Everything You Need to Know About Google+, Part 4


      This post is the last part of the four day series on Everything You Need to Know About Google+. To read part one, click here. To read part two, click here. And to read part three, click here.

      Today, I’ll be covering only a few things, including Google+ pages, Google+ settings, huddle, and chat.

      Google+ Pages

      Similar to Facebook pages, Google+ pages are like Google+ profiles for businesses. They’re not much different than Google+ profiles, though, except for a few things. One is that you can like a Google+ page but not a Google+ profile. You can also share a Google+ page.

      Here’s what a Google+ page looks like:


      Again, as you can see, a Google+ page isn’t much different than a profile. Because I haven’t created a Google+ page myself, I wouldn’t be able to tell you so much about creating a Google+ page. But if you do visit the Google+ sidebar, and click on pages, you can create one yourself. This is what you’ll see:

      So there you go! There’s not much more to say about Google+ pages. So, I’ll move on to Google+ settings.

      Google+ Settings

      As I said in one of my previous blog posts on Everything You Need to Know About Google+. Here’s where you’ll determine your privacy settings. You’ll find a lot of flexibility in controlling who sees which posts and more. You might want to change your settings, such as your notifications, for example, if you wanted Google+ notifications going to a different email. You can also block Google from using your +1’s for things like ads.

      This is shown below:


      To change your Google+ settings, visit google.com/settings/plus. That’s all overall easy to understand, so I’ll move on to huddle and Chat.

      Huddle and Chat

      Huddle is a chatting service for Google+. With it, you can chat with another Google+ user, or a group of Google+ users. It’s only available for mobile phones, though, which is very important to know. This is because people can get confused, thinking you’re ignoring their Google+ message, even though you’re not on a phone. You won’t be able to see someone’s huddle message on your desktop. This has happened to me once, when I was not using Google+ on a mobile phone.

      There is, however, a feature to chat with people on Google+ who are on desktops. I don’t think you can chat with someone on Google+ while you’re on a phone, but only if that person is also on a desktop. I think, though, that Google Talk is still available to use so that someone on a phone could chat with someone on a desktop. I also think that you would probably need a Gmail account to do this, but am not completely sure.

      You’re done reading this blog post! If you also read my previous posts in this series, I think you’ve pretty much learned everything you need to know about Google+.

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Everything You Need to Know About Google+, Part 3


      Everything You Need to Know About Google+, Part 3 is a part of the four-day series on Google+. To read part one, click here. And to read part two, click here.
      Today, I’ll be covering photos, games, and local. Read on, to continue learning everything you need to know about Google+!
      Local

      Just a few days ago, Google introduced Google Local, for Google+. Google local is where you can give your opinion of a restaurant, and also read other opinions. Although it just launched, Google local seems to have lots of reviews on local restaurants.

      I don’t know how they did it, but Google automatically knew my location. You still, however, might be able to disable this in your browser if you don’t like that tracking, but that’s off topic to explain how to do so.

      Here’s what Google local for Google+ looks like:

      This newly launched feature to Google+ seems easy to understand, and very helpful. It’s convenient, and not on Facebook.
      When clicking on a restaurant name and reviewing it, you can rate the food, the decor, and the service. Each can be from 0-3 points, meaning from poor to excellent. You can also optionally write down the cost per person, and about a paragraph review, like this:


      Each business has multiple photos, usually of some of the food they offer. You can upload your own photo to the list.

      You can also edit and suggest the details of the business. You can correct the name, location, phone, website, etc. But unless Google can detect that you’re the actual owner, these suggestions would not be edited directly, but again, just suggested.

      Other than that, Google local is pretty easy to understand and figure out, so I’ll move on to photos on Google+.

      Photos

      With Google+, you can easily share, and organize photos. By visiting the Google+ website, you can see all the photos from your mobile phone gallery, your albums, photos from your posts, and photos that have been tagged of you.

      In order to automatically see the photos from your phone, you’d have to download the Google+ app for Android, and iPhone. Then, you’ll have to enable instant upload here, if you’re on Android, and here if you’re on iOS.

      Your Google+ photo web page should look similar to this:

      Usually, under a photo, you’d probably see an icon. Because I’m always forgetting, I’ve decided to create an explanation of what those icons mean:


      Everything else about Google photos can be self-taught, so I’ll move on to the last part of this blog post, games.

      Games

      Although I haven’t really experimented with it, games for Google+ offers several games, although Facebook offers more. Google+ games seem safer though, you wouldn’t have to give out so much of your information to play.

      The games section features the directory of games, and also a stream. The stream is where you can see what those in your circles are doing while playing games.

       A great feature is that you can choose what game updates to see. If you only want to see who’s scoring something on Angry Birds, you can select Angry Bird updates only.

      Another great feature is that you can control game notifications in your settings. I’ll write more about settings in my last blog posts in this series. After awhile, who wants to get a bunch of Farmville notifications when they’ve never even played the game? Because of this, that feature is a good idea.

      Check back for the last blog post in this series, to officially learn everything you need to know about Google+!

Everything You Need to Know About Google+, Part 2

      Recently, I wrote the post Everything You Need to Know About Google+, Part 1. By reading that post here, you can see an overview of Google+, information about the stream, circles, etc. Today, I’ll be covering even more information about the stream, and information about the explore section, hangouts, and your profile.
      Exploring popular posts, and removing popular posts from your stream
      First, I’m going to explain how to remove popular posts from your stream, by people who aren’t in your circles. This can become really annoying, because you never know what someone’s going to post. You might not even be interested in what they’re going to post. So to do this, you’ll have to go to the explore icon on the sidebar to the left, as shown below:


      Then, on the right top part of the screen, you’ll get the option can determine how many of those posts you want to see. You can drag it to the end, so that you won’t see any of those posts. You can still, however, see popular posts on Google+ anytime by clicking the explore icon.
      Options on a Google+ post
      Now, I’ll talk about options for posts on Google+. When someone posts something to your stream, you’ll get the option to either +1 their post, reshare, or start a hangout about it, as shown below:


      These options are sometimes confusing to people, who are used to Facebook’s terms of words. To +1 a post means to like a post, and to reshare a post simply means to share a post with those in your circles. If you don’t want anyone to share your own post, you’ll get the option to disable sharing, by clicking on the arrow on the right of your post. If you like, you can also disable commenting.

      Hangouts

      To start a hangout about a post means to start a video call. This can also be done by clicking the hangouts icon shown on your sidebar. Google+ hangouts were simple to understand for me, so I won’t write too much about it. With it, you can change your appearance, by adding such things as computerized reindeer antlers, and hats to your image. (Google always tries to have a sense of humor with everything.) You can also chat with people on the sidebar during your hangout, and even share videos with them. After this, Facebook copied Google+, and introduced Skype video calling. Still, most people prefer Google hangouts.

      Your profile

      Google+ is great in the sense that you won’t have to worry so much about your information — at least, that’s what they say intentionally because they know many people have not liked how Facebook has handled privacy. So unlike Facebook, Google won’t change settings on you, or automatically set anything public. They make things easy to understand when it comes to deciding who sees what on your profile.

      To see what I mean, click on the profile icon on the sidebar. At the top of your profile, you’ll see two big buttons, one saying “view as….” and another saying, “edit your profile” as seen below:


      When you click on “view as….” you can write a Google+ profile name, and see what your profile look like to them. Shortly after this feature was launched, I find it interesting that Facebook now has that feature, too. (Can you say copycat?) It may be because they’re worried about people leaving them for things like this and going to Google+.

      When you edit your profile, you can change your about page, and write things like a tagline, introduction, bragging rights, and occupation. There’s also an option to change your cover photo, and profile photo. Similar to Facebook, when you change your cover photo, you are choosing a wide, horizontal image that will appear on your profile.

      When editing your profile, you can also see which one of your tabs are visible to people. For example, if you don’t want people to see everything you’re +1 across the web, you can uncheck “show this tab on your profile.” This is shown below:

      So there you go! You’ve learned so much more about Google+! Stay tuned for Everything You Need to Know About Google+, Part 3!

Everything You Need to Know About Google+, Part 1


      Google+ is a social website, similar to Facebook and Twitter. It’s also available as a mobile application for most phones. Google+ was launched by Google about a half a year ago, which makes it fairly new.

      Before, Google+ required you to have an invitation to join, but now anybody ages 13 and up can sign up, without an invitation from Google. Google required this invitation because they wanted to gather insights and thoughts from its first adopters before making it available to everyone.

      Google+ can be confusing to people. It’s different in many ways from Facebook, which has been around for years and is what many people are used to.

      Because Google+ is my favorite social media site, I try to get people to join. (Google does not pay me for my endorsement.) But people don’t usually have time to wait for me to talk on and on about the benefits of joining Google+ so, today, I’ve decided to write a four-part series on how Google+ works.

      Once you’ve signed up at the Google+ homepage here, you’ll see lots of things. A stream of posts, circles, games, local, hangouts, everything. You most likely will be lost at first, but don’t worry. That’s what this series of blog posts is for.
      The first thing I’m going to cover is the stream. Think of the stream as the Facebook newsfeed. Here you’ll see posts of certain people. The stream is the first thing you’ll see when you log into Google+, like Facebook. Here’s what my stream looks like (with certain parts blurred to protect my privacy):



      On the sidebar of your stream are the main things you’ll be able to do with Google+. There you’ll see the icons for your profile, circles, games, photos, explore, local, hangouts, pages, and more. By dragging these icons around the sidebar, you can decide the order of them. For example, if you’d like the game icon to appear at the top of your sidebar instead of the bottom, you would just have to drag and drop it. This, however, along with other features may not be available with the Google+ mobile phone app. Some features, though, are still available for mobile. This is like Facebook’s mobile phone app. Lots of features on Facebook’s website are not available for mobile.

      The posts you see in your stream is determined by the certain people you add to your circles (think of adding to your circles as those who you’ve “friended,” as Facebook would say). You can see those in your circles by clicking on the circle icon on your sidebar. You will see something like this:


      For someone to be in your Google+ circle, you’ll have to select “add a new person.” Then, search for the name of the person you’d like to add, to see if they’re currently on Google+. If they’re not, you can write their email address in that box, and send them a Google+ invitation.
      After that, you’ll have to organize those people the way you want. You can add your family into a “family circle,” and friends to the “friends circle,” and so on. I’m going to explain how this will really help out in my next blog post. So work with your circles, and delete the ones you don’t want, and create the ones you’d like to add.
      And you’re done for today! You’ve learned an overview of Google+, you’ve learned about the stream, about the sidebars, and your circles. Check back soon for part two of Everything You Need to Know About Google+!

The Value of “Netiquette”


      Today I learned about the value of “netiquette.” Now that everybody seems to be on social media, it’s good to learn the value of “Netiquette.”
      Netique is, “etiquette practiced or advocated in electronic communication over a computer network,” according to yourdictionary.com.
      Here’s some important ideas:

          Start your message with the right greeting.

      Depending on who you’re talking to, your greeting can seem weird. Pick the right greeting! “Yo yo yo! Wazzup?” may be ok to certain people, but for more serious ones, like maybe your teacher, a simple “hello” may seem better.
      

    Choose your words carefully.

      Often times, things like emails are misunderstood, and maybe not even fully read. This is because when reading your email, people aren’t talking to you in person. So it’s even more important to choose your words carefully.
      

    NEVER use caps lock for your letters.

      When writing in capital letters, it can seem as though you’re SCREAMING and YELLING AT SOMEONE, and are VERY UPSET with them. This can seem rude. Would you like it if someone did that to you? I know I wouldn’t. Bold face letters can be perceived as insulting if you’re trying to emphasize a point to someone. Here’s an example. “YOU’RE SOOOO ANNOYING!!!!!” can look more offensive than, “You’re annoying.”
      

    Don’t write if you’re angry or upset.

      If you’re angry or upset at the moment, you might easily be bothered with someone via social media, and holds things against them. So wait and calm down before writing when you’re angry or upset. If you’re tired, something like an email may not make sense either.
      

    Posture, posture, posture.

      Personally, I have never noticed this advice about posture making a big difference, but Business 2 Community says this:
“Good posture and sitting upright while on the computer is just as important as brushing your teeth, eating healthy, exercising and getting a good night’s sleep.”
      

    Respect other people’s privacy, and treat them with respect.

      Don’t be too quick to post a photo of someone so easily; they might not like it. And unless you’re a full-time paparazzi, no one’s going to want to trust you with taking a photo of them, if they know you’ll post it afterwards. If they don’t approve of what you’re going to post, you’ll lose your privileges of snapping a photo, without someone covering their face, because they know you will post it right away. If someone asks you to remove an embarrassing photo, do it right away.
      Don’t bash, mock, or insult someone via social media, especially on their own wall. People might not like that those things are being visible to their Facebook friends. And don’t insult whole groups of people — men, women, old people, young people, etc. It’s immature and could be very, very offensive!
      To learn more, visit my source for some of these ideas at:
http://www.business2community.com/social-media/teaching-your-kids-the-value-of-netiquette-0128640

GIF vs. JPG


      Did you ever post a photo online only to get frustrated because it was blurry? Maybe your problem was the file type.
      Knowing what file type to save your photo or web graphic as is very important.
      Who wants to see a pixelated, not very colorful, or maybe even blurry photo? It would make your website or social media site look cheap. And if you’re selling something, nobody’s going to want to buy from you if they can’t even see your product. So that’s why this post should be very important to you.

      Recently, I wrote PNG vs JPG, a post about the two most-used photo files on the web. Today, I’m writing about GIF vs JPG.

      A GIF is the third most-used file type I’ve seen on the web.

      As shown above, GIFs are primarily known for animated images. So whenever you see a moving animated image on a website that’s not a video, it’s a GIF. Animated images cannot be saved as anything else other than as a GIF.

      When you see a GIF, you’re actually seeing more than one image (or more than one layer) saved as one. Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 and some other graphic design softwares let you create GIFs, and have more information on animated GIFs. For some reason, animated GIFs can’t be uploaded onto certain websites, or added to your document in Google Docs. JPGs cannot turn into animated images like GIFS at all.

      JPGs also don’t have the feature of a transparent background. Similar to PNGs, however, GIFS do have the transparent background feature. By reading this earlier blog post, you can learn more about a transparent background.

      GIFs are made up of a small amount of 256 colors, but JPGs are made up of millions. JPGs also look clearer than GIFs, which look slightly pixelated sometimes.

      Here’s the difference between a GIF photo and a JPG photo:


      Due to the color and pixel GIF problem as shown above, many people use GIFs for small cartoon web graphics. JPGs are better for most things, like photos and web graphics. This is why GIFs aren’t used as much as JPGs.

      Here’s what happens when you save a large web graphic as a JPG, and when you save it as a GIF:


      Notice how the GIF seems to have missing colors in it. Some people still use GIFs for photos and even large web graphics, because they really do save lots of storage. The above GIF is 324 KB, whereas the JPG is 652 KB.

      You can learn more about GIFs and JPGs here:

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/419584/what-is-the-difference-between-jpg-jpeg-png-bmp-gif-tiff-i

http://community.adobe.com/help/search.html?q=jpg%20vs%20gif&lr=en_us&hl=en_us&l=0

How Kids Can Build A Website For Free | Part 4 of 4

      This post is the last installment of my four-part series, How Kids Can Build A Website For Free. To read part one, click here. To read part two, click here. To read part three, click here.

      Yesterday, you built your website, learned about site maps, created your website’s CSS, etc. Those are the hard things to do, so today you’re going to be doing easier tasks.

      The first thing you’re going to do is validate your website. When you validate your website, you are checking the code, to make sure you didn’t forget a bracket or anything like that. You can try it out here. An easier version to understand can be found here. The easier one doesn’t have confusing things like, “which encoding would you like?”

      If your website isn’t validated, you should read the previous blog posts I wrote, and revisit Lissa Explains It All. There might be something missing there that you didn’t understand. Another great thing to try are the forums of Lissa Explains It All. 000webhost also offers a help center if you’re confused about your website’s code.

      You also are going to need to make your website search engine optimized. There’s really no point in having a website when it’s not indexed by the major search engines — Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Making your website search engine optimized is very simple to do. All you have to do is add a description like this in the head section of your webpage:

      <meta name=”description” content=”Write in a paragraph or less what your website is about here.” />

      This description shows up when someone Googles your site. You’re also going to need keywords, which are also words people “google.” For example, if someone were to “google” landscaping, they would find your website, because you added “landscaping” as a tag. You wouldn’t be indexed on the first few pages though, unless you’re website that has been around for a long time, and lots of other websites have linked back to you. That’s why, for example, if you were to do a website design for someone, it would be smart if you told them to write that you designed the website, and include a link back to your site. Here’s the code to add keywords to your website:

      <meta name=”KEYWORDS” id=”mKeywords” content=”landscaping, snow, removal, landscape, installation, maintenance”>

      That should also be included in the head section of your webpage.

      You should also double-check everything else on your website. Make sure there are no broken links. This is neccesary, if, for example, you added a link to http://www.oogle.com but meant to write google.com. You should also make sure you didn’t misspell anything, or have incorrect grammar.

      The last thing to do is optional. You can purchase a domain, but it isn’t fully necessary, depending on what type of website you have. A domain can make your website look more professional. Nobody can remember google.hostedby000webhost.com as easily as google.com. So when you purchase a domain, you basically have a shorter URL, that’s easy to remember.

      Tomorrow you’ll learn how to create a blog!