Google+ Tips and Tricks

Now that Google+ has been rolling out slowly to the general public for almost a week, it’s time to start thinking about how to bring the average, non-tech savvy user,...

  • You can set multiple profile pictures. Click on the picture to rotate through them.
  • See how your profile would look from someone else’s eyes. While editing your profile select view profile as anyone on the web or input another persons name.
  • Add formatting to your posts. *test* to bold, _test_ for italics, and -test-, for strike-through.
  • You can use shortcut keys to navigate around. Space to scroll down the Stream, Shift Space to scroll up the Stream. J and K to jump between posts. Q to jump to chat. Return and Tab Return for starting and ending commenting.
  • To Mention someone in a post you can use @ like Twitter or Facebook. You can also use the + symbol. You can also share by entering their email address if they aren’t on G+.
  • You can send private messages to someone by doing +their name and disabling re-sharing.
  • Disable re-sharing of your normal posts if you do not want it shared with others. This is done by clicking the arrow on the top right of your post.
  • Clicking +1 on a post is essentially liking a post. To unlike it, click +1 again.
  • Blue are people in your Circles. Green are people outside of your circles. i.e. Public vs Friends.
  • Click on the Limited text next to the time-stamp to find out the list of people whom you are sharing your post with.
  • Clicking on the time-stamp also gives you the permalink, this is similar to Twitter.
  • You can drag and drop photos, videos, or links to share them.
  • You can Edit your uploaded photo’s by selecting the Actions menu on a particular photo.
  • If a post becomes a bit to noisy for your liking, you can mute it by clicking on the arrow on the right top corner and selecting ’Mute this Post’.
  • The Incoming option in your Stream is for people who have added you and are sharing content with you, however you have not included them in your Circles. This is great!
  • Enable Google Talk / Chat for people in your Circles so you can chat with them similar to Facebook Chat. To do this select the down arrow beside the word chat on the lower left and select Circles. Choose which Circles can see you online.
  • Use the scroll wheel of your mouse to easily browse photos.
  • While viewing or editing a large Circle, use your mouse scroll wheel to rotate users in and out of view.
The last major reason to move to Google+ besides the feature list and privacy advantages would be Google integration. Google+ as I mentioned in another post ties everything Google together. I bet you’ll find that as a Google+ user, you’ll begin using other Google services such as GMail, Docs, Calendar, or Picasa (Photos) more frequently due to tight application integration.
Once you’ve decided to make the plunge over to Google+, you may find yourself thinking: Ok, I’m here, now what?! You’re on this amazing service but you don’t have your Facebook contacts or your Facebook Photos, this may seem like quite a bummer. Have no fear, you can get all of your data out of Facebook and on to Google+ in just a few easy steps!
First, your contacts. There are two options currently available to pull your contacts over to Google+. Option 2) If you’re a Google Chrome user, just install the Facebook Friend Exporter Extension and head on over to Facebook and follow the instructions. Option 2) I did this a few days ago before the extension was available. If you don’t have a Yahoo Email account, go create one. Once logged into Yahoo Mail, go to contacts and link your Facebook account. Once linked, allow the application permission to access your Facebook data. This will download all of your contacts into Yahoo. Next, go back to Google+, head on over to Circles, select Find and Invite and add your Yahoo account. This will then import all of your Yahoo (indirectly Facebook) contacts.
Getting your pictures is much, much simpler. From Facebook visit your Account Settings. At the bottom select Learn More from Download Your Information. Follow the instructions and within a few hours you’ll have all of your posts and photo albums ready to download. Facebook will email you once your data is ready. Each of your Facebook photo albums will have their own folder. Extract them to a temporary location. Go back to Google+, select Photos, create a new album, and drag and drop your Facebook photos you saved to a temporary location on your computer. It’s that easy!
Download Your Facebook Data
If you have any other tips, tricks, or incentives, let me know. Thanks and good luck!
UPDATE:  I’ve compiled a list for you to tell your family and friends on Facebook.
The Top 10 Reasons for you to Switch to Google+:
1. Integration with Google Services
2. Better Friend Management (Circles)
3. Better Mobile App (On android coming to iOS very soon)
4. Easier to Find Stuff to Share (Sparks Service)
5. You Can Get Your Data Back
6. Better Photo Tagging(Once you tag a person, that person will automatically get tagged in the upcoming uploads. You have to approve all tags)
7. Strong Group Chat Features (Hangouts)
8. Safer Content Sharing
9. Google Is a Better Steward of Your Personal Data
10. Google’s track record for success.