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.......................... What to do on Google+ ..........................
..................... and how to make the most of it .....................

From what I've seen among most of my friends, Google+ often boils down to these steps:

1) Hear about Google+. Think "I don't want that, I've got Facebook."
2) One of your friends gets Google+. Think "Hang on, I want it now."
3) You are on Google+. Think "This is boring, nothing to do here."
4) Account lies dormant.

Does this sound like you? Well here's some ideas on how you can use Google+ as an interactive, involved, sharing medium where the only limits are your imagination and several million dollars of Google engineering.

1) Stalking

Because seriously isn't this what Facebook is good for? And Google+ is even better. You can be 'friends' with people you don't even know. Follow your favourite celebs like +Britney Spears, +Taylor Swift, +Barack Obama. Check out photos of hot model +Jessi June. Find out what's happening backstage at +Google Australia and what +NASA is up to these days.

Remember to look for the verified icon next to the name (it appears as a small grey tick sign in a circle). That way you can make sure who you are following is really who they say they are.

Google+ gives you a unique opportunity (like Twitter) to get in contact with people you never could in the physical world. Dying to score that interview with +Gotye .? Well send him a message.

2) Discussion

iPhone or Galaxy Nexus? Is Bradley Manning at fault? +Justin Bieber a god or a god-awful mistake? How does +Sheldon Cooper compare to +Barney Stinson?

Pick a topic, search it using the search bar, see what people are saying. Join a hangout! Make a new circle and add them to your list. Enjoy the +Macintosh Operations VS +Windows 8 NEWS debate in real-time.

Remember when posting on a public post to tag the author or other relevant people. This way your comment will stand a better chance of being answered.

I can recommend some good discussions started by people like +Robert Scoble, +Adam Boland and +Dan Patterson. But by all means start your own. Tag some people to get them involved and you're away.

What if people aren't listening to what you have to say? Well maybe you need to start with some listening yourself. Add a lot of people to your circles, then start commenting on what they post. You've got to give a little before ye can receive.

3) Sharing

Find a funny picture? An interesting fact? A fun word game? A useful post?

Share it around. I have an entertainment circle on Google+ specifically for amusing photos. I can recommend +Nathan Statz, +Nicola Deiana and +Lamarr Wilson for starters. But remember if you find a bunch of people who post awesome stuff, share that circle with the rest of us.

Not only that, share what YOU do as well. Are you an artist like +Ardith Goodwin? A musician like +Alanis Morissette? A photographer like +Trey Ratcliff? A geek like +Veronica Belmont? An actor like +Hugh Jackman or +Felicia Day?

Share your work, add like-minded people to circles and begin sharing around. Just do a search for 'musician' and you will see a host of results pop up. There's already a great following of photographers, but maybe you could start the next Writers group with +Wil Wheaton.

4) Information

In the day and age of the Social Network, some are saying the middleman has been done away with. It's definitely true that news often breaks on Twitter first these days, but Google+ is beginning to catch up. And the added benefit is that with more than 140 characters comes some actual depth to the story.

+Breaking News, +ABC, +Reuters, +Al Jazeera English, take your pick. Follow the news as it breaks.

5) Projects

If you have a great idea for a BIG project (and I mean big because Google+ is WORLDWIDE BABY) then get it out there. I remember when someone started the whole #foodporn thread, the Sydney Photo Walk by +Giuseppe Basile, the +Thong Thursday page. I've done this before with my own Chain Story attempt.

If you don't have many follower to start, don't be disheartened. Get in contact with someone who might be interested and ask them to share it around for you. A well placed word in the ear of +Natalie Villalobos can get you very far.


Summary

I hope this has given you some idea of how to use Google+ more effectively. If you have any tips of your own, be sure to comment and share this around. Remember we're all learning this together.

#google+ #googleplustips #howto
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39 comments
 
I added SGplus to google chrome so I can see my twitter and fb feeds all on one social media google plus. I love it. I can comment like and reshare right from google +.
 
Thanks +Damon Meredith for this! I'll share it and I'm sure it will help some folks get started and help others to jump in and be more interactive.
 
I am just beginning to learn how much better Google+ is to Facebook:) Google plunked down some serious cash into this, and they didn't waste a penny in what they created. #googleftw
 
very helpful tips for new users like me :D Thanks!
 
150 shares and counting +Damon Meredith ...Congrats. I hope you inspire many to continue with G+. It has been a great platform for me..Looking forward to your future posts
 
Facebook is the new Myspace.
Facebook 2004-2012
Google Plus 2012 Present!
 
I find it is very barren. Just looking at the comments above ... there is no connection or progression to the discussion ... just 'great', 'good' etc. FB is much friendlier. I think G+ should show our comments on our wall to get others to join in. To me, G+ feels like posting in a vacuum. I've had this discussion with other friends that have both FB and G+ accounts and we're really trying to get G+ rolling ... but as there is so little feedback, we go back to FB.

(The only thing I can't stand about FB is the real-time ticker. To me, that's an invasion of privacy.)

Actually, to be truthful, I'm just avoiding my Christmas shopping. :)
 
I think the number one problem about G+ and why Facebook users go back to Facebook is the "Stalking" part. There is less content to "Stalk" on in G+, because the sharing of content is very targeted, only the people concerned get to view the content, unless it is public. This is actually what I like about G+, it makes sharing a lot more personal, and local to the people that are involved. It is however a double sided sword, as it gives the illusion that people are sharing less or using google+ less, since there is not as much content "peeking" on things that were not addressed to you, which Facebook is notoriously good for. I believe, with time, as more people slowly start using Google+, this won't be a problem, but for now, it is why people still like to use Facebook over Google+.
 
+Leslie Newton Polci I hear what you're saying, but I also have to say that on Facebook I hardly ever see progression to discussion either. I think one of the traps of social media is the overuse of the individual. Unless it's out of the ordinary, nobody really wants to know what you had for breakfast.

I think the problem is even more accentuated when you take it to G+. Suddenly it's not just your friends you're sharing it with, it's pretty much complete strangers, who would care even less about your breakfast. It's just a learning curve as we discover what kind of things we can post to engage.

We're all still learning, but with such a flexible platform I see great things in the future of G+. Different things to FB, but great things nonetheless.
 
Yes, there are those that post about their breakfasts and other exciting things :) , but I've found that my Aussie friends in particular will get into some great conversations about books, writing, ideas, politics, rights and ethics (I'm Cdn. ... we tend to talk about ... beer. I'm kidding. :)

I truly think that as we can't see what our friends are commenting upon, it's hard to make new friends, circles. It's a bit of a stab in the dark. And, I've never been interested in 'following' anybody, movie star or otherwise. I just like the news and social commentary. I guess I'm a bit of a fuddy duddy as I like to read the newspapers. :) Hence I guess Twitter would hold no appeal to me either.

I'll keep trying tho'! :)
 
I think part of the key to G+ +Leslie Newton Polci is search.

For example you say you are into news. If I was you this is how I would use google +

I would start by finding a news story I was interested in lets say australian government. I would then search for that in G+ and I would get posts relating to the australian government.

Inside those posts I would look for comments I found interesting or relevant and then look at the person who posted them a little closer by going to their profile. If I liked what I saw there or even if I just liked the post they contributed to the discussion I would put that person in a temporary circle based on that type of subject matter.

Over time I have built up quite a few different circles based on subject matter I am interested in filled with folks who have or do post things i find interesting relating to that subject.

What I just love about G+ is that now that i have built my circles up at any time i can filter results in my stream based on the subject I want to read about and almost without fail I will find something to read or discuss that interests me.

On facebook I dont get that. It seems to be a crap shoot. Sometimes i will find something interesting most times i will not. On G+ i can get something interesting every single time on nearly any subject and be talking with people about it right away.

Getting interaction also becomes easier when you mention the person you are responding to in your post by using a + then typing their name like this +Leslie Newton Polci . When you do that the person gets a notification that you have responded to them directly and it usually results in a reply so the discussion can continue.

Of course your millage may vary but this has worked so well for me that I never open facebook anymore unless i get an email notification from them. In fact G+ is now my first stop almost any time I sit in front of my computer.

Following here is not really the same as following on facebook in that people here have much better control over what others see so I dont get the stalker feel I get from facebook . On facebook I was very carefull with who I followed here I follow anyone that I find interesting knowing that they are in control of what I see and they dont have to worry about posting stuff they dont want me ( a complete stranger)to see.
 
its a shame u cant link g+ to facebook (all my friends r on it) :(
or can u.......
 
You can't merge the accounts without an addon but you can invite all your friends if you associate a Yahoo or Hotmail account with Facebook then link it to Google Plus. It'll grab all the emails of your friends and you can find who's already on Google Plus if they used that email on Facebook and you can invite everyone else.
 
Discussion and getting involved is what Google Plus does so well. Great thought and showed a way for newbie like my FB friends.
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