OK now that I have had my hands enough on Google plus, I wish to share a tutorial or a guide to play with many things around in Google plus. I am also getting questions everyday from my friends asking the why’s and how’s of using it. This tutorial is all about how to use Google+.
So lets dive in.
Sending And Accepting Invitations
It could be seriously annoying when some of your friends are already jumping around with plus, and you are not able to get in. At the moment Google plus is running in test mode and hence they are not allowing everybody to get in.
There is no “official” invite button yet. But you can still send an invitation by sharing something with your friend. This step assumes that you are already on plus, of course.
You can do this in two ways:
1. If you have lots of invites to send, you can first create circles (more on it below). And then share something with that circle.
2. Or you can share something to people’s email directly.
The second step wants you to add people while sharing while the first one takes less time.
In any case you have to click “Add circles or people to share with” and then you will be provided with options to choose circles (if you have already created them) or choose people by email.
When you press share, you have sent an invite.
Now what if you are not on plus, and your friend shares something with you?
You will receive an email like this-
It will be somewhat confusing to not to see a “Join” button even though the subject of your email says “…… invited you to join google+”. You have to click “Learn more about Google+” and you will be in (if Google permits).
Once you are inside Google+, just click on circles as shown below
Once you are inside the circle, you can create new circles and/or use existing ones. By default there are 4 circles already available: Friends, Family, Acquaintances and Following. You can add people to these circles. You can also create a new circle by clicking on the empty circle on the left.
You can find people by typing their name or email (once you start typing you will be provided with results, so no need to remember full names/emails) in the box that says Find and invite people (shown above partially next to circles symbol).
Now you can simply drag and drop a person into an appropriate circle to add them. Alternatively you can also remove a person by dragging them out from a circle.
You can put the same person to multiple circles. For instance if you friend is also a blogger and is also your client, you may want to put him in three circles.
Now in the list of people shown above, you will see a little email envelope next to certain persons, and nothing with the others.
Those with the email icon are the ones that are not yet using Google plus. Anything you share with them will go to their inbox. While the others are using plus and will get your shares in their stream.
Settings To Minimize Annoying Notifications
Yes, you heard me right. Although Google plus is good with privacy issues, it can still be annoying with the notifications. You get notified by email whenever someone
- +1s your share
- comments on your share
- comments on someone’s share that you commented on
- reshares your share…
- and so on.
You know when you get into a A-list blogger’s post and leave a comment, your inbox will be flooded with notifications that there has been a new comment in the post you commented on. This is really annoying.
But you can control all these. Click on options at the top right and choose Google+ settings
Once you select that you will be presented with delivery preferences to set up. You can tick/untick anything as you wish.
You will always find Google+ notifications on top right even when you are inside Gmail (next to your email address, a number will appear in red).
Want a clean stream?
Not all posts shared by the people you follow are interesting to you. And you don’t want to have all those comments, always. So if you find an uninteresting post or a post with lots of comments that makes your stream cluttered, you can simply mute that post. Here’s how to do it
Once you have muted a post, you won’t see it in your stream anymore.
PS: No offense against the post shown above and I have not actually muted in on my wall. The picture is just for illustration.
Little Tips To Use Google+ Effectively
Tagging someone :
You can use +name if you want to tag someone while you share something. When you tag someone they will be notified of it. This is a great way to engage others in conversation and improve interactions. But do not tag irrelevantly, that will annoy people for sure.
Connecting your other social media accounts:
Remember when you selected Google+ options? Right in that screen on the left, you will find Connected accounts. Click on it and add social media accounts.
These are the shortcuts you could use to spice up your shares-
*text* makes the text bold
_text_ makes the text italic
-text- strikes through the text
I have already talked about sparks in this post: Google+ Circles And Sparks, What Do Bloggers Have In Them?
Although I have focused on benefits for bloggers there, it will apply to anyone. You can search and add any of your interests and later on click them to catch up with latest news and hop around your favorite topic.
Sorry to disappoint you but I have not tried it much to write about it. If I find interesting things to share I surely will!
What have I forgot? What is your experience on using Google+? Like it, love it or hate it? Share your thoughts in the comments.