.......................... 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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