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Could it be the hottest cloud based + social network + collaboration website to hit the World Wide Web?  (Ha! Do people still use that term?)

It is yet to be determined but there is enough buzz surrounding this to definitely outlast the buzz of Wave!  Wave was the latest flop to be added to the list of Google products.  However, I think they hit the bullseye with Google+ and I will give it a +1!

I have heard from many that they received an invite but don’t know what to do now!  Let’s first go over the different features of the social network side of things and how to use them.

How to Create Circles

How cool would Facebook be if you could organize all your peeps with a click and a drag!

First you want to set up your different circle.  Create separate circles to organize out your peeps and get all fancy!

Once you have your circles created, click and drag them into their own cute circles.   No worries if they fit under more than one!  You can add them to as many circles as needed!

When you add them to a circle, they will be notified that you added them to a circle but will not be told what the name of the circle they were added to is.  Soooo, if you have a circle called “Toxic People” they will have noooo idea!

You can just as easily remove them from a circle too – just click their face and drag them out of the circle!

Streams

Streams are equal to Facebook’s feed!  Only Google has hit the head of the nail by allowing you to easily see everything or only those from a certain circle.  You also have the ability to easily customize what streams see what.  Finally an easy way to share but not share too much.  I have the ability to decide who sees what and when.  Slick!

Photos

Another feature that Google got so right is how your content is shared!  Instead of everything being public unless you say otherwise on Facebook, Google has the reverse.  When you go to share anything you specify who sees it right down to a single person.  Uploading is made easy-peasy.  You can drag and drop straight from your desktop.

Chat

Appearing online is no longer something to be afraid of.  I couldn’t even tell you the last time that I used the chat feature on Facebook because I don’t want certain weird-os to see me online!  You can specifically decide what circles see you online and enable chat with.

Google Profile

I bet this is something that you have but had no idea it was out there!  Google and see…

This is now very important to your Google existence.  Explore it out.

Something you should note is that when you +1 a website or blog post, it doesn’t go straight to your stream but rather shows up on your profile page.  People see the activity through your profile.

Hangout

So one of the coolest features eva (in my opinion) is the Hangout tool!  Video + Multiple peeps = A wicked cool hangout

To get started with a hangout, go to the “Welcome” button and it will walk you through adding individuals or circles to join your hangout.

Add a +1 Button to your Website

Yes, just like the Facebook Like and Tweet buttons there is also now a +1 button!  Click here to install it on it’s own or click here to download it as a combo with FB Like & Tweet buttons.

Next week I will dive deeper into how Google+ is not just a social network and could become the most powerful tool out there for cloud computing.  Can’t wait until next week?  Check out this great presentation of images done to illustrate what Google+ is actually about!

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