Google+ Insider's Guide Features

News: Cooking on Google+ with the Social Skillet: Interview with Eric McKee

On Google+, one of the very first creative projects using the popular hangout feature revolved around cooking. Foodies +Lee Allison and +Eric McKee decided to start their own "G+ Cooking School", which has now expanded into the Social Skillet. Although neither have formal training, they're both quite accomplished cooks and skilled instructors. Using hangouts, they've taught their students how to create dishes like margherita pizzas and chicken marsala.

How To: Use Firefox Add-Ons and Greasemonkey to Make Google+ Perfect

Although +Google Chrome has been getting many deserved kudos for its innovations and speed, many people still prefer to use +Mozilla Firefox as their primary browser. If you’re a dedicated Google+ user, you know that there are many Google+ Chrome browser extensions available to modify your Google+ experience. What you may not know is that there are also Firefox extensions you can use for Google+.

How To: Make the Most of Your Google+ Page

Now that it's been a week since Google+ rolled out pages, we've gotten over our euphoria at finally getting the feature after a long wait, and reality is starting to sink it. It's not as flexible as a Facebook page, it seems to be time consuming, and you can't even get a unique URL. On the other hand, your Google+ page will show up in Google searches, and help bump you up a bit. Here's how the search stacks up when I search for "WonderHowTo" in Yahoo! vs. Google (Note: I've turned on private ...

News: Google+ Pro Tips Weekly Round Up: Google+ Grows Up

Things have been a bit quiet on the Google+ Insider's Guide this week. With the launch of the new Facebook, Google+ is finding itself a bit on the defensive. However, recent data shows that by making Google+ available to the general public, their traffic has jumped 13-fold, according to Mashable. With the new growth also comes the introduction of cool new features, which further enhance sharing.

News: Google+ Pro Tips Weekly Round Up: Google+ Is Google

"Google+ is dead." How many times have you read that in the past few weeks? It seems like I can't get away from this notion that Google+, as a social network, is a total failure. Don't feel too sorry for them, though. +Bradley Horowitz isn't worried. In an interview with VentureBeat, he explains, “Six months from now, it will become increasingly apparent what we’re doing with Google+. It will be revealed less in what we say and more in the product launches we reveal week by week.” Indeed, som...

News: G+Me Makes Google+ (Almost) Perfect: An Interview with Huy Zing

G+Me is one of our favorite Chrome extensions here at Google+ Insider's Guide. We love it because it's one of the most comprehensive extensions out there. It attempts to address the "noisy streams" issue, with list mode, and collapsible posts and comments. The creator, +Huy Zing, is very responsive to feedback, and he's been quick to address any issues that arise, including privacy concerns. He's even created a G+Me (Paranoid Edition) extension, for the extra careful Google+ user. And if you ...

News: Google+ Finally Improves Comments

One of the biggest complaints people had about Google+ was comments on popular people's posts taking over their streams. Today Google addresses those issues by rolling out the ability to collapse and expand comments. +Jonathan Terleski explains the simplicity of the function - click once to expand, click again to collapse. Check out how the collapsed comments work in the screenshots below. It's as simple as clicking an arrow.

News: A Google+ Love Story

Things have only gotten more exciting for +Bradley Horowitz, VP of Product Management for Google. After launching Google's highly buzzed social networking sites, he took his girlfriend +Irene Au, a designer for Google, to Paris. While there, he proposed to her, and she said yes!

News: Google+ Updates Name Policy—Still No Pseudonyms

As Google+ became available to more people, it started running into issues of accounts being suspended due to names that did not sound "real". According to Google+'s community standards, names that users "commonly go by" were encouraged, but not pseudonyms. Those who were using pseudonyms in their Google+ profiles quickly found themselves suspended from using Google+.

How To: Reduce the Noise in Your Social Streams

Social network fatigue sets in when it starts to feel impossible to keep up with all that new content from your friends, followers, and acquaintances on a daily basis. You lose track of stuff you wanted to read more about, and you miss important news from your friends, but are bombarded with inconsequential details from people you don't actually care about. What's the solution? Filter your streams so that you only see the content you do care about, and get rid of the rest.

News: +Tyler Neylon Creates 50 Models with 50 Legos

+Tyler Neylon, a programmer and mathematician currently specializing in iOS app development, recently posted a fun project to his Google+ profile: 50 designs with 50 LEGO pieces, a set of 51 photos. Given a small 50-piece Lego set this past Christmas (well, Tyler admits: "...58 [pieces], actually, but many of them are very small, as you can see"), he craftily stretched his imagination to create 50 different models, though the kit included instructions for only 3.

News: Google+ to Support Pseudonyms, Google Apps & More

Since its inception, Google+ users have been a loud, vocal bunch, and they've made their displeasure known about many issues, especially on the lack of support for pseudonyms, Google Apps, and brand pages. It's been especially galling for many Google loyalists, who found their Google+ profiles suspended, when they ended up violating the Google+ "common name" policy.

News: Google+ Pro Tips Weekly Round Up: Google Cleans Up

It’s been a pretty big week for Google, and Google+ itself. There were a number of articles proclaiming the end of Google+, because allegedly traffic dropped over 60% after it opened to the public. Then +Steve Yegge accidentally posted a long rant on Google+ itself, which was originally meant only for Google employees and colleagues to see. Interestingly enough, the most inflammatory content wasn’t actually about Google itself, but about the horrible work environment at Amazon. The accidental...

News: Add your Facebook stream to Google+

Are you finding that you're spending all of your time inside Google+ and neglecting your Facebook Wall? You can import that wall to your Google+ stream and keep track of conversations on both places in the only place you care about, Google+. This is a browser extension that works with Firefox and Chrome. They're working on making it work for IE.

News: Update Facebook from Google+ without an extension

Justin Bee outlines a method to update Facebook from your Google+ account without actually having to go download an extension. Basically you set up your Facebook account to receive your Google+ posts as email to your Facebook Wall. There's a limitation though - text will truncate after 50 characters, so make sure your messages to Facebook users are short and sweet.

News: Google+ for iPhone is Finally Here!

Just announced by Google's Senior Vice President of Engineering +Vic Gondotra, Google+ has finally arrived for the iPhone! Many people have been waiting for this for a while, and it seemed like it would be held up forever in Apple purgatory, but now it's available for the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and the iPhone 4. Support for iPad and other Apple iPhone devices is in the work, so be patient. You can download it directly from the iTunes store.

EPIC: Google+ Collaborative Manual

I just found this via +Adele Shakal. Now this is how you use Google Docs. This document is an epic collaborative project that assembles all the available tips and tricks for Google+. I think I'm in love with everyone who wrote this manual. It's elegant, clear and well, not concise, but a great introduction to Google+.

News: 15 Quick Google+ Tips

Are you feeling like you've got the hang of Google+? Or do you, as I do sometimes, feel like there are just a few too many quirks to keep track of? Here, I've given you 15 quick tips you should know about Google+ so you can maximize the way you want to use it.

News: Skype Introduces GroupMe - Similar to Google+ Mobile Features?

On the same day that Google+ introduced mobile hangouts to the world, I received an email from Skype introducing GroupMe, which sounds suspiciously similar to Google+'s messaging feature on mobile. GroupMe allows you to do group messaging, have one-on-one conversations with your contacts, and also ask "Questions", which is currently in beta. These new features are all supported in Android, iOS, Blackberry and Windows Phone 7.