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7 How to Make Your Time on Google+ Pay

So far Google+ has taken a back seat to other networks, such as Facebook, with all but the most Internet enthused and those in tech related fields. But, I believe Google+ holds some hidden opportunities precisely for this reason.

Google+

photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc

The key to making Google+ pay is to think about it as a way to make deeper connections in your key constituent groups – customers, suppliers, partners and industry influencers.

There’s no need to think in terms of building the largest network here – think instead of building a strategically broad and deep network where it counts. Create circle that contain the obvious suspects – customers and such, but focus on their connections, who they know, as a way to grow your relationships and network.

Then you can start searching for active Google+ Communities to participate in. Not all communities are active or valuable so you may have to look to find relevant ones worth your attention.

Below are four Google+ practices that will make your time spent there profitable.

Link your authorship – As outlined in this post on Google Authorship, linking the content you publish on the web with your Google+ profile may indeed be the best reason of all to participate on Google+. Don’t pass go until you do this! Think about the opportunity for social proof when a prospect goes out there searching for a solution and finds your content, with your picture and your Google+ profile on page one of the search results.

Create smart circles – Google+ is naturally built around custom groups and for obvious reasons you should start with your customers as your first what Google calls “circle.” Here again, think network and networking by exploring whom your customer interact with most if they are active on Google+. This can also be a great way to find new connections and new content to share on other platforms as people that are active on Google+ oftentimes are less so in other networks. Make sure to share and +1 on their content as well as Google is paying close attention to the interaction on Google+ when it comes to a more complete view of search.

Dig for communities worth joining – Google+ has a group tool of sorts called “communities.” Anyone can create and moderate a community and some are very active. Look for communities related to your industry and join a few that seem to have a fair amount of engagement. Communities work best when there’s an active moderation role stirring the pot and asking for input. Many communities are little more than abandoned spam parking lots so take a good look before jumping in.

Get good at Hangouts – I’ve talked about Google+ Hangouts previously, but I can’t say enough about the current opportunity to stand out from the crowd using Hangouts. This is essentially group video chat with all the bells and whistles to turn it into a very low budget TV station for you. The ability to live stream as well as record your Hangouts opens up so many content possibilities. And did I mention it’s Google? Think these Hangout archives won’t rank very well in search?

If you’ve stayed away from Google+ because it’s not today’s most hyped network, then I suggest you think about it differently and use it in a way that allows you to get the most from your time spent there.

9 5 Collaboration Tools Demonstrate How the Future Web Will Act

TalkWheelThe ability to collaborate with individuals and groups around the world is one of the greatest gifts offered by the new breed of online tool. These tools, and perhaps the web in general, are evolving to become more interactive and feature rich.

With the eventual adoption of HTML5 and its heavy support for AJAX, web pages are quickly becoming web applications in a foreshadowing of the next standard for web sites. Take note of these new tools as they will usher in the expectation that all sites begin to function instead of merely house information.

Below are 5 new breed collaboration tools making heavy use of HMTL5.

Groupzap – This one wins the coolness award in my book, but offers a really powerful set of tools for instant collaboration and brainstorming meetings and white boards on the fly. Marry it with Skype and you have a no cost tool that is hard to beat. You can drag files into the space, document with notes and save the entire session as a PDF. Nobody has to register you just send out a link via IM or email.

Microsoft Office Web Apps – (okay, this one probably doesn’t use HTML5 as IE doesn’t add support for it until IE9, but it still fits the new breed label) – Using the Office Web Apps and SkyDrive you can open a document with a group of people and  co-author and edit in real time with the entire group participating, making changes and viewing the changes live.

Google + Hangouts – One of the most talked about features of the much talked about Google + is Hangouts – a video chat function that allows you to invite or simply host an on the fly group video meeting. (There is now a Facebook plug in that mirrors this and you can add a Group Meeting plug in to your own WordPress blog)

TalkWheel – TalkWheel is an instant messaging platform that works more like a roundtable discussion than the linier stack of the typical IM. It actually create a visual representation of the conversations and filters and relates topics. Looks like a very cool way to keep track of conversations from around the web and I can see lots of focus group and brainstorming uses with its visual presentation.

Vokle – I’m probably stretching how some might view collaboration with this one, but I just love what you can do with Vokle. Vokle is actually a live streaming video platform, but it makes it very easy to have two people present or invite virtual guests to create a talk show kind of feel. You can also share a computer screen as the guest to flip back and forth from live presenter to slides or images. The entire stream can be recorded for future playback as well.