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I’ve been using Google+ for five days. I immediately fell in love with its fresh take on social networking. Google+ is not another Facebook. Sure, you can do some of the same things, like sharing links to articles, videos, photos and your location (I don’t get the appeal of letting everyone know where you are). You can also follow your favorite authors, actors, musicians, etc. That’s where the similarities end. There are no games, groups, fan pages, annoying (and sometimes disturbing) crap advertisements, Apps that don’t work, etc.

Google+ is real social networking.

Why I love it so:

1. The design is clean and uncluttered. I’m not visually assaulted every time I stop by to read the latest from my stream.

2. There are no games or invitations to games, groups and chain letters. There is also no pressure to follow everyone who follows you.

3. Circles! I have people I’m following divided into circles and if I so choose I can post only to a certain set. For example: I have a question about a certain brand of artist pens. Who better to ask than my circle for Artists. I can make it so only folks in the Artist circle see my question. Circles are also private. My profile will show who I’m following, but not the circles I’ve placed them in.

4. Hangouts! I haven’t had the opportunity to use this feature yet, but I can see the potential. Hangouts allow a group of followers to hangout in a video chat room. I know some of you may be pulling away, feeling insecure, shy, but trust me hangouts are a good thing. They could be used for conferences, writing groups, even artist workshops!

Google+ Hangouts for Writing Groups

Why “Hangouts” on Google+ can be great for writers

4 Reasons Artists are Loving Google+

5. With the Chrome Extension I can cross post to Twitter and Facebook right from Google+. 😀

Some Tips for using Google+:

1. Debbie Ridpath Ohi has an amazing post with everything you need to know to get started at Google+.

2. Don’t forget to update your Sharing buttons on WordPress to include the 1+ button. The 1+ button is similar to the Like button.

Need a button your web pages? You can get the code here.

3. You can also get a nifty GoogleCard for your self-hosted wordpress site/blog.

Need an invitation to Google+? Just ask.