A GeekMom Guide to Google+ Part Three

Education GeekMom

In Part One of this series, we took a look at Google+ circles. In Part Two, we tackled privacy and profiles. Today let’s talk about the first thing most people want to know when they join a social network: how do I find my friends?

Finding people to follow on Google+

• If you click on your Circles tab, you’ll see a “Find and Invite” tab. I’ve heard varying reports of how useful this feature is at present. For me, it’s been great. The suggested users seem to be a combination of people I know and we have mutual friends who’ve put us both in circles, and names that are new to me but are in fields related to those of people I already follow.

Tip: I created a “New to me” circle which I fill with about 10-12 people at a time. I check in on this circle at least once a day, and if a voice grabs me, I may move that person to a circle I keep up with more often–Following, or Acquaintances (until I know the person better), or one of my topic-themed circles. This has been a fun way to encounter some interesting new writers.

• If you use Gmail, your contacts will be automatically imported to Google+. My Gmail contacts show up at the bottom of that “Find and Invite” window. Yahoo and Hotmail users may import their contacts as well. (You can even import your Facebook contacts via a roundabout route: Facebook to Yahoo to Gmail to Google+. This YouTube clip shows you how.)

Tip: Remember that you can include non-Google+ users in anything you post on G+. Add an email address in the Share window. (This is a great way to include, say, grandparents who’ve been missing out on the photos and hilarious kid quotes you post on Facebook.)

• Search by name, location, or keyword in the new Google Plus Directory.

Tip: Make it easy for friends to find you by filling in your profile page with lots of details! The more you share there, the easier you’ll be to connect with.

• Explore your friends’ circles. Not everyone chooses to display the “who’s in your circles” widget on his or her profile page, but plenty of people do. Visit your friends’ profiles and (if they display the widget) take a gander at whom they’re following. (Don’t worry–no one will ever see the names of anyone else’s circles.)

Tip: Many G+ users are helping other people connect by posting directories on their “About” pages.  For example, on my About page, I share the link of my Kidlitosphere directory: Google+ users who are children’s book & YA writers/illustrators/bloggers/librarians/etc. I’ve also included a list of other people’s G+ directories for homeschoolers, poets, steampunk enthusiasts, and more. Add your name to one of these directories and have fun exploring them for new folks to follow.

• Don’t forget to invite friends the old-fashioned way–drag them along! Look for the little red invitation button in the right-hand sidebar.

While I’m at it, here’s a list of GeekMom writers on Google+:
+Brigid Ashwood, +Natania Barron, +Judy Berna, +Kris Bordessa, +Sophie Brown, +Kathy Ceceri, +Ellen Henderson, +Kay Holt, +“Chaos” Mandy Horetski, +Amy Kraft, +Helene McLaughlin, +Cindy Ortiz, +Sarah Pinault, +Cathe Post, +Kristen Rutherford, +Andrea Schwalm, +Julia Sherred, +Ruth Suehle, +Nicole Wakelin, +Laura Grace Weldon, +Melissa Wiley, +Jenny Williams, +Patricia Vollmer, and don’t forget GeekDad +Ken Denmead!

What other questions do you have about Google+? Click here to read Part Four.

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6 thoughts on “A GeekMom Guide to Google+ Part Three

  1. My question is about commenting…
    For people that you don’t know and just “follow” is it ok to comment and what is it ok to say?
    I feel to shy to write something but also want to get to know more people!

    1. Emma, it is absolutely okay to reply to people you’re following! In fact, it is encouraged. Think of it as replying to a blog post—essentially, that’s what public posts on Google+ are.

      I see this as one of the real perks of Google+: as with blogs and Twitter (which is microblogging, after all), readers can comment on the posts and updates they read, and the post’s author can engage in real conversation with her readers. (More easily than on Twitter!)

      But you also have the ability to have private conversations with smaller circles of friends or colleagues. I’m loving the flexibility.

      1. I just need to get over my shyness and insecurities.

        i didn’t like twitter, it was to impersonal.

        I’m starting to get google+ but none of my real life friends are on it yet.

  2. One thing I’ve noticed about Google+ is that it has the personal connections like Facebook with the ability to connect with people you’ve never met, like Twitter. I would have been mortified to have a link to my Facebook account in a post like this (too personal), but I’m happy to have my Google+ ID in there, as I would be with Twitter.

  3. I thought of another question…
    Is there a way to just send a message to just one person not through their inbox?
    like you can on fb?

    1. Emma, you can enter the person’s name in the “share with” box—the place where you’d normally enter the name of a circle. That will send it as a private message to the person. 🙂

      I usually write (private) on top so the person knows it’s a DM.

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