Dedication


I dedicate this book to my Mum, my sister Sally and the most incredible coach I could have wished for on Google+, the wonderful Linda Dee.

 
Quotes and Testimonials


"I met Martin Shervington through Google Plus several months ago. He has understood and excelled at G+ in an extremely short period of time.
Martins' advice and observations of people help to declutter what is going on in the world around us. His straight forward approach to life combined with a witty sense of humor, makes him a unique coach and storyteller in both business and personal relationships."
Amanda Blain
Entrepreneur, CEO, Code Monkey, Gamer, Social Media, Speaker and UberGeekGirl.

"They say listening to classical music makes kids smarter. In that case, Martin must have had Beethoven on heavy rotation from 18 months up to his college grad. 
Never one to shy away from the elephant in the room wearing the emperors new clothes, Martin is always sure to pop the pimple of social psychology, and wake us up to the true intention of the Wizard(s) behind the curtain. In my must-read pile – daily."
Rod Dunne, blogger...

"In his '7 tips on how to build a great network on Google+' Martin speaks to the depths of engagement on the platform. Google+ allows us to connect in a totally new global way. Google+ is not Facebook. I agree! My motto is Engage, Engage, Engage.
I have found wonderful opportunities, specifically in hangouts, to meet new people,  develop new relationships and build lasting friendships and connections both business and personal around the world."
Elaine Lindsay, Social Media Marketing

"On Martin: Purposeful engagement deployed with insightful humour.
ON Google+: Bridging chasm between cyberspace and reality
ON The Art and Science of G+: Ahhh and Aha finally meet Haha"
Akpo Siekpe, businessman, family man and thinker

"I come to know Martin as friendly guy with a great sense of humor. His quick wit and his ability to understand what makes people happy impressed me.
Martin is a guy that understand people relationships in a psychological. Martin also knows what he wants. Combine this with his sense of humor, marketing and vocal skills and you get a great marketer.”
Johan Horak, works at bridging the gap and connecting the dots using social engagement tools.

"Martin is a great example of someone who really "gets" Google+. Erudite and humorous, he's always good value."
Thomas Morffew, Consultant

"Google+ is a wonderful place: Hidden pearls and treasures abound everywhere if you know where to look. I mean people you've never met or places you haven't been to or things you haven't done yet, of course. How to find the interests that can make you feel at home in the Circleverse: Use the Google + search!
One of the most unique and experience enriching new acquaintances I've found so far is Martin: His posts are real gems that tickle the intelligence and the funnybone, the discussions in the ensuing comment threads I find truly interesting.
Google+ is a window to the world and I'm really glad I happened to look out of that window when Martin was passing by."
Jaana Nyström, Blogger, digital content curator, entrepreneur, writer?

"Google+ is like a house with many rooms, you have lecture halls full of fantastic information, theaters full of video clips, art galleries, salons of cultivated and intelligent conversations, saloons of raucous fun, various temples, churches and drive by chapels for the trivial inspirational memes and the playground, where we meet, play, laugh, fight and see who or what is up and who is down. 

It is fun watching Martin Shervington make his way through the various rooms in the Google+ Palace as he is discovering the 'Art and Science of Google+': he moves through the rooms, skips some, nods into the Salon once in a while, hangs out in the Saloon and spends lots of time on the playground, playing with others and throwing posts to see what resonates."?
Susanne Ramharter

"Google plus is an incredible place with some incredible people. Martin Shervington is one of them.
I met him in a Hangout and I’ve have been a ‘fan’ of his ever since his friendly introduction of, “Hello, my name is Martin and I am from the UK.”  
I also admire his knee-slapping humor and his deep and thought-provoking insight of everyday issues."
Larry Fournillier Caribbean Chef - TheTriniDaddy 

 
How to use this book.


I have spent many months analysing and writing up observations and insights on Google+
As such, if you would like to read the entire "story" with many hints and tips in one go then you will see a flow.
If, however, you want to pick and choose according to topic then here is a list as well.
There are a total of 40 articles (1 is included within the hints and tips posts as a link), giving you insights into all areas of the 'social layer'.

Whichever way you go, I hope you get as much from Google+ as I continue to do so and that you find these of use in your journey as well.

Index:
Google+ hints and tips
Is Google+ a mood elevator? 
Is monetizing Google+ the elephant in the room?
Issue of Google+ being a “ghost town!”
What has Google+ got to do with Schrödinger's cat?!

The psychology of being weird
Are you a Google+ addict?
Will Google+ make the web personal?
Is Gmail the final frontier?
Are you new to hangouts?

Is “Google X” a real life X-men project?
Do you see a rabbit or a duck?
How do connections happen on Google+?
Hello- is it me you are looking for?
Groucho Marx and brands creating clubs

Cheers - where everyone knows your name
What did Einstein say was the important to ask?
What will be your dent on the Universe?
Britney Spears and the number of circles
What hits your G+ spot?

Are you speaking the G+ lingo?
May the 4th be with you!
Do you wear pants on the porch?
What frames do you set on Google+
Google+ and personality integration

Who do you like to laugh with?
Is this the end of television as we know it?
Trust and the experience of something new
Richard Branson and applications of Hangouts
Multiple Perspectives and a Silent Disco!

What does it mean to “relate to someone”?
Level of complexity in communication.
The art and science of creative posting...
An integral perspective on Google+
7 tips on building a global network

5 tips on preventing derailing
“To block or not to block...that is the question.”
3 tips on the psychology of flow on longer threads
My Google+ Graduation

 
New to Google+? Have less than 2000 circlers?


I have been working on a step-by-step guide for my friends wanting to get started on Google+
It is due to the incredible support and advice of the G+urus I went
from 20 to 850 circlers in 7 days

This is what they've taught me...

With his blessing, you'll see I've canabilised a great post http://goo.gl/SqH4B from +Anthony Fox and also info from my earlier post: http://goo.gl/4n0Cm
Loads of new stuff though...

Note: this is just one way and I am sorry if in my brevity it comes across dogmatic!

Step 1 - Profile

Fill out your profile, upload a profile picture as this helps to build up trust.

Some people will _make people who have me in circles visible; hide who I have in circles._But this is a choice. You may want people to simply see where you are at.

Make seven or eight posts showing a variety of your interests. Try and have some of them with original content, your own words etc

Your profile is what people will look at to decide whether to circle you - check it once in a while to make sure it displays enough of you.

Add the Reply App: this allows you to reply to people's comments on postings: http://goo.gl/lm35d It also gives a twitter and facebook share button all in for the deal!

Make posts and interact - it is likely only celebrities will get 'circled' without do lots of this!

Posting interesting stuff and interacting is the key to G+

Step 2 - Circles

Search for "[my interests] Circles" and add every one you want (i.e. the whole circle). Or add in "Engagers Circles" - many people create these full of people with whom they are engaging.

Find more shared circles http://publiccircles.appspot.com/ gives you a list for areas to which you are potential aligned

Here are circle databases that +rahul roy put me onto:http://publiccircles.appspot.com/ and +Chris Porter has a great list here: http://goo.gl/48owD

Another resource for building suitable circles is http://gplussearch.com/ (thanks +Denis Labelle !)
Then comment, +1, and share every post you think is interesting for a week.
Remember: Interaction is the key!

*Sign up (free) to #circlecount * as it shows you your stats, what circles you are included in etc.

Use circlecount.com to analyse what is working best e.g. personal or useful information you have shared. It shows you how many Plus 1's* you have and how many shares you have for each post - this gives you an idea of people's response. This gives you some "real" feedback as to what people think of what you are posting.

Please note: some Plussers don't like the approach in the paragraph below i.e. "add loads, uncircle the ones that don't circle you".
Remember, it is not all about numbers; you want people who you interact with. Find your niche!

You can only have 5000 people in your circles, so one approach: If you use the Chrome browser, then you can install the Uncircle Uncirclers extension
Run Uncircle Uncirclers to free up space to add more relevant people. Keep doing this until you have 3500 - 5000 people circling. +Anthony Fox says that in that range the strategy starts to change, to more creating circles than adding them, and creating good content becomes the highest priority.

There is a HUGE amount of luck involved in this process though.
If you happen to get included in a shared circle, that could really make a difference to your circlers.

Step 3 - Hangouts

Use hangouts - there are some awesome people are there. Simply hangout and get to know people better. Just like in real life, this is how relationships are formed.

Get "hangout canopy" extension for Chrome; it shows you who is hanging out better than on G+ alone. Big thanks +Linda Dee!

You can host hangouts both your pages as well as from profile - this gives you a chance for people to see a little more about your interests (later on)

Hangout echo? - try a headset or have speakers on low volume

Basic principles

Sharing is caring! - people love it when you share their posts. Add in your own message when sharing to your circles and you will make it personal.
Interact, interact, interact - keep commenting and +1ing on what you like; mention people who have helped you out by adding in +theirname Thanks to +Dirk Talamasca and +Rahul Roy for all their +1s, comments, expert curation and sharing
Use hastags- this makes your postings more likely to show up in searches.
Shorten URLs can be done using this http://goo.gl/

Twitter, Facebook and Linked - for easing posting to your other networks add in Extended Share for Google Plus http://bit.ly/MGdBaG
Formatting your posts - here is a posting I made on making posts more appealing http://bit.ly/KcpW2S
There is a true community feel on Google+, so do ask people for help if you come unstuck.
These guys are also great: +Jack C Crawford +Shamil Weerakoon +Dolidh Young +Johan Horak they've all really helped in my first week.

PLEASE NOTE: this is just one approach. All said and done, don't worry about the numbers too much! It is about finding people to whom you want to connect and interact.
Also I checked out +Guy Kawasaki's book http://goo.gl/jCYFh as it is a well thought through and lovely guide to getting started. (btw, I am not on commission! :)

Final advice
As +Jaana Nyström put it to me: be persistent and find your niche!

#googleplustipps #newbies #newbieshelp #newbiehelpers
#addme #shareme #induction #guide #googleguide #newuser #juststarting #howto
#gplustips #tips #hintsandtips #hints #GPlus #optimise #betterposts #getfollowers #getcircled #interestingposts #promoteme #getnoticed #whattodi #whattoread #readthis
+Michael Beckett thanks for the hashtag suggestions :)

 
Are you in need of a G+ support group?
A bit of comedy...

Note: this is just for fun!

Here is how to tell if your enthusiasm for G+ has turned the corner...!

1. You say you are "checking your email" but you are really hoping for numbers in that red box in the corner...

2. You click your notification anyway even though it says "0"

3. You accidentally have started to put stars * * in your emails and people haven't got a clue why

4. People talk about Facebook and you say "What's Facebook? Oh, gosh...that seems a long time ago..."

5. You make a comment within 20 seconds of seeing someone's posts and then spend an hour thinking how could it have been funnier...
Then you think "should I go back and edit it?"

6. You're friends ask you to hangout and you are disappointed you can't bring your computer with you

7. You think seeing the phrase "Hanging out with no-one" is normal

8. You tell people you are popping to the toilet but you are actually checking your Google+ App (just me?)

9. You delay going to the toilet when you are hanging out far too long as you don't want to miss anything!

10. You see a post in your stream, type a comment and regret that it is now moving quickly down the page, again...

How did you get on?
10 out of 10: ok, you may need help
6-9: you are an 'enthusiast'
0-5: maybe you should go hangout some more

Please send me any additions! I'm sure I've missed a load of symptoms...What else people?

#googlepluscomedy #comedy #googleplus #googleplustips #googleaddiction    
Google+ making the web personal?
Is
This is an brief article about G+ and psychology...

Have you noticed how much altruism or giving there is on Google+?
Every Google+ post is a potential "meme" (unit of thought or behavior that replicates itself).
The classic by Susan Blackmore, "The Meme Machine", proposes that meme theory explains altruism better than genetic theory.
Other things being equal, more people will observe altruistic behavior than selfish behavior, will like the altruistic person better than the selfish one, and will be more likely to adopt the behaviors of the altruistic person than the selfish one.

So, you guessed it, I find the psychology of a new platform very interesting.
When asked to sum it up for friends I say:

Google+ makes the web personal

It would seem we have access to more people than ever, with new ways of interacting.
In the future, even more than now, we know search engine results will be personalized to include more posts from your G+ circles.
But even the G+ platform gives access and the ability to interact - it feels we are truly connecting!

Here are just a few ideas that have been running through my brain...
Let me know what you think!

People buy people, so what about brands?

This is going to be very interesting for brands, as with profiles, people come first on G+.
I don't know about you, but I don't want enjoy interacting with a page or a profile without a face as much as a person.
I do enjoy the interactions with certain business but would rather they had some pics to make it more human.
So, if you are a part of a business, large or small, I am wondering if you will need a face to front it?
Could this, in time, increase corporate accountability as well?
Check out +Denis Labelle if you are getting started in this area. Quality suggestions and superb curation.

Engagement

So, we have a fast flowing stream in front of us. How do you stand out from the crowd and grab people's attention?
We often take this forgranted and just 'post' but individuals and businesses may like to tease out some of the psychology as well.

This is the first consideration: Does the post engage attention for those people who will see it?
This will depend on who has circled you as well as who you then select to receive the post.
You may send just to a circle or, by mentioning people in the post for instance, you can push a notification toward them.

1. What is the title? does it grab attention? could it be written to engage people better?
2. Does the image reflect the title? Does it add any value? Is there anything else you could add to it?
Most importantly...
3. Is it for your benefit or *readers' benefit? Business need to look at doing things for other people - not just pushing ads into our streams.

The outcome of the engagement stage is: "have I given anyone a good reason to click anything..."
In other words - the more personal you make it the more likely it will encourage engagement.
In other words, you relate to them and they respond.

Check out +Jaana Nyström on this: http://goo.gl/X14E3

Interaction

This, it would seem, is one of the absolute musts to having a positive experience on Google+
Without interaction people are simply 'throwing posts into the stream'.

With Google+ you have an interaction with someone when someone:

+1s the post
There is potential for starting a friendship through interactions, but +1s are a very light touch.
But even people that have a large number of circlers both to +1 comments that want you to know are appreciated.
Wonderful people like +Mike Shaw still take time to say "thanks" by +1ing comments

comments on a post
This is a great way for people to get to play!
You find likeminded people simply by seeing how your comments are received. I find humour to be an important element, as +Lee Smallwood +Rod Dunne and +Jack C Crawford have experienced!
This will be interesting for businesses as people need to play - it cannot be an automated.
Yet, so many people, like +ed milliband (UK politician) haven't yet learned that interaction is the key. This is not a passive site - post and run.
It is all about interaction.
In time, relating to politics, we could even have voting for relevant members of an interactive group. All we would need is someone to create a little plug in and...
Ok, maybe I am getting carried away :)

shares a post
This is social validation by the person sharing. When someone shares a post they are saying to their circles: "hey, check this meme out."
They may well put a few caveats in the comments before sending it on, but by clicking 'share' they are supporting that post's concept being spread further.
If the social risk is too high, people will not share. So, you need to make a judgement of whether something is suitable for YOUR audience.

People can do a mixture of all three.
Also...

Say my name, say my name... (Destiny's child playing in the distance...)

Outside of postings themselves, people often name someone by adding them, for example, into their text.
+Rahul Roy for instance asked to make sure he was included in any posts that may interest him.
This breaks through the noise and makes it more personal. This is an excellent way to let people know you appreciate what they do.
But if it is used carelessly, it will be a way to trash a blossoming relationship...

Then we have Hangouts

Hangouts can be very personal. People share their lives and their experiences in a format that is new and exciting.
I was included in a hangout for the #versus debate with +Jemima Khan and +Tony Curzon Price which was excellent.
This is personal contact with people who are influencers in the world at large.
Business can host hangouts but there will need to be a face to it.
I even jumped in on a hangout with Fox New's +Maria Quiban who was lovely, just to say hi.

So, could all this start a trend of making business personal again as well?
Chatting with +Matt Olsen and +Phillip Olsen , who have a new vitality business, I can see they are able to get input from anyone in the world.

What will be the future of self/business interactions?

We shall have to see how this evolves but...
Individuals, businesses and organizations can also do an*enormous amount of research* on all of your public postings. Much of what would be hidden in your Facebook profile is made public.
We can only hope businesses use this information whilst seeing me as a person*: engaging me, interacting with me and relating to me* as a person, not as a set of data.
It will be the users of the platform that will decide upon the memes within the culture - that includes posts as well as the informal code we are building around the nature of our interactions- what is "ok" and "not ok" to do/say/post etc.
Most of all, I'm really enjoying the ride and hope my non G+ers will soon join to experience it as well.

Many thanks to +Johan Horak +Linda Dee for all the positive interactions.
And for all the tips: +Rehan Ahmad (about circling) +Mark Traphagen (search results and so much more) and +Dolidh Young for a load of practical G+ user tips.

#futureofgoogle + #googleplus #psychology #googlepsychology #smallbusiness #smallbusinessmarketing #guardian #telegraph #thetimes    
Getting in touch with your inner weird on Google+?
Are you...

Please note: as a writer, I tend to combine comedy with psychology in a playful manner...

Most of our young lives we are told we need to fit in, we need to comply,
we must not upset the apple cart.
But this belief is an old belief that served us well at school (or it didn't, as the case may be) but we have moved on.
As adults we are striving for greater fulfillment through being who we are and doing what we enjoy doing

The field of adult development in psychology provides a valuable contribution for anyone looking to be themselves.
In essence, what we needed to do in our youth is no longer what we have to do.

This could be a handy reminder: you are able to be yourself far more than ever before.
And so often you'll find that means being little bit weird.

But sometimes there is a legacy...
We have grown up now and yet there is still the concept (or meme, if you like) floating around within our psyches and cultures that suggests that we should keep our heads down, fit in - don't stand out.
Yet here is the thing - it is the weirdos who stand out, who are except-ional people, who are celebrated not for being normal, not accepting the a standard life, not being average.

Developmental psychologist, Robert Kegan considers a developmental step that often happens to people in their 30's.
They begin to be able to stably objectify their internal world
As this happens, they are no longer embedded within any negative feelings they may have, including about how they feel about themselves.
They no longer feel the need to base who they are on what other people think of them.
They are free, if you like, to be weird.

So, no matter what you enjoy doing, whatever makes you unique, this is an expression of your inner weirdness that may well have been contained in your youth.
Platforms like Google+ allow you to find other people who appreciate you being yourself, in all your wonderful weird ways.
I am not talking about creepy and disturbed but quirky and unperturbed by other people's view of you.

Unlike on Facebook, with Google+ a person is not bound by existing friendship dynamics so they are free to be themselves a little more without containment to old norms.
All of this is about being yourself by moving beyond historic bonds.

So, all I have to say to wrap up is this...
If you too are a little bit weirdo, then celebrate it, revel in it and delight in being more who you feel you are on the inside.
Thank you for being you and taking your time to read this.

And yes, the picture is one of me in my youth!

------------------------------

I've kept this post intentionally brief but if anyone would like to hear more of this kind of thing, I can work on it.
Thanks to +Anthony Fox +Linda Dee for inspiring this post.

#weird #psychology #googleplus #mind #identity    
What has Google+ got to do with Schrödinger's cat?


A brief article on the psychological relationship on, and with, Google+

Let's begin with look at how observation changes our behaviours.

There is certainly potential of attitudinal and behavioural shaping that occurs through the use of any social media platform.
In other words, we alter our actions based on who we interact with.
So, let's talk about one well known cat - Schrödinger's cat - to illustrate the point.
As you more than likely will recall in the thought experiment, it is only through the act of observation (opening the lid) that we know that whether or not the cat in the box is alive or dead - i.e. it is the act of observation that determines the nature of our little feline friend.

Maybe the question we should ask in relation to Google+ is:
"To what extent are our actions altered by *the openness and transparency that is built in?"*

It is fascinating to consider that our actions, information, viewpoints are stored and can now be searched for on the web as well.
This blur between the social network and the search engine will only increase.

This got me thinking about the emergence of future technology... and the opportunities it will bring...

Google on X has shown it's well on the way to taking a picture of the mind's eye (http://goo.gl/6Op8D) - this is incredible!
A real insight into subjective experience.
They have truly started to be able to externalise what was previously a private, hidden, subjective experience. It could be used for therapy, for communication and for improving our general understanding of what it is to be human, and far more. WOW!
I am even writing an article how this could be used in story boarding for movies (once perfected, of course)

When you combine this research into mapping the inner voice (auditory instead of visual focus: http://goo.gl/9E6PV) you could output someone's thoughts, including internal voice. With such technology we could hear your thoughts!

It is wonderful that so many at Google, as well as other researchers, are looking to solve problems that could enable the human race to take a leap in their evolution, to enable better communication, to engage people's minds and souls...
I am reminded, however, that it is quite a few years away!

On silly Google voice message from a comedy buddy of mine (taking the mickie out of my Britishness):
Voice: "Hello Martin, I just went to the horse races and the horses were all interesting shapes, colors and sizes."
Became converted into text and sent as an email:
"Hey Martin, I just wanted to know it's racy listing said Samuel interesting shapes and colors and sizes."_
Yes, it will be a few more years until perfection on that one!

But I wonder if the text version already creates data for me to more targeted adverts?
I have no idea what racy listing I may be getting from Samuel..

There is certainly a dialectical relationship being built here though.
We are forming content on google and ourselves being formed by the relationship itself.
Look at it this way:

One of my favourite writers on communication is Paul Watzlawick, who asks the question "What is the nature of relationship we are aiming to have?"
Yet, we could consider there as being different natures of relationship on the Google platform, in particular:
we are relating to one and other and all the content we come across - every +1, every comment, every webpage we visit, every search term, every youtube video, every voicemail we receive to googlevoice etc. So we are storing a vast database of content but also, potentially, the interconnections and exchanges between us all.
Analogous to neurons in a brain, we are connecting in more ways, to more people, over this period of time. This by its very nature will change what we say or do as we are subtly influenced by every +1, comment and share.

This second relationship, to Google itself, is actually a kind of 'meta' relationship i.e. one that transcends any individual or even small group communication. It is the 'fly on the wall', the observer, the context to all other relationships.
Yet, in the mere act of observation we know that it changes our behaviours.

It will be a very interesting dance when we consider the ability to enter into the subjective realm (as described through new technology)- to see and hear thoughts? I know this is sci-fi territory but as you can see, it is not far off.

So, back to our cat in the box...

What will the observation of our actions have on our behaviours?

This affects everyone.
We will be altering what we do based upon every interaction we have.
But consider for a moment how it relates to the issue of individuals fronting their businesses, whether it is CEOs, the self-employed. managers or organizations' members. Will increased transparency force their inner world (how they think and feel) to match their outer one (i.e. comments, +1s, shares, postings, searches etc)?
Will they will willing to show more of themselves on Google+?
Could this be a high hurdle that is preventing even greater take-up on the platform?
Are people fearing the unknown_ beyond the learning of a new platform?

So, finally, back to our very loose theme of this mini-article...
The act of observation has a profound psychological effect that could well change our behaviours.
We will post, comment and +1 much more around who we want to be.
As such, we are entering into a world where, when the lid on the box is opened, the cat will be found well, happy and more connected to its feline friends than ever before!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on it all.

Thanks to everyone who has helped change the way I see and use Google+ over the past few weeks, including: +Linda Dee +John Kellden +Gideon Rosenblatt +Dirk Talamasca +Mark Traphagen +Jack C Crawford +Yifat Cohen +Miguel Rodriguez +Rahul Roy +Shamil Weerakoon +CircleCount +Euro Maestro +Ian Andrews +Lee Smallwood +the g+ resource +Mike Downes +Jacob Dix +Denis Labelle +Ivar Choi Espedalen +Birgit Backlund-Palander and +Meki Cox
and many more...

#googleplus #psychology #commentary #psychologysensationandperception #perception    
Positive psychological and emotional experience on Google+?
Are you having a

As I tend to write about experiences through the lens of psychology, today I thought I'd write about +ve emotions on G+

Having spent a month on Google+, there seem to be
many positive psychological affects, around the nature of engagements people are having.

Does using the platform improve your emotional states?
Personally, I've noticed some lovely memories coming back through interactions with other Plussers.
It could be Springtime or could Google+ itself be the influence here?
I have to say, I think it is Google+

Have you noticed this for yourself?
Do you find yourself in a positive emotional state most of the time you are on here?

If that is the case, then maybe we are discovering a natural mood elevator? Like +Robin Griggs Wood's work.
Maybe serotonin is singing, dopamine receptors hopping, with supportive gentleness of oxytocin along the way...
This is summed up beautiful by Linda Dee here: http://goo.gl/G1BgX

For the first time we have a platform that enables what we've wanted for a while- connection.
It is connection to people that you value and that value you in return, this could be family, friends or your newly found G+ friends.

So...
Can a platform enable us to feel better as well as do things better?
It would seem so.
There is a culture of mutual support built within the fabric of Google+

There can be quite a psychological lift from seemingly small events.
Here are a few that really lifted the spirits

I recall being on a dirt road in Costa Rica, whilst she acts out a funny scene on the differences between cats and dogs. +Teun Blijlevens
I returned to the ruggid coastline of South Africa when +Johan Horak posted some photos from his walk.

These memories have so often been of a buoyant and positive nature.
For those that have engaged with you, you'll know I am enjoying playing with language, working (editing) a crafted one-liner or two in comments. Sorry about any bad jokes!
+Mike Shaw and +Guy Kawasaki had a bit of cheeky banter in a flow state -back and forth, about who was the best engager.
+Sarah Hill even joined in (http://goo.gl/lM1mz)
and it turns out they are all great at it!

Hangouts
From the Vic G's fireside talk with Guy Kawaski (original youtube clip http://goo.gl/13prT) I got this idea of what hanging out is...
The experience in the hangouts...
where I find friends and new faces
sitting on the porch...
and looking to just hangout.

The stories being heard and told in the hangouts between people from all over the world - seeing the world through their perspective and maybe them seeing mine with fresh eyes and ears.
We continue to learn from each other, engaging and exchanging, enjoying each other for whatever we may be.
These people I now genuinely consider friends.
And with people like +Linda Dee I haven't laughed so hard for so long. Thanks :)

I don't want to be all gushing about Google+ but this platform seems to enable positive, well considered communications amongst people who really want to engage.
Learning as an adult often happens when we understand new perspectives.

On Google+ we could well be getting to know ourselves and other people better.
We discover through subtle feedback (+1s, comments, real conversations and shares) as to how we are being received. Then learning about how much and in which way they want to engage with you.

We find the people we relate to best and enjoy the play of social exchanges.

If there is a psychological benefit, there could even be applications for people's general mental well being.
This could certainly make a difference when someone is feeling isolated.
And that alone is very positive.
I know Google see this too - what a wonderful thing if people really do
feel better, relate to each other in a positive way and _live a better life because of it.
Wow. That would is very cool indeed.

And, of course, a wonderful advert for Google+!
#googleplus #experiences #emotions
 

As always, many thanks to the positive influences through taking the time for enjoyable, informative posts and comments, exchanges from, +Jaana Nyström +Susanne Ramharter +Akpo Siekpe +Rahul Roy +Shamil Weerakoon +Jacob Dix +Lee Smallwood +Meki Cox +Phillip Olsen and +Mike Downes
Google+
Is is a Ghost Town?
Or is it more like the pioneers waiting for the settlers!

As a writer, who sometimes delights in organisational psychology, this is relating some theory to our experiences on Google+

I arrived here, on Google+, 1 month ago. Yes, I know, still a newbie...
This got me thinking about Roger's Innovation Adaption Curve....

I could have thought about many different things, like beaches, bike rides and cup-cakes but no, good old "Roger's Innovation..." it was.

You may well recognise the image attached as this gets pulled out in many a "new launch" presentation.
I would say we are around between the 2.5 and 13.5% mark now, with all the pioneers being the innovators who joined last year.

This about is for a second...
You were probably the first of your friends on facebook
You had the first iPhone or Android
You love innovation, new things, fresh ideas ...

You are either and innovator or an early adaptor (like me).
Yep, this little graph/model has stood the test of time as a high level concept.

So, I guess then we are moving toward the "Chasm" area right now.
Things could go ever way and Google will know this.
But this time, they are serious!
And I don't think we are concerned they are going to pull the rug on us.
Worth checking out +Guy Kawasaki talking here:
http://goo.gl/WTwrD (h/t +Mike Downes for that)
As a Google+ evangelist and an influencer on here,he is so congruent in what he says.
(For those into it, just watching his subtle shifts in facial expressions as he gets passionate...he comes across as truly genuine and enthused.
(Was that too communications skills geeky for ya? :)

People have long misunderstood how new "technology" is adopted by the masses.
It goes along that curve.

And this is what people have called it a "Ghost Town". as they don't see the masses here, as if they would all just arrive and start building.

But the Ghost Town metaphor is so conceptually incorrect.
A Ghost Town is something that is abandoned after use.

On Google+ the people who are here are the pioneers and have paved the way for the settlers to come to a better land!
I do hope they bring snacks, that'd make a nice addition to the party.

Oh...they will probably have to leave Facebook-ville to really embrace Google+ though - this will be a few psychological hurdles to overcome...
More on that soon, I'm sure.

#googlepsychology #googlepsych #community #wilber #evolution
 

Thanks to +Linda Dee as always for being her lovely self. To +Yifat Cohen for hosting a great interview with +Amanda Blain last night. So many of my ideas come from listening to other people.
Thanks to +Mike Downes and +Rod Dunne for the education, as well as the giggles.
As always to +Shamil Weerakoon and +Rahul Roy for the great curation.
To +Jaana Nyström for the ongoing education and insight.
And to +Gideon Rosenblatt +Jack C Crawford and +Denis Labelle for your steady influence.
What is the purpose of a +1?


After a lovely exchange with +Jaana Nyström and +Johan Horak around this, I can know see it is a "small thankyou" that gets sent to your notifications.

Even if they don't know you, it lets the person know you are looking at their post.

It also helps Google+ to be where everyone knows your name.

(That's the tv show Cheers' song!)
 
Is Gmail the final frontier for Google+?

as a writer with a psychological twist I enjoy exploring the world in which we live and how we communicate with one another

On Google+, more than ever, we are seeing a kind of externalisation of our internal worlds - what we write, post, comment upon are a direct reflection of our internal worlds.

And we are starting to see a blur flow between web content and social media content so that the two are actually no longer distinguishable.
I am sure this is exactly what the brains at Google have intended.

But what about the future of email?

A little while back,+Denis Labelle posted on how we can advance our Gmail skills all the way up to being a ninja, that got me looking around....
+Jonathan Langdale blew me away when he first suggested that Gmail was the next frontier - i.e. how it could be integrated into the Google+ platform.

This was a new thought for me and now, just a couple of weeks later, I can see it happening on a personal level...

I hadn't considered that conversations, sometimes between multiple people, could take on a new form.
Email has long been based on a letter (hence the name) and yet the (so often) formality of "Dear Sir or Madam" may well be in need of a shake up.

We could look at adding pictures to everything, just to grab their attention...
And who doesn't want to attach a picture of Catbert (cartoon character Dilbert's nemesis) when sending communications to the Human Resource department?!

Gideon has a wonderful presentation on how Google+ is changing the face of social media.

There could well be a small psychological leap needed by a post-er to include non-gmail addresses in postings i.e. treat it like email.
If this was to happen more and more, the network would become more open.
So, "why does this matter?" I hear you cry...
In a closed system any form of spread of ideas (the most obvious being a post that is shared) will come to a natural end when people with fewer circlers e.g. share it to a smaller audience.

Something going viral across the whole web would tend to happen through whatever channels people choose (email this link, share to facebook, reddit etc). I don't know about you, but there is still a lack G+ presence on many of the sites I visit (like Amazon and Facebook - ok, joking about that one ;)

Gmail could well be one of the things that ensures Google+'s bright future - it would be the way it really embeds itself. I had kind of missed this.

Also, assuming the form and approach to email changes in the very near future, we may as well look at curation and creation of content.

Curation
When we curate content we are pulling it together and, most probably, commenting on it.
Commenting is contextualizing what is already given i.e. often we are editors as we don't change the exhibits themselves; other times we are taking bits and pieces from here and there to bring together a story - just like an editor.
h/t +Rahul Roy and +Shamil Weerakoon

With Google+ we talk in terms of a "stream" as opposed to a "feed" on Facebook, not that that language is new.
Instead of only consuming, we are given the opportunity to create...

Creation
If we are not creating content, we are consuming it.
Creation, as I see it, has really taken hold in the "photography department".
With incredibly vibrant images appearing in the stream, including +Mike Shaw, who I am in awe of, and +Robin Griggs Wood, who paints from her soul.

For those of us that don't have the good fortune of a skill in this area (I am a test case for taking bad pictures if any camera manufacturers ever need one) then we can look toward other types of creation, including writing articles, visual jokes, hints and tips etc.
I personally am delighted with the Picasa software already integrated, making it easy to adapt images. It makes it so much easier for someone with stunted development in this area!

Whichever way, the opportunity with Google+ seems to be the ability to choose the content in our streams as well as choose what flows onto other streams.
Whether we will stop checking Gmail as often as our notifications will be seen in time - there will always be contracts and documents needed to be transferred.
I have seen a change in my own activity, however, and I wonder if you have as well.

The final frontier...here we come...
As always, a big thank you to everyone who has given me a helping hand along the way including: +Linda Dee +Amanda Blain +Jack C Crawford +Mark Traphagen
 
You a newbie to hangouts?
Are...

Or, do you just want to hangout more?

7 tips that could help you get the most out of hangouts.

This is a quick guide for Newbies but may be handy for others too as this is about engaging in conversation...

Below are my personal experiences as a psychologist into communication, with a comedic twist...

Quick Overview
What we are doing on Google+ is totally new for communication.
Do you realise this?
For the first time in human history we have a new, free technology that connects to anyone wherever they are in the world.
It can be seriously mind expanding, for sure.

As +Vic Gundotra put it recently, Google is now connecting people in new ways.

This is truly incredible. And some would say this is, in fact, a leap in how humans communication with one and other.
But there is also something that is a profound experience as well relating to communication on Google+...

The hangouts

So, what is a hangout?

It is not just the technology, as that is only part of it.
Using +Vic Gundotra's words in +Guy Kawasaki fireside talk: http://goo.gl/lM1mz, a great metaphor is this -
hangouts are people sitting on a porch.

Could this be one of the keys to grasping Google+?
Most of us have never had access to such technology before so we will need to understand it from a cultural perspective as well.
When we do this, we can adjust our attitudes and behaviours to fit the climate of the "porch".

Think about it this way...

The hangouts are like a porch front.
You are on walking by, see people chilling out and decide to pop in...

You enter the hangout and then what?

Here are a few suggestions when you don't know the people:
Please note: these are suggestions only based on what I have seen happen over the past few weeks.
You can, of course, do what you want!

1. Say hi!
Why not let people know you are there....
The hangouts I have been in have all been very friendly and welcoming.

2. Say where you are from
You can also let people know where you are from.
People love to connect with people from anywhere in the world. This is a true global community!
Regularly this information is the next question you would have been asked in any case.
People love to hear about foreign places, as they journey in their minds through your stories; as well as being reminded of their home as well.

3. Listen to what people are chatting about and engage around this topics
If you are new, you may like to listen for a little while first and then speak. Sometimes long, hilarious, serious, or even exciting hangout conversations will have been going on before you arrived. You'll be able to gauge the mood of the porch...

4. Think about it like a porch!
If you just stand there and say nothing, you are not really contributing to the dynamic.
That can be ok but let people know you just want to listen in.
Sometimes, people who haven't much English may want to be quieter, but so many hangouters will be patient with you, so don't worry too much about this.

5. Engage
Hangouts are an incredible way to engage with people. The more you know about those hanging out, the more you will probably relate to what they are saying.
Maybe you want to have a look at people's profiles so you can understand more of the contexts of the conversation. With me, for instance, knowing that I love psychology and comedy will give you the context if I am anlalysing the benefits of Google+

6. Be nice - ok, this is just as advice, remember...you can do what you want but...
If you are inappropriate then you will probably get blocked. I've seen this happen.
Also, try not to "speak over" people as that is often an irritation. Also try not to type at the same time unless you are "muted" already.
You may find yourself getting put into the naughty corner (thanks +Jason Joseph for raising my awareness on how irritating that is :P)

Personally, I aim to be upbeat and positive - people respond to your mood in the same way as they do in real life.
Have fun! So often people will all be laughing in the hangout when one person starts.
Fun is infectious.

7. Enjoy being yourself!
Relax as much as you can when you learn from some of the people that have been on here since last June.
The topics covered will be as numerous as the people you hangout with.

So, in summary - think about it as a porch.
This is new technology and that is one of the handiest ways to look at it - say and do what you would do if you were chilling on a porch.

Extra tip:
You'll probably want to follow this page from +Moritz Tolxdorff http://goo.gl/51G5r
and for those using Chrome, download "hangout canopy" free from the App store: http://goo.gl/zezHf
This is a tool that changes everything - making hangouts so easy to get started or join.

The culture is extremely supportive and will help you out if there are any issues you've found with learning how to use Google+

There are almost no rules except those that emerge from using the platform, so everything I say is purely a suggestion sent with good intent.
I love hanging out and these are just a few things I've noticed along the way.
Most of all...I hope you too have fun meeting some new people and seeing the world through their eyes!

Thanks for making the hangouts I've joined such fun:
I want to share a few personal stories to show you how much diversity and engagement can happen on Google+

I love the education I have been getting from +Jason Joseph and +Linda Dee about google+ and moreso life. h/t +Jason Joseph for recommending the Transcendent Man documentary as well.
You have truly guided me where I've needed and been a lot of fun along the way.
As long as no one Emil-ates The Stringed Avenger!!
Also check out +jason stockwood's photography site here: http://goo.gl/CxM5O and let me know what you think of the pics of the couple.
Phenomenal capture of 2 people in love.
And thanks to +Richard Wooding for the book recommendation I've ordered: Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Awesome dude.

Thanks to the "welcomes" I've experienced from:
+sheila (ask her about her loving relationship to the kids he helps on their way to and from school)
It was fun being playful with +Neeta Tolani and learning more about how she hurt her elbow!

Thanks +Mat Langley +Eric Rice for sharing the story of the horses head and much more
Both of them have a great hangout presence with thought and consideration on how you can set up your rooms to give everyone a positive experience.

+Amanda Blain - she is a lot of fun to hang out with, super experienced and someone who will enlighten and brighten your day.
Oh, just don't ask her if the Canadian national animal should change from the beaver to a polar bear unless you want her to be cheeky! (The answer was no!)

I've also had a great time in some news hangouts: +Sarah Hill is a phenomenal host and an incredibly talented, positive and engaging lady at the leading edge of her field.
If you don't know her - check out when she is live. Impressive!
Lovely to meet you there +Kim Beasley and thanks for making sure we introduce ourselves and engage with what is going on - great advice and done with a gentle guidance that is appreciated.

Thanks to +Larry Fournillier for describing the history and the cultures of Trinidad. I can't wait to visit!
Ask him about "One love"

I met a lizard and his owner from the Crimea +David Stickney Lovely fellow, just don't make a joke about the lizard suffering from ereptile dysfunction as it puts him in a bad mood, the lizard, not David. (I found out the hard way as the lizard turned his back on me!)
In the same hangout we had the lovely +Linda Dee and +Pavel Tumaev and from Siberia.
Great we are connecting the world over.

+Mike Downes is owed a big thank you for his support.
Please add him in to everything!
If you run a business, are a broadcaster and want advice on how to use hangouts then contact +Mike Downes as he knows everything you'll need to learn.
Through him I had a giggle with +Justin Hill as well.
Good fellow.
Not a gangster, I mean he is a good fellow to know :)

+Jaana Nyström and +Elaine Lindsay you have taken my spirits higher each time we have interacted, hope to do more soon.
I can see you are both wonderful and kind to so many people on Google+

I've had fun with +Baber Afzal, whose photos are INCREDIBLE and +marcome (just don't ask if she has clothes on whilst hanging out with the screen blacked out, unless you want to blush!)

In an interview with +Amanda Blain I met +Yifat Cohen If you don't know her style of relaxed professionalism then she is someone to check out.
She guided the interview beautifully. Good work.
+Dolidh Young is a lovely Scottish lady with a serious online talent. As well as acting you'll find she has an awesome operatic voice. Just sit back, relax and enjoy!
You may even be lucky enough to have +Malte Philipp A. to play some piano for you as well and tell you all about Berlin.
+Patrik Järvelöv will give you a tour of Sweden from his bike, if you ask. What a treat!
+Phillip Olsen and +Mark Olsen thanks for sharing your new business ventures and having the Longest Hangout as a place we could visit like a second home in Hawaii!

+George Torouno and +Kim Flowers you have reminded me of my days in Melbourne - St. Kilda and Chapel St. Lovely to hear those Aussie accents.
Like a British one but without the plums!

+bob nagy we only met briefly but I appreciated your relaxed contemplative style. I hope you get the HD camera you wanted!

A shout out to these guys for helping me work my own way up the learning curve:
Knowing +Gideon Rosenblatt and +John Kellden they will probably be thinking the applications of all this through at a higher level!

+Mark Traphagen +Denis Labelle +Jack C Crawford and +Dirk Talamasca
You guys are seasoned masters who I've really enjoyed learning from. Thanks for all the positive feedback from you all.
I look forward to engaging more in the near future - maybe even in the hangouts :)
+Christina Trapolino said some very kind words about the content I write. It is those small things that make such a huge difference. Wonderful!
I'd love to hang with you sometime soon.

Huge thanks to +Shamil Weerakoon and +Rahul Roy for being so supportive to so many of us.
You keep on it at - the Masters of G+ Curation!

+Thomas Morffew - lovely to chat today and look forward to discussing the delights of Salcombe, Woolocome/Croyde with you soon!

+Markus Sonsteby I look forward to hearing how you are planning your work flow for your new book ;)

There are many others I really want to hang out with as well:

+Rod Dunne +Lee Smallwood +Susanne Ramharter +Johan Horak +Akpo Siekpe +Michelle Sinclair +Michael Stuart +Michael Beckett +Eli Fennell +Jacob Dix +Paul Stickland +James Allen +Allan Sota
and many more.
- with all the banter going on, I hope to have a giggle with you all face-to-face very soon. And +Euro Maestro, see you there soon for some Parisian style!

Finally a big thank you to +Guy Kawasaki who always takes the time to play with comments.
A wise man with a great sense of humour! If you haven't bought it yet, then check out +guy's "what the plus" Very worth the $2.99. I got a great of tips from it.
It is always great to learn from one of the masters.

Well, that's me.

In summary: the people make the place

I've learned, I enjoyed and I've engaged with some awesome people.
Thanks to EVERYONE who has +1'd, commented and shared.
So, if you are new, I hope to see you in the hangouts very soon.

You'll be welcomed.

#googleplustips #hangouts #learngoogleplus #communication #consciousness #peoplemaketheplace    
"Google X" a real-life X-Men project?!
Is...


Please note, as an occasionally amusing psychology writer, I love to speculate on new technology, especially when it comes to the mind

Could the "X" in Google X even be named after Professor Xavier?

You'll see where I am going (telepathic machine interfaces) but first...

Background to Google

"*Larry and Sergey* founded Google because they wanted to help solve really big problems using technology," said +Sebastian Thrun
http://goo.gl/a1q2f

One of the biggest problems we face on this planet is understanding other people's points of view; many a war has been fought over different ideologies.

Larry Page says, "I just feel like people aren't working enough on impactful things. People are really afraid of failure on things, and so it's hard for them to do ambitious stuff. And also, they *don't realize the power of technological solutions to things, especially computers.*" +Steven Levy "In the Plex".

What then is Google X?
Firstly, you may like to check out their site to know more: http://www.wesolveforx.com/
From the February 2012 event, Solve for X:
Each of the speakers shared surprising visions of how breakthrough technology can be applied to huge problems - and maybe just change the world. In our format, after the talk, we break into groups so that everyone then can contribute brainstorm ideas to both evolve and test these visions.

Focusing now on +Mary Lou Jepsen's wonderful talk here: http://goo.gl/StmpZ we can see the brain/mind interfaces starting to come together.

I started to wonder if this could create mind-to-mind communication.

Or, in lay terms, telepathy.

So, just for fun, here is a sketch of how a telepathy machine would work:

Stage One - Output thoughts

You know those* images in your head?*
Well, the first stage is to output them onto a screen.
That is well on the way for sure.
Check out the video from +Mary Lou Jepsen's incredible talk to see what is being done.

Next...

Stage Two - Input other people's thoughts
Once you can transmit the thought (image) to a machine, the next stage would be to "send that to a person's mind".

An interface such as Google's project glass fits in well http://goo.gl/lKr1T
The glasses could, for instance, show the image of the thought and a person could interact based upon that.
If you think of "a cat", no matter what the language, you converse with anyone speaking any native language.
This is because the thought comes before the linguistic coding.
A cat could appear on the glasses screen and someone will then be able to experience it as the other person's thought.
Incredible!

It could even go a step further, and for this, one would "have to receive" the information in the brain directly.
This requires the reversal of the flow in the neurons i.e. receive instead of transmit and knowing where in the brain to send the "messages".
I am out of depth in talking neuroscience here but the video already suggests that process is indeed likely.

Sharing ideas just by thinking may not be very far away...

Stage Three - Group think

This got me to thinking...what about if you were to receive multiple "communications" at the same time?

And then we enter the world of sci-fi...
Do you recall the character of Professor Xavier from X-Men?

He could experience every thought in the world when he was plugged into the machine - Cerebro.
There would need to be the very cool looking devices that fit on each person's head, but hey, they can solve that issue later!

Stage Four - Interconnecting mind-to-mind via a global communications platform

Imagine there is a platform that connects people, in selected groups all on the same screen...
Oh, hold on a second, that sounds a little like Google+, especially with the hangouts with increasing numbers of people
I say this a little tongue in cheek but +chee chew did host one with 30+ people in the other day...

This whole concept would enable, just like Professor Xavier, people to access each other telepathically.
Ok, they weren't all receiving in Cerebro, but it was probably in Beta.

Interestingly, Ray Kurzweil's Singularity University is backed organisations such as Nasa and Google, mentioned here: http://goo.gl/TfLrc
The integration of consciousness with machine is something right up his street. Thanks to +jason stockwood for putting me onto that ;)

And of course we could have +Guy Kawasaki's book beamed direct to you mind (right up to date version of What the Plus!)
(Guy, shameless, but good shameless.)
+Linda Dee would be beaming her love. Well, she does that anyway as she is an angel.
Being rather inspired by +Sarah Hill words for the hangouts - +Vic Gundotra's people sitting on the porch would become a virtual global porch of interconnected minds.
+Vic Gundotra, if you see my friend of 20 years next week at Mountain View with 8 CEOs, +jason stockwood you can chuckle with him about this then.

And we are well on the way!

Conclusion

This is all pure sci-fi speculation on my part but as I like to consider trajectories of technology I thought it may be fun to share.

Ok, so here comes the spoiler...at the end of the video http://goo.gl/lKr1T it says the following:
_"X is a solution to a seemingly insumountable problem....what if we redefine X as a challenge, an opportunity for radical thinking...the stuff of science fiction"...solving world problems_and doesn't mention the X-men once!
But maybe Professor Xavier would be delighted anyway.

So, in summary, perhaps we are at the start of a process that enables mind-to-mind communication that may not be that far off in the future.
This would be telepathic as well as empathetic (feelings) but I haven't differentiate the two here. (It could actually be the entire Internet, of course)

The question of what people have going on in their minds, well that is an issue for the meditators to consider.
Oh, if people could control that, then experiences of higher states of consciousness could also be shared...oh, that is interesting.
Maybe I'll leave that whole area one for another day ;)

Ok, this was possibly one of my more niche posts but here are some that I thought could find it entertaining. But knowing you lot, you probably have thought about all this already!

+Luiz Oliveira +Susanne Ramharter +Amanda Blain +Ray Hiltz +Gideon Rosenblatt +John Gower +Rod Dunne +Thomas Morffew +Lee Smallwood +Denis Labelle +Brian Van der horst +Jaana Nyström +Mike Downes +Rahul Roy +Shamil Weerakoon +Dirk Talamasca +Dolidh Young +Baber Afzal +Christina Trapolino +Mark Traphagen +Jack C Crawford +Ivar Choi Espedalen +John Kellden +Justin Hill
+Kim Flowers +Chris McManus +Elaine Lindsay +David Stickney +Eli Fennell +Phillip Olsen +Visnja Zeljeznjak +Heather Cashman +Johan Horak +Euro Maestro +Jacob Dix

As always, thanks for all the support I am given on Google+
We have connected ;)

 
Do you see a duck?

Or have...
Google pulled a rabbit+ out of the hat?

This is a brief article about the concept of a social layer.

The image on this post first appeared in Harper's Weekly in 1892

+Vic Gundotra says in his fireside talk with +Guy Kawasaki
"I suspect most of you see a duck"

He continues to say that "what we see is very...
heavily influenced by our own experiences and our expectations."
And "if you run the test at Easter many kids see it as a bunny."
Makes sense.

"With Google+ their expectation with social sites (being compared to the small garden I go to) - I share with my friends, I get ads in there and that's a social site."

Educator and psychologist Kol says,
Human beings naturally make meaning from their experiences through conversation.

This is exactly what many of us are doing here on Google and we are using a new language to explain the experience.

The key words that have grabbed me are:
Google has added a social layer across the services people love and use everyday.
We can see this includes search, gmail, youtube and so on...

As +Vic Gundotra says, it is difficult to understand until they experience it.

So, a new culture, as is already emerging on Google+, has a new shared language.
It is through shared language, that evolves over time, that we can describe the emergent experiences as we surf the waves of new technology.

This is also why so many people on Facebook cannot understand the concept of Google+
It is not simply a new social media platform.

This says to me that any people haven't yet grasped the concept of a social layer

Let me briefly explain, what a concept is...

con·cept/'känsept/
Noun:
1. An abstract idea; a general notion.
2. A plan or intention; a conception.

Then you add the sounds - "words" - as an approximation of that concept.
Have you thought about this? Words are just sounds that have meaning attached to them.
And words are a way of trying to convey a concept.

So we, as the culture, agree what it is to "hangout" or "I +1'd you" or "I shared this!"
Together we shape the concept and embed it within our language and cultures.

This understanding of a concept and appreciation of its meaning is something that then becomes unconscious - it becomes part of our everyday lives.
This is the same process of "knowing" as has happened throughout our lives.

So a "social layer" is a concept for us to grasp.
Many new people may well be grappling with this.
Without the words to explain the concept, we cannot describe the experience.

And the bigger the concept, the bigger the struggle to embody its meaning.
But we are all here, on Google+, at different stages of understanding and embodiment of what has been technologically created.

A big thank you goes out to everyone for helping me grasp what the Google+ rabbit is really about, including:

+Jack C Crawford +Linda Dee +Denis Labelle +Jaana Nyström +Johan Horak +Yifat Cohen +Mark Traphagen +Guy Kawasaki +Miguel Rodriguez +Dirk Talamasca +Robert Redl +Rod Dunne +Thomas Morffew +Lee Smallwood +Susanne Ramharter +Rahul Roy +Shamil Weerakoon

+jason stockwood mate, hopefully I am educating you ready to meet the Google lot next week in Mountain View :P

+Lance Ulanoff - h/t for giving me the idea of pulling the rabbit out of the hat ;)
A great little Mashable article is here: http://goo.gl/Ij5CC

#googleplus #googleplustips #concepts #googlepsychology #googlepsych #sociallayer #learninggoogle #onlinepsychology #communication #nlp    
How do connections happen on Google+?


This is a brief article about the psychology of connecting on Google+

Let's begin with considering a phrase: a meeting of minds...
As we all know, it means to get along well with someone.
But sometimes we don't think about the meaning of phrases that are embedded within our cultures.

Then there is the phrase "making the connection"...
This so often means linking two or more things that were previously not connected.

In life, just as we are doing here google+, we seek connections.
This can be with people, memories, places and beyond.

So, let's take a quick look at Google+ from this perspective...

Every +1, every comment and every share says you are listening.
to varying degrees...

This got me wondering...
what is the psychological process going on here?

Here is a sketch...

1. Attention
To start with, your train of thought is interrupted and you pay attention to a person's profile, comment etc.
The attention you pay can then turn into an intention to connect further.

2. Contextualisation
As this is happening you are building up a picture of a person through your interactions with them
You know their name and the contexts around which you have been interacting
You are storing those memories (thoughts) with associated feelings attached to them.
I am sure dopamine will be firing, serotonin spinning and all the other chemicals playing their role in the brain too.

3. Creation of a storyline through your dialogue
The more connections with someone, the more the thoughts/feelings/memories - you are creating a storyline through your interactions
So this means you no longer bound by the context but are building a relationship to them/with them

4. Positive Reinforcement
The more exchanges, the more memories, hence why it is easier to remember people's names once you "know them" better
The more enjoyable the exchanges, the more positive the connection.
This is how the brain lays down patterns of memory - through repeated actions of (meaningful) activity

When you connect you will find you people are on your mind, or in your thoughts, that is a connection.

So, for people who are finding they are lacking engagement/connection/relationships on Google+, one has to ask:
if you only +1 someone one how can you really expect to connect to them?

Using my personal experience as illustration, this week...
Please note: if this section is not of interest then don't feel you have to read it ;) I am using it to illustrate how connections are made stronger...

I connected further with when I took his advice and asked people if they would like to connect on Linkedin as well.
This has already happened with +Gideon Rosenblatt +Larry Fournillier +Birgit Backlund-Palander +Michael Stuart +Kim Flowers to name a few.
This cross platform connection could be very strong indeed as we see each other with a broader view.

After being inspired in interactions with +Sheila B. DuBois and +Jason Joseph I put a post out of a wave and a phrase: You can't stop the waves but you can learn how to surf
+Denis Labelle then forwarded it to his network and people seemed to appreciate it. This made me feel that +Denis Labelle was listening and relating to what I had to say.

I began to connect with +Amy Gabriel, a fellow writer, who is delighted (and so should she be) at her book being published this week.

It is also time in the hangouts that helped me take a leap with connecting with great people. Although, all the comments, shares and +1s do reinforce how many great people I have been meeting on Google+.

+David Stickney took me back in time and showed our countries historic relations through taking pictures of the location of the Charge of the Light Brigade. And the connection between us grows as a consequence.

When +Linda Dee was excited about getting Rory Swan trending, I spent time laughing with +Michael Marotta and +Jammin Jo
then I find we are not alone as #roryswan is trending even more due to
+Liza Sperling and +Neeta Tolani playing along.
And of course, part of the process is finding who wants to play in such a way.

+Thomas Morffew I got to see face to face in the hangout, which was lovely despite him stealing the Welsh sunshine and smuggling it to Devon! But we also chatted about how we need to get +Rod Dunne into one soon as we have such fun joking on each others' posts. See? It is attention leading to intention to connect further...

In oblique fashion (sounds like what a mathematician would wear to a Ball...)
For some reason I had never fully connected
+Kamal Tailor +George Torouno +Kim Flowers +Britty La'Belle as all being in Melbourne. For some reason their was a gap as that bit of my brain hadn't quite grasped it. This is part of the process too and it is through reflection that some of us build the links as well as through experience.

On that note, +Richard Wooding meet +Johan Horak as I only just realised you are both in Cape Town. Johan is just around the corner on the beautifully rugged coastline.

+Susanne Ramharter and I connected on an interest in cross cultural comparisons and will introduce her to one of my old friends +Brian Van der horst as they will get on well and talk about #wilber

+Linda Dee even connected with an offline friend who is going to do some match making (not for her!). That is how the connections continue to spread out will ripples in the "real world."

Finally, +Amanda Blain and I connected on cats, comedy and more.
And it is time in the hangouts that I find so valuable to really relate and improve connections.
So, on that note, I haven't mentioned everyone I feel connected with, there are far more people, including +Ivar Choi Espedalen who it was lovely to see in the hangout; same with you +Luiz Oliveira, always good to connect.

+Jacob Dix great to meet you face to face in the hangout and keep up the good work with the studies and photography.
+Malte Philipp A. good to hear about your travels ;)
So, if you would like to connect more, let's try to hangout soon. I believe that technology can really bring people together.
Oh and +Elaine Lindsay and +Jaana Nyström I've missed you this week. Let's connect soon :)

 
Hello? Is it me you're looking for?


Are you a newbie Google+ or simply thinking about changing your photo?

Firstly, a photo instead of an image would seem to help people relate to you more personally, then you might ask....

Do you really want to be changing your profile picture all the time?
This was a great tip that +Mike Downes gave me a few weeks ago.

Imagine you changed how you looked every day, week or month
people who don't know you very well would have to
look twice to recognise you.

Well, guess what? It will be the same on Google+.
Years of evolution and facial recognition bit of our brain have a new challenge in the form of a tiny square on Google+

The image appears when we +1 a post (one the bottom right of the post for instance)
but our name doesn't always appear with it.

So, if you want to be consistently recognised, it is a good idea to have the same, or very similar, pictures on Google+
as your profile picture.

Consistency will pay off through recognition by others - i.e. they get used to you, know you and relate to you instantly.

So, just like Lionel Ritchie...Hello...yes, they've found you :)

Oh, but I do find the image attached to this amusing, even having seen it many times in places around the world.
Thanks to +Michael Marotta and +Linda Dee for giving me the idea :)

 
Groucho Marx
What has...
got to do with...
Brands creating clubs on Google+?

As a writer with a psychological and humourous twist, I thought I would consider Google+ and offer some ideas for brands
#googleplus #brands #branding

Many people have been saying that brands are missing out on Google+
and +Kim Beasley got me thinking earlier when she hears major brands ignoring Google+ in their plans...
What would one of the Marx brothers say....?

I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member.
Groucho Marx
(thanks +Rod Dunne for inspiring the theme on this)

But on Google+ you belong to the club of
whatever brands/people/profiles/pages/images you circle or look up etc.
So...
Circling is our decisions to make.

So....
1. Brand presence on Google+ could be thought of like clubs

Remember when you were 11 years old?
If you are anything like me, you belonged to a club, I joined the cubs (the smaller scouts), chess and judo. (Which says it all about me.)

Well, for many of us the clubs have changed and sometimes even
moved in the directions of brands.
We make a decision to be associated (to varying degrees) with every purchase decision we make.

Brands on Google+ will have tribes of people circle them and a tribe is like a club.
I wonder if large brands are thinking of it in this way.

And clubs, of course, have people who valuable as brand evangelists.

2. Belongingness

So, why would they look at using Google+ as a central part of their strategy?

Brands could consider creating belongingness and making the "club" members feel special.
A great opportunity for user engagement as the level of interaction on Google+ seems very high indeed.
This is, as +Guy Kawasaki says, about passions.

Once the club is formed, passionate people are likely to follow.

3. Shifting attention off immediate purchase

This is a more general point on social media...

Even when people can't afford/choose not to buy a Ferrari, they are still often happy to belong in a club.
They want to be associated with a brand. And talk about them...
"So what?! the brands say, "We don't want them as a customer of they can't afford it etc" yes....
but if you can generate interest in your products as an item to be desired, guess what?
You get social value i.e. people who can afford to buy them, do buy them as they perceive they have great social value.
Like all evangelists they then get passionate about the brand and spread the word, even if not party to a purchase themselves at that time.

People want to be associated with cool brands.

4. Feedback

On Google+ a brand could send out a post of the latest product launch
and the brand can track not on re-shares but also the level of interaction on that post.
This has to be useful information.

If "New Coke" is not very popular in the posts, they may want to consider taking that feedback onboard (statistically and qualitatively relevant information, of course).

But if the latest "outdoor rain gear" is of interest and seems to be getting positive feedback in all directions then that can be reinforcing for them.

Also, people could even leave the club if the brand doesn't match the social values of that club (e.g. a circle).
So, people step in and out of whatever clubs which they want to be part.
This information will also give brands insights.
This would be voting with your...circles.

5. Offers and making people feel special
Just like on #klout brands could be looking at those brand advocates (e.g. those that consistently share, comment, reply to comments etc etc)
and giving them:

Offers
Free gifts
Exclusive information
Competitions (assuming that doesn't breach Google's terms and conditions)
etc

This approach can then plug directly back into their broader strategic goals of their marketing strategy.
So, if people are consistently commenting and sharing information then a brand can contact them directly, make them feel special and give them a thank you.

Whichever way it goes, I think many people here on Google+ can see the potential whilst others are daunted
with doing "one more thing" when it comes to social media.

The easier people make it for them to "see the light Plus" then the more likely brands will step this way too.

The simple fact is, on Google+ you belong to the club as soon as you circle a person or a brand/interest page.
And sorry Mr Groucho Marx, you would be belonging to every club of people you have in your circles.
Times have certainly changed.
This is the process of reversal from push marketing to pull.

I am sure many people have been thinking all this through in far more detail than this quick post. Fun to explore what could happen though...
Brand will do what they do but it is either a) they will come to the conclusion themselves (i.e. a person decides) or b) one of us dedicated Plussers says something to them that inspires them to explore the options.

As always, thanks for reading and to end on a light, albeit personal note, inspired by the Groucho himself:
If you want to see a psychological comic strip, you should see me in the shower!

Thanks for the insights, laughter, interactions and putting up with/sharing the same kind of sense of humour! :
+Linda Dee +Denis Labelle +Kim Beasley +Rod Dunne +Amanda Blain +Ray Hiltz +John Charles Steinmuller +jason stockwood +matthew rappaport
+David Stickney +Mike Downes +Thomas Morffew +Jack C Crawford +Allan Sota +Susanne Ramharter +Larry Fournillier +Richard Wooding +Lee Smallwood +alan eisenberg +John Gower +Johan Horak +Rahul Roy +Shamil Weerakoon +Ivar Choi Espedalen +Melody Lynn
+Gideon Rosenblatt +Dirk Talamasca +Cash Dosby +O'Neil Godfrey +GRACIELA MARTINEZ BLAS +Akpo Siekpe +Eileen O'Duffy

 
How does your perception of Google+ affect your experience of it?
Have you considered...

As an author with a psychological twist I thought I would explore perception and responses within the context of the Google+ experience

When Einstein was once asked...
"what is the most important question to ask?"
he responded with the following:

"Is the Universe a friendly place?"

So what does this mean for us as Plussers?

Well, there is a tendency in life to get what you expect. These are the frames of reference we having running in the background of our minds.

You may well have experience this many times already, for instance:

a. You've heard a new movie out is rubbish, you watch it anyway but you criticise it in your head whilst you are watching
b. You think people are talking about you, so you act as if they were!
c. Or, you believe people are kind and friendly so you approach them in that way as well
d. On the other hand, people may even believe that Google+ will never happen, so they don't get started with it...
e. If however, you believe Google+ is a great place to be, then you will look for evidence to prove the assumption.
And so on.

What are the processes in thought?

As I like to consider the process of thought that lead to actions I thought I would take this a step further...

When we push back into the decisions we make, they come from a process of:
a) perception and
b) response to that perception

So, in simple terms, our perceptions will create our responses.

And, of course, the contextual frame of reference that many perceptions exist within:
is the Universe a friendly place, or something akin to it.

When you consider the nature of the community on Google+ you can see that it is one built around mutual support.
It is of a very positive nature and people often interact in a positive, outcome focused manner.
I am generalising but the this network would tend to be built on
mutually acknowledged self interest rather than on complaints, challenges without cause and general issue raising.

Behaviour that is perceived as "negative" could even isolate a person as respond with behaviours that don't reinforce that approach.

It all will depend on the nature of the cultures and the sub-cultures to which we all belong.
And a network has a mix of it all!

Ways to alter the perceptions we have....

The experience of what we perceive can be changed through many methods (some are your own; sometimes it is due to other)
This then changes our responses.
This in turn changes what we do/how we interact/ultimately the life we lead.

For instance, if we learn to pause just after a thought arises (an aspect of perception) and don't respond straight away, we build space between our impulses and the response - this can give us more choice in life as we are less driven by perpetual patterns.
Ok, some of those patterns like stopping the car in time when we see a red light, are great and we want to keep them, but for others we may want greater choice.

Perception and response forms the basis of many psychological interventions, meditation techniques, coaching etc.

There are other ways to change perception as well - for instance:
positive user experience can help people perceive the world differently.
This is so important, especially when people are learning something new.

So back to Einstein.

When we ask questions we push back into our own ingrained beliefs and assumptions about how things are.
This too enables us to consider the basis of the belief and whether it serves us to continue to believe it.
If it does? Great! Otherwise it is our perception and our choice whether to change it.
A friendly Universe is a frame of mind, after all.

Dedicated to everyone who has been an inspiration to me and many others on Google+. Sometimes it is a small action that makes the biggest difference.

+Johan Horak and +Jaana Nyström posted very supportively about me on Monday morning, to which it was lovely to wake up. Thank you.
+Linda Dee and +Jason Joseph +Eric Rice +Mat Langley +David Stickney +Dolidh Young +Richard Wooding +Brad Thompson +Sarah Hill +Larry Fournillier +Sheila B. DuBois +Kim Flowers +Cash Dosby +Kosso K +Neeta Tolani you all make my day when I see you hanging out.

+Rod Dunne +Thomas Morffew +Mike Downes +Susanne Ramharter +Lee Smallwood +Ray Hiltz +Akpo Siekpe +Kim Beasley +Jacob Dix +Christina Trapolino +Bernard Katz +Mike Shaw +Tormod Renberg Leroy +Eli Fennell +O'Neil Godfrey
all, in their own unique way, inspire me to write and make attempts at being vaguely amusing.

+Amanda Blain you make me think and wonder ;)
No mean feat :P

+Denis Labelle +Jack C Crawford +Mark Traphagen +Gideon Rosenblatt +Ivar Choi Espedalen +Miguel Rodriguez +Rahul Roy +Shamil Weerakoon have been the backbone of my experience in my 7 weeks on Google+
+Melody Lynn +Eren Mckay +Daria Musk you all manage to put a smile on my face :)
A big thank you to you all!

And to the friends I am still encouraging to join the party +John Gower
+Chris Tabish +jason stockwood it is a friendly place, trust me :)

 
Have you considered what your "dent" on the Universe will be?

a writer with a psychological twist, who likes to get metaphysical...

Steve Jobs is quoted as saying he wanted to put a dent in the Universe...

But have you ever thought...

To some degree, you leave dents in it in every moment you exist?

Or in other words...

You are your contribution to existence!

If you make one decision instead of another
If you create anything
If you curate the work of others
If you are kind in a moment...
If you are patient or tolerate
If you try to make people laugh...sometimes even succeeding
If you chase after your goals and dreams
If you sit back and follow people who know
Or, if you step up to the plate and take the lead...

All of this, i.e.
everything you say, think or do, contributes to the experience of existence.

With our experiences on Google+ we too are making a contribution.
Especially many people are more transparent, more open and more vulnerable through being themselves on here.
This "nakedness" is all part and parcel to being human and wanting to relate to people in a genuine fashion.

So, fellow Plussers, is it up to us all to decide through our actions (and our thoughts- what we engage in and what we build space around) as to what our contribution will be.

You, my friends, are all already making your dent:
+Amanda Blain +Coyote Prophet +Ray Hiltz +matthew rappaport +Eric Rice +Mat Langley +Dolidh Young +Jaana Nyström
+Linda Dee +Akpo Siekpe +Larry Fournillier +Eli Fennell +Kim Beasley +Gideon Rosenblatt +Kosso K +Bernard Katz +Domingo Rogers +Guy Kawasaki +Mark Traphagen +Mike Shaw +Miguel Rodriguez +David Stickney +Carlos A. Zabala P. +Johan Horak +Akpo Siekpe +Richard Wooding +Gary Stein +Sheila B. DuBois +Jack C Crawford +Denis Labelle +Jason Joseph +Jaana Nyström +Brad Thompson +jason stockwood +Annika O'Brien +Rahul Roy +Shamil Weerakoon +Colin Walker +Ian A Hegarty +Lee Smallwood +Rod Dunne +Thomas Morffew +Mike Downes and +Tormod Renberg Leroy

 
Social validation, cybernetic feedback loops, number of "circlers" on Google+...
What does...

...have to do with Britney Spears?
As an author with a psychological twist, and into comedy, I thought I would explore this area

Let's begin with the lady herself...
Could +***** be sitting in her beautiful mansion right now, sipping on some green tea, thinking "um, I wonder how many people have circled me today...?"
I suspect not.
She is probably sitting back, relaxing and planning for her next sell out tour - I doubt she is saying...
"Gimme More...followers..."
BTW...I googled for that oneliner :D

So why would us more normal folk want to have more followers...?
Here are a few suggestions...

1. It feels good - I tend to avoid using the word "ego" (as it is just the Latin word for "I") but some would say "followers are good for the ego".
Ok, there are issues with having an overinflated ego, but one Buddhist teacher said you've got to have one before you get rid of it!
So, more people following does have an internal affect i.e. they feel something about people following them.
And we like to be listened to.

2. It helps to set goals - if you have the intention of having an additional 1000 people circle you within the next two weeks, you take action and work towards achieving it.
As we well know, people who set goals focus their attention in that direction. It also feels good to achieve them.
Check out Edwin Locke's theory here: http://goo.gl/y4YOc

3. We can give back to more people - When we reach a more "comfortable position" many choose to help other people do the same.
Many people enjoy that feeling too.

4. Is Google+ feeding you in some way? - there are consequences to having more followers and some people may stop, and be happy.
This is interesting, why would some people want to reach 1million+ people and others be happy with 1000.
This comes down to self needs - if for instance, someone has their social validation from another source (and it is a "felt" experience)
then they may not care about having it on Google+ as well.

5. The self determines the level of need - this is an individual thing. It is different for everyone, based on their own lives at the time.
So, if this does not apply to you and you are already happy that is excellent. It will, however, apply to those whose needs are not satisfied.
If we use numbers as a "reference point" to our selves, then it matters. If we don't, it doesn't.

6. To find the people who want a higher level of interaction with you (and maybe even buy your products/services) you may well need more followers.
It takes a while to find people who are like you and that like you. The broader the network the more likely you will find the gems.

7. The more success you have, the more you get....which takes us to....

Success to the successful

Have you noticed this in life yourself?
People who get some success seem to attract it.

In something called systems theory -which came out of the work of cybernetics, Stafford Beer (http://goo.gl/RdpZI) being one of the fellows who pioneered it - there is a concept:

Success to the successful
(check out an article I found for more: http://goo.gl/KyVbC)

When this self reinforcing feedback loop is in place, those who have already got success keep getting more successful.
You know, just like when people are standing around looking at the sky, more people join them to see what is going on!

So, for instance, on Google+ people who are seen with a higher number of circles are more likely to be followed.
Simple.

If many people are attracted to you, it is likely that this will attract more people to you as it socially validate their thoughts/feelings/attraction.

There is an assumption that there are enough people to circle enough people, of course, but as we know Google+ has hardly even started to lift off yet: http://goo.gl/uwIca (an article I did around Roger's Innovation Adaption Curve).

Do numbers really matter?

So, this got me thinking as to why so many of us, including myself, even care about the number of people following us?
I mean, if I was walking down a street and I had 3958 followers I would probably call the police or the Pope.
Or even worse, what if they were "circling me". I digress....

And so many people on Google+ have a HUGE following on here.

We know it is not all about the numbers; there has to be both good quality in the people who have circled you and for many, quality engagement with them.
So, we have the good old issue of "quality or quantity".

Quantity without any engagement really wouldn't be much fun at all.
+Bearman Cartoons says it would be an error not to engage, especially on your own posts!

But numbers really do matter
h/t +Jaana Nyström for opening my eyes to this...
"In social media, your audience has the same motivation it’s had for thousands of years.
They want to share information with the friends and family that will give them the reputation of being a valuable person to interact with.
So give it to them."
Dan Zarella - (http://danzarrella.com/#)
there is some great information on Pinterest here as well,
and i promise never to troll on it again I just need to understand it better +Eric Rice :D

And of course, some celebrities (i.e. those "celebrated by people"- circled) who get taken off the suggested users list (#SUL) even ask who they need to give sexual favour to, to get back on it (+Steve Ward)! It would be good to hang with you one day and here if it worked out.

Applications of having more followers...

Education and entertainment - if you are looking at the possibilities of using Google+ to educate people (in any way), to entertain them,
or any other engagement there are new emerging ways to make that part of your life, and with it even make a living.

+Brock Predovich's launch of www.plushang.com is one that will be explored by many.
Hey, who knows, maybe Britney could use it to monetize how manages having so many followers herself!
Ok maybe not, but...

There could be Google+ers on here that could take a lead on this....
I'd want to listen to the lovely +Amanda Blain telling us about running a successful start-up...and much more!
+Guy Kawasaki telling us the top ten tips for getting consulting work, as he seems to have with great people like #evernote

+Linda Dee you could educate people on their diets, transforming their energy levels at the same time

+Eren Mckay you could be teaching people to sing, your voice is like an angel
and the wonderful +Daria Musk is already there
But would people want to pay to listen to their art...this will be fun to explore...

Sponsorship deals - +Mike Shaw has a well deserved following due to his stunning photography and landed corporate attention as well.
He probably would not have done this with 500 followers as he would not have had the social validation in numbers that attracts people.

Clubs - this is an idea I had this week, not for brands, but for people on Google+. What club would you want to run and maybe even earn money from?
Once enough people think they can learn something from you, or it could be they are entertained,
then you could have an inner circle that joins your club and even "subscribes" to you material, as if you were a magazine.

The list will be almost endless!

And sometimes people want more circlers just to feel connected to more people to whom they relate. +Susanne Ramharter

So, numbers do matter for many people. Quality matters as well.
Number do matter as quality will emerge through the higher numbers.

More followers will tend to "feel good" as people are listening to you more.
And we like that.

As far as Britney goes, she has made her following in the world already so Google+ may not be on her radar so much.

For us, as we connect to more people through every interaction we are "pelting out tunes" that we hope resonate with people who circle us.

I suspect +Britney Spears has many other social engagements to attend but I would be pleasantly surprised if she got in touch due to a post on Google+!
And that would, of course, socially validate me to some extent as well.
Especially because I wrote something she could be interested in reading...http://goo.gl/bOVR2

Thanks for all your support :) +Visnja Zeljeznjak provided the forum for inspiration today and +Johan Horak gave the needed encouragement ;)
I love the interactions I have with you and the writing is just my way of connecting.

#solicalvalidation #circles #communication
#googleplus
Thanks to +Rahul Roy for suggesting the following:
#sharingiscaring (h/t +pio dal cin) #reshare #communityreshare    
Are you interested in building up some comedy circles?
A cheeky little post...

They will be shared once built!

So, here are a few of the shows I have enjoyed over the past few years:

#Californication
#Episodes
#30rock
#bigbangtheory
#shameless
#seinfeld (always)
#arresteddevelopment

Why am I doing this?

I love comedy.
I love laughing.
I also love finding people to enjoy laughing with.

And it was +Mike Shaw who inspired me to come of the comedy closet as he admitted to going to see Jeff Dunham the other day, and enjoyed it :D

So here are a few comedians I like as well:
#eddieizzard
#billhicks
#jackdee
#robbrydon (a good Welsh one)
#rickygervais
Many more but I'll start with that...

If you like any other those then please # the name of it in the comments below and I'll do my best to build up circles.
Even if they are just a few people per circle I'll still put them out there.

If you want to share then it may be easier if people comment on this post as I can gather them up that way.

+Bobbi Jo Woods you may have started on the 30Rock one as I know you are into this too.

Let us see what happens...!
Who knows...maybe we will all have that:
We'll have what she's having moment from When Harry met Sally :)

The psychology behind this post is this (for those that like that stuff)...
If I can find people with a similar sense of humour, I share some of the experiences they have, including laughing at the same things. These shared reference experiences connect people.

And, as you will have found, it is often a light heartedness that makes you want to take a leap and relate to a person more on Google+ - circle them, hangout and let other people know you relate to them too.
Humour helps to find people like you.
(even if I do spell it with a "u"!)

 
One year ago...
Have you considered...


1. "What's hot?" was a question you asked your Mom when she was cooking on the stove

2. "Hanging out" was for kids

3. "Sharing a circle" involved residents of San Francisco getting together with drums, hemp clothing and an intent to commune with nature

4. "Sharing posts" involved a Xerox machine, stuffing envelopes and sticking loads of stamps

5. "Plus one-ing" was something you did when inviting people to a wedding

6. "Pinging someone" involved returning it with a backhand, a lobby and a "pong" over the table...

7. "Public posts" were put on a telegraph pole using paper, sticky tape or possibly a staple gun if you were very organized

8."A social layer" was a promiscuous friend (sorry...)

9. "On-air" meant you were seriously committed to breathing

10. "HIP" was something your grandma got replaced when she was 90

#googleplus #comedy #googlelingo    

And thanks to +Linda Dee for helping me come up with a few of these ideas!
May the G+ 4th be with you..


If Star Wars characters had used Google+, circles and all...

1. Rebel resistance would be against spending too much time on Facebook

2. The Force would be when things go viral...

3. Luke Skywalker would have found his long lost sister quicker, as someone would have put them in a shared circle relating to Alderaan

4. Yoda would have learned to edit his syntax when leaving a comment

5. Obi-Wan Kenobi would have chosen a better apprentice when he put Anakin into his "Candidates for the dark side" circle

6. Princess Leia would have muted us all with a cutting glance

7. Stormtroopers would have found the droids they were looking for by better circle management and a quick search

8. R2-D2 wouldn't have to put up with C-3PO's incessant whining, he could have blocked him years ago

9. Darth Vader would not have built a following as he was simply not very friendly and anyway, that is not is real name so he would never have got a Google+ profile...

10. Chewbacca would be asked by +Linda Dee and +Amanda Blain to put some clothes on when he is in a hangout :D

#maythe4thbewithyou #maythefourthbewithyou #starwars #maythefourth     #starswarstuesday  
Hangouts

A few very tongue-in-cheek suggestions about using hangouts that other people have made:

+Vic Gundotra suggested the concept that hangouts were like people sitting on the porch, which I've written on before (http://goo.gl/bkAzj)

For this more comedic post (well, that is the intention) let's think of it this way:

1. Think about it as if it was a porch.
So, often the person to initiate the hangout is the host.
As such...

2. You may want to think twice about doing do your laundry!
If you want us to see you doing your washing in your laundry room then at least make it entertaining.
Juggling maybe?

3. It would be great to hear you when you join in with the conversation.
People may not want to hear your music, screaming kids, police sirens etc in the background, so...
Could you mute yourself when not speaking if it is noisy? Otherwise you probably shouldn't be surprised if you get muted.

Whilst we are on the subject...from +Linda Dee and +Amanda Blain...

4. Please don't just mute people in the room for the sake of it.
This is like sitting on the porch and putting your hand over their mouth when they are talking!
I suppose it is better than going..."la la la la la la la..." but still not very porch-like behaviour :D

5. Please don't block people who are hosting the party.
If you block everyone in the room and run away then it is like the a child running up to the porch and pulling all the chairs away;
then the child evicts everyone from the porch and turns them out onto the street, dazed, confused and in need of a new porch.

6. Please be in the room when you have a seat
i.e. don't grab your spot and then disappear, someone else may want that seat.
Think of it this way...if it was a cinema you would not be seeing the show and others wouldn't have a chance to laugh, smile and throw their metaphoric popcorn.

7. And please wear your pants.
No-one wants to see that when you turn up on your neighbour's porch!
Ok, there may be pants-free hangouts too, but several ladies have asked that you check with the people there first!

Hangouts have opened up my eyes and mind to a new form of communication. If you haven't tried them yet then give it a go!

Thanks to +Linda Dee and +Amanda Blain for the idea on this post - especially the "wearing pants comment."
I think +Sheila B. DuBois +Jaana Nyström and +Susanne Ramharter would agree it is a good idea!

 
What frames are you setting on Google+?

As a writer with a psychological twist, I thought I would discuss contexts on Google+

So, let's take a look at "what is a context?"

con·text/'käntekst/

Noun:
1. The circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed.
2. The parts of something written or spoken that immediately precede and follow a word or passage and clarify its meaning.

One way to think about a context is as a "frame".
Just like a frame around a picture, it sets the scene for what is contained within it.
It adds to the mood, so to speak.

If I tell you I am going to recount a funny story then you are almost waiting to laugh.
If I set expectations it is a sad tale, then you are waiting for that.
If I tell you something is going to be really exciting....
And so on...

If we "change the frame" we can change the meaning we give to an event e.g. a Google+ post, but also as a result, the experience other people have of it.

*As we are socially endorsing posts that we are sharing, for instance,
the frame that we give when we share matters.*
This is often in the box above the original post that we send onto people having circled us.

There are many frames that could be set on Google+, as an example think about posts and the comments we add...
1. "This is awesome" - encouraging a positive engagement to people receiving it
2. "This is interesting" - being semi-positive but also leaving room for interpretation
3. "Not sure about this" - being semi-negative, but still being shared, which is "interesting" :P

There are a myriad of frames that could be set, including not setting a frame.
But in the act of sharing a post you want people to relate, engage, interact etc. or you wouldn't send it.

A quick case study on this was a post I sent out the other day.

A.
I set a frame about Personal Branding re: +Guy Kawasaki's story of the butterfly on his book, Enchantment http://bit.ly/IFjjqS

B.
+Johan Horak writes a post about what I've done and sets the context, i.e. a frame around my original frame.
This trans-contextualisation (I'm just using these concepts for fun now :P) gives more meaning than my original frame i.e. frames, upon frames...as +Johan Horak related it to the Zero Moment of Truth http://bit.ly/KHmECW

C.
I then reinforce the loop and set the context as to the reason I am doing it.
bit.ly/ID8t67 and explain how this loop becomes reinforcing.
The more repeats, the more the pattern becomes embedded, or in this case, the more meaning we add to the original post sent out.

D.
+Bernard Katz then gets in touch saying how he related to personal branding and creating a story for himself within the context of his own business.

All of this was from me adding a little context to a video I found about +Guy Kawasaki's butterfly.

As it happens, as I like to read such books...I bought it from Amazon as a result. This evidences further +Johan Horak's point (in a frame) about The Zero Moment of Truth...and so on...as it keeps on frame, upon frame, upon frame...

#googleplus #context
#googlepsychology #frames    

I know +Rod Dunne and +John Kellden have a lot to say on the meaning we make as well :)
Could Google+ help with the process of "personality integration"?

As a writer with a psychological twist, this article explores "the self" in relation to online cross-platform activities.

And how my Klout score went from 46 to 71 in a day...

Let's begin by considering...

So, what is personality integration?

I know, I know it sounds all geeky but actually it is quite straightforward.
Psychologist Jane Loevinger discusses a stage in human development where "people are 'synthesizers' and are able to conceptually integrate ideas." (http://bit.ly/IW8U64)
This often doesn't happen until well over thirty years old, but many factors influence it.

So, in brief it is when someone puts" parts of themselves together", accepting who they are, but also recognising their interdependence on others.

So, how does this relate to Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and beyond...?

I have, until now, had "bits of myself" in different places.
Different messages on different platforms.
Personally, I have started to blend between the 4 main platforms I use as it seems to be a logical step (for me).
This got me thinking about the process of personality integration that is occurring whilst I am being more open and transparent about who I am.

The more access I give people to me across several different contexts, Google+, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest and Twitter - the more I am displaying myself.
And in the process, the more I bring myself together.
This also relates to what Harvard psychologist Robert Kegan calls "self-authoring" - applying this concept, we tell our story across several medium.

Next, let me explain a little about some examples of changes I have made to what I do.
I use this to illustrate some of the small psychological hurdles I needed to get over to create a cross-platform approach.
And, yes, many of you are ahead of me on this! I am playing catch up and writing about it as I go :D

Youtube
Just today, I moved added some stand-up videos to the youtube account connected to this account from an old inactive one.

Here are a couple stand-up videos of me on stage in San Francisco: http://bit.ly/JnpVub
After our conversation with +Maria Quiban, +Mike Downes I thought you maybe interested in this - not perfect at all!

Facebook
Historically I kept Facebook as just for friends, but the more time I spend on Google+ the more I want to be the person I consistently am here, on these other platforms as well. A little odd, but let me explain...
I had held back, for instance, sharing the posts I write about Google+ on Facebook as the one time I did it I only had 2 people respond.
But there is merit in me being open about my activity on Google+ wherever I "exist".
Google+ has almost been a "little secret" that sharing across platforms exposes as a big part of activity.

This process, I suspect, either requires or is a display of a structure of self that can internally allow for ease of cross-contextualisation (between friends groups etc) and an embodiment of a consistent sense of self.
It doesn't mean that I have to share everything with everyone, of course, but it does mean that I would have internal ease when doing so.
Ok, there are some caveats to this but I am using it to illustrate the point.

Twitter
Today I made sure my profile pic was the same as my Google+ and Facebook as I am looking to build trust with more people.
The photo enables quick recognition. Different photos take psychological work!

Linkedin
I will start to post more of my Google+ posts to my Linkedin contacts as well.
The photo hasn't changed yet as I am wearing a tie as some people like that!

Google
I am in the process of setting up an Adsense account as I may like to have adverts on my site at some point; or on youtube.

It was +Johan Horak who first gave me the idea of posting more across platforms.
And it was +Jason Joseph who gave me the encouragement I needed to add my stand-up so it would be easier to access.
Thanks to you both.

Klout

Due to subtle influences along the way by +Linda Dee +Cash Dosby and +Amanda Blain +Melody Lynn I got back into Klout as well, as previously I had only set up the account. A big thank you!
Kloult, it would appear, gives me a cross-platform indication of my levels of influence.
Without me integrating my account data in one place it could not do this.
It also shows the raw data on +1s, shares, likes, comments etc. on the primary accounts I have chosen.

Yesterday my Klout was 46
Today my Klout is 71

And how did this happen?!
I added in my Google+ account.
This has all been part of my integration process.

Do to all the +1s, comments, engagement in every way, you guys have shifted my Klout upwards considerably.
A big thank you to +Linda Dee +Denis Labelle +Amanda Blain
+Jack C Crawford +Mat Langley +Jaana Nyström +Johan Horak
+Guy Kawasaki +Shamil Weerakoon +Rahul Roy +David Stickney
+Ivar Choi Espedalen +John Kellden +Susanne Ramharter +Ray Hiltz +Rehan Ahmad
+Rod Dunne +Thomas Morffew +Lee Smallwood +pio dal cin +Sheila B. DuBois +Akpo Siekpe +Euro Maestro +Ann Raines
+Silver Suurvarik +GRACIELA MARTINEZ BLAS +Tamayn Irraniah +Phill Hocking +Bernard Katz +Chase Mann +Eli Fennell +Richard Wooding +Clare Cosgrove +Mark Traphagen +Joe Vinson +Eileen O'Duffy and so many others that have helped me out and engaged with me over the past couple of months.
I've now added my Linkedin account as well and will see how that affects it as well.
It is not all about metrics, I know, but it can give insight into the online experience we have.
www.klout.com for more info if you want to join in too.

Integration or not?

Some people will decide to keep certain information for certain platforms.
And I am sure to do that as well.
What I am noticing, however, is how there becomes a cohesive psychological experience when we don't keep ourselves in separate boxes.
As always, I wanted to give you some food for thought.
The idea of having "ducks in a row" comes from my Organizational days, meaning everything just works better.

If anyone would like to add me to any of their networks:
Facebook, Linked, etc
then please find the links here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/114918475211209783081/about at the bottom of that page.
I'd be delighted to connect further :)


#googleplus #kloutscore #communication
#googlepsychology #integration #klout    
Is this the end of television as we know it? And the start of something HUGE?


Since Hangout On Air roll out is happening now, anyone with a Google+ account can:

1. Stream a live feed to Youtube
2. Have the video stored for viewing later on
3. Stream a live hangout for as long as it lasts! (I think)
4. You can even monetize a hangout that is viewed later, by...
5. Using Google adsense to put ads on the front end of videos

This means:

You now have your own channel that people can watch and advertisers will place ads on - and you get a share.

I am probably stating the obvious but I think this is a game changer for people looking to earn a living from online activities!
(Yes, I said "game changer" :P)

So...
What content will you be giving the world?

#googleplus #googleplusupdate #hangouts    

p.s. I am still working this out and I am sure there is more to come e.g. adverts during the hangouts stored at certain points to increase shared revenue?
Google+, Trust and the experience of learning something new


As a writer with a psychological twist, I thought I would look at the experience of learning something new...

So, I would like you to look into someone's eyes before we discuss Google+

We all know that looking into someone's eyes is of value when ascertaining trust.
But, I would like to give you a new experience.
This does sound like a dodgy experiment that a hypnotist may have you undertake but it is safe and simple.

Many of you may well know this already, but it is was shown to me by an old friend and I haven't heard it anywhere else since.

Step 1
Look into someone's eyes

Step 2
Look at the "pupil" in one of their eyes

Step 3
Consider the origin of the word "pupil"...

Pupil
"center of the eye," 1660s (in L. form from late 14c.), from O.Fr. pupille (14c.), from L. pupilla, originally "little girl-doll," dim. of pupa "girl, doll" (see pupil(1)), so called from the tiny image one sees of himself reflected in the eye of another.

Have you done it yet? Or just skipped to this point?! Well, give it a go before reading on..

So, you saw "yourself" reflected in the convex surface of the other person's eye, right?

Ok, but there is something else here to. You trusted me enough to go and do something weird.
This relates to Google+ too.

When people are exposed to anything there can be:

A pull toward the experience (attraction)
A push away from it (aversion)
No movement towards or away (indifference)

These processes of mind are very important when someone is learning something new.

In relation to Google+, it is important for a positive initial user experience in order for people to continue to use it.
If are initial experiences with something new are negative we will tend to give up.
Educational Psychologist Albert Bandura developed the concept of self-efficacy, in brief this is:
self-efficacy is our belief in our ability to succeed in certain situations (more here: http://bit.ly/IvXvLI)

People with a strong sense of self-efficacy:
• View challenging problems as tasks to be mastered.
• Develop deeper interest in the activities in which they participate.
• Form a stronger sense of commitment to their interests and activities.
• Recover quickly from setbacks and disappointments.

People with a weak sense of self-efficacy:
• Avoid challenging tasks.
• Believe that difficult tasks and situations are beyond their capabilities.
• Focus on personal failings and negative outcomes.
• Quickly lose confidence in personal abilities (Bandura, 1994).

So, whether it is Google+ or learning anything new, the better the first experience, the easier for anyone it is to "develop self-efficacy".
This is the interesting point - you can develop it.

One of the ways is to have a positive first experience and good ongoing support as well.
Just like whether you felt concerns about doing the "pupil" experiment above.
The more trust you have in me that it will be "ok" then the more likely it is you will have done it.

So, trust in people and faith in a system (such as Google+) can create a positive reality.
After a post by +Johan Horak (http://bit.ly/KO4Ful) about Facebook and Google+ and more generally, I see +Gideon Rosenblatt and +Ronnie Bincer have been looking at user experience.
Which got me thinking...
How best to engender trust with people to whom are introduced Google+?
We will all have our own ways, of course, and just like the little "eye experiment" you have undertaken, it all helps when people trust that it is the right thing to do.

#co