Getting Started With Google+

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I can tell what most people think when they hear someone say Google+. “What? Another social network?” “Nobody uses Google+” “I already have a Facebook or Twitter account, I can’t handle another social network?” While these are valid questions, they are not without their faults. Google+ is not another social network. Google is adding a social layer to the Google products you already use like Search, Youtube, Drive, and Gmail. This post will break down the basics of getting started with Google plus by creating your profile, sharing your first post, and finding people to add to your circles.

Step 1: Create your profile

Let’s start with what you need to do to get ready to use Google+. Your Profile. You should start with a photo, of you. Google wants you to be a person, so you should upload or take a picture of yourself. Find a picture of you. You also want to put something in your Cover Photo spot. Don’t leave it with that green blank thing Google puts there. If you don’t complete your profile, it looks like you don’t care enough about using Google plus and you won’t get followed. You can use the same cover photo you use for Facebook or create a new one. Either a single photo or a collage. Picmonkey is great for making a collage. Continue reading

Introducing Google+ For FCS

Google+, a social network operated by Google, launched on June 28th, 2011 with integrations across a number of Google products, including Youtube and Profiles, has come to FCS. Beginning today, you may use Google+ with your FCS Google account credentials and begin sharing and posting content. We have not enabled Google+ for students.

One key element of Google+ is a focus on targeted sharing within subsets of your social group, which are what Google calls Circles. Circles are simply small groups of people that you can share to, each with names like friends, family, classmates and co-workers. Get started by following interesting people.

Also within Google+, Google has created a section specifically for viewing, managing and editing multimedia. The photo tab takes a user to all of the photos he or she has shared, as well as the ones he or she is tagged in. It’s not just photo tagging, though: Google+ includes an image editor (complete with Instagram-like photo effects), privacy options and sharing features.

Another feature that’s widely discussed is “Hangouts,” Google’s new group chat feature. Instead of directly asking a friend to join a group chat, users instead click “start a hangout” and they’re instantly in a video chatroom alone. At the same time, a message goes out to their social circles, letting them know that their friend is “hanging out.” Friends can then join the hangout as long as they have been placed in a circle that was invited by the person who created the Hangout. Inside of a Hangout, you can work on a Google Doc together, share what’s on your screen, or watch a Youtube video together. To read how other educators are using Hangouts in the classroom, click here or here.

Google+ communities are places for people to get together and talk about the interests they share. Learn how to join an existing community or create a new one. Continue reading