Presenters: Matt Cooke, Lisa De Bonis
Reporter: Gillian Nove
This was a really busy and popular session and as a result we were all in the main hall, to fit everyone in. I had had the benefit of half an hour downstairs with a Google+ rep and that was really useful, so I was optimistic that this session would fill in even more gaps for me. I’ve had a Google+ account for a few months, but have never really used it. I never understood what to do with it and why I should have it as well as Facebook. So I approached this with an open mind and prepared to learn something!
One of the best things about this session was that Lisa and Matt has structured it completely around blogging, so it was very relevant to all the people in the room. Lisa started off by outlining the structure of the session and then explained what Google+ was in relation to Facebook and Twitter. Where Facebook is all about people and Twitter is about opinion at a moment in time, Google+ is all about passion points and content.
But what does that mean? It means you can share the right things with the right people, because your followers segment their streams according to their circles of interest. Google+ gives exposure to the right people, enables you to follow or circle people with shared interests, interact with this content and tag your own content with relevant keywords. The latter is particularly helpful with SEO.
Lisa went on to explain the difference between profiles v pages and recommended that bloggers should use pages for their blogs. This way, the identity of the blogger can remain anonymous. However, this did prompt a lot of questions from the audience and there was some confusion around multiple email addresses, blogs and profiles. A number of the audience had more than one email address that they wanted to link together under one Google+ profile or page. However, this is not possible with Google+. You can only have 1 email address linked to a profile, but multiple pages set up on this. One or two of the bloggers expressed their disappointment about this and Lisa and Matt suggested they catch up separately to see if they could work out a solution for them.
Another important feature of Google+ is the hangouts, which is essentially group videoconferencing. It is similar to Skype, but allows multiple users on calls. At the moment the maximum is 10, but this will be changing shortly to include even more. The hangouts are really good for how to demonstrations, such as cooking or crafts. President Obama did some recently in the US with great success. They would also be perfect for vlogging.
Understandably, the links between Google+, Google search and YouTube are very powerful and definitely among the main benefits of having a Google+ profile. Very soon, G+ will be built into the Google search engine, making it even more compelling to have a G+ page for your blog to further boost your SEO.
So at the end of it did I understand Google+ more? Yes I did. I felt like I understood enough to go away and have a play around myself. There is definite value in sitting next to someone who knows what she is talking about, so there could have been greater benefits in more interactivity in the session, but even without that it was a well presented and informative session that I’d recommend to others.
All About Gillian:
I originally come from Edinburgh, but these days live in lovely North Wales, not far from Chester. I am married to Chris, with a son of 4 and 2 step-children of 14 and 18. I spent 12 years working in retail marketing, but left at the start of this year to set up my own marketing consultancy to try and achieve more balance in my life between work and family – the Holy Grail for working mums! Things have started well and the business is growing slowly, which is really encouraging. I’m a social media addict and can lose hours weaving my way between Facebook, Twitter and my new favourite Pinterest. It was my love of social media that led me to blogging. I’m still very much a novice, but it’s something that I enjoy and am looking forward to doing much more of!