My New Love – Google Plus

 

I started blogging a few weeks ago for a variety of reasons.  I enjoy writing and wanted to cultivate what little talent I have, I needed to learn more about social media for work, I needed to use my creative side more, I was bored because my husband is stuck in jury duty, I needed a new challenge, the list goes on and one.  But since I’ve started blogging I’ve discovered a whole new internet world.

For example, I had heard of Google Plus, but never bothered to check it out.  It is seriously a cool platform.  For me it has a completely different purpose then Facebook.  Facebook is where I connect with my current friends and acquaintances.  I’ve been on Facebook for years and love being able to stay in touch with old friends and have easy access to current events in their lives.  It probably gives me a false sense of friendship at times, but I love being able to stay in touch with people that I’m not longer able to interact with on a daily basis.

Google plus is a completely different atmosphere for me.  I searched diligently for my friends when I first joined and literally found 20 people and most of them were coworkers.  I’m sure as I utilize the platform more I’ll find additional personal connections, but for now virtually everyone in my circle is a virtual friend.

Virtual friends seem to be the name of the game on Google Plus.  I’ve spoken with people throughout the world and love the ability to connect with such a diverse group of people.   It is a neat feeling to know you are communicating with someone in Australia or India just because you have common interest.

My favorite part of Google Plus is the communities.  Communities are groups of individuals who have joined together based on the love of a specific subject.  I’ve joined groups on photography, blogging, social media, airplanes, rock climbing, canyoneering, humor and even cooking.  These are just some of the broad communities available.  If you want a niche product the sky is the limit.  I was able to find groups for photographers based specifically in Arizona, wildlife, scenic and sports photographers and even a group just for Nikon owners.  This community was particularly helpful because I had a very specialized question on a new camera I just purchased.  I was able to ask about the Nikon VR vs the Nikon VRII lenses and had answers within minutes.  The knowledge base within these communities is incredible.

Google Plus seems to be more of a content based system then Facebook.  Facebook is built on status updates that denote what is occurring here and now in your life.  Google Plus has a similar option, but once you link into communities everything is about sharing information.   It is this exchange of information that makes Google Plus so appealing to me.

I knew going into this blog that I would need to increase my social media presence, but wasn’t aware of how pivotal it was until I joined some of the social media communities in Google.  Through these communities I was able to find information on how to set up various profiles, how to use word press, plugs-ins and a bunch of other stuff I’d never heard of before.  I even taught myself how to submit a xml site map of my blog to Google and Bing.  I know too many of you that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but to me it was a huge accomplishment.  All this information was found via Google plus communities and I’m just scratching the surface.

I’m sure any readers still reading are wondering, “how is this applicable to me?  I’m not starting a blog and could care less about social media marketing.”   You are thinking in the back of your mind, “I don’t need yet another profile to maintain”.  If you are interested in learning about pretty much any subject I can guarantee there is a Google community dedicated to it.  Within these communities you will find people with a variety of skills and knowledge that will provide valuable expertise on their chosen subject.  Whatever you interests may be, establishing yourself as an expert within these communities will increase your exposure significantly within your field.  Google Plus isn’t for everyone, but if you are interested in locating quick and easy resources in a specific area of expertise I highly recommend giving Google Plus a try.

Here is my Google Plus Profile.  I’d love any feedback or recommendations on improving my profile.

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