A Google+ Webinar with Paul, Dan and Mark

GooglePlusI am watching a webinar called Google+ the Next Big Thing that was recorded this morning at 4am (too early for me) with Paul Allen, Dan Lynch and Mark Olsen. To find out more about these speakers, and to watch the webinar yourself, go to http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/webinars.asp. It will be available online for another week or so, and then you can buy it on a CD.

So far Paul Allen is showing slides of the amazing rate of takeup of Google+ compared with Facebook and Twitter, and talking about why everyone isn’t on here yet…
Funny, I saw these slides when he first published them (on G+) and it’s a much quicker process to read them than listening to an explanation. Perhaps I’m more visual than aural.

I take it back, I hadn’t realised how much work went into +Paul Allen‘s surname analysis! On a survey taken by Paul, 93% of Facebook users are happy with it. A large majority are unaware of Google+.

Paul has found much richer engagement with other people on Google+ than on any other site, and distributed to more people. I have to agree with him there. Twitter’s 140 character limit cannot accommodate a serious discussion about anything.

What we see on Google+ now is just the tip of the iceberg. Google is releasing just a bit at a time, and it will connect people around the world as never before. I can’t wait!

Now Dan Lynch is giving us a tour of Google+. It’s an excellent introduction to the features and functionality and would make a great how-to video on its own.

You need a Google account. A lot of people have one of these already without realising it. If you use Gmail or Google Alerts, you already have one.

You can share posts, looooong posts if you like, with pictures and video and web link, to specific people in your circles. Circles are what make Google+ so powerful. You can put similar people together in their own circle, like family or friends or people who are descended from the same Craig ancestor as you. Then you can share posts or photos only to a specific circle.

I tend not to do this; most of what I share is public. I made the decision early on that Google+ is more like Twitter than Facebook and so rarely do I share anything with a specific circle. That will probably change as more of my friends and family use Google+.

I hadn’t looked at the Photos tab since the beginning when there was very little in there. It’s really rather cool! You can see the photos of other people in your circles, as you can in Facebook, but you can also see how many comments have been left for the photo.

I’ve also had another look at my profile to see if I needed to add anything. I didn’t, but I may in the future.

Now Mark is giving us a live demonstration of the Longest Hangout, still running after a month or so… Holding documents up in front of the camera so the rest of us can see them is not an ideal way of sharing documents. There are other ways, though. They require the installation of additional software.

Manycam.com has a free download to screencast in hangouts, and so does webcammax.com. I’ll give that a go!

Use Livestream.com to stream a hangout live over the internet. Free account includes ads, a paid account has no ads but costs… a lot. There was a mention of something called Virtual Cable that I missed.

Skype, Facebook and so on also allow meetings online. Google hangouts are just easier. Hold down CNTRL key and then + or – to make parts of the hangout window (video or chat) bigger or smaller. Hangouts can be shown to large groups of people, in a seminar room or whatever.

Incoming! Incoming is where you can see things that people are sharing with you that are not in your circles and so don’t appear in your main stream.

Google+ is only in beta testing. It’s not cooked yet. By the time Google has finished adding things to it, it will be amazing!

If you want an invitation to Google+ go to Dan’s website at http://danlynch.net/ and click on the G+ Invite friends link. It looks like this:

gplus invite friends