Learning to Love Google+

I've tried and I've tried and I've tried - really I have! And I still don't quite get it. I'm not alone either - using my newly-found search skills, I got rid of some earlier grumbles and found a thoughtful but fairly negative piece posted within the last month (balanced by the comments, which are well worth reading btw).

However, never say never, and I do use the amazing Hangouts video feature and more's to the point here, my most esteemed and clever friend uses Hangouts for all kinds of business meetings a lot of the time and mentioned in passing how people still find it quite difficult to use, even though the technology itself is remarkably user-friendly. Which is when I offered to write something to try to help, as I envisage using it more myself...

So, I'm declaring my intentions here and have begun to sketch out the different sections of a Wonderful Guide to Google+ - an introduction, an overview, how to get started, using the main features - that kind of does it for now. At some point soonish, I'll produce a complete guide, but in the meantime, I'll post the various sections here, starting with a very brief...

Introduction to Google+

Google+ (or 'Google Plus') is Google’s very own social networking product – their answer to Twitter and Facebook. 

What Google+ does well: it’s nice to be able to put people into groups that you control and the privacy settings are also more nuanced (than Facebook, say) – and if you’re a Google mail and calendar and blogs and all user, then integration is very useful.  Best of all is Hangouts, the video chat feature, which is very user-friendly. 

Where it becomes tricky: in all honesty, there’s quite a lot going on here and it can come across as complicated – which, of course, is off-putting for most of us!

However, having spent just a little time with it, I can tell you that I think it’s worth getting to grips with for all the advantages – and that’s why I’ve put this document together, because the idea here is to lead you slowly through the main aspects of Google+ so that you can then develop your own way of using it. 

(that last paragraph may become darker if I still don't get it by the end of the document!)