Google+ is the most exciting new social network to come around this decade, and the only product with a chance of challenging the monopolies we know as Facebook and Twitter. As an Internet addict, I've joined every major social network there is - from Friendster (who?) to MySpace (so ugly) to LinkedIn (yawn) to Twitter (irritating) and Facebook (annoying to manage). Competition is delicious, especially between well-financed monopolies. Google+ really seems to have identified an Achille's heel...
Last week, I demonstrated how to go a little deeper into your Google+ profiles, photos, and introduced cross-posting. This week, I'm highlighting a bunch of different unofficial resources that have sprung up that will help improve your Google+ experience, and give you the latest updates on Google+ Photos.
Earlier last month, I wrote on how to subscribe to Google+ users using PlusFeed. I used it, and then I realized that I wasn't getting my own feed anymore. I discovered that the free service had been disabled due to cost issues, as detailed by the creator +Russell Beattie. The code is open source, and you can roll your own service, if you have the know-how and the time. If you don't, but still want to create RSS feeds for your own public posts, or just to track your favorite Google+ users, the...
Antimatter15, author of the popular Surplus Chrome extension, was suspended from Google+ for using a pseudonym instead of a name that fits Google's community standards. As such, he's no longer supporting the extension, and if you're using it, now might be a good time to find a replacement. It's a reminder that nothing on the web is guaranteed to work forever. Luckily, there's no shortage of innovative coders whipping up creative and useful Google Chrome extensions.
Last week's round up was all about third party services that sprang up to fill any Google+ voids. This week, I'll let you know how to keep up with the latest Google+ updates, and give you some great tips for interacting with your followers.
This infographic from SingleGrain aptly and succinctly describes the primary differences between Facebook and Google+. Which social network will reign supreme?
This week has been pretty exciting for both Facebook and Google. Facebook announced a slew of features that seem on the surface to copy Google+. For Google+ users, a lot of improvements, updates and features were implemented, and they're seeing a lot more overall integration with their Google account.
+Tom Anderson of MySpace has been very active on Google+ over the first week, and he's not shy with his thoughts on the evolution of the industry he once owned. Here's his take on this morning's Facebook announcement and Mark Zuckerberg's response when asked about Google+.
Google+ is taking over the world. But first, let it invade your computer! Google+ is inspiring a lot of graphic designers and artists to have fun with the plus icon and Google colors. All of the below icons and wallpapers are free for you to use.
Circles. They are both the best thing and worst thing about Google+. They're great because they allow you to fine-tune who you're following and who you want to keep in touch with, making it easy to keep your family and friends separate from each other. On the other hand, they can be a pain to maintain, and you can easily become overwhelmed from the "noise" of popular posts, which make it hard to concentrate on some of the people you want to focus on. But if you invest a little bit of time in ...
This week seems to have gone by in a flash. Maybe it was the three day weekend, but I don't think it accounts for the flurry of activity I've been seeing on Google+. Updates, debates, and new initiatives are unfolding every day, and the best part is that most of them are coming from outside of Google. People love Google+ so much that they want to evangelize to others about it. What more could Google+ ask for?
Google+ Hangouts are proving to be a proficient platform for teaching and communicating in real time with others. If you're someone who creates instructional content online, you may want to consider using the platform for your next project.
Hangouts are one of the most fun features in Google+. As long as you have a webcam and a microphone, you can "hangout" with up to 10 of your buddies on Google+ and do just about anything. Of course, sometimes it can get kind of awkward when you are hanging out and you don't really have anything to say. This problem can be mitigated if you host hangouts with a plan.
One of the coolest things about Twitter is the fact that you can get direct access to some of your favorite celebrities, and have one-on-one conversations with them in less than 140 characters. With Google+, you can have the same advantage, but you don't need to feel constricted by the 140 character limit. Although Google+ has been weeding out fake accounts, they do not currently have a system for celebrities to verify whether their accounts are legitimate or not.
We're ending the week with a lot of big announcements and updates. To date, Google+ has updated its name policy, but is still forbidding pseudonyms. Blocking people on Google+ became even easier, and yesterday, games on Google+ launched.
Both Google+ and Facebook are competing for your time and space, and your commitment to one social network. To make their spaces more attractive to you, they've both made it easier for you to deal with people you don't like or don't care for.
One of the most exciting new features announced by Google+ was the ability to broadcast hangouts live via YouTube, which was recently demonstrated with the very first Google+ Hangout On Air with +will.i.am of the Black Eyes Peas.
+Eric Cattell, the Social Graph Technical Lead of Google+, announced a lot of improvements and added features this morning, most of them having to do with circle management and blocking people.
Google started culling Google+ accounts. There are two main targets: businesses and those who are using pseudonyms. For businesses, Google is promising to provide their own version of Facebook Pages, which will be released later this year. For those who use pseudonyms, they aren't so lucky. According to Google+'s community standards, users must "use the name your friends, family, or co-workers usually call you". The purpose of this rule is ostensibly to discourage spammers and people from set...
The Google +1 button isn't as ubiquitous as the Facebook Like button, but it's getting there. Google's working hard on improving its functionality, and recently we've seen some innovative features added. The +1 button now appears on over one million sites, and you can do more with it than you could initially.
One of the primary goals of a social network is for you to share what you find interesting with your followers and friends, but on Google+, sharing has so many layers that it can be confusing for most people to really take advantage of it properly. Some of the tools in place that enable you do deal with spam and manage your privacy aren't very clear, so this week's round up is all about how you can share what you want with who you want on Google+.
After the launch of Google+ and its ensuing attendant fanfare and rave reviews, Facebook seemed to undergo an identity crisis. On July 6th, Facebook failed to make waves with its "awesome" announcement - the new group chat and video chat features felt lame in comparison to the Google+ hangout and huddle features. Facebook also faced ongoing criticism for its perceived lack of privacy controls. Over on Quora, workers confirmed a lockdown of sorts at Facebook, for employees to work harder on fe...
I was working on a different Google+ Insider's Guide post when suddenly, my Google+ stream started filling up with news of Steve Jobs' death. Since that moment, many people in the tech industry have paused to reflect on the legacy that Steve Jobs left behind, and talk about what his vision meant for the rest of the industry, and for them personally. There's no tech sector that was untouched by Steve Jobs' influence, and that includes Google.
It's only been a few weeks, and already there are a lot of misconceptions and myths floating around Google+. Let's take a deep breath, and tackle some of the more prominent ones.
Now that Google+ is open to everyone, there are a lot of new people who aren't techies trying out the service. When you first sign on, it can be overwhelming. I've decided to round up a bunch of resources to help you get started, and recommend some people for you to follow, if you want to stay on top of tips and new announcements.
It's been an eventful week for Google+. Facebook decided to up its game and start rolling out several major updates intended to address privacy concerns. We got a glimpse into the future of Google+ via an insightful discussion between +Bradley Horowitz and +Tim O'Reilly. And Google decided to integrate the +1 button more fully with Google+ by allowing users to share directly from the +1 button. That's not all, though—scroll down for more news & updates that occurred in the past week.
In a gesture to bring the social qualities of Google+ into the real world, photographer +Trey Ratcliff invited his Google+ followers to join him on a photowalk this past Thursday, held on the Stanford University campus. Over 150 people showed up to take pictures with fellow Googlers and Google+ users, and to socialize in "real life". This group photo was taken by professional photographer +Peter Adams.
Yesterday, Google's VP of Product Management, +Bradley Horowitz, sat down with founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, +Tim O'Reilly, to discuss Google+, its future, and where it's headed. You can watch the hour-long video here: I wasn't able to find a transcript for this video, but O'Reilly has helpfully rounded up some of the more interesting points.
Increasingly, I'm turning to Google+ as a source of news, and it looks like I'm not the only one. On Thursday, news of a small earthquake broke on both Twitter and Google+. One curious user, +Keith Barrett, decided to try and find out which social network was faster with the news. Turns out it was a tie. As Google integrates Google+ more closely with the rest of its services, and more users post relevant stories, I think we'll start to see Google+ as a place that can create and break stories,...
After the media outcry of Google Buzz's privacy issues, Google has set its goals on making the privacy parameters of Google+ simple to learn and as explicitly manageable as possible. No small feat.
If you're like me, you don't do a lot of web browsing anymore. I subscribe to my favorite blogs' feeds and read them via Google Reader. It's one of my favorite Google products, for a lot of reasons. I can keep up with most of my web activities in one tab, and follow along with my favorite blogs, Flickr photos, and Twitter. I can share instantly with people who follow me, and see what other people have shared with me. I hope that Google+ will integrate well with Google Reader, because it alrea...
Now that you can invite anyone you want to Google+, the floodgates are open. If you've been bummed out about not being able to share the joys of Google+ with your friends and acquaintances, make use of that handy envelope icon the right side of your stream page. Just enter the email addresses of the people you want to invite, and hit the "Invite" button.
Many companies were disappointed when Google+ rolled out and banned the creation of accounts specifically for businesses and brands. Fortunately, today, Google began rolling out Google+ pages, for them to start connecting with customers and followers. For an example of what a Google+ Page looks like, check out the one for the +The Muppets:
As Google+ hums along, releasing new updates and unveiling new features every few days, Facebook seems to be in panic mode. Every week, they've been revealing new features that seem suspiciously similar to Google+.
Much of the press around the launch of Google+ has pitted it squarely against Facebook. This was highlighted painfully for Facebook with their (misguidedly dubbed) "awesome" announcements yesterday. Their launch of a new design, video calling, and group chat might have been exciting, had not Google announced its Hangout feature for Google+ a week earlier (and by the way, introduced their own 1-on-1 video calling inside of Gmail way back in 2008). Hangouts took video calling a step further and...
Google announced a lot of great feature updates this week! Most of them are content-related, and help you more easily find out what's going on in the overall Google+ community.
The visual beauty of images on Google+ means that it's not just a great place for photographers to shine, but also serves as a befitting promotional space for web comic artists. Below, 7 talented individuals who have utilized the Google+ platform.
Today, +Vic Gundotra made it official and announced the launch of games within Google+. It's starting to roll out, and Google+ members will eventually see a link to the Games button at the top of their streams.
Google+ launched their API for public data today. For now it provides read-only access to public data in the form of People & Activities. Here are some links to get you started:
You wouldn't think that something so simple as a "suggested users" list would create so much controversy, but Google+ seemed to have accidentally ignited a firestorm when they introduced a new feature over the weekend: the "Suggested People to Follow" list now appears when a new user joins Google+.