Over the past few weeks I’ve been experimenting with Google Plus and working out my own use for it. I’m always keen to try out new things and give them a fair go and whereas I didn’t get on with Quora, I’m finding Google+ to be a useful site. I was hesitant at first but now feel like I’ve found my feet with it and it’s part of my daily online diet of sites and interactions.

Where to begin?
After receiving an invite, I created my account then started off by looking for my Twitter contacts. I quickly discovered that as the site uses ‘proper’ names rather than user IDs, I would have to search hard to find the people I know. It was also fairly amusing to realise that unless people use the same photo on both Twitter and Google+, and I know them by their proper name as well as their username, finding them wasn’t going to be easy.

I decided to use a hashtag in my profile, #internalcomms, and discovered that if I searched for people and they had written that phrase, I came across their profiles, could scan through and connect. I’ve included a screengrab of what appears if  you search using the hashtag – it takes you through pages of people with internal communications in their profiles so is a good way to create your network/circle. I’ve found this to be a good workaround, particularly if you can’t find people using their names or photos.

There have been various guides and articles published over the past few weeks about Google+ including how it works and whether it will replace any other site. Based on what I’ve read, I decided to create my own Comms Circle in order to clearly identify the group and for it to be a useful resource. This is helping me to use Google+ more effectively as I’m able to filter the streams from circles and then if I publish content directly to that circle only rather than say my Family circle, I’m able to tailor content based on the audience.

Things appear to be changing on the site all the time and more features added. I’m not sure whether it will totally replace how I use other sites, but it is certainly an interesting way of connecting and communicating with people.

Breaking down silos?
Google+ works by operating in silos as you categorise and find people then determine how to communicate with them – e.g. which circle to put them in. As a professional communicator I know the notion of silos is one that organisations spend a lot of time, effort and money to avoid, preferring horizontal or cross-functional working and communication.

However the beauty of Google+ is that you can put people in multiple circles. If you’re familiar with Facebook, imagine your status feed in the same way – tailoring your ‘friends’ list into workmates and family, then choosing which status to share with each group. This is in essence how circles work. However you can make your communications even more flexible through Google+ as you’re able to determine what you share, with who and when. I’m learning more about the site every time I use it and wonder how long it will be before a similar concept is created for internal communications? Or does it exist already?

Have you checked out Google+? If you would like to connect you can find me here.

Let me know what you think of the site, whether you think it is useful or what thoughts you have. You can comment below or contact me.

Post author: Rachel

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