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How To Use Google Plus. Waiting for a Google Plus invite?

How To Use Google Plus

Google is rolling out the service in waves and you can expect it to become a ubiquitous social option in the coming months. We have been playing with the service since getting invites yesterday and there are a lot of things to like about Google's new social initiative. Unlike Google's last big invite-only rollout of a social initiative - Google Wave - users will not be confounded on just what the heck you are supposed to with the service when signing up for the first time. From Friendster, Friendfeed, MySpace and Facebook, users are familiar with how a social platform is theoretically supposed to look. At its core level, Plus is not that much different. Google Plus: Is This the Social Tool Schools Have Been Waiting For? There seem to be three forces at play when it comes to education and social media.

Google Plus: Is This the Social Tool Schools Have Been Waiting For?

The first is a lack of force, quite frankly - the inertia that makes many educators unwilling and uninterested in integrating the technology into their classrooms. The second is the force of fear - the pressures on the part of administrators, district officials, and politicians to curtail and ban teacher and students' interactions online.

(See Rhode Island's recently passed legislation that outlaws all social media on school grounds as a case in point.) And finally, the third force is that of more and more educators who are embracing social media and advocating its use on- and off-campus - for student learning and for teacher professional development alike. Google Circles, Google's Radical New Social Network, Launches Today. Google announced today the next stages of a major social software strategy.

Google Circles, Google's Radical New Social Network, Launches Today

Called Google+, the latest in a suite of services unveiled includes a selective sharing service called Circles, a personalized newsfeed type service called Sparks, group chat, instant photo uploading features and more. The fundamental paradigm of facilitating privacy and selective sharing in order to foster a greater quantity and quality of sharing is reminiscent of the philosophy that helped Facebook grow fast in its early days, but is now relatively unique in the social networking world. Google Plus...the Facebook Page. How do we know that Google Plus has really made it?

Google Plus...the Facebook Page

It has its own Facebook page! On this new page, called "Google Plus Help, Tips and Tricks," liked by a whopping 36 people so far, you can discover links to blog posts and other "tips" shared by Google Plus fans. But mostly, it's being used to beg for invites. Thanks, Linda Lawrey, Google Plus user extraordinaire, for re-sharing this somewhat hilarious new resource (via Amit Mehta's original post), but, so far, we think the best tips are being shared right on Google Plus itself. First Night With Google Plus: This is Very Cool. I thought I'd type up some notes after an evening of using Google's new social network, Google Plus.

First Night With Google Plus: This is Very Cool

This is a really big deal, a super ambitious effort involving scores of engineers over months of near total secrecy. (Though some helpful sources and I scooped the core Circles part of all this three months ago.) The service is really, really well done. Will it be good enough? I have no idea, but I have felt drawn to keep using it all night long.