Think DifferentHow to Use Google +

Macintosh evangelists were the unsung heroes of Apple. Apple did not pay them, and most Macintosh evangelists were not shareholders. Their motivation was a love of Macintosh and a desire to help people become more creative and productive by using Apple’s new computer.

They provided support when Apple couldn’t or wouldn’t and helped keep Macintosh alive during the dark days of the late 1980s.

To evangelize Google+, or anything else, people need to help others “think different.”
In the case of Macintosh, potential Macintosh users had to think different rather than default to Windows. In the case of Google+, people need to think different rather than default to Facebook or Twitter.

In the course of trying to convince thousands of developers to write Macintosh software, I learned that the most effective way to evangelize something new is to demonstrate it. This chapter explains how to evangelize and demonstrate Google+.

Demo Different
I’ve demonstrated Google+ to hundreds of people, and these are the features of Google+ that have worked well for me:Think Differently about Google +

•       Editing. Show people that you can edit a post or a comment after-the-fact. You can’t do this with Facebook and Twitter. You can do this with Pinterest, but few people compose long posts or comments on Pinterest so editing doesn’t matter.

•       Customizing. Reorder the icons in the navigation ribbon on the left side of the window. For example, move “Circles” above “Profile” by dragging and dropping. I don’t know of any place on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest where you can customize the user interface this easily.

•       Ripples. Select a post that’s been shared at least twenty times (it doesn’t have to be yours” and launch “View Ripples” to show the utter coolness of ripples. The easiest way to find a popular post is to click on the Explore button in the navigation ribbon on the left side of the window and peruse the “What’s hot” area.

While you’re mentioning Ripples, you should discuss Facebook’s Edgerank system where only 10% of your friends and family can see your updates. Roughly speaking if Facebook has ten times more people but only 10 percent can see your updates, that puts it on par with Google+, right?

•       Google+ search. Ask your audience what their passions are and do a search for the keywords in Google+—not a regular Google search but a Google+ search. Show people that almost every search yields people, posts, and circles. In other words, everyone can find people who share the same passions on Google+.

•       Circles. Add a few people to an existing circle and show how to create a new circle. G+musicExplain that this is a way to organize people along parameters such as interests (knitting, hockey, etc.) and relationship (friends, family, colleagues, etc.). Also, demonstrate how to remove people from a circle.

•       Block and report. Pick a post in your stream and show how easy it is to block and report a person for the unfortunate and infrequent instances when you want to get rid of a bozo. Other services can do this too, but you should at least help people check the “get rid of bozos” box.

•       Notification. Show people the notifications you’ve gotten for +mentions and explain how useful it is to know when people have mentioned you anywhere in Google+. Other services can do this too, but Google+’s method is very elegant.

•       Creative Kit. Click on one of your pictures in your posts, launch “Creative Kit” (upper left corner) and show people the built-in picture editor of Google+. It’s very handy to have photo editing built into one’s social-media service.

Social search. Perform a search of a term that is relevant to your audience. For example, if you’re with entrepreneurs, search for “venture capital” and show them how the results of a Google search now include the posts of people that you circled. (To make this work, you have to know that the people you follow have shared posts about the topic.)

Also, point out how the right sidebar provides suggestions of people to circle who write about the topic.
BOSHnewmedia G+ evanglist•       Hangouts. Start a hangout to show how you and nine buddies can video conference. Point out how cool this is for communicating with family, friends, and customers. Then show a YouTube video of two guys that people might have heard of, the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, sitting around and shooting the breeze.

The word “evangelism” comes from a Greek word that means “good news.”

With this list of tips and ones that you perfect on your own, I hope that you’ll go forth and spread the good news about Google+.

Continue reading How to evangelize Google+ by Guy Kawasaki