Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Learn Google Plus—Part One

I know a lot of you have heard me sing the praises of Google Plus.

Today I’m beginning a tutorial for those of you who aren’t familiar with it. We’re going to take it slow, to give you time to get fully acquainted with it. Feel free to post questions as we go along. We’ll learn together.

So let’s get started!

First, go to https://plus.google.com/ to sign up, or view your account.

Once there, you need to fill in your profile. Most important—upload a photo. Remember, only spammers and newbies don’t have a profile photo online.

Now you'll notice a line with five icons that you’ll need to become familiar with.
  • The first looks like a house and it’s your HOME key.
  • The second looks like an old fashioned Polaroid photo and it’s the PHOTO tab. This is where you can upload or view photos.
  • The third is a circle with a head inside it. This is your PROFILE button. When you click this you go to your profile. When you want to change your profile you click this button then the EDIT PROFILE button.
  • The fourth is three interlocking circles and this represents your CIRCLES. Circles are the way you categorize and organize your friends and acquaintances. It’s what makes Google + different from Facebook. You don’t have to have different accounts to keep everyone separate—you only have to put them in different circles.
  • The fifth icon is a GAMES icon and, unless you’re a game player, I don’t recommend you bother with this tab.
Today we’ll concentrate on your profile.
I’m going to share a trick to upload a full bio that shows up when someone hovers over your avatar (your picture). This is important because it gives others more information about you than just a quick description.

Click on your PROFILE button and then your EDIT PROFILE.
  • Upload a photo.
  • Give a quick introduction about who you are.
  • Fill in your occupation.

Now here’s the cool trick. 
Click on the first box under employment. Copy and paste an abbreviated bio into that box (about 150 – 200 words). Make sure the CURRENT box is checked. This allows anyone who hovers over your avatar to see your entire bio. This cool trick is courtesy of Mashable (http://mashable.com/2011/07/26/google-plus-tips-tricks/#214431-Add-More-Info-to-Your-Profile-PopUp-Window)

I also recommend you fill in the following fields
  • Your email address.
  • Your nickname (if different from your legal name).
  • Profile discovery—if you’re trying to work as a freelance writer or get known as an author you need to make your profile discovery PROFILE VISIBLE IN ANY SEARCH.

Here’s a quick note about circles.

Google + comes with several default circles:
  • Friends.
  • Family.
  • Acquaintances.
  • Following. 

You can also create any custom circles you wish.
And...you can add people to more than one circle.
And…you don’t have to let anyone know what circle they’ve been assigned to!

Okay, that’s enough for one session. I recommend you take the plunge and begin to get familiar with Google +. Use the comment section of this blog to post any questions and we’ll continue this later this week.

And be sure to add me to one of your circles!

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


  1. Thanks for sharing, Edie. I've been thinking about using this feature but hadn't made the leap yet.

  2. Thank you for starting this series. I've been looking into Google+ but find it much easier to take the plunge being guided by a Social Media guru. Thanks for the tips!

  3. Great, Edie. Knowing what you will see and what you need to do before you get there encourages me to take the plunge.Thanks!

  4. Mashable...
    can't wait to stalk that :)

  5. Thanks, Edie. Including a photo to my profile was as far as I'd gotten in Google+. Your post encourages me to leverage this tool.

  6. I'm still wondering if I should get caught up in yet another social networking site. Granted, I'm ready to dump fb, but MOST of the people I know are on fb. Not sure the jump is feasible.

  7. Laura and Don, I think it's going to become important to have a presence on Google+. I know it's one more thing to do, so we each have to budget our time.
    CC, I think we'll all benefit by learning together. If for no other reason than we'll be able to experiment on each other :) LOL!
    Tammie, I'm glad I was able to help!
    Susan, I love Mashable.com - probably my favorite resource on the web!
    CD, I think the transition is definitely doable. Glad you stopped by!

  8. Facebook and Twitter now Google Plus, Oh My!!

    Oh great Oz, I'll try to follow the yellow brick road! I must admit that I feel like Scarecrow. If I only had a brain.

    PS You stay in my prayers!

  9. Kristi, don't forget my motto about social networking. If you don't feel overwhelmed you're not doing it right! That's meant to be funny, but it's also true in that it gives us permission to not be experts or even involved with everything. Blessings - E