launched in June of 2011 with a lot of hype, however it seemed like it didn't really catch on in the mainstream. From the onset, it appeared as though Google was trying to create a platform that would compete directly with Facebook. However over the last year or so Google+ has evolved into a platform that allows users to connect in communities based on common interest rather than on friendships. Although I don't think Google+ will ever pass Facebook in amount of active users looking at cat videos, it is certainly worth your time. There are some excellent features that make it very easy to use! Here is a list of some resources to learn a little more about Google+:
What the Plus!
If you are new to Google+, or have an account but have no idea what to do with it, you should seriously consider reading What the Plus? by Guy Kawasaki. Guy does a great job in running through how to setup your profile, how to setup circles and streams, comment, share posts, how to hangout and a lot of other cool stuff. At $0.99 for the Kindle Edition or $7.92 for the Paperback you certainly can't go wrong. Tell you what, if you buy the book and find it to be a terrible read, I will personally reimburse you, that is a no lose proposition!
The 3 best features of Google+ are Hangouts, Local Pages & Communities
Hangouts - A Google+ hangout allows you to have a face-to-face chat from your computer or mobile device, host a virtual meeting or live stream a broadcast to the world. Gord McCallum and I are part of a group of mortgage professionals who host a regular weekly "hangout" called the Canadian Mortgage Hangout. A hangout is super easy to get going and does all the work for you, you can have up to 10 people hangining out at one time and the camera goes to the person that is talking. Probably the best feature of the Google+ Hangout is that they upload directly to your YouTube account, this makes it very easy to create sharable content!
Local Pages - The local pages on Google have migrated to Google+ business accounts. Gone are the days of the Yellowpages. Google+ local pages act not only as a business listing, but allow users to review the businesses by commenting with their experience. I know that when I am looking for a new local business, I want to see what people are saying. The Google+ Local page is a great place for that - it even ranks the businesses by reviews. The top ranked businesses even show up more prominently in Google search! Please check out our First Foundation Google+ page, if you are a client, consider leaving your review, we would love to hear how we are doing!
Communities - This is the feature that sets Google+ apart from Facebook. Rather than just presenting posts from your friends in a timeline, Google+ allows you to join communities made up of other Google+ users - based on common interests. I have a real interest in Canadian Real Estate, so I started a Google+ community on Canadian Real Estate - its open to the public and fosters some great conversations. There is pretty much a community on everything, have a look through the directory and easily connect with like minded individuals or consider starting your own community. Unlike Facebook, Google+ is a great way to meet new people, rather than just talking with the people you already know!
Lets Connect on Google+
If you want to learn more about Google+ but would like a walkthrough, either Gord McCallum or I would love to help you out. You can find us here:
Add us to your circles, maybe we could even do a hangout sometime! Looking forward to connecting!