My post last Friday, about some of the ins and outs of Google Plus, generated some interesting comments. Most of them along the lines of "I'm on it, but don't really do much with it."
Given that Facebook has the lion's share of the users, for now, it's understandable. Unless you have regulars or just a lot of circlers, there probably isn't much on G+ for you at this point. That can change though, if you're willing to work on it, a little.
Maybe you've already decided that Google Plus isn't for you. You're busy/happy with Twitter and Facebook, or any other social media site you might like...Tumblr or Pintrest for example. That's o.k, too.
For those on the fence and/or curious about Google Plus, I'd like to share my thoughts as a sort of 'mini tutorial' on using G+...or, at least, how I use it. This isn't going to be all inclusive or all that extensive, but it should touch on some of the main focal points and don't worry...I won't put it all into one post.
To begin with, let's talk about.....
Circles are how you organize the people that you want to follow/keep in contact with. Whenever you mouse over someone you haven't circled, you'll get a drop down menu with all the circles you have created. All you do is check the boxes that apply and you've added the person to your circle(s).
Shannon isn't in my circles, but I could just mouse over her name or the "add user" button and then check the boxe(s) that go with each of the circles I think she might belong. This would add her...no muss, no fuss.
For better circle management, you also have the option of, under your circles tab, dragging your circler's portraits to other circles or deleting them if you need to.
(Just a note, I have more bloggers in my "Blogger" circle than what the above picture shows. I just have it cropped to show all my circles, which cuts down the view on the amount of people in the Blogger circle)
Also within your circles, you can edit (pencil icon), share (arrows icon), or delete (trash can icon) a circle. Sharing a circle or being shared in someone else's circle is a good way to find many people you might not have found otherwise.
Now you're probably thinking "O.k, I get it...it's a circle...move on!", but circles are important. It's your main organizing tool and the foundation of how you post and who sees which posts. Yes...I said "Who sees your posts..."
Google Plus gives you the option of only posting so that certain people or circles can see what you put up. You can also just post to just one person, if you like. G+'s way of "messaging".
The screen shot below is your typical posting template.
The top (Share what's new) part is for your text. Using * * on both sides of your text will put it in bold type. Using _ _ on the sides of your texts will italicize the word.
The space after the chain icon is for links. The 'Add' button allows you to attach pictures and videos, as well.
Once you get your post set, the drop down box allows you to share to as many or few circles/people as you like. In this example, we have "Your Circles" (just the circles I've created), "Public" (meaning anyone using G+ can see it, if they stumble across it), "Extended Circles" (your circles as well as their circles), then goes down to my individual circles. If you want to 'send a message', just add the person's name after a "+" and hit send.
(The 'Send to Do Share' button isn't standard, it's there due to an extension I use and mentioned last Friday)
The number in parenthesis after the circle name is how many people I have in that circle. Yes, it's true...I follow two celebrities.
This is how it looks when I send to some of my individual circles...
If you look down on the lower right, you'll see a check box (Also send email). If you check it, it sends an email to everyone in those circles that you've just posted something. The general consensus says that you shouldn't do this unless it's really something important that you think these people must see. Doing this too much is akin to spamming in the Google Plus universe.
The way you organize your circles is pivotal to how you keep track of the people you want to follow as well as how you share to them.
Make sense? Clear as mud?
I'm thinking that's probably enough G-Plus talk for today, so I'll save the discussion on "Plus One"ing, resharing, and a few other things for my next Google Plus post.
Now, let's talk music....
Aaaaand the infatuation with 'surf music' continues. There are quite a few versions of Apache, but this version by The Shadows just nails it.
Now, granted, these suave Brits don't look like they would be able to to capture the true surf sound, but they did and put on quite a show doing it. Nice suits and choreography usually doesn't fit the 'surf' image, but the music speaks for itself.
Just in case the coffee isn't giving you enough of a kick this Monday morning, maybe this will help...