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Google and The Borg Have More in Common than You’d Think, At Least on YouTube

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You will join Google+. Resistance is futile. At least, if Google has anything to say about it.

Google is currently testing out a new “like” button for YouTube so users will be forced to join Google+ if they want to give videos a thumbs up rating. If you aren’t logged in, you can still watch videos, but you can’t rate them. Not everyone is seeing this button change yet (for example, I still have the old like button), but more and more people are starting to notice this change.

If you haven’t seen it already, celebrity blogger and Star Trek alum Wil Wheaton recently posted a pretty strongly-worded message to Google on Tumblr after becoming aware of the new button:

Oh, go f*** yourself, Google. This is just as bad as companies forcing me to “like” something on Facebook before I can view whatever it is they want me to “like.”

Just let me thumbs up something, without forcing me to “upgrade” to G+, you d***heads.

He elaborated upon that rant in a longer post on his blog, saying,

By crippling functionality on sites Google owns (like YouTube) and forcing users to “upgrade” to a service that they may not want or need to get that functionality back, Google is making a huge and annoying mistake.

Amen to that. Google+ is not dead, but I’m guessing the company has been disappointed with this network so far. Based on the hype when it initially launched, I think they expected it to take over Facebook and perhaps even Twitter. While Google+ isn’t a failure (yet), it also hasn’t really done those things. Super intelligent, long conversations possible on Google+, but the general public is still sticking with Facebook for now, at least for the most part. Does that mean Google+ can never succeed? No. But at the moment, they’re fighting a losing battle and making poor decisions.

Google is  like a cornered animal. Instead of being smart and coming up with a good get away plan, they’re just peeing all over in fear and charging at your face snarling, both of which are not good options.

The Google+ button on YouTube is an attempt to force people to use their network if they want to continue using a service they love (YouTube). But forcing people on the internet to do anything typically doesn’t work out very well.

Beyond that, Google isn’t seeing the big picture. Will some people break down and join Google+ if it’s necessary for YouTube liks? Maybe. But they aren’t going to use the platform in most cases. They’re just doing it because they have a gun to their back. They’re joining so YouTube is still functional. And those who don’t join Google+? They’re simply going to stop liking videos. That’s bad news for content creators, and what’s bad for the people putting videos online is bad for YouTube in general. Fewer likes = less funding for content creators = fewer videos = less traffic.

Assimilation by force never goes very well. On the other hand, if you create ingenious products and tools with the consumer in mind, people will be begging to join your ranks. Look at Pinterest. Millions upon millions of users have joined over the past few months and not one of them has been forced.

I think Neil Gaiman said it best in his reply to Wil’s post:

I wish Google would leave the Social Network thing to others. When Google does what it does, and does it well, it changes the world. When it rides bandwagons, it’s irritating.

Google has amazing abilities. Why do they have to take over every part of the Internet? Why be a jack of all trades when you already are the master of one?

I sincerely hope that Google rethinks this Google+ YouTube button. They can still put such a button there – just give us a way to like without connecting as well. I think that’s a fair compromise. But even better would be to simply leave the like button as it is currently. I’m on board with changes when they’re good, but this one just plain stinks.

What do you think of the new Google+ button on YouTube? If Google makes this change permanent, will you sign up for/log into Google+ so you can use it? Or will you just avoid rating videos from now on?

Original image (sans text) via thms.nl at Flickr’s Creative Commons.

New Media News Break: Blog Detectives, Apple’s Ebook Woes, and More

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It’s Wednesday afternoon and you know what that means – time to take a break from work and catch up on all the new media news you may have missed in the past week. So grab that afternoon energy drink and sit back to check out some of these news stories.

Blog Community Bands Together to Help Police

Who says all blog commenters are trolls? This week, readers of automotive blog Jalopnik banded together to help police with a hit-and-run in Waynesboro, Virginia, where victim Betty Wheeler died after being involved in a hit and run. The only piece of evidence left behind was a piece of the alleged killer’s car. So, a Jalopnik blogger asked readers to help identify the piece – and in a matter of minutes, they did. This information was sent to the police investigating the case. It’s great to see the power a blog community has. Does your community have this kind of teamwork ability? If not, what can you do to strengthen your community?

instagram facebook

Facebook Buys Instagram

Of course, the big story this week is that Facebook bought Instagram for an astonishing $1 Billion. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has noted that although they will be working closely together, Instagram sharing won’t be limited to Facebook, nor will the company be absorbed by it’s parent company – it will remain its own entity. Although some users have already voiced concerns, they have a lot of support as well – and Instagram has shot to number one in the app store thanks to Facebook’s announcements. It will be interesting to continue watching this story to see how Instagram changes now that it has an overlord and more funding than they could have ever hoped for. Will the service improve photo sharing abilities? Will we see major problems? What do you think?

Ebook Publishing Policies Probed in Court

Recently, the U.S. sued Apple and a number of publishers, claiming that the companies colluded to unfairly fix ebook prices. While these companies claim that their publishing policies “enhanced competition in the e-book industry” which was previously dominated by Amazon, the Justice Department is investigating just how Apple worked with publishers to change the way they price ebooks for the iPad, which currently allows publishers to set the end price for consumers and give Apple a commission, rather than allowing the retailer to set the price. The problem is that it’s alleged that executives conspired to fix and raise prices through most-favored-nation provisions in their contracts with Apple so no other retailer could offer lower prices. The Justice Department held a press conference today, announcing an antitrust settlement that, if approved by the courts, will allow retails like Amazon and Barnes & Noble to reduce their prices, effectively terminating anticompetitive most-favored-nation agreements publishers have with Apple. This could mean that we see a vast reduction in the price of ebooks in the near future.

Google+ Gets a Makeover

Today, Google announced a brand new look for Google+, giving the network a much needed face life. New profiles feature better navigation, a drag and drop system, new ways to find interesting conversations, a dedicated page for hangouts, a new chat list sidebar, and more. Although many praised Google+’s initial sleek look, I think a redesign was in order to keep the network competitive, especially with Facebook. Sharing content is now easier than ever on this platform, but the question remains – with Facebook holding strong, Twitter continuing to grow, LinkedIn holding the professional attention, and Pinterest gaining ground with leaps and bounds, can this network survive?

The ListServe Allows You to Email Millions

What would you say if you had a million people listening? That’s the question a group of NYU Students are asking with their new social experience, The ListServe. According to reports, this service allows anyone on their giant email list to enter a lottery where, if won, they get to send an email out to the rest of the list. The email can literally be anything from what the person has for breakfast to funny kitten pictures. Well, almost anything. Each email will be reviewed to ensure it doesn’t contain porn or viruses. But it’s an interesting concept, and one that marketers may be able to use to reach new audience members. Though I have to wonder, is getting another email every day worth the chance to send a blast to a random group of people?

In Case You Missed It

Here’s what you might have missed on the BlogWorld blog in the past week:

Awesome from the Archives

There are some golden posts in the post hidden in the BlogWorld archives. Here are three of my favorites that I think you should check out:

Check back every Wednesday for a New Media News Break just when you need it!

New Media News Break: Bald Barbies, Instagram on Android, Google Glasses, and More

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Welcome to your Wednesday afternoon break from work. Here are some new media stories in the news that you may have missed since our last New Media News Break:

Mattel Responds to Facebook Fans and Creates a Bald Barbie

Facebook fans took to the virtual streets recently, campaigning for Barbie manufacturer Mattel to produce a new doll – one without hair. The bald beauty would be for kids who have cancer, since children in the hospital often feel self-conscious about their hair loss. Mattel responded to the campaigning, announcing a new doll that won’t be sold in stores, but that will be distributed to children’s hospitals in the United States and Canada. They say they won’t be selling the dolls, which come with hats, scarves, and wigs that can be interchanged, because they don’t want to profit from the project. Personally, I’d like to see them also sell the dolls with proceeds going toward cancer research, since other little girls might want a bald friend as well or cancer patients might want more than one doll. But it’s a great story about a company listening to their fans and doing the right thing despite it costing the company money.

Instagram Comes to Android

In a long-waited move, Instagram finally came to Android this week, allowing millions of new users to download this photo-sharing app. Over a million people downloaded it the first day alone. Instagram for Android has most of the same features that current Instagram users have been enjoying since 2010, and already I’ve been seeing a flood of new pictures in my social streams. For picture-based content creators, this is definitely a win! Right now, you can download the new Instagram app on your Android smartphone (tablets are not yet supported), and users join the same community when they register in order to share pictures with friends.

Jeremy Lin Chats on Facebook After Surgery

It’s important to connect with fan, but basketball star Jeremy Lin took it to the next level this week when he held a Facebook chat just a few hours after his knee surgery. He may have had to take a break in the middle of it to toss his cookies (seriously), but thousands of fans “tuned in” to talk to the player and ask questions. He also announced during the chat that he’d be posting YouTube videos throughout his recovery so fans can stay up-to-date with what’s going on. Now that’s a humbling lesson for us all – if Jeremy Lin can post updates while he’s still in the hospital, we’re not too busy to post updates for our fans as well!

Google Starts Testing New SmartPhone Glasses

Google employees are starting tests on the latest “smart” device. Instead of a phone or tablet, though, what Google is testing is something you can wear – glasses. They recorded some videos to get early fan feedback, and already the web is buzzing with possibilities and potential pitfalls. It’s definitely an interesting concept, and one that highlights just how important it is for use content creators to make our blog posts, videos, podcasts, photographs, etc. available using smart devices. Luckily, development is happening on that front with companies like Yapp making it easier for people who have little technical knowledge create their very own apps. It’s easy to get stuck in our ways, but if we don’t evolves and go where our fans are, we’ll be missing out on traffic and sales opportunities.

“Amazon Law” Revoked in Colorado

Over the past few years, Amazon has been dumping affiliates in some states because of new laws surrounding taxation of Amazon’s products. In Colorado, however, the “Amazon Law” has been officially revoked by a federal court. This bodes well for bloggers and other users who want to get back into the Amazon affiliate game, but who live in a state where tax laws are currently preventing it. More than 25,000 affiliates found themselves out in the cold due to these tax laws, so it will be interesting to see if affiliates, many of whom were mad not just at their states but also at Amazon, start linking to the online retailer once again. Grudges sometimes die hard.

Facebook Aims to Get in the Search Game

Google might want to get a little worried – according to reports, Facebook is getting into the search game, or at least exploring this option. former Google employee Lars Rasmussen is heading up the development project with Facebook, which some speculate would be a major blow to Google+. It’s not all bad news for Google, though. The company actually wants competitors and is being vocal about it, since the EU is currently in the middle of an antitrust investigation, with critics saying that Google abuses its power in the search market to direct users to its own brand and decrease competitor viability.

In Case You Missed It

Here’s what you might have missed on the BlogWorld blog in the past week:

Awesome from the Archives

There are some golden posts in the post hidden in the BlogWorld archives. Here are three of my favorites that I think you should check out:

Check back every Wednesday for a New Media News Break just when you need it!

Can You Create Better Content on Google+ Under a Pen Name?

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I’ve written about blogging anonymously (under a pen name) in the past, both here at the BlogWorld blog and on the Wright Creativity blog. I’ve made it no secret that I write and manage a fairly successful blog under a different name, and I think there are great reasons for doing so (though it is definitely not the right choice for everyone).

Today, Google announced that they’d now be allowing both nicknames and pseudonyms on Google+. This makes it much easier for anonymous bloggers to use the network, which will definitely be an advantage for Google as it continue to try to attract more users. But is it doing any favors for the Internet as a whole? Will this encourage the use of pseydonyms – and is that a good thing?

Critics had told me that they feel my pen name allows a certain level of dishonesty. Because I’m not writing under my real name, I’m not as accountable for what I write on my blog, and it also makes it easier for me to deceive people.

These things are true. Blogging under a pen name is powerful, and with great power comes great responsibility.

But I would argue that, online, it’s possible to deceive people whether you use your real name or not. I don’t believe that anonymous blogging makes a blogger more likely to be dishonest, but I do believe that some people find it easier to create better content if they are able to use a pen name – and that’s a good thing for our community of content creators.

Having more opinions or ideas is rarely a bad thing, but if people aren’t allowed to anonymously express those opinions or share those ideas, they’ll often remain silent. Depending on the topic, blogging can jeopardize your job or reflect poorly on your family and friends. A pen name allows your to write without the worry that you’ll be judged. This freedom can be liberating.

Some people abuse this power and use a pseudonym to be nasty to others, share confidential information, or do other unsavory things. Don’t allow these people to form your opinion of anonymous bloggers. There are bad apples in every bunch. Most of the bloggers who write under names other than their real ones simply don’t want to be defined by a single piece of content during their daily lives. The freedom of being able to use a pen name allows us to create better content on Google+ and in general.

I believe that Google+’s decision to allow nicknames and pseudonyms is good for the online community. What do you think?

Google+ Makes Improvements to Pages

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Back at the beginning of November, Google announced they were opening up Google+ Pages, where brands and companies could connect with customers.

Since the launch, Google+ has been listening to feedback from its users and have made some changes.

Here are the Google+ Pages changes as highlighted on their official blog and in a video clip below:

  • You can now delegate up to 50 named managers as administrators for a page.
  • A new notification flow will ensure that these managers stay in the loop on all the activity that takes place on a page, giving managers the ability to stay involved in page conversations.
  • We’ll now show an aggregated count of users that have engaged with your page, either by +1’ing it or by adding it to a circle. This way, both you and your page’s visitors can get an at-a-glance summary of who is interacting with your page.

Google+ Update Improvements to Pages Video

Other improvements Google+ has made include:

  • Google+ Photos experience
  • Pump up (or down) the volume!
  • More useful and attractive notifications

Have you made a Google+ Page for your business yet?

The 12 New Media Days of Christmas 2011: 10 Google Plus Users a-Sharing

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During the 12 New Media Days of Christmas, we’re counting down the days until Santa comes by featuring some of the best blog posts of 2011 from awesome writers within the BlogWorld community! Skip to the end to read more posts in this holiday series and don’t forget to leave a comment if you’ve written a post about today’s topic!

Back in July, I did a huge link round-up on Google+ posts as part of our Brilliant Bloggers series. Since then, the platform has evolved and even more bloggers have weighed in with their opinions and advice about this social network. So today’s topic is Google+ and rest assured that I have some awesome links for you!

Post too long? Head to the Quick Links section for just a list of the links included in this post without all the analysis and quotes!

1. Google Plus – 5 Key Strategies to Get You Started by Wendy Moore at WendyMoore.net

If you’re brand new to Google+ and want to get started quickly, this is a great post to check out. Wendy covers five topics you need to understand to be successful on this platform. Since Google+ is slightly different from Twitter and Facebook, I really recommend you check out a helpful beginner’s guide before getting started. It’s much easier than wading through it yourself like I did the first few weeks! One of her great tips, for example, is about using keywords on Google+.

From the post:

Take advantage of keywords and phrases when posting content on Google +.

Keep in mind that Google Plus is powered by the king of search engines so what you’re sharing can be indexed. By using keywords, you can have a better chance of being ranked higher on Google searches.

After reading the rest of Wendy’s post, you can find more from her at Savvy Web Women. Wendy is also on Twitter @wendy_moore, and if you sign up for her mailing list, you can download a free copy of Savvy Success Tips: How to Use Social Media in Your Business.


 

2. Google Plus as a Storytelling Platform by Chris Brogan at ChrisBrogan.com

I don’t think it would be a valid list of top Google+ posts without mentioning something written by Chris Brogan! His Google+ presentation at BlogWorld with Guy Kawasaki was packed and for good reason – the guy knows what he’s talking about. He’s written tons of posts about Google+, but I definitely wanted to highlight this one, which talks about the value of this platform from a content marking standpoint. Writes Chris,

One great value of Google+ is that it makes a great platform for cultivating visibility. If your organization is hoping to “save a seat at the table” in between sales calls, one way to do this is to create compelling content that nurtures your business relationships by educating your community and by making them the hero in their own story. Said differently: If you want to nurture leads while they’re still at the wide end of the sales funnel, using Google+ is an effective addition to your content marketing strategies.

Chris is on Twitter @ChrisBrogan and you can also, of course, add him to your Google+ circles. He has a free email newsletter available to readers and is a the co-author of the New York Times bestseller book Trust Agents.


 

3. The Pros and Cons of Google+ Pages by Grandma Mary (Andrea Vahl) at AndreaVahl.com

If you haven’t yet been introduced to the Grandma Mary Show, you’re missing out! Grandma Mary is the alter ego of Andrea Vahl, and whatever her persona at the moment, I think this post is super smart. Google+ rolled out their new pages feature recently to allow businesses on Google+, but the system isn’t perfect – at least, it isn’t perfect yet. In this post, Grandma Mary goes over some of the points you need to understand about this platform if you want to create a page for your business, along with instructions for starting and whether or not you even need a page. From the post:

Why even have a page at all if you aren’t going to post there, aren’t going to circle anyone, and aren’t going to participate as your Brand Page?  If you don’t have time, if your audience isn’t there, then don’t create a Page, people!  This isn’t some land grab to see who can be in the most places at once!  If your customers are still all on Facebook, then stay on Facebook.  Take a poll – find out if they are over there!

Andrea is the co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies and is the community manager for Social Media Examiner. You can also check out her various products to help you grow your business using social media. She’s on Twitter @AndreaVahl and @GrandmaMaryShow.


 

4. Public Posts: Are They Spam? by James Barraford at Media Tapper

This is actually a really interesting question, given that public posts are not only sent out to everyone who has you in a circle, but are also picked up by Google’s search engine. James weighs in with his opinion in this post, and also includes the opinion from some of his connections on Google+ about whether or not your public posts on this platform are spam. I think there are good arguments to be had on both sides of this debate, personally, and I certainly don’t want to see Google+ overrun with spammers and other undesirables. Still, I like to use Google+ for promotional purposes and almost all of my posts are public. So am I a spammer? Eek! Writes James,

The term spam gets tossed around a lot on Google Plus. I see it used frequently in situations where people don’t care for a particular post, thread, or superstar tech blogger. I don’t think I’ve seen a photograph of a beautiful mountain scene — that’s been shared dozens of times on my screen — be labeled as spam once. Have I seen +Robert Scoble resharers called spammers? You bet. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and often people forget they have the power of mute… or uncircle.

After checking out his post on Media Tapper, you can add James to your Google+ circles or follow him on Twitter @barraford.


 

5. Google Plus Tips & Shortcuts by Andrew Shotland at Local SEO Guide

Holy resource list, Batman! Pretty much everything you every wondered how to do with Google+ is on this list, with tips about everything from Chrome Extensions to Searching to Hangouts. I can’t accurate describe to y’all how gosh darn useful this list is, and although hasn’t been updated super recently, it looks like Andrew does occasionally come back to add more information. This is one to bookmark, folks! Seriously. Even if you’re not using Google+ right now, bookmark this post so that when you’re ready to jump on board, you can make the process SO MUCH EASIER. Here are just a few examples of the tips and trick he includes in this post:

– If you make a post aimed at your “Friends” circle, people in that circle who aren’t yet inGoogle+ get mailed.

– After you add a circle in the ‘share’ dialog, hover over it and an option will appear to ‘notify about this post’. That helps you control whether people get mailed.

– You can share your G+ posts to Twitter and Facebook with this Google Chrome Extension.

You can add Andrew on Google+ here, as well find him on Twitter @localseoguide.


 

6. Study: Will You Abandon Facebook in Favor of Google+ by Brian Solis at BrianSolis.com

I love Brian’s blog because his posts are so in-depth and packed with information and analysis, and this post is no different. Brian polled nearly 2,000 people to see if they would leave Facebook to commit to Google+ instead. Many people are calling Google+ a game-changer, but there are still so many people still getting used to Facebook; I’m not sure the general public is ready to jump ship just yet. Still, those of us in the new media industry set the trends for everyone else in terms of social media, so I think Brian’s study is an important one.  From the post:

As I noted in my initial analysis, Google+ is not a Facebook or Twitter killer and I don’t think that’s the right lens for which to survey the social landscape. In the U.S., we have a few top traditional TV networks, CBS, ABC, and NBC. In social networking, we now have three top social networks to compete for global online attention and interaction. In this example, none of the traditional networks successfully captured the attention of every viewer possible nor did one network kill the other. Instead, the programming of each network attracts people through content, creativity, and timing, defining, segmenting and sharing the audience around shared interests. The same can be true in social networking.

Brian on Twitter @briansolis and you can also add him to your Google+ circles. He’s the author of Engage and The End of Business as Usual, both of which you can pick up on Amazon.


 

7. Why Google Plus Pages (Will) Beat Facebook. And Twitter by Caleb Garling at Wired

While I’m not sure I necessarily agree (or at least, I’m not ready to make a call either way at this point), I think Caleb makes a really compelling argument in this post, which pits Google+’s new pages feature against Facebook and Twitter. In the past few months, Google+ and Facebook have grown more and more alike as the companies try to one-up one another, but Caleb makes a good point that Google has the advantage of, well, being Google. Will Google’s advantage not be in the platform itself, but rather in their ability to draw on their other departments to promote and integrate Google+ profiles? Caleb writes,

This is where Google will have an advantage over Facebook: With a broad array of services like search and Gmail and Chrome and Android, Google offers tools that are fundamental to the online lives of so many people — and these can be tied to Google+. As Google+ evolves, Google will have the means to promote its social network — and the branded Pages within it — in ways that Facebook or Twitter cannot.

Check out the rest of Caleb’s post on Wired and then head to Google+ to add him to your circles or find him on Twitter @calebgarling.


 

8. How to Hold a Google+ Hangout and Why You Should by Marc Pitman at Social Media Examiner

Marc Pitman is pretty much the coolest guy in a bow tie ever (okay…the second coolest), and this post makes me like him even more – it’s everything you need to know about using Google+ for hangouts. I’ve personally never done it before, so I found his advice (and easy-to-follow instructions with pictures) super helpful. Actually, his post makes me want to check out this whole hangout thing, which is a real feat in itself, because I don’t really like being on camera (turning on my webcam makes me nervous!). From the post:

We all know that people only purchase from us when they know, like and trust us. That used to mean we needed to go to a lot of conferences to meet people. But a tool like Google+ Hangouts can help you do the interacting right from your desk. And as Google rolls out the ability to broadcast Hangouts, you’ll be able to extend your reach beyond the 10 people in the Hangout.

And as you do more Hangouts, and capture more images from those Hangouts, your company will stand out. People will know you’re approachable.

You can find Marc at The Fundraising Coach and add him to your Google+ circles, as well as follow him on Twitter @marcapitman. He’s also the author of Ask Without Fear, which you can check out if you’re interested in fundraising


 

9. Using Google+ Ripples to Connect with Influencers by Casey Henry at SEOmoz

This post outlines a really smart way to use Google+ and one that I don’t see many other people talking about. I think one of the benefits of Google+, especially over Twitter (my first love), is that it is less noisy, so there’s a better chance of getting through to the top people in your niche. Since I don’t use Google+ a ton (yet!), I haven’t really looked into Ripples and why it might be helpful, but wow – I think Casey hits the nail on the head when it comes to why you should definitely check it out. In this industry, networking is everything. Writes Casey,

Sometimes getting an influencer to share your content can be very difficult, if not impossible. Ripples provides an easy way for you to investigate who are the influencers of the influencers. Let me give you an example of how this might work in a real world situation. Let’s say I write a blog post on Google Analytics and am hoping to get Avinash Kaushik to share it, since he is a leader in the Analytics area. However, I don’t have a direct relationship with Avinash, so I need to find someone approachable who does.

After checking out how Casey goes on to use Ripples to connect with Avinash, you can check him out on Twitter @caseyhen. His personal site is GR Web Designs.


 

10. 14 Bloggers Share 14 Awesome Tips For Using Google+ by Srinivas Rao at The Skool of Life (guest post for Social Mouths)

Y’all know that my mouth waters when I see lists that feature advice from a bunch of different people, so this is definitely a post I wanted to share! In this guest post for Social Mouths, Srini talks to people like Kelby Carr, Karl Staib, and Angela England about how they use Google+ as a way to connect with readers, drive traffic, find interesting content, build their communities, and more. From the post:

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on Google Plus and I’m finding that the quality of conversation with content creators is significantly higher there.

So I decided to put that theory to the test and ask some bloggers to share their best tips to on using Google Plus.

You can find Srini at The Skool of Life and BlogcastFM. He’s on Twitter @skooloflife, and you can add him to your Google+ circles here.


Quick Links

For those of you short on time, here’s a list of the links covered in this post:

  1. Google Plus – 5 Key Strategies to Get You Started by Wendy Moore (@wendy_moore)
  2. Google Plus as a Storytelling Platform by Chris Brogan (@ChrisBrogan)
  3. The Pros and Cons of Google+ Pages by Grandma Mary (@AndreaVahl/@GrandmaMaryShow)
  4. Public Posts: Are They Spam by James Barraford (@barraford)
  5. Google Plus Tips & Shortcuts by Andrew Shotland (@localseoguide)
  6. Study: Will You Abandon Facebook in Favor of Google+ by Brian Solis (@briansolis)
  7. Why Google Plus Pages (Will) Beat Facebook. And Twitter by Caleb Garling (@calebgarling)
  8. How to Hold a Google+ Hangout and Why You Should by Marc Pitman (@marcapitman)
  9. Using Google+ Ripples to Connect with Influencers by Casey Henry (@caseyhen)
  10. 14 Bloggers Share 14 Awesome Tips For Using Google+ by Srinivas Rao (@skooloflife)

Other posts in the 12 New Media Days of Christmas series will be linked here as they go live:

12 Bloggers Monetizing
11 Emailers List-Building
10 Google+ Users a-Sharing (this post)
9 Vloggers Recording
8 Links a-Baiting
7 Community Managers a-Managing
6 Publishers a-Publishing
5 Traffic Tips
4 New Media Case Studies
3 Must-Read New Media Interviews
2 Top New Media News Stories of 2011
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree

You can also check out the all the posts from 2010 and 2011 here, and don’t forget: If you wrote a post in 2011 about today’s topic (Google+), PLEASE leave the link in a comment below to share with the community!

How to Enable YouTube’s New Design Now

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Most likely you’ve heard about YouTube‘s new design that is coming soon. (Reportedly, some already have it.) Now you can have the chance to give it a test drive.

Thanks to the people over at The Verge, we have the super secret (okay, it’s totally not a secret anymore) formula:

In Firefox: Ctrl + Shift + K (Win) | Cmd + Shift + K (Mac)

In Chrome: Ctrl + Shift + J (Win) | or Cmd + Alt + J (Mac)

Now punch in the following string of code:

document.cookie=”VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=ST1Ti53r4fU”;

Now, close the console and re-load the site. Easy as pie. I tried it and it worked beautifully. Here’s a screen capture I took.

After you sign in, you’ll notice on the left hand side a button for Google+. One click and it loads all of the videos from your Google+ Circles. Overall it’s a very clean and well-organized design.

If you try switching to the new YouTube, let me know what you think about it. No word on when YouTube will switch everyone over themselves.

The Difference Between Facebook and Google+ is Passion

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For those of you who are at BlogWorld Los Angeles, did you attend the Google+ for Business session with Guy Kawasaki and Chris Brogan? I sat in mainly because I am still trying to figure out this mystery we call Google+. It’s still a mystery to me as to how to use it, if I should use it and who is using it.

There have been dozens and dozens of articles written on how people think Google+ is not doing well or the fact that it’s doomed to fail. (Guy commented on the fact he can’t understand why the tech world seems so negative about Google+.)

What it seems most people want to know is why would they put any focus on Google+ when they are active on Facebook? More time on a social network? Are you kidding me? Most of us barely have time to focus our efforts on Facebook and Twitter, much less adding something else in.

But both Guy and Chris believe Google+ is a must for your business. They listed a bunch of reasons why, but the one quote that stuck out to me the most was when Guy gave his opinion on the difference between Facebook and Google+.

He said, “For me, Facebook is for friends and family and Google+ is for people who share your passion that you don’t know yet.”

What does he mean by that exactly? He means that Google+ is full of people who are passionate about a specific subject. He’s found communities based around everything from photography to hockey. And within these communities, you can build a relationship with people who share the same passion as you.

Guy spends 2 to 3 hours a day on Google+ interacting with people and using it as a marketing platform. Yes, 2 to 3 hours a day.

They both gave many more reasons they believe NOW is the time to get involved in and active on Google+. If you want to hear their session, be sure and check out the BlogWorld Virtual Ticket.

So, let’s open up the floor for discussion. For those of you who were in the Google+ for Business session, what did you walk away with? For those of you who weren’t, what are your thoughts on the difference between Facebook and Google+ Guy gave? I would love to hear your thoughts and if you think spending time on Google+ is worth it.

Google Chrome’s New Tab Page, Google+ Integrated

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Google says their web browser, Google Chrome, is now even more app-ealing. Did you get it? Their play on words?

That’s right. They’ve redesigned their Tab Page making it more streamlined and easier to access and organize your apps. (Will this move them even closer to taking over second place?)

Being the visual person that I am, I love how their apps are now “presented in a wall of images” as they state on their blog. It’s updated everytime you visit, it’s more visually appealing and it’s just easier to find what you’re looking for. As for installing new apps, they’ve made that super simple as well. Just hover over the image and click “Add to Chrome”.

Continuing with their efforts to integrate Google+ into all of their products, the apps store now includes reviews from Google+ profiles. The reviews link back to the person’s Google+ profile.

They’ve also added some new apps such as My Robot Nation™, an app that lets you design your own robot and bring it to life with a 3D printer.

Here’s a quick video tour of the new updates from Google Chrome.

This won’t be the last update we see from Google Chrome. They have more new features coming!

What browser do you use and why? For those of you not using Google Chrome, do these new features make you want to switch?

 

Google Buzz is Gone, Google’s Efforts to Go Towards Google+

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Google is doing some spring cleaning – actually a “fall sweep” as they are calling it, and announced a whole slew of products they are shutting down. One product I think we all saw coming to an end is Google Buzz.

Bradley Horowitz, Google’s vice president of product, said on the Google blog,  “In a few weeks we’ll shut down Google Buzz and the Buzz API, and focus instead on Google+. While people obviously won’t be able to create new posts after that, they will be able to view their existing content on their Google Profile, and download it using Google Takeout.”

If you’ll remember, Google Buzz launched not long ago in February of 2010. If you’ll also remember, it was considered to be a threat to both Twitter and Facebook. I used it twice. How about you?

Horowitz ends the post saying, “We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+. Our users expect great things from us; today’s announcements let us focus even more on giving them something truly awesome.”

Given the fact they have 40 million users on Google+, you can see why they would focus their efforts there.

With the death of Google Buzz, what do you think Google has learned?

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