I believe too much social media can rot the brain and waste many good hours of our lives. So, after I opened a Google+ account (mostly out of curiosity) a few weeks ago, I promptly let it sit unused.
I wasn’t sure what I could do with Google+ and how it might benefit me. Furthermore, I felt that I was too busy to dig around on it, learn by blunder, and have to open a bunch of help screens and blog postings to try to find more information.
Most of all, I didn’t want to click or check the wrong box and start inviting hundreds of email contacts to join me on Google+. Particularly since there was absolutely nothing about me to see except one photo and a few bare words of “profile.”
Google+: The Missing Manual promises to deliver “the important stuff you need to know.” So I recently got a copy of it and gave Google+ another try.
Kevin Purdy’s book, I am pleased to say, is well-organized for beginners and is proving easy to follow as I gradually enlarge my Google+ beachhead.
I am still trying to figure out how to add Google+ efficiently and effectively to my online social life, as well as my writing and editing business. At this point, I still like Twitter much better. But that fact, likely, is because I have been using it for several years and have devoted a lot of time and effort to writing tweets, sharing links, retweeting information and following interesting people.
Kevin Purdy’s book now is helping me make some choices before I click on some of the Google+ setup links and go crashing off into the digital weeds.
Here is how it’s structured:
- Chapter 1: Getting Started
- Chapter 2: Managing Contacts with Circles
- Chapter 3: Streams, Sharing, and Privacy
- Chapter 4: Notifications
- Chapter 5: Sharing Photos and Videos
- Chapter 6: Hanging Out
- Chapter 7: Searching and Sparks
- Chapter 8: Google+ Mobile
- Chapter 9: Playing Games
With the book’s help, I have ventured forth and tried a few things that I might otherwise have avoided or misunderstood. And I now have more features listed to try out during my next opportunities to spend time with Google+.
I am, frankly, still pondering if — or how deeply — I want to invest my social media time in Google+. But Purdy makes the compelling case that “Google+ is more than just a way to connect with friends, family, and acquaintances online. It’s a smarter way of sharing online that’s tied into all the other Google services you might already use”–such as Gmail and Google Docs.
And: “What Google+ really does differently…is give you nearly total control over who can see each thing you put on Google+, and what kinds things you see and from whom.”
I rate this book a well-written keeper (1) for anyone trying to get started on Google+ and (2) for anyone who, like me, has jumped into it and is now trying to figure it out, feature by feature, during busy days.
– Si Dunn‘s latest book is a detective novel, Erwin’s Law. His other published works include Jump, a novella, and a book of poetry, plus several short stories, including The 7th Mars Cavalry, all available on Kindle. He is a screenwriter, a freelance book reviewer and a former technical writer and software/hardware QA test specialist.