what I've been wanting on Skype, and I was surprised that Google actually came out with it first. It will be a killer app if there is critical mass, but I feel that it might become a novelty as I've done 2 great chats, and could not get friends to "Hang out" even with 100+ friends.

Spark: Content discovery through the "+1" is a very cool thing. Just like Facebook Likes, but for Google, it can recommend you things as well as you log in your Google Profile and use the search.


Will Google+ make way for more spam emails?

I feel that with Google+, certain information for Chain emails can be just shared with Google+. Now, with your GMAIL, you can share content from your emails directly!

I think this is a step up from the chain emails and mass mails which get deleted or filtered most of the time. Hopefully, marketers can use this to share information with people, and not use the mass mailing. Since people are already sharing information on Facebook, I think eventually, we may get less spam email, and hopefully "relevant" information on our G+ streams.

This way, instead of email marketing, with G+, it may now become social media sharing, and as people can be segmented in different groups, this may make the information you share more targeted and hopefully, getting more views.


So if you have read about the exciting features, but have not started to use G+, here are a few tips to get started:

1) Start by finding people you know
2) Then find people you don't know. (Simply type their names in the "Find People" box and you can follow these famous people.
3) Get your circles organized. (Segment your friends, overlap is ok)
4) Fill in your Google Profile
5) Follow some folks from Google?
6) Comment and interact with the interesting content.
7) Set up Sparks. (Will help you get interesting content you like)
8) Join Hangouts
9) Check out Suggestions, add them to different circles as you wish.
10) View the different stream and circles to get different content.
11) Create a GPlus account (go to
12) Invite friends and family.

I hope you find this information useful, if you find more uses and cool things about Google+, feel free to contact me or add me to your Google+ (

-- Robin Low

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