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Thread: 20 Google+ tips, tricks and hints

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    Lightbulb 20 Google+ tips, tricks and hints

    20 Google+ tips, tricks and hints

    In Depth: Get more from Google+ with our handy guide




    Google's new social network is gaining popularity fast


    Google+ is the fantastic new social networking service that lets you keep friends, family, and business contacts separate.



    Now that Google has cracked open the floodgates a bit and invitations are easier to come by, you might wonder how to get the most out of the service initially.





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    1. Send a private message

    You can send a message to just one person or a handful. Click in the Stream box and type your note. Now, remove the Public group by clicking the X. Add the names for those who will receive your note. Note that you can also type + and @ before a name to see a list of who to add.






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    2. Create a custom Spark

    Sparks are like news feeds, but they can be highly customized. Just click Sparks, then type a search term. You can't use Google search restrictions (like site:techradar.com) but the more you type in the search box the more specific the news feed. Click Add Interest to add the search under Sparks.






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    3. Download your stuff

    Google+ lets you download most of your content. Click your name in the upper left, select Account Settings, and then Data liberation. You can download photos, stream posts, and all of your contacts as a Zip file for use in desktop programs and even other social nets.






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    4. Block public searches

    Google+ information is widely available to anyone who searches the Web. You can restrict access to your private info, however. Click on your name in the upper right, then Privacy. Click the option "edit visibility on profile" and then select the area you want to restrict. In the pop-up menu, you can restrict viewing parts of your profile to just Google+ members, specific circles, or just you.






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    Kismat Pe Naa Aaaye Yakeen....

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    5. Invite your pals

    Recently, Google made the link to invite people to Google+ available at all times. To find it, you may have to logout of your account first before logging back in. The link is on the lower right.






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    6. Start a Huddle

    One confusing feature in Google+ is that you can start a Huddle chat with anyone, but only using the Android app on your smartphone. Install the app (search Android Market) and select Huddle. Now, type the names of people you want to add to the chat and start typing your first message.






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    7. Check notifications in Chrome

    If you use Google Chrome, you can add a simple extension that shows you any new notifications in Google+. The advantage is that you do not need to keep Google+ running in a tab. Go to the Chrome Extension store and search for Surplus (or click the link), then install the extension.






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    8. Control notifications

    You may not want to see all notifications, such as any time someone adds you to a circle. Click Notifications on the left column. Click the More link, and select which notifications you want to see. For example, you can quickly see only the notifications for when someone mentions you in a comment.






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    9. Stop getting e-mails

    In the early days of using Google+, you can receive e-mails almost every minute when people start mentioning you and adding you to circles. It's annoying. To turn them off, click your name in the upper left, then go to Account settings. Click the Google+ link. Now, you can disable e-mail (and phone) notifications for countless alerts, such as photo tags and starting a new Huddle.






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    10. End a Hangout

    If you decide to start a Hangout, be careful. Once you add participants, your video feed becomes live. It's easy to get distracted by other things. When you are done with the Hangout, make sure you click the Exit button and confirm that the dialog box goes away. Otherwise, your webcam will continue broadcasting your video feed and audio even if you click away from the Hangout. (Google needs to fix this problem: if you click away, the Hangout should suspend until you return.)






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    11. Upload your YouTube videos

    Since Google owns YouTube.com, the integration with that service is stellar. You can quickly add your own YouTube videos. Just click in the Stream box, then click the small video icon. Select YouTube, then Your YouTube Videos. Select the one you want and click Add Video. Repeat for more vids.







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    12. Add your phone number for notifications

    You can add your mobile to receive SMS alerts. Click your name on the upper left, then select Account Settings. Click Google+ and then the link to add a phone number. Enter your mobile number. Google will send a verification code that you'll need to type in.






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    Kismat Pe Naa Aaaye Yakeen....

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    13. Drag and drop photos

    You can drop photos into your Stream box. Just find them on your computer, select the ones you want to post, and drop them into the Stream box. Be sure to select who can view them.






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    Kismat Pe Naa Aaaye Yakeen....

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    14. Use keyboard shortcuts

    Google+ lets you move quickly through the interface. Use J to see the next post or K to see previous. Press Space to scroll one page down, Space + Shift to scroll up. Press Q to chat.






    Kaise Mujhe Tum Mil Gayee Ho
    Kismat Pe Naa Aaaye Yakeen....

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