Thursday, July 28, 2011

So I'm in, Now What? Google Plus Resources Round-Up

Now that I've used it longer, I wanted to tell you more about Google+ than I did in my original post. This is a round up of a few of the sources out there that are helpful to new people. There is a ton of it out there, so I really had to narrow it down to the most helpful.

My first pick is this visual orientation from Saidur Cy Hossain. When you click on the link, scroll down until you see this picture below. Click on that to begin the slideshow.
Next, Mashable is always a great place to start, so check out their Complete Guide here.

Once you're in and get used to using it, you'll want some of the cool extensions that make Google+ even EASIER to use. Especially when it hits you that you now have at least THREE networks to manage. To keep from going insane, you may want the extension that imports your Twitter and FB feeds into Google+. I found that one on this list - The Mother of ALL Google+ Resource List. It's great and you'll want to browse the list. But if you want the one to have all your feeds in one place, go here Start Google Plus. That handy extension was designed by Zane Claes and he continually tweaks it to keep it working smoothly. 
Okay, so now you're in and you're really getting good, maybe you're ready to move to "power user." PCWorld has the list for you: 40 Google+ Tips and Tricks for Power Users

Finally, I'm really intrigued by the idea of using Google+ in Education. The ability to send information to select groups in a way that can't be done in Facebook is interesting. Also, this opens a way to communicate with students in a social network setting without all the dangers/inappropriateness inherent in "friending" them on Facebook. I haven't seen a ton written about this yet, but I have found two articles that address how we might use it in education:

Of course, my list of educational resources for Google+ wouldn't be complete without the inclusion of Steven Anderson's (aka @web20classroom) LiveBinders collection located here.

Personally, my favorite parts of G+ so far:
1. Privacy - Sending posts to only certain groups. This REALLY works. In the beginning I thought you could still go to someone's profile and see all of their posts there regardless of where they sent them. Not true. It's true privacy. If you send to only certain people, only they get to see it. That was revolutionary for me! You can also post a message to just one person by directing the post to just them.
2. Functionality - Sending posts that I really want to delve into later directly to Evernote. Seeing my Twitter and Facebook stream within, so I don't have to leave. All of the customization and extensions! (And these are improving every single day)
3. Creativity - The wide diversity of people and inspiration I get on a daily basis. The conversations feel more meaningful too, because you're connecting with people based on your common interests. But don't worry, there are plenty of goofy animated GIFs of cats doing silly stuff too.

Finally, I have even more links that I've bookmarked in my Diigo, so click my Google+ tag to see many more!

Happy Plussing! 

*Updated 8/2/11