Monday, August 1, 2011

Google+ startup guide

New week, new blog entry. In the future, I try to post some interesting stuff on a weekly basis in the topic of photography, technology, or something else that comes into my mind.

Google+ is the new hotness in the social network scene. It is just a few weeks old, but it is growing very rapidly. According to Paul Allen, it reached 18 million users in the first 2 weeks.

Why it is interesting? Watch the following video, and you will see it:

The conclusion of the video is that if you are a Google user already (Blogger, Gmail, Search, Maps, etc.) then Google+ will make your experience better in the long run in these products.

Ok, but how can I know more about it? How can I start?

Here is a very nice presentation for this. Click through and see how to set up your circles and how to start a video chat with friends. If you want to see it in a bigger resolution, click here.

Now you know how to set up circles, you just need some friends. The following article will give you a nice overview on how to import all your data (friends, photos, videos) from Facebook to Google+. I migrated my friends this way, but I did not bother migrating other things, because I can always re-upload my photos from my computer and my videos are already in YouTube.

How to Migrate Your Facebook Account and Data to Google+

Now you have your friends invited and you are ready to socialize. Until they join, you can try something: find a Hangout (a group video chat) that you are interested in in the global list of hangouts. Everyone can register his own hangout there, you can browse them and join if something looks interesting. There are also scheduled hangouts in the list:

Where to hangout at Google+

To get some more information about the project:
  • Here is my profile, you can follow me if you found this tutorial interesting. You can find some interesting people to follow there, too.
  • Vic Gundotra and Bradley Horowitz are good to follow if you want to know what are the latest informations in Google+.
  • There is also a webpage with the latest changes: What's new in Google+.

If you use Google Chrome, then you can find useful helper extensions in the following article:

Top 15 Chrome Extensions For Google Plus | 15 Most Used Chrome Extensions For Google Plus

I personally suggest the following extensions from the list:
  • SGPlus - Allows you to share to Facebook (and Twitter) directly from G+. A must have if you did not convince all your friends to go to G+ yet. It can also merge your Twitter and Facebook stream into G+, but it caused a slowdown, so I turned it off.
  • Usability Boost for Google Plus - Changes the layout of Google+, for example the top notification bar is kept always visible so that you can share even when you are in the middle of the stream and you will never miss a notification. It is also makes you be able to star posts to read them later, which is very useful.
  • +Photo Zoom - to enhance your photo viewing experience in Google+.
  • Helper for Google+ -Multifunctional extension. I use it for the Translate link only, because it slowed down G+ very much if I used the other features.

If you went through this article by this far and went through all the links, then you are a Google+ expert now, you can probably get more information about the project yourself.

For technically and business oriented people, there is an interview with Vic Gundotra and Bradley Horowitz in TechCrunct TV when they talk about Google+, the past, present and the goal of the project. Worth watching.

I hope this link collection was useful, and, as usual, feedback is always welcome!

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