Google Plus has been out for a few days and if you were one of the lucky ones, you got an invite before Google shut them down. Over the last few days I’ve been playing with Google Plus (G+) a lot and put together some useful tips for this new service. Have any other tips besides these? Write them down in the comments.
You can send a private message to someone by typing in their name in the destination field.
Adding multiple people to a circle
You can add people to a circle by creating an empty circle, and then single-clicking people in your contact list, and dragging them into the circle.
G+ saying you have people in common is misleading
When you roll over a new person’s name, G+ can tell you that you have multiple people in common with that person. In reality, that person may have simply added your friends to their circle, it doesn’t mean your friends added that person to their circle. Take care in adding people.
Organizing your circles cleans up the noise
When I first started using G+, I was adding everyone into a giant “Friends” circle. This proved to get very noisy, especially when you have someone like Robert Scoble in there. You may want to read what he has to say, but not necessarily all the time. Add circles for people that may get noisy. G+ doesn’t allow a subset of your circles yet (eg: “Everyone minus <a specific circle>), you have to build that yourself, but then you lose the ability to use the top-level “Stream”.
You can format your text
I found that some internet-based formatting works in G+. To make something bold, put *asterisks* around it. To make something italic, put _underscores_ around it. For a
strikethrough, put -dashes- around it.
Mentions in G+
Just like in Twitter, you can add mentions in G+ by using an @ or + in front of their name.
Handling mail notifications
G+ will automatically send you emails when you’re added, mentioned, and something is shared with you. This can fill your inbox with a lot of junk you may or may not want. There are two ways to handle it. If you want the emails turned off, click the gear icon in the upper right hand corner of your G+ window and select “Google+ Settings”. There, you can select which types of emails you want sent. If you want the emails but not in your main stream, create a filter in GMail.
Right-clicking on the timestamp gives you the post’s link (like Twitter)
Drag and drop media from your desktop into G+
The only stipulation to this is that you have to have the edit window already open.
Click on “Disable reshare” to…disable resharing
If you share something with a limited number of people, they can reshare it outside the intended circle. By clicking the triangle next to the post and selecting “Disable reshare”, they can’t easily share the item without copying/pasting it manually. However, you have to do it fast because you can’t set that until after the post is created.
Click on the +1 to see who +1’d the post or comment
People can’t see your circles. Make what’s good for you.
Keep the Hangout video on one person
If you highlight someone’s video on the bottom row of thumbnails, Hangout won’t auto-switch the video to the person currently talking. When you first click the thumbnail, there will be a green border around their thumbnail. Click it again for Hangout to auto-switch again and the green highlight will disappear.
G+ has an amazing feedback system. You can highlight or block pieces of the page you’re on when sending feedback which will help in their understanding of the problem.
You don’t have to add everyone back
Just like Twitter, you don’t have to follow everyone back that adds you to G+ as a contact.