In late June 2011, Google released a BETA version for their entry into the social media arena called Google Plus (many now refer to it as just G+). However, within a matter of a couple of days the open BETA invitations to join G+ was halted by Google due to the large number of signups. Currently, users can invite friend to join G+ because it is still in BETA.
With the arrival of G+, many social networks like Twitter and Facebook have experienced user activity decrease. What's the overwhelming factor for the decrease? It's the environment that G+ has created that provides its users with a well-rounded environment for networking. Let's take a look at how Google+ is dominanting over its competitors.
Learn more about G+ before you join:
To help you learn more about the G+ experience, below is a list of essential information that will enrich your experience.
- Learn More: Quick look at the key areas of G+ that you should check out.
- Help or Support: Do you have questions about G+ that you want answered right away? Then check out this section.
- Discussion or Forum: Get in on the discussions about G+ and its environment as users share their opinions or ask questions.
- User Content and Conduct Policy: Learn about the expectation that G+ has for users and how they should conduct themselves.
Once you join, make sure to implement the following:
- G+ tries to create a user friendly environment by putting the power of networking into the hands of its users. They do this by allowing the user to create Circles or groupings of people so that you can listen to the conversation from the people in the circles and also connect with them easily in hangouts.
- To help users find news, G+ has a section called Sparks which are news feeds covering different topics. A user can also search for news in other areas just in case the default topics are not what they need.
- Gtalk integration allows the users to experience instant communication with their friends. You just need to know your friend's email address so that you can invite them to chat.
- To help you grow your connections on G+, there is also a section in the upper-right hand column with Suggestions for users that you should connect to. These users are either connected to your friends or they may already be in your email contact list.
Here are some suggested users to get you started:
- Angie Bailey (Newscaster with KOMU out of Columbia, MO)
- Eric Chilton (Newscaster with WFMY out of Greensboro, NC)
- Lucas Johnson (Audio engineer)
- Jake McCuistion (Web Programmer)
- Kim Sherrell (Filmmaker and entrepreneur)
- Beau Kahler (Photographer)
- Mohamed Mansour (G+ Chrome Extension Developer)
- Lynette Young (Social Technology Strategist)
- Carmelyne Thompson (Web Developer/Rubyist)
- Kim Beasley (social media tool coach)
Finally, make sure that you are realistic regarding your expectation about Google Plus. Be real with those you connect to and don't be afraid to join the hangouts so that you can meet others. Keep in mind that you will have a better hangout experience if you have a camera attached to your computer with good audio capabilities so others can hear you. Don't hog the conversation, just be yourself and allow others to glean from you as you glean from them.