This week, Google held back on introducing a slew of new Google+ features, and introduced new Chrome extensions instead. The new additions won't replace of your favorite Chrome extensions, but they are very useful, and elegant.
- +Timothy Jordan introduced the official Google +1 Button extension, which allows you to +1 any website you visit. Please note, that unlike other +1 extensions, since this one is created and made explicitly for Google, any pages and URLs you visit will be sent to Google to help retrieve +1 information. That information will not be kept for longer than 2 weeks. When you +1 a page, that information will show up in your Google+ profile.
- Google+ is a truly international social networking site, as evidenced by many users who are writing posts in non-English languages. Many people let Google know that they wanted a way to more easily communicate with those people, and earlier this week, +Josh Estelle announced that you could now add a Google Chrome extension that lets you translate your Google+ stream. When you install it, just mouse over the text you want translated.
- +Tim St. Clair let us know that you can now add photos from your phone to your album. If you're on your phone, just select the photos you want to add, and click on Add to album. This will take you to a new page, where you can create a new album, or add the pictures to an existing album.
- +Arun Shroff discovered a bug in Google+ where you cannot view more than the last 250 posts for any Google+ profile. This means that if you didn't bookmark a particular post you liked, or wanted to save it for later to digest, it would be really difficult to find once it dropped out of your stream. Shroff provides two workarounds: you can create an RSS feed of your public posts using PlusFeed, and bookmark any posts in your RSS feed reader, or search your own posts with the queries: site:plus.google.com keywords or site:plus.google.com inurl*/yourGoogleIDhere keywords. There are issues with both solutions. The RSS feed solution only pulls in the last 10 public posts, and cannot pull in private posts at all. The site queries do not include all of your posts, only the ones that Google deems important, which might get weighted more heavily by +1s, shares, or comments. It does not include your limited, private posts.
I've been seeing many interesting discussions on Google+ on the topic of attracting a large audience of followers. +Robert Scoble got the ball rolling with a post on mistakes to avoid when trying to build followers. In his eyes, the biggest mistakes are people not creating content about their jobs, or providing boring content.
- "You don't have good public posts that match your bio. If you say you are a photographer in your bio, don't be writing essays, post some photos! If you are a scientist, post something about science! If you say you are the world's best plumber, post something about how I should upgrade my bathroom, don't be posting only stuff about the new Android apps you found."
The focus on networking, jobs, and numbers put some people off, and others, like +Mike Alwill wrote on the "tyranny of audience size", where he claims that "bigger is not necessarily better".
- "On G+ people have begun to see their follower count as an indicator of their "interestingness" and their impact on the community. And while there are some very interesting people on G+ with very large followings, it's dangerous to generalize these cases to form a rule."
+Meirav Berale also took issue with Scoble's emphasis on "what you do" as part of what you should post.
- "I got annoyed with Scoble's advice about making sure your profile includes the answer to "what do you do", but the reason I found it annoying is because to me it's totally irrelevant to what I've come here for because my idea of social networking is getting to know people for real, finding people I might have things in common with, people I click with, people I can have a laugh with and share the ups and downs of life with. I couldn't care less what they do for a living. And the reason Scoble gave that advice is (I think) because to him this is obviously what social networking is for..."
In light of the ongoing discussion, a new product called PlusClout just launched, which measures the amount of influence a Google+ user has in Google+. It's similar to Klout, which measures your social media influence across Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. From the creators of other Google+-influenced products like FindPeopleOnPlus, PostsOnPlus, and Twitter2Plus, it's not entirely clear how the score is calculated, but it's fun to try it out. Just add your Google+ ID (the string of numbers after plus.google.com/), and get your PlusClout score.
I got a score of 88.2, out of a possible 100. What's your PlusClout score?