Google+ (or G+) officially launched at the end of June, 2011. Have you tried it? Perhaps you should. Are you totally confused by G+, or did it leave you unimpressed? Help is available for all of these situations, and here it is!
Guy Kawasaki’s What the Plus? Google+ for the Rest of Us (Version 2.0) can get you started, remove the confusion, and give you a new perspective on G+.
What’s it about?
What the Plus? is 18 short chapters that will take a couple of hours (at most) to read. As you can see from the chapter titles in Sidebar 1, Guy covers the essential how-to information. What may not be so obvious is how he addresses the way you can use Google+ efficiently to:
- Create and strengthen your own brand
- Learn from passionate experts
- Facilitate conversations
- Share your own expertise
- Curate key knowledge for yourself and others
Even though the book is written tutorial-style, you will find yourself bookmarking key items and ideas. My guess is that you will read it, get curious, and try what Kawasaki suggests. If Google+ is for you, you will be hooked and keep returning to What the Plus? as a reference.
Kawasaki compares Google+ to three other top social media (Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest). He explains how they are different, and the specific reasons people use each of them. Each of the social media offers its own features and benefits, but Google+ is far more comprehensive. The key for effectiveness with G+, Guy says, is to use it for the topics you are passionate about.
What the Plus? is filled with Guy Kawasaki’s famous humor, which makes for enjoyable reading even when the topics could be pretty dry (such as completing your profile). At the same time, Kawasaki’s writing is focused and to the point. He explains how to use Google+ so that you benefit, add value, and don’t waste time. Guy provides links at the end of chapters to lead you to the sometimes hard-to-find official Google explanation of important features.
I wish it had…
Google+ is growing, and the features continue to evolve. It is not the same service now that it was a year ago. It is becoming integrated with other Google services, such as Gmail. Kawasaki is going to have to continue to update the text to stay current, but in its present form it will be necessary to buy a new edition of the book. It would be an excellent thing if McGraw-Hill would choose to provide a way to subscribe to online updates as G+ evolves. Other books do this and apps do this. Why not What the Plus?
Why do you need to read it?
Google+ supports many services that eLearning professionals will find indispensable. During development of content, the ability to access experts, to crowdsource ideas from colleagues, and to use chats and Hangouts for meetings and brainstorming are not currently matched by any other social medium. When your course or learning program launches, chat and Hangouts are useful as delivery channels, and communities can support collaboration. Throughout the process and after, circles and streams will help you manage volumes of communication. What the Plus? will show you how to use all of these features, without frustration and without a long period of orientation and learning about them.
What the Plus? is definitely a book that you should have on your shelf or in your eReader!
Kawasaki, Guy. (2012) What the Plus? Google+ for the Rest of Us (Version 2.0). New York: McGraw-Hill. 208 pages. ISBN 0071810102.
Publisher’s List Price: $10.00
Kindle edition: $2.99 (Prime price $0.99 as of 1/28/13)
Nook edition: $2.99