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Google+ 101


The way we share information through various social circles was flipped on its head recently. With the addition of Google+ not only are account holders able to directly share interesting news and sites with friends, people you want to know better and business acquaintances, we now possess the power to control how we navigate the Internet. But before I get ahead of myself, let me give you the rundown about Google+.

If you haven’t set up your Google+ profile and are wondering what is so great about it, you are about to find out. Buckle your seat belts, because it’s about to get really interesting!

1. Circle, Circle…

The downside of social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook is that there is really no filter that allows you to share interesting links, images and videos with specific groups within the people you call your “friends”. With the Google+ “Circles” feature, you can group followers and friends into different communities which makes it easier to share information based on the subject matter; no more running the risk of sending your kids the latest viral video. Who needs their tween saying, “Honey Badger don’t care” all day, right?

You can use Google+ to organize your circles according to how you choose to message them. For example, if you want to be seen as a Etsy store expert to boost your expertise in all the trends in the world of Etsy; place all the people who are interested in reading Etsy news in an Etsy circle.

2. Hangouts

A feature that seemed to evolve from the early days of Yahoo! Chat and AIM, the “Hangouts” feature allows people to set up impromptu, face-to-face video chats with any old body that just so happens to come across and find your particular “hangout spot” interesting. The cool thing about this is that it attempts to simulate the everyday phenomenon of when friends and acquaintances randomly bump into each other when out and about around town.

3. Sparks

More so a much needed upgrade from the old and dusty days of the RSS feed, “Sparks” is pretty straight forward. Much like the “Recommended Video” feature on YouTube, “Sparks” takes information from sites, links, videos, etc. that you’ve recommended in the past and formulates a list of content that it knows you’ll find interesting to read or view at a later time. What makes this feature cool is that whatever piece of content you come across, Google+ asks if you want to add it to your “Interests”, then it keeps a ongoing tally of things related to the interests you indicated.

Some see Google+ as a threat to all of the social networking sites we already love. My first love will always be Twitter. I’ve already started to use Google+ instead of Facebook. Be sure to add me to your circles and check out all the features Google+ has to offer. Alli on Google+

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