Monday, March 11, 2013

More "Google Plus" Stuff and Music Monday

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 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'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....

Music Monday

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...


Have a great Monday!


Scribbles From Jenn said...

Thanks for the information. I use Google+ and have circles, but *whispers* now I can explain the purpose behind them.

Elise Fallson said...

Squee! I'm in one of your circles! :D
Now I need to interact more on G+ and not just share posts on it from time to time.

S.P. Bowers said...

Very interesting. We had a G+ weekend as we tried to set up an account and do a live video stream over it. Good to learn about it because we were lost.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

At the moment I just have two circles and my blogger buddies are all in 'friends.'

Tara Tyler said...

i put my blog friends as writer friends, but thats all i do. facebook once or twice a day, no twitter, & thats it. i think singles have more time to play, so thats why they keep coming up with more toys...

Mark Means said...

@Jenn: Hehe, well if you're already using G+ I'm not telling you anything you don't know and you know it rocks! :)

@Elise: Of course you are! I had to give my Blogger pals their special circle and I've found it helps me keep up, just in case I miss something in my reader. That's the real key...the interaction. Besides posting your own stuff, commenting on others helps with that, too :)

@S.P: Oh you guys were doing a Hangout? Those are brother in law likes doing those, from time to time. A great way to keep in touch.

@Alex: I started with just a few circles, but the more people I began to follow, the more I felt I needed some better organization. I have my "writer" friends separate from my "blogger", mainly so I remember 'who's who'

@Tara: Heh, that's true too. I used to spend a fair amount of time on G+, but have since started concentrating more on blogging and mainly as a writing exercise.


Ella said...

Thank you so much Mark! I do like circles and the all encompassing wisdom of your post~
I am making Dream Catchers right now, so circles and this song ring right with me! ;D
<3 this song!

klahanie said...

Hi Mark,

And if you look on G+ link at the bottom of your posting, you will see a typing dog! :)

Now then, I do understand the basic workings of it and I appreciate your extra, most interesting info. However, maybe it's my computer, but G+ loads up very slowly and the communication through it can seem vague at best. I'm just getting my head round "LinkedIn.

You do realise that "The Shadows" had a lead singer named Cliff Richard? He's the Peter Pan of Pop!

See ya dude, going to circle the wagons!


Melissa said...

Thanks for posting this!

You said:
"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."

Two questions...
What happens if I don't choose any of these things. Does it default to 'public.'

Second, if I choose 'extended circles,' does it go to friends of friends or does it just allow my friends to share it?

(Can you tell I'm clueless about Google+? LOL)

Nicki Elson said...

You should be happy to know I was able to read half way down before my brain said it was full. The organizational aspects of Google + sound very helpful, and what's a shame is that I'd probably prefer it to Facebook, but I'm just not of a mind to learn yet another social network, you know? I suppose I'll move over when I realize I'm missing out on stuff.

Robin said...

I'm with Nicki. I hit info overload. Since I have never used this form of social networking it was a bit like reading Greek. However, should I ever DECIDE to use it, I will remember this post!!!

Mark Means said...

@Ella: Glad you enjoyed! Telstar is also one of my faves, so you have good tastes as far as I'm concerned :)

@Gary: You're not the first person I've heard talk about G+ being slow. Maybe it's the connection or it could be Google, too...I don't know. Oh yes, I've heard of Sir Cliff Richard before, though I don't think I knew he was with The Shadows...very cool!:)

@ Melissa: You're welcome and to answer your questions: If you don't choose who you're posting to, it won't let you post at all. That was a very good question, as well, because it' something I've never done/thought of. I just tried it and it made me pick -something-.

Now, what it will do is remember how your last post was sent to (public, a circle, a person, etc.) and auto fill it in for the next time.

As to the extended circles, it's pretty much friends of friends, yes.

Hope that wasn't too confusing!

@Nicki: You got half way down? Well, that's further than I expected most get :D Seriously, though, sorry if it was a bit much, I have to keep in mind that not everyone's been using it as long as I have. Thanks for that feedback and I'll try to make the next installment less...geeky :) I totally understand, though, about not wanting to learn another social media site but, when I came over, I found G+ pretty user friendly and just a bit of tinkering around with it gave me the answers to most of my questions.

@Robin: Sorry about that and I guess it's a good thing I don't try to write 'how to' manuals for a living :) Well, if you ever decide to give it a whirl and need any help, feel free to drop me a line.

Jenny said...

Thanks for stopping by The Modest Peacock!! How did you like "OZ" ???! :)

Mark Means said...

@Jenny: My pleasure and I really liked "Oz"...a lot. It's one of those movies that surprised me in how good it was...and I always like that. I have a mini-review going up tomorrow on my 'other' blog :) Thanks for stopping by here, as well!

Nick Wilford said...

What a tune!

This'll be a good tutorial for if I get more into it. I mean, I didn't even know there were categories of circles! *doh*

mshatch said...

Wow, it sounds like a lot of work (to me). Loved the dancing girls in their ever so short dresses and those boots :)

Anonymous said...

I really like Google + much more than Facebook and I think it's a pity not more people use it. I don't use it much either, but that's only because noone seems to use it... weird, I know. Maybe I should set a good example and use it :)

M. J. Joachim said...

Circles and groups are so confusing. I'm in a few groups, but I'm afraid to post to them, because I share my blogs on the public setting. My thought is I'd be posting duplicates, by sharing with groups and making a public post, which could be annoying or even spam like. Would enjoy reading an in depth post on this, Mark.

Mark Means said...

@Nick: It sure is, they really had the sound down. Yep, you can make as many or as few circles as you want and depending on how many people you are following.

@mshatch: At first, it can seem a bit overwhelming, but once you play around with it, it's pretty easy. Heck, I caught on after just a bit :)

@Suzanne: Same here and, at least for me, it's easier to use and organize. Facebook is way too spammy for me...

@M.J: If you post to a group and "public", the person still only sees it once, so no worries of spamming. I plan on doing more such posts, but from the feedback here (which I love, btw) I'm going to look into concentrating them down a bit more. Thanks! :)

J.L. Campbell said...

Thanks so much for doing this. I've been on it for a while but haven't been using it. Went on there just now and shared something. Thanks!

Spacerguy said...

Interesting read Mark. I suppose a Google+ Followers badge is the next temptation.

Trisha F said...

I don't really do much with Google+ either, but I'm doing a lot more since I switched from my blogger profile to the G+ one. Now though, it's mostly adding people to my circles who have added me to theirs, and posting updates from my blog when prompted. :)

Ellie Garratt said...

Thank you for explaining Google+ and circles. I must admit I've not really taken the time to work it out yet, but this post will definitely help.

Julie Flanders said...

I appreciate the tutorial! I really do want to start using Google+ more and I know this will help. I admit I've been totally clueless about what to do with my circles and I basically just have everyone in the same one. Thanks for sharing!

Maurice Mitchell said...

I still haven't decided if Google + is for me, but this tutorial was really helpful. Thanks!

Mark Means said...

@J.L: Hey, glad it helped on keep at it :) Trust me, it looks way harder than it is.

@Spacerguy: You should give it a comes with a money back guarantee :)

@Trisha: That's the great thing about it, you can do as much or as little with it as you like. It's great for getting info out there, as well :)

@Ellie: I'm glad it helped and good luck!

@Julie: Thanks! It doesn't, usually, take a bunch of time...unless you get sucked in...which has happened to me on a few (ahem) occasions :)

@Maurice: Fair enough and thank you :)

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