July 12, 2011

How Google Plus can help nonprofits connect with supporters

A 36-second video explaining Google+’s new video conferencing feature.

google plus logoJohn HaydonIf you’re reading this and work for a nonprofit, you may not want to hop onto the Google Plus bandwagon – especially if your peanut butter is already spread too thin.

However, if have time and you’re the curious type, go for it! As Andy Huston suggests, “Experiment personally then apply professionally.”

Just know that the vast majority of your constituents will continue to be on Facebook for a long time.

2 ways Google Plus will change how you connect

Though it is early, there are a couple of features that stand out about Google+: Hangouts and Circles.

Hangouts – Hangouts is a way to conduct group video conferencing with other Google+ users.

With Circles, Google puts segmentation up front in their product – and they make it fun!

I can see Hangouts creating a paradigm shift in how organizations connect with their supporters. Imagine key staff (the ones who can effectively represent the organization) posting “open office hours” where G+ users can pop into a Hangout and chat with them face to face about critical topics.

Here’s what Danielle Brigida of the National Wildlife Federation had to say about Google Plus in general:

star focus

Circles – Facebook and Twitter both allow users to put various different people in specific groupings or lists. But how many people use or even know about Facebook friends lists? The same goes for Twitter. Circles, on the other hand, put segmentation up front in their product – and they make it fun!

I could see organizations segmenting their donors, volunteers, partners into a various different circles. Continue reading

July 8, 2011

How to get started with Google Plus and Circles

John HaydonGoogle Plus is the new social platform expected to give Facebook a good fight, and make Flickr, Quora and Twitter a bit nervous.

The video above covers the basics of using Circles, Sparks, Google Profile and sharing updates with friends.To get the most out of this video, share it with your friends (ask them what they think) and read Chris Brogan’s list of 50 ideas / possibilities about Google Plus.

Here’s what you’ll find in the video:

  • 00:45 – Filtering streams
  • 01:25 – Sparks
  • 01:40 – Sharing articles with Circles
  • 02:20 – Sharing with Extended Circles
  • 02:45 – Viewing photos
  • 03:33 – Using Circles
  • 05:45 – Editing content and visibility of your Profile
  • 06:20 – How to share updates, photos, videos and links with your Circles

How to use Google Circles

Google+ has a feature called Circles”that allows users to put various different people into specific groupings or lists.

This feature is intended to:

  • Share relevant content with the right people
  • Follow content posted by people you find interesting

No one in a circle can see who else is in the circle. They also don’t know what you’ve named the circle, or how many other people are in it.

This makes sense when you think about the real life “private circles” we all have in our minds:

  • People we look up to
  • Our closest friends
  • Potential project partners
  • Crushes

The people in these circles usually don’t know they’re in the circle. Some might eventually know (potential project partner becomes project partner), or they may never know (crushes). Continue reading