In this second instalment on Google+, I hope to show you more of the wonder of this great platform.
Missed part 1? Catch up here: Google +
A good icon to always go to first is the one that you can see says ‘Home’. The main reason to hover over here first is because you won’t be able to see any of the other icons if you don’t. So please don’t panic, it’s simple enough! The top three below this icon are ‘Profile’, ‘People’ and ‘Photos’. They are pretty self-explanatory, so I won’t focus on them too much. Rather there are a few underneath these three that I will pay more attention to.
What’s hot – Google identifies all the trending info from across Google+ platform, and also uses your search and viewed history to search out ‘stuff’ that’s trending. However, it has features that can be irritating i.e. if you select this icon you can set it to show up in your main stream. Here I would recommend that you de-select this option as it can be a bit ‘noisy’ with way too much irrelevant info in my opinion. If you are all for an information overload and enjoy the gossip found in tabloids, like Huisgenoot, Heat, or even Drum, then leave this feature on!
Communities – similar but better than Facebook Groups! Once you select this feature you can then (at the top centre of the page) select “All Communities” or those that Google+ recommends for you. What I really enjoy about the feed that you have is that it fills the entire screen and is not presented as per Facebook down the centre with adverts on the side – really cool! Anyway, by joining any of the communities that interest you, you can participate in discussions and you will always get great feedback relative to your posts. It’s as if the audience on Google+ are a lot more mature and responsible, not to mention more enlightened. I once posted a question about video editing and what the community thought was the best software programme to use for a beginner. I was overwhelmed at the response I got from total strangers that were ready to help, and they even followed up with me to see how I was doing. If you have a knack for organising and networking, then you have the ability to create a Community. If you do, then let me know and I’ll make a point of checking it out.
Events – this is a very busy page. As you scroll over here you’ll find at the top and centre, “Your events” or “Find more events”. The former should be a walk in the park, while the latter requires you to keep your wits about you and go where your inquisitive nature may lead. Remember you can also “Create an event” (top right in blue) using the simple wizard – be sure to invite me!
Hangouts – this is an icon you are just going to have to explore on your own as it will take way too long to give you a guided tour here. Just know this; you can ‘hangout’ with a whole bunch of folk at the same time. Watch the video on YouTube if you want some more info about this function. All you need to know now is that it beats Skype hands down (call me biased)!
Pages – if you have created a business page or a page which reflects the work you do, it will be reflected here under “Get your page”. Go and create your own!
Local – is so lekker! Here you get the opportunity to review and visit places of interest that are in your area according to Google+ at the time that you are there. Say for instance you are visiting Stellenbosch in the Western Cape (that is if you are so lucky), then in the search bar at the top of the page you can enter a key word, ‘restaurant’ or ‘art studio’ or even better, ‘wine farm’ and depending on who has registered on Google+ you can click to find out where they are or once you have visited them. You have the option to write a review which will be published using your name.
Settings – be careful here and go through it all slowly as you double check what you tick or un-tick. There are a lot of settings, so think about who your target market is and make the necessary settings in light of this (especially if you have a business page).4