Tuesday, July 12, 2011

GOOGLE+ (10 cool ways to use it)

"let me count the ways...." - Shakespeare

As I continue to work thru Google+1 I find myself seeing all the possibilities of using G+ in my daily life (including work of all things - which doesn't make sense??? I thought social networking was about not HAVING to do work).

If you read my last article, I touched on some key differences between G+ and Facebook... I'll touch on some more here as well.

But first lets talk about what cool things you can do with G+ that you maybe didn't think of:

1. Social Bookmarking - This may be the most basic function within Google+ but it may go unnoticed to some people who never got into Delicious, Technorati, etc. Essentially, when you +1 a link its not just about sharing the link, but it also bookmarks the link in your Google+ profile.  (click on your profile, and then click on "+1s".).

I use this as a way to bookmark links I want to revisit later in the day, or blogs I want to read in the future. It allows you to easily delete the link when your done as well.

2. A Better Twitter - I often get asked "Why do people use Twitter?". My answer usually discusses the value of having a real-time news feed and ability to follow people who have influence in your industry or access to information you are interested in. In short, I only found Twitter useful as a "read-only" medium. Primarily because I rarely feel people read my "tweets". So it's always been a one-way medium for me, and probably for most people. With G+1 it makes "tweeting" or micro-blogging more of a two-way, because it is built on a more natural social network.  

I can "follow" people (just like twitter), but the content is displayed much more like Facebook (with embedded pictures, comments, etc). It just feels more powerful and interactive then Twitter.

So, something you may not do - but should - is find some people you want to "follow" and see what they post. For example, I follow the CEO of Google, a few Venture Capitalists in the Valley, and other people (that I don't know, but interested in what they post). FOLLOW on G+ by adding people to your Following circle... its a BETTER TWITTER.

3. A Professional Image - One of the biggest weaknesses of Facebook is that it was born as a pure social network for college kids. Thus, there was never any real consideration for people who have jobs, that don't want their friend to share photo of them doing tequila shots at the local bar with no shirt on. Thus, most people avoid "friending" their coworkers or anyone in their professional "circle".  (which is why networks like LinkedIn, FastPitch even exist).

But now with Google+ ... you are given more freedom and ability to build professional circles, and keep your personal life and professional life separate online. Although it doesn't come close to replacing the features native in LinkedIn, FastPitch - it does introduce another network where sharing with co-workers is "ok".

So I suggest taking baby-steps in building an online relationship with your co-workers.... ultimately this will help business-oriented social networks - because people will become more disciplined and take the time to learn how to be "professional" online. 

These are three cool things you can begin to use G+ for.... more to come later.

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