Less Is More Blog Productivity Tips

Connect with us!

April Webinar Special

describe the image

30-50% off Creativity and Innovation Webinar, April 18 & 25 – Learn the Secrets to Increasing Creativity in the Workplace.

Click now to learn more!

Order your electronic copy of the survey report ($19.95 for a limited time)

Social Media Survey Report

The survey about the use of e-mail and Social Media has been completed and the survey report is now available. Learn more and order your copy!

Download our Free eBook

The Results Curve(tm): How to Manage Focused and Collaborative Time.

Download now 

Less-Is-More Blog by Pierre Khawand

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

Google+ and Facebook in the Workplace! 3-min CBS Money Watch video

  
  
  
  
  


Google+ and Facebook in the WorkplaceIn this video session at CBS Money Watch, we got to work at the whiteboard and discuss Google+ and Facebook and their usage in the workplace. As you know, I spend a lot of time researching and working with productivity tools, and tools impacting productivity, like the social media platforms. Naturally, I’ve played around with Google+, the new kid on the block. So in this white-boarding session, I got to discuss some of the key difference between Google+ and Facebook and the potential impact that these differences have in the workplace. Most importantly, I pointed out that neither Google+ nor Facebook are truly for the workplace. They are still public platforms and not appropriate for sharing internal information. I predicted that at some point, it is conceivable that an internal version of Google+ might be offered as part of Google Apps (however the recent release of Google+ in Google Apps was just the public Google+ that we all know—so we are not there yet!).

Watch the Google+ and Facebook in the Workplace video (3 min)

Additional Resources

Our tech blogger Steve Loosley has written dozenz of articles about Google+ and the Google technologies recently. Here are a few highlights:

Email is dead!

  
  
  
  
  

Guest blog article written by Steve Loosley, Tech Blogger

Do you receive hundreds, if not thousands, of emails each day? I’ve got good news. Help is on the way!

Email: the old way of sharing

Every morning your inbox is full. 

  • Many messages have no significance, so you delete, delete, delete, and occasionally archive. 
  • Some messages are of interest, so you sort through reply-all after reply-all, wondering if these people bother to read each other’s comments. 
  • A few messages are addressed to you alone. Some you share with others to get their input, and some are private, for your eyeballs only. 

You know the routine: it’s slow, tedious, and laborious. It’s what we’ve come to call work. And, work it is. 

Email is dead.

We have no use for email! We have a completely new way of sharing information.

Google+: the new way of sharing 

Imagine if email was “socialized” and “integrated.”

Imagine if you could rank, comment, and reply to the comments of others, all in real time.

Imagine if you could conduct surveys and gather feedback, whether internally or externally, without sorting through email after email.

Imagine if you only had to check one inbox, not three or four — not Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and RSS, but one inbox. 

You can quit imagining!

Google Plus socializes email and integrates everything into one inbox, what Pierre Khawand calls The New New Inbox.

Let’s illustrate the power of G+ by studying a piece shared by +Mark Striebeck, the Gmail frontend and development manager. Notice that the piece is 

  • Socialized internally with the Gmail team and externally with the Public Circle.
  • Socialized through the +1 Button, a reader approval ranking.
  • Socialized through Sharing, where readers share the piece with others.
  • Socialized through Comments, where readers interact with one another and with Mark. 


g social

In the old email era, Mark would have (a) emailed the Gmail team; (b) emailed all Google employees internally (c) written a blog; (d) tweeted that he had written the blog; (e) subscribed to the blog comments; (f) posted on his personal Facebook wall; (g) posted on the Gmail Facebook wall, if they had one; and (h) worked late into the night as his Gmail inbox overflowed. 

Google Plus integrates your "email" into one inbox, the New New Inbox. G+ streamlines and overhauls how we share information personally and corporately. 

Email is dead.

What do you think? Can Google+ socialize and integrate your email, even at work? 

If you would like an invitation to join G+, please leave a comment below, note your interest, and we’ll do our best to make sure that you receive an invitation email as soon as possible.

Additional Resources

Google+ Project Website 

Accomplishing More With Social Media Webinar Series: 9/19, 9/26 (12:00 to 1:30 pm Pacific Time)

LinkedIn for Sales Professionals! Webinar: 8/5 and 10/14 (9:30 am to 11:00 am Pacific Time) 

Google+, the end of Twitter, and the rise of Facebook

  
  
  
  
  

Guest blog article written by Steve Loosley, Tech Blogger

Given that social media's history spans less than a decade, it's a fool's errand to predict what social media will look like in 10 years, let alone in 10 days. Bear with me as I play the fool. 

What does the future hold for Google+, Twitter, and Facebook? 

In the short term, expect Google+ and Facebook to match each other feature for feature. 

Google Plus recently unveiled games. You'll still have to use Facebook to play FarmVille or CityVille, but at G+ you can play Angry Birds or Zynga Poker. 

Soon, Google will begin offering business accounts similar to Facebook's. Currently, only individuals can configure G+ profiles. In the near future, businesses and brands will have Google+ accounts and profiles. 

Google+ will soon enjoy tighter integration with other Google products, from Search to Gmail. The Google interface will provide a seamless experience as users move between Gmail, G+, Calendar, and so forth.

Expect the notification bar to be extended to all products. You will receive notifications for Gmail, G+ events, calendar actions, and shared Google Docs. Also, expect that you will be able to interact with your notification stream without changing tabs. 

Finally, look for Google to "socialize" all of its products, including docs and email. Email is dead. We will increasingly share and interact dynamically, especially within our work communities. Google Apps users will use G+ to share information within their workgroups, not Gmail. (More about this in our next post.) 

Facebook recently updated its privacy settings to match Google's. You can bet that Facebook is working night-and-day with Microsoft's Skype to offer integrated, multi-user video collaboration like G+ Hangouts. 

Expect Facebook to implement a more selective, circle-like way to share information. "Circles" are a must for Facebook, since it's the one feature that sharply differentiates Google+ from Facebook

Facebook will respond to Google's tight integration by offering all of Google's services, including Search and Gmail. That's right: Facebook will enter search. Look for Facebook to introduce a more robust email interface and to offer more and more Google-like services and apps

Facebook's mobile client will also be extended to match Google's unified experience, especially on the Mac iOS platform. Your iPhone's email, calendar, and notes apps will all be synced with your Facebook account. 

Lastly, Facebook will further postpone its IPO until its feature set, including search, is on par with Google's. 

Twitter will continue to enjoy a loyal following, but by any metric — user-base, active users, tweets, or time — Twitter will remain a niche player with a limited, if not shrinking, user base.

Twitter will differentiate its product from Facebook and G+ by focusing on what it does best, namely, offering organic, real-time current-event reporting, commentary, and discussion. 

Lastly, Twitter's revenues will wane. It's new "promoted tweets" business model is inherently flawed — Who, for example, searches for "Ford" on Twitter when shopping for a new car? Look for an IPO within the next 24 months, but don't expect the offering price to match it's recent $US 8 billion valuation. 

What does all of this mean? Will one site win?

Nope. The odds are zero that one social media site will win. Social media sites are communities, and different sites attract different cultures. One site cannot be all things to all people. 

As simple as G+ is to the predominantly male, techie, early adopters, G+ is anything but simple for most users. The "circle" metaphor is confusing. Techies like messing and tinkering with stuff. Non-techies want to use stuff. For most, there is no reason to leave Facebook and learn another service.

Arguably, Google+ will continue to enjoy strong acceptance with the tech crowd, and longer term, G+ will find growth among Google Apps users. G+ will revolutionize how Google Apps users share information within corporate environments. And, G+ will also gain traction in education, where circles and hangouts can bring educators and students together virtually. 

Facebook, however, will remain king. It's dead simple to use. You can teach your parents how to use Facebook in one or two sessions. More importantly, with its 650 million users — 300 times that of Google+ — if you want to share with your friends, most likely your friends are on Facebook

Summing up, Google+ will make Facebook stronger and more robust. Facebook will match Google across all of its products, including circles, email, and search — Yes, Facebook will assuredly enter the search business! Twitter, a strong niche player, will disappoint its investors. 

What do you think? What does the future hold for social media? 

It's your turn. Go ahead, call me a fool! What do you think?

If you would like an invitation to join G+, please leave a comment below, note your interest, and we’ll do our best to make sure that you receive an invitation email as soon as possible.

Additional Resources

Google+ Project Website 

Accomplishing More With Social Media Webinar Series: 9/19, 9/26 (12:00 to 1:30 pm Pacific Time)

LinkedIn for Sales Professionals! Webinar: 8/5 and 10/14 (9:30 am to 11:00 am Pacific Time) 

Study: Will You Abandon Facebook in Favor of Google+? by Brian Solis; summary+commentary by Pierre Khawand

  
  
  
  
  

Haven't heard about our summary+commentary (s+c*d) format? Learn more!

Summary

abandon facebook brian solisBrian Solis poses the above question to get us to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of each social media platform, and on how we would allocate our time on these platforms--hoping that this exercise will lead to finding the optimum balance. About 2000 participants voted and the results are shown in the graph on the left.

Brian points out that Google+ reached 25M users in less then a month (took 3 years for Twitter and Facebook), and he shows very informative graphs segmenting these users by country, by age, and by gender. US is leading the pack and so are males ages 25 to 34. Brian concludes though that Just like the traditional TV networks co-existed and continued to attract people through different content, this will be true for social networks.  Read Brian's article in full!

Commentary

I was delighted to learn that Brian's intent was to get us to reflect on how we use social media. This is something that we don't do often enough. In terms of the platforms, I believe that Google+ has addressed many of the shortcomings of the earlier platforms and is going to reap the benefits. However, it won't be too long before Facebook and others respond. This means improved privacy and features to all!

Discussion

Where are you on this issue? Will the circles of Google+ lure you away from Facebook or not? Or maybe you haven't even ventured into Google+ or not even into social media? And why or why not?

Google+ Facebook, and Twitter: which is best?

  
  
  
  
  

Guest blog article written by Steve Loosley, Tech Blogger

In a recent post about Google+, one person astutely wondered, 

How are people feeling about Facebook vs. Google+? I have both but am not completely sure Google+ is better. 

This is a great question! 

Is Google+ better than Facebook? Twitter? 

Let's begin by asking, What is the difference between Google+, Facebook, and Twitter? 

Google+ has the potential to replace most, if not all, of the services that you currently use to share information. 

Rather than send email, use G+ to share your thoughts with only one person. Rather than post to a blog, use G+ and make your thoughts public. Rather than tweet, use G+ to share your 140 characters with everyone.

Use Google + to share indiscriminately with a large circle of "friends," and you’re back to Facebook.

Share discriminately with a select circle of associates, rather than send a bulk-email, use a listserv, or configure an invitation service. Share with yourself, rather than opening a journal. Share photos with your family, rather than uploading to a third-party photo-sharing service.

Google+ is highly configurable and potentially replaces a wide range of services — email, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, invites, listserv, and photo-sharing. As one well-known blogger explains, “You simply say what you have to say, then decide who you’re going to say it to.”

But, does this mean that Google+ is better than Facebook and Twitter?  

Absolutely not! No. 

If I want to share information with my sister and her family, then I better go to Facebook. They don't use G+. If I want to view my daughter's pictures from her summer internship, I know that I better coax her to share a Facebook link. All of her friends are on Facebook.

If I want to track a current event in real-time, such as the recent events in London, then I better turn to Twitter. If I want to share something with my dad, I better use email. 

In general, I better choose the communication tool — G+, Facebook, Twitter, email, blog, and so forth — that best suits my audience and purpose. 

What do you think? Which social-media site best suits your needs? Why? 

Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

If you would like an invitation to join G+, please leave a comment below, note your interest, and we’ll do our best to make sure that you receive an invitation email as soon as possible.

Additional Resources

Google+ Project Website 

Accomplishing More With Social Media Webinar Series: 9/19, 9/26 (12:00 to 1:30 pm Pacific Time)

LinkedIn for Sales Professionals! Webinar: 8/5 and 10/14 (9:30 am to 11:00 am Pacific Time) 

Google+ Putting it to work

  
  
  
  
  

Guest blog article written by Steve Loosley, Tech Blogger

Google+ is about sharing on the web, just as we do in real life. Today, I want to help you put G+ to work. Let's explore ways in which you can leverage G+. 

Organize an evening with friends. Share your plans with specific friends — location, time, and details. Your friends can interact with each other in the Comments section in real time. Rather than exchanging countless emails and text messages, Google+ can streamline your planning.

Publicize an event. Share an event, whether a guest speaker or even a committee meeting with your audience. Allow others to comment on the details. You might even negotiate the meeting agenda.

Write a blog. Leverage your stream to promote your interests and passions. Make your posts public so that anyone can read them. Allow others to interact and comment; make yourself available to your readers. G+ is flattening the world by dramatically facilitating the exchange of information between and within all cultures and social groups.

Write a micro-blog. Rather than a traditional blog, like the previous suggestion, keep your sharing short and simple, Twitter-style. Make your point in a few characters, and share it with the world.

Get feedback about a product or project. G+ developers are showing us how to interact directly with end-users. They get immediate feedback on feature sets, and occasionally, they invite users to Hangouts to gather ideas.

Hold office hours. University professors are already planning to use Hangouts in lieu of traditional office hours. Organize Hangout help and review sessions.

Meet with your book club. Why drive 30 minutes to meet and discuss this month’s book. Organize a Hangout and share on the web. Additionally, each week pick someone to write and share thoughts about the reading, and encourage others to reflect in the Comments.

Get advice. Where should we have dinner? Where should we visit? What should we wear? How do I do Calculus? Share your question, and brace yourself for a flood of advice

The ways in which to use G+ are unlimited. We've only scratched the surface.

How do you use Google+? Please share your experiences in the comments below.

If you would like an invitation to join G+, please leave a comment below, note your interest, and we’ll do our best to make sure that you receive an invitation email as soon as possible.

Additional Resources

Google+ Project Website 

Google+ Support Site 

Accomplishing More With Social Media Webinar Series: 9/19, 9/26 (12:00 to 1:30 pm Pacific Time)

LinkedIn for Sales Professionals! Webinar: 8/5 and 10/14 (9:30 am to 11:00 am Pacific Time) 

Google+ We'll help you configure Notifications

  
  
  
  
  

Guest blog article written by Steve Loosley, Tech Blogger

When others share with you, you want to know about it, but notifications can be disruptive. Fortunately, Google+ allows us to customize notifications.

Let’s set-up your notification preferences.

Click the small sprocket or gear icon in the upper right corner of your G+ screen. In the drop-down box, click Google+ settings

g privacy 1

 

You will land on a page that allows you to set your delivery or notification preferences. You can receive notifications by (1) email; (2) SMS text messages; and (3) in the Google+ bar.

G+ allows you to customize numerous events, such as when you’re tagged in a photo, have a post shared with you, or are added to a circle. G+ even provides for notices when others comment about you in photos.

As you can see in the screenshot below, I turned off all of the notifications except “Shares a post directly with me.” A direct share is similar to an email, so I want to make sure that I do not overlook something shared only with me. 

g notifications

Even though I have most notifications turned off, the Google+ bar still notifies me about all events. The Google+ bar is the black bar at the top of your web browser. On the far right, you will see your name, followed by a small box with a number. The box turns red when you have unread notifications.

g notifications 3 

Click the notification box, even if it’s grayed out with the number 0, indicating that you have no unread notifications. A live screen will drop down with a list of your notifications. You can navigate through this list and even comment, just as you would in your main web browser.

g notifications 4

Google+ enables you to tailor notifications, and from the G+ toolbar, you can interact with your stream quickly and efficiently.

If you would like an invitation to join G+, please leave a comment below, note your interest, and we’ll do our best to make sure that you receive an invitation email as soon as possible.

Additional Resources

Google+ Project Website 

Google+ Help Articles on Notifications 

Accomplishing More With Social Media Webinar Series: 9/19, 9/26 (12:00 to 1:30 pm Pacific Time)

LinkedIn for Sales Professionals! Webinar: 8/5 and 10/14 (9:30 am to 11:00 am Pacific Time) 

Google+ Learn how to configure your Privacy Settings

  
  
  
  
  

Guest blog article written by Steve Loosley, Tech Blogger

Google+ allows you to selectively share information on the web, much like you share information in life. Just as you are careful about what you share with others, G+ allows you to do the same by customizing your privacy preferences.

Today, let’s configure your privacy settings.

Click the small sprocket or gear icon in the upper right corner of your G+ screen. In the drop-down box, click Google+ settings

g privacy 1

 

You will land on a page that allows you to set many features. Click on the link in the upper left, Profile and privacy.

g privacy 2

Read through the numerous options that allow you to control what you share and with whom you share it. Today, I want to highlight two, Public profile information and See how your profile appears to other users.

Your Google Profile is a public web page that tells about you. To modify your settings, click on the gray box, Edit visibility on profile

g privacy 4

Your Profile page will open in the edit mode. Click on a box; for example, click on the Introduction. A window will pop-up, and a small box will allow you to customize who can see this information.

g privacy 5

Each section in your Profile can be customized. You can make it public to everyone, limit it to your circles, or even customize the visibility.

G+ makes it easy to check your settings.

Return to “Google+ settings” (see above), click “Profile and privacy,” and look for the box, See how your profile appears to other users. Enter someone’s name or email address in the box and click Preview. Your Profile will appear just as if you were that person.

g privacy 3

Terrific work! You are well on your way to leveraging the power of Google Plus. 

If you would like an invitation to join G+, please leave a comment below, note your interest, and we’ll do our best to make sure that you receive an invitation email as soon as possible.

Additional Resources

Google+ Project Website 

Google+ Help Articles on Privacy Settings

Accomplishing More With Social Media Webinar Series: 9/19, 9/26 (12:00 to 1:30 pm Pacific Time)

LinkedIn for Sales Professionals! Webinar: 8/5 and 10/14 (9:30 am to 11:00 am Pacific Time) 

Google+ Learn to use the new G+ bar

  
  
  
  
  

Guest blog article written by Steve Loosley, Tech Blogger

I want you to learn to use the Google+ bar, the black ribbon that appears at the top of many Google websites, such as search and Gmail. I want you to learn to save time and avoid frustration. 

A screenshot from a Google search page is shown below. The black ribbon at the top is the Google+ bar. 

g toolbar 1

If you're signed in to your Google account, on the far left, you will see +[Your First Name]. On the right, you'll see your Google Profile picture. 

Click on any item to open the associated Google product.

Click +[Your Name] to open Google Plus. Click Web to search, Gmail to open your mail, and so forth. If you want to open a Google product that is not visible, click on More and a drop-down menu will open. For example, click More and then Documents to open Google Docs. 

I find this to be a welcome time saver, a quick and efficient way to navigate between Google products. 

The gear on the far right is reserved for modifying the settings. These settings change as you change products, Gmail settings for Gmail, Calendar settings for Google Calendar, and so forth. 

A screenshot from Gmail is shown below. Clicking on the gear opens a drop-down menu that allows you to adjust your Gmail settings. 

g toolbar 2

To modify your main Google Account settings, such as your password, click on your picture or your full name (far right). As you can see in the screenshot, a drop-down menu allows you to change your Account settings and Profile. 

g toolbar 3

 

The items between your full name and picture are dedicated to Google Plus. Click Share, like the screenshot below, to share something on Google+. 

g toolbar 4

The box between your full name and Share alerts you of G+ notifications. Click the box to review and interact with all of your Google+ notices.

g toolbar 5

Good work! This is a lot to digest in one post. Experiment. Click the icons. I hope you find the new Google+ Bar a useful tool to enhance your productivity. 

If you would like an invitation to join G+, please leave a comment below, note your interest, and we’ll do our best to make sure that you receive an invitation email as soon as possible.

Additional Resources

Google+ Project Website 

Google+ Help Articles on the Google+ Bar 

Accomplishing More With Social Media Webinar Series: 9/19, 9/26 (12:00 to 1:30 pm Pacific Time)

LinkedIn for Sales Professionals! Webinar: 8/5 and 10/14 (9:30 am to 11:00 am Pacific Time) 

Google+ Learn how to Hang Out

  
  
  
  
  

Guest blog article written by Steve Loosley, Tech Blogger

Google+ redefines how we share information with others on the web, and perhaps the most exciting new feature is Hangouts.

Hangouts are group video chats. Currently, up to 10 people can video chat together in real time, for free!

Let's set up a Hangout.

From the main G+ screen, click the green button in the lower right corner labeled, Start a hangout.

 describe the image

A new window will open, and next we will select who we will invite to join our “hangout” by clicking in the box, Who do you want to hangout with?

The default blue icon includes everyone in all of our circles. You can either accept everyone, or click the “X” to remove the default and select your own participants. For example, if you want to invite just your family, select the Circle, “Family,” assuming, of course, that you have added people to your Family Circle.

Just as we learned with sharing, you can fine-tune who you want to invite to “hangout,” by including specific people, Circles, or everyone, the Public.

g hangout 2

Once you’ve selected those you want to invite, check your hair, and then click the button, Hangout. Google+ will immediately notify each person (more about notifications later) and begin the chat session.

Google+ allows you to join Hangouts, both private Hangouts to which you have been invited and public Hangouts initiated by others. On the main G+ page in your “Stream,” that is, in all of the stuff that people in your circles are sharing with you, if you see a “Join this hangout” button, click it. You will be guided to join the “hangout.”

g hangout 3

Give Hangouts a try. Invite your friends, or watch for +Michael Dell to begin a public hangout. Michael is extremely popular, so you have to click fast to hang with him!

If you would like an invitation to join G+, please leave a comment below, note your interest, and we’ll do our best to make sure that you receive an invitation email as soon as possible.

Additional Resources

Google+ Project Website 

Google+ Help Articles on Hangouts

Accomplishing More With Social Media Webinar Series: 9/19, 9/26 (12:00 to 1:30 pm Pacific Time)

LinkedIn for Sales Professionals! Webinar: 8/5 and 10/14 (9:30 am to 11:00 am Pacific Time) 

All Posts

Subscribe by Email

Your email:

Write Your Comments!

We want to hear from you. Please write your comments in the blog and let us know what you think. We are eagerly awaiting your insights, tips, and suggestions!

Join our Free Webinars every 1st Thursday!

describe the imageLearn more about our Complimentary Lunch & Learn Webinars.