+Jaana Nystrom

Welcome to my Circleverse!

Google+ is my passion: I want to help others to get the most out of it.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

How to deal with Trolls

I've been searching Google+ for tips on how to deal with Trolls on your comments and posts.
Here are the results:


From +Guy Kawasaki

Top 12 Signs You're Dealing With Trolls

Dealing with trolls is one of the costs of participating in social media. These are the folks who combine a strong opinion with a lack of knowledge. A handful of inflammatory and negative comments can neutralize dozens of positive ones. Here are the top twelve signs that you're dealing with someone who lives under a bridge.

1. Bad Grammar, spelling, and linguistic cues.Trolls don't capitalize the first word of sentences, use periods, or commas. They have a tough time with homophones (words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings). This has nothing to do with gay rights though trolls have strong feelings about this issue too. They use the first-person pronoun ("I") and exclamation marks (!!!!) a lot. They type in ALL CAPS. They write long comments using short, simplistic, and goofy words. Example: "PUHLEZE, your completely WRONG about global warming everyone nose that al gore is just trying to cell books"

2. Entitlement. Trolls exhibit a exorbitant level of entitlement manifested in the belief that their time is valuable, and they should get everything for free. Example: "How dare Facebook run ads or try to monetize my content!!!!" "Why does she post stuff on her page that doesn't interest me and wastes my time???" "Dropbox should be honored that I store my files on its free service." "If Google+ ever has ads, I'm out of there."

3. Lack of first-hand knowledge. People with the strongest opinions often have the least first-hand knowledge. When you encounter the  certain and vociferous opinion of trolls, ask them if they have first-hand knowledge or experience. You'll find that trolls just "know" that something is true. Example: "Google+ is a ghost town." Do you use Google+? "No, but I know no one is there."

4. Lousy profiles. The profiles of trolls are usually lousy: out-of-focus and poorly-lit avatars, lack of personal cover and album photos, and incomplete biographical information. These people aren't trying to gain more friends or followers, so they don't care about the quality of their profile. A social-media profile is a window into a person's soul. Example: not forthcoming because I won't give any troll the satisfaction of being called out.

5. Intolerance. Trolls do not embrace diversity. Alternate thoughts, lifestyles, sexual orientations, and operating systems are both wrong and unacceptable. Example: "macs are too espensive and there're just something Steve Jobes ripped off from Xerox Park. i am much productive than any Mac owner"...

6. Pre-Copernicus. Trolls missed school the day that science class covered Copernicus's heliocentric model of the universe. Thus, they think that they are the center of the universe. Examples, "He's never left a comment on any of my posts, so he obviously doesn't know how to use social media." "She's never been in a hangout with me." "He's never once asked what I think about this."

7. Perfect information. Trolls expect everyone in the world to know what they did immediately after they did it. (Pre-Copernicus and perfect information is a deadly combination!) If you read the troll's post, you'll see that the person or company in question isn't + or @ mentioned so there's no way for them to know they were mentioned. Example: "i explained why he's wrong in my blog, but he hasn't responded yet."

8. Cowardly. Trolls are cowards and want to attack and pontificate but not constructively discuss. They do not have the courage to say to your face what they say online. They are bullies who are brave in a pack but shrink away from confrontation when they don't have a computer to hide behind. That said, you might find that trolls are perfectly reasonable people in person which is a difficult concept to grok.

9. Legal scholars. Many trolls are legal scholars but every legal scholar isn't a troll. In particular, trolls are experts in selective portions of U.S. constitutional law, U.S. Supreme Court rulings, and Sharia law. They are certain that the founding fathers anticipated the state of technology two hundred years hence. Example: "The Constitutions guarantees that I can protect myself in case a Muslim president sends Seal Team Six after me...im going to grab the AK47 I bought at Walmart and kick their asses"

10. Arithmetically challenged. Trolls are not good at arithmetic, and they oversimplify the facts. When they say "every," the fact is that they should say "some." However, their goal is to exaggerate and aggravate. Example: "Every post is a promotion for her company." "He never responds to anyone." "United flights are always delayed."

11. Holier-than-thou. No matter what you do, it's never enough. No matter what a troll does, it's exemplary. This often happens in the times of tragedy. You post, "An accident occurred today in London." Troll responds, "That's all you can say? I offered my prayers." Really? Only God needs to hear your prayers--do you need to tell the Internet too?

12. American. It pains me to say this, but I've noticed that most trolls are American. We're hung up on manifest destiny and the belief that we should tell everyone  how to live, what to think, and what to do--including, of course, other Americans. Example: when a tragedy happens in the U. S., trolls expect the whole world to come to a halt. It's as if an American life is worth more than any other country's.

(Adding to Guy's last point: I have only seen trolls from one nation misuse "Freedom of speech" as an excuse to writing hate-filled, obnoxious or venomous comments.  That seems to be the last defense in using foul language or hate speech often after when their comment content has been proved to be wrong. Sorry, but see the end of this article. -JN)

Now that you can identify trolls, here are five ways to handle them:

1. Give them a chance. Respond to a trollish comment and see what the person does. A troll will respond with anger, negativism, and hostility, but people who had a temporary trollish moment will make a reasonable and intelligent response. This happens about 20 percent of the time, but when it does, you can develop a true friendship from a rocky start.

2. Turn off comments in your posts. There's no law that you have to let people comment. When I post a story about abortion, gun control, or Barack Obama, I sometimes turn off comments to (a) reduce my aggravation and (b) frustrate trolls.

3. Ignore their comments. You can let trolls post their comments and simply ignore the comments. You don't have a moral obligation to respond to anything.

4. Delete their comments. Think of this as skimming the detritus off the surface of your swimming pool. If you keep deleting, eventually, trolls may tire of posting.

5. Get rid of them permanently. On Google+, for example, you can delete the comment, block the person from commenting, and report the person to the service.

From +Lauren Weinstein :

Lauren's Handy Guide for Detecting and Dealing with Trolls on Google+

1) Trolls virtually always appear very suddenly, like a big, painful, pus-filled pimple. Typically they emerge (like a daemon from Hell) as a provocative comment on your thread, and it's the first time you've ever heard of this individual. They are not to be confused with spammers, who represent a related (but largely orthogonal) class of social networking vermin.

2) Your first impressions regarding whether or not a comment has been generated by a troll will almost always be accurate. That is, if your gut reaction to a comment is that you're being trolled, you will likely be very accurate in that appraisal. Outrageous and/or highly provocative statements designed to trigger emotional responses are their hallmark. Occasionally you'll come up against a troll who takes a slower approach and attempts to draw you into a what appears to be a reasonable argument, but this is quite rare since most trolls aim to do maximal damage to as many threads as they can, as quickly as possible.

3) "Professional" trolls ("pro-trolls") usually prowl public G+ postings explicitly looking to spread disinformation and propaganda -- or even "simply" to disrupt threads -- in furtherance of specific goals, often politically or racially oriented. Some of these trolls work in organized packs, sometimes with serious funding behind them as systematic social networking disruption agents. Despite the tone of their postings, professional trolls are usually not actually nuts or idiots, and are very goal-oriented.

4) Freelance ("opportunistic") trolls usually work alone, and unlike "professional" trolls, they often *are* nuts and/or idiots. Their comments will be at least as provocative as those of pro-trolls, but may tend toward higher levels of wackiness that expose their lack of true goal orientation.

5) Both in the case of freelance and pro-trolls, a quick examination of their G+ profiles and postings is usually extremely useful to verify their status prior to blocking. Dead giveaways of their "trollness" include either a stream of nearly identical postings, a variety of postings that tend to all be concentrated within the "troll zone" of inanities, or very few (even zero) postings of their own at all, the latter suggesting that they rapidly create new accounts as their previous ones become heavily blocked.

6) Without exception, trolls should be *immediately* blocked when detected. Unless threats or the like are involved, it is usually not necessary nor appropriate to also report their profiles. I recommend blocking troll profiles quickly and mercilessly, and not even bothering to flag the individual comments, again unless threats or other illicit behavior are involved. In cases of threats, etc., you may want to flag the individual comments, then block and report the troll's account.

7) It is usually good practice to delete a troll's comments from your thread, to avoid later legitimate commenters being drawn into the maelstrom. You may also wish to strongly consider deleting any responses to the troll that fed the beast, especially since leaving those other comments in place after deleting the troll's comments tends to leave a disjoint comment flow that can be difficult for later readers to understand.

8) Whenever you block/report a troll, and/or delete their own comments and possibly other related comments, consider adding *your own* comment on the thread explaining what you have done. A note as simple as "Troll blocked and associated comments deleted" will usually be adequate.

9) Most importantly, show trolls absolutely no mercy. Block them immediately. Your threads are your responsibility, and you are under no obligation to host comments designed as weapons of destruction. Individual trolls rarely return -- they usually move on quickly to greener pastures. Their entire purpose is disruption through asymmetric attacks. You should feel absolutely no hesitation at blocking them, and no compunction for having done so. The saying *Do Not Feed The Trolls* (DNFTT) holds true. Do not engage them in conversation. Do not argue with them -- you might as well be arguing with a roll of toilet paper. Block them now. Report them if necessary. Clean up any damage they've done to your threads by removing their comments and related comments that could waste the time of other readers.

- - -

The wonders of social networking can only stay wonderful if we take individual responsibility to moderate, manage, and curate our threads, on Google+ or anywhere else.
This means taking our roles as thread creators very seriously, and not enduring the presence of trolls on our threads at any time -- not for any reason. No excuses. No exceptions.
Together we can help make Google+ as troll-free as possible. Human nature being what it is, we will never be entirely successful at this effort. But we can certainly give it the ol' college try.

What is trolling?  Who is a troll?

Obviously to someone the meaning is different than to others ...

Is trolling or trollish behavior:

-  An obnoxious way to try and get attention in strangers' comment threads, usually very negative, aggressive and rude texts

- Fighting with anyone that disagrees

- Someone trying to get even with the world no matter how.

- Getting a feeling of power from antagonistic behavior

- Someone with a lousy self-esteem

- Someone who likes to hurt people. A warped mind, perhaps

Bantering among friends is not trolling, you know your friends and how much they can take.  But do you know the limit when you might hurt someone?

What is trolling to you?
How would you define it?  Have you come up against many trolls on Google+?

Let's discuss this without trololoos, shall we? :-)

Go forth and post, and let's see what happens. Remember: don't be a troll yourself, and always assume that people are good until proven bad.
Just in case: Read more about blocking

I have written about commenting which ties very closely to trolling:
-  Comments, why do we post them?

Here is an interesting article from the Scientific American, titled

Commenting threads: good, bad, or not at all

A snippet:
Free Speech is a very American concept. Most of the other 200 nations on the planet do not provide constitutional protection of free speech. And Internet is global.
And even within the USA, the concept of free speech does not mean everyone has the right to say everything everywhere. It does not mean you have the right to say your stuff on my blog. It means you have the right to start your own blog. Just because I have commenting functionality on my site, does not mean you have the right to post whatever you want on it. Every host of every site has the right to delete, edit, or modify any comment in any way, to ban users, and to implement whatever moderation norms and techniques one wants.
Commenting is a privilege, not a right. You have to earn it.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Google+ is 3 years old already!

The Google+ Project or Google Circles launched on 28th June, 2011.

Google+ is an essential part of my business, with other Google tools.

They've come a long way since.
From the official Google blog announcing the launch, written by +Vic Gundotra:

+You: putting you first, all across Google
That’s the Google+ project so far: Circles, Sparks, Hangouts and mobile. We’re beginning in Field Trial, so you may find some rough edges, and the project is by invitation only. But online sharing needs a serious re-think, so it’s time we got started. There’s just one more thing—really the only thing: You.

You and over a billion others trust Google, and we don’t take this lightly. In fact we’ve focused on the user for over a decade: liberating data, working for an open Internet, and respecting people’s freedom to be who they want to be. We realize, however, that Google+ is a different kind of project, requiring a different kind of focus—on you. That’s why we’re giving you more ways to stay private or go public; more meaningful choices around your friends and your data; and more ways to let us know how we’re doing. All across Google.
When your invite arrives we hope you’ll join the project. But it’s entirely up to +You.

First Public test post 30 minutes before the actual launch was by Yonatan Zunger, the chief architect of Google+.
This post is shown in time zone GMT+3, actual post was posted 9.38 AM California time.

This week Google's +Larry Page said in an I/O interview with New York Times:
"I think there’s a lot of things going on with Google Plus. I’m a very excited user of it.
You saw some demos in I/O showing how it works with Chromecast — that’s one of the things I’ve been excited about. The service has been growing tremendously. People are always like, “Oh, what’s going on?” But for us, we’re superexcited about Google+ because it’s a big service, growing continuously, since we launched it, at a high rate, and we’re making it better and better every day."

I/O this year was really all about developers

Google+ API has not been yet released, so there wouldn't have been much to share with the Devs.

There have been numerous updates to Google+ all along and more are to come:  Releasing a bunch of updates in one go versus releasing one by one has been discussed widely on Google+ and the latter found to be better because then the possible fixes (with 265 countries and several dozens of languages launching) are easier to handle for everyone's satisfaction.

I started using Google+ three years ago today

I don't mind being called a First Generation User: I got an invitation and joined very soon after the Beta version of the platform was published in 28th June 2011.

I have written numerous posts and articles about Google+, spreading the word and helping people to "get" GooglePlus:

The people you circle, what are you looking for there? If your friends are not yet on the Plus side, so what?

What I’ve enjoyed most in Google+ is the lack of status updates like ‘I had an omelet for brekkies’ or ‘I became Mayor of Thingummybob in Be-Square’.

Circle judiciously: Choosing carefully who you place in circles and which communities you join can bring you a rich home stream. You don't have to circle anyone back, choose those whose content you find interesting. After managing your circles well and choosing interesting people and pages to follow the standard of posts in your stream will be fun and educational depending on your tastes, ranging perhaps from tech to religion, humor to science and all sorts of news. And of course cats.

For the newcomers to Google+ the place might look like a desert. Your stream is empty, your friends haven’t joined in, the whole place feels strange and even its UI is a bit baffling. Where to start?
Don’t try to please anyone on Google+ but be yourself.

Fill in you profile. Write about the things that interest you, share links and videos that you find amusing or intriguing. Post stuff with good content, as that is what the public is looking for.

I started on Google+ with no-one I knew, even today only a handful of my friends are here.
I'm no techie or celebrity, just an ordinary middle-aged female from Finland. Love sharing my thoughts and  photographs, posting (hopefully) interesting content, engaging in conversations and helping out Goobies (G+ newcomers).

Some thoughts on the difference between Facebook and Google+

From Google: What is Google+?

Google+ is literally Google with a plus. The "+" is the social networking it adds to all of Google's other services, including Gmail, YouTube, and Blogger. Google+ brings popular social-media features like comments, photo- and music-sharing, video chat, etc. to your social circles. It's basically what any user chooses it to be, from an ongoing conversation to a platform of self-expression, with tools for making it as individual or collective as you want.

What do people use Google+ for?

In Google+, people chat, share ideas, post photos and videos, stay in touch and share personal news, plan meetings and get-togethers, send birthday and holiday wishes, do homework and business together, find and contact new & long-lost contacts, friends and relatives; review books, recommend restaurants and support charitable causes. The list goes on and it also includes getting and giving validation and emotional support, lots of informal learning and exploring personal, academic and future professional interests.

In fact, there’s very little of human life that doesn’t get expressed in a social network site. It’s sometimes called a “social utility.” Like a power grid, it provides the supporting infrastructure for the constantly changing everyday activities of millions of users, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In effect, the “product” called Google+ is a living thing that changes constantly. Unlike the media we parents grew up with – books, newspapers, and even radio and television – it’s extremely “user-driven,” the collective product of its millions of users’ lives, updated spontaneously, moment by moment around the world and part of the social Web that increasingly mirrors all of human life.

Live Hangouts on Air are a great way to broadcast your message!

How should people use Google+?

Especially in the earlier days there were strong opinions, mainly based on how people had been using Facebook and Twitter.  I had (and still do have) my own ideas and thoughts, here is a Google+ post from 2012 which I have updated slightly and which I think is still valid:

How positively engaging are you in Google+?

There's an easy way to measure your input.
Just check how many +1:s you have given inside the platform.

Come on, giving a +1 is a positive action, be it on a post or comment. So, how many?

Check the amount in your Dashboard  (you need to login to Google account again).

Mine are 85922 given +1:s inside G+ at the moment (28.6.2014), or 79 per day since June 29th, 2011. (This number used to be very much higher last year, it topped in over 100 k, I don't know what has happened with the +1 count. My average per day used to be 153 given +1's.)

Just divide your given +1's with the number days you've been using G+ including this date.
Use this to calculate how long you have been on Google+.

Don't remember when you started? Check here when you posted for the first time in public, maybe that helps. Insert your own G+ ID from your post URL:

How to find your Google+ ID - and share G+ posts on Facebook.

If you want to see your stats with you in the receiving end, see this:
Login first. (Might take some time to load especially if you have been very active...)

Greetings from the present Google+ boss +Dave Besbris:

Google+ is part of the Interwebz:  Here is a great "Infographic" about the real time traffic happening all the time!

Click the image to open the interactive version (via Penny Stocks Lab).


Google+ Help Center - Answers most of your questions

Google+ Help Community - Answers the rest...

My Google+ posts where I've used the hashtag #JaanaTip in a Timeline - +Jaana Nyström

The impact Google+ has had in my life - By +Jaana Nyström

Looking back:

Introducing the Google+ project: Real-life sharing, rethought for the web

Facebook's Newest Challenger: Google Plus

3 years of Google+ - Infographic

Happy Birthday Google+!  Thank you for being my window to the world!

I'm really looking forward to the future with +Dave Besbris at the helm!

Join in the celebration:

Google+ Birthday Party Event!

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Google+ Business Pages Updates

Google is improving the user experience for business pages, check out these desktop updates!
Even better visibility and stats for business pages along with a nicer UX...

Learn more about what Google+ can offer to you and your business: Google+ My Business Help Center

Google Business pages

Google+ pages provides businesses, products, brands, and organizations with a public identity and presence on Google+.  You can also create a Page for your band, pet, fan club, sports team, kid's camp, event or anything that is not against the Google Terms of Service - or user rules and principles.  For simplicity's sake I'll go on writing about "your business".

Google+ pages interact in the Google+ world similar to the way that regular Google+ profile owners do - they can add people to circles, edit their profile, share things in Google+, +1 comments and photos, and create and join Hangouts and Communities.
But they’re not entirely the same, especially since this update.

Google+ update for Businesses

Today, Google is rolling out Google My Business, the new way for businesses to manage their online presences across Google. We’re bringing together the ways that Google helps your business shine, and with Google My Business, you can:

- Maintain up-to-date business information on Google
- Build loyal customers using a Google+ page.
- Track engagement with insights for Google+ pages and posts
- See information on your related Google Analytics account and YouTube channels
- Seamlessly create and track performance of AdWords Express campaigns

Businesses with a physical location can also:

- Help get your business found on Google. Google can use the business information you provide in local search results.
- Read and respond to reviews from your customers
- Get insights on how customers searched for your business, and where they’re coming from

You can access Google My Business by going to http://google.com/mybusiness or by signing into Google+ and managing or adding a page by clicking on Pages on the ribbon on the left. You’ll also be able to download the Google My Business Android app, or soon, the iOS app.

You can learn more about Google My Business in the Help Center and the Google+ Your Business Page and their Small Businesses community.

Who can sign up?

Any business can benefit from signing up for a My Business account, especially local businesses. Companies with a physical storefront or small-to-midsized businesses that rely heavily on search and location accuracy often notice tangible benefits from having their business found on Google, and signing up to Google My Business is one way to help local businesses be found on Google. These can also include service businesses serving a local area like a plumber or a cleaning service that may not have a physical storefront but can benefit from being found on the map.

Google will be rolling out the Google My Business dashboard to existing users of the new Places dashboard. They are continuing to migrate users from the old Places dashboard to the new experience.

Introducing Insights:

Will this require small businesses to sign up for a Google+ account?
The focus is on providing a useful experience to businesses and to empower them to better manage their own information. Businesses that sign up for Google My Business are provided with a Google+ page, but there is always the option to engage with whichever part of the dashboard they choose.

What about chains or bulk upload users?
The Places Bulk Upload Tool is now Google My Business Locations. Through the new tool, businesses or agencies can manage information for ten or more locations. We are working hard to launch new functionalities in the future, including increased upload speed and social integration.

Welcome to "Google My Business"or GMB!

Global simultaneous GMB launch - 236 countries/regions, 65 languages!

The new Support or Help Center with good articles is for both Local and Brand pages.

Let's do a tour

When you click on "Pages" from the left menu on your desktop you'll see all your business pages as before.  When you click on "Manage this page", everything has changed!
The business page's app launcher grid is in the top right:  (This is not the same as "Google Apps for Business"!)

iOS updates for GMB will follow at a later date.

The reasons for the update:

Problem was that local merchants had multiple dashboards and no mobile experience.
Google My Business to the rescue! Replacing and unifying the Places and Google+ Pages dashboards.

What has been needed is a unified front door - single sign-up and seamless navigation across Google’s business services: Empowering businesses to succeed in mobile & social world.

What is new:

The Brand pages Dashboard and back end have a fresh look with some very useful features.  If your Page's profile is not complete, you will get good instructions on how to proceed, with links to the Help center.

The share box in now at the top with a link to the Google+ Help Center article - a very good improvement.
Insights shows you at a glance how your page is doing: Clicking through to "View insights" you get more detailed graphs about the page's Visibility, Engagement, Audience and the Platform's sign-in activity.  You can check the last 7 days, 30 days or 90 days.

Visibility shows the Views of your posts and profile: To be counted as a profile View the user has to click through to your Page's profile tab.

Engagement stats: When you click on the drop-down arrow you will see more information.
A great learning curve not just for Google+ but for any social media platform out there.

- Actions on posts, +1's, comments and shares are all visible here for all your posts.  You can also check how your recent posts have done in terms of engagement: Actions and also views.  Mouse over the graph to learn more!

If you own a Local page, you'll also get Reviews:
- See reviews from Google & the Web
- Responding to reviews is available in-dash
- Reviews analytics are available

Now it's easier to see if you're operating as your business page: The left menu has additional buttons.
- My Business brings you to the Page's Dashboard
- Google+ Page takes you to the profile's Posts tab
- Stream takes you to the Home stream

People (your Circles), Photos, Communities, Events, Hangouts, All Pages and Settings are still the same.

The announcement from +Jade Wang 
Google My Business for YouTube by +Peggy K 
Google My Business makes it to the Promised Land from +Mike Blumenthal 

Android update for Business pages:  Add managers on the fly!

Connect your brand page to Google Maps

An earlier great update:  Can you see the big picture here for any business? The possibility to change a regular business page to a Local page has been requested a lot.
Now the feature is here!

By Linda Buquet

From Google:

If you created a page in Google+ of a type other than Local business or place, and you’ve been hoping to connect that page to Google Maps and get reviews, follow the steps below.

This process will connect your current page to Google Maps and apply the business information (address, reviews, and more) from Google Maps to your page. The followers, posts, and managers of your page will be retained.

Make sure the business meets our quality guidelines before connecting it to Google Maps. The change will permanently affect some of the information on your page, so be sure that the move makes sense for your business.

Read more from the Places Help Center article

Implications on changing a Google+ brand page into a Local page

Great insight from Google Local Top Contributor +Keenan Glass :

Once the process is complete, the Local page doesn't lose their posts or followers unless it is deleted, but they will NOT be transferred over to the Company/Brand turned newly verified Local Page. Meaning they will become somewhat orphaned.

The only part of the Local Page that gets moved to the Company/Brand page is the "local core", primarily the data held in the local search ecosystem which allows the page to surface in Google Maps and local search results.

Basically the entire About Tab on the Company/Brand page will get replaced by the About Tab for the Local page.  This includes the local contact data, categories, description, reviews, link to Google Maps etc.

Images uploaded from the Places Dashboard (that normally appear on the current Local page About Tab) will also be moved.  But that's it, none of the other images or videos will be transferred.  It's not an option, don't ask.

Profile image?  Anyone's guess.

That means features on the Brand/Company page will be gone.  Tag Line - gone, Links - gone, Story - gone (but replaced by company introduction).

The URL of the Company/Brand page will remain like it is, whether it is a custom url or not. That means the custom url on the Local page will stay on the old page and will not be moved.

This could have major implications to a company's marketing campaigns, both online and offline since the new Local page will now have the url of the Company/Brand page. Links on websites or social media sites will have to updated and any marketing collateral material will have to be reprinted.

It could also affect Publisher markup.

Managers of the Local page will have to be re-invited if they are not already managers on the Company/Brand page.

And there could be other implications, such as a connected YouTube channel that might need to be considered.

So, for whom is this update?

The ideal candidate is someone with only ONE location who created a Company (or Brand) page not knowing, understanding or really caring much about the Local page option.  It is not a good solution for businesses with multiple locations.

In recent months Google has been encouraging (or forcing) business owners to verify their Local pages giving them the same social features on G+ as their Company/Brand pages.  In some cases, Google has been auto-upgrading the pages, often without any notice.

For many businesses it has become rather common that they have a number of followers and/or posts on their Company/Brand page, but little or no activity on their Local page.  Yet both pages are now fully socially-enabled and they struggle with how best to manage two completely separate pages.

This is a rather serious issue because it is the link to the Local page that appears prominently in Google Maps and local search results, not the Company/Brand page which the business has been investing their time and energy.

Until now there really hasn't been any great option.  And a great many visitors to the G+ Help Community have shared their frustration.

Now, with this announcement businesses with a well-developed Company/Brand page and following can transfer the "engine" from their existing Local page and install it in their Company/Brand page."

+Mike Blumenthal who also is a Local Top Contributor, blogs about the new feature:

Questions?  Check out the Google and your business Forum!

How To Connect Your Google Maps Listing To Your Google+ Page

Convert a Google+ brand Page to a Google+ Local Page: Get on the map
Around the same topic:  Local businesses get new rating system

Google Places for Business information

Create and verify a Local page

How Do I Merge My Google + Pages? Usually You Can’t, Now What?

Google Review Handout Generator  - Printable instructions for how to leave a Google review, on desktop and mobile.  Customized for your business. Totally free.

If you have found more helpful links on the topic or have your own tips to share, do leave a comment!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Google+ Photo Albums

I have tested quite a lot the desktop photos feature of Google+, here are the findings.
Even though one album can house 2000 photos, I've noticed that anything over 1000 is a bit problematic:  Errors occur especially when sharing...

Need to find photos and create an album?

Here's how to find your images on Google+:

Google+ Local business pages and adding photos:

Looks like that the Local business pages behave in a different way from G+ Brand pages, at least at the moment.  I tried with my local page and got a strange result:
When I clicked on the Dashboard and red "Edit" button, then clicked on the photo section Edit pen icon, then added a photo directly from my computer:
It does not have a share button or the place to write anything.
Example from my Finnish page


If I share from the Local page's About tab's "Add public photo", it creates me a post immediately, with the location of my business shown too. Example of my Finnish local page

The best way to add photos to a Local page album is to share them first in a normal post:

If I share an image as a normal post, uploading a photo or photos: I can choose the album before sharing and I get the "lightbox" view when clicking open the photo with the caption I wrote on the post (editable) and share button.  There is no location of the business displayed.

You cannot create a new album for one photo in this way, so it's best to create a few possible albums beforehand and add photos to those later.  If you add several photos at the same time, you are given the possibility to create a new album or to add the images to an existing album.

Upload photos and create an album:

Go to the Photos tab on the left side bar. Click on Upload photos.
Choose the photos you wish to upload, then look top left: "Add album". Now you can name the new album. Wait for all the photos to load. Then click on Done at the bottom left.

If you don't wish to tag anyone in the pics, click Skip.

If you don't wish to share the post, again click skip.
Now your album is private to you only.

If you share the album in this pop-up post, you can define already the privacy degree: Public, Extended circles, Circles or modified share. You can choose communities or just one person, too.

You can share the album later by going to the "Photos" tab, choosing "Albums" from the More menu and clicking open the album. Then you can see the "Share" button top right.

Uploading photos

When you upload photos to a Google+ album:  The share box that pops out used to bewilder people.
Now there's an improvement: Instead of "Cancel" the box now offers the possibility to either "Share" or "Skip".

The only problem now is that even though I saved the photos to my "Profile photos" album, they didn't end up there but to https://plus.google.com/photos/yourphotos ...  I had to manually copy them to another album.
- And problem solved: It just took a few minutes for the photos to show up in the correct album, refreshing the browser helps.

- Upload a photo to post, choose the album for it!

No more Photos from posts (PFP) album when you use the "Upload from computer" or "Your Google+ photos" on the new post:
Now you can decide where to place the photo, keeping all the interaction in one place. Before sharing, click on the Add to album and choose one.  The image will not appear on Photos from posts anymore.
Works for images shared to Communities, too!

There is a 20 000 album limit and (update NOV 13) 2000 photos per album limit on Google+, same as in Picasa. Some very prolific posters have already met the limit:  When you share a photo and don't choose an album for it, the image will reside in "Photos from posts". However, each time you share an individual photo, a new "album" is created and named with the share date.

You can get the number of your albums from the Google Dashboard.

I have moved thousands of single images to three albums I created for that purpose, so my result is quite low number of albums.
Looks like the Auto Backup does not create single albums any more: I have over 40 000 photos and 1421 albums. I have been uploading thousands of images via the desktop Auto Backup this week.
To avoid meeting the limit, create a separate album for the Public pics you share manually / individually and choose that album before sharing.

You can move the photos around from "Photos from posts" to other albums but the sharing has to be exactly the same in the album you move the photos to as the original pic has.

Sharing several uploaded photos in a post also gives the possibility to choose the album before posting, no duplicate in PFP:  "Add to album" shows all your albums in a drop-down.
Unfortunately these images show up as "singles", unless you click open the album.


- It's not possible to create a new album from the drop down
- If you don't choose an album, the image is then placed in the Photos From Posts album
- Sharing a photo from an existing album when you are in the Photos tab still creates a duplicate in the PFP album - no drop-down visible

- One could create one or two "extra" albums for these posts, unless just letting the image reside in the PFP album: Screenshots not meant to be saved, for example

- Sharing a photo via the newly created post and choosing "Your Google+ photos" still creates a duplicate:

Even if you choose the same album from where you shared the photo, you will get a duplicate image in that album.
See this post and this album as an example: The duplicate is now the last image in the album.

If you wish to keep a Public album tidy and without duplicates:
Moving the original image that was shared and duplicated, to a private album, does not change the visibility of the post or the private album it was moved to.

- Sharing photos in Public and placing them in a private album changes the album settings to Public!

- To be able to see all the album images from the post itself, one must click on the album name: Otherwise each photo (I uploaded 3 for this test) is like in a separate album (or a single shared image) and must be viewed separately...  Strange.

See this post for an example:  According to this there's only one photo in the album, when actually there are 24 images.  Someone reported not seeing the album photos from an iPhone app (fixed!). Another that they get an error message when plussing the images:  "Can not be updated."

Hopefully this will be fixed soon!

Sharing existing albums

When you go to an album in your Photos tab and click share, you can again choose with whom you share it. Google+ remembers the last share and offers the same in the share box, so always before sharing anything check the box. Here Google+ offered Public share but I clicked on the small x in the green destination icon and deleted it.

At this point you can add more photos to the album, both from your computer or from your Google+ photos and also organize the album.

Next to the "Share box" is a person icon. When you click on that you can browse the sharing possibilities:  Click on the one you choose.  Or you can just start typing in the share box.

The album visibility order:

You can move albums to the top of the album's list on Google+ by adding a new image to an album. Just changing the album name does nothing.  Here is a post with results from my research:

Downloading either edited or original version of an image

If you wish to download all your Google+ photos (Photos from posts included) you can do it like this: (desktop)

Go to Photos
Click open the All photos tab
Place your mouse to the grey area next to the photos, press down the left button and drag / paint the photos you wish to download. They turn blue.

Then click on "More" arrow and choose download.

If you have lots of pics I recommend you download them in batches.

You can also download albums one by one by clicking the album open, then "Select" from next to the Album name and again choose Download from under More.

Now you can choose which version to download from Google+, be it the Auto Enhanced pic or unedited photo:

The profile tab for Photos:

Whenever you share a post on Google+ it creates a new photo album. For one image. Bummer, I know.

You can define in which album you wish the image to reside - if you remember to do it ...
But using third party tools like Hootsuite or Bufferapp, there is no way to define the album.

You can move those single images to a new album, for the images to be visible on the already shared posts the sharing setting of the album must be Public.

Note that all the post images moved to these Public albums become Public!
Even if they were shared in private.

Moving Publicly shared images to an album with Private settings hides the image in the shared post from all who are not allowed to see it.

When moving photos, pay attention to those you wish to keep secret or private...  Create a separate Private album for those.

It takes some time to clean up the Profile photos tab but hopefully you'll learn to deposit the photos into the appropriate albums already before hitting the Share.  I did. :-)

Your profile's Photos Tab:

All the images under the "Photos" tab on your profile are linked to either posts or albums.
You can hide those you don't want there: click on the drop down arrow on top of the image then click on " hide from highlights".
You can also add images or albums to be shown there: For the Public to see those, the sharing settings must be "Public".  You can also choose to show some albums or pics for your circles only.

Just don't delete any photos of your own from the "Photos" tab on your profile:  You can also "Un-tag" any other people's pics or albums you don't wish to see here.

In this post below I show you how to hide the "Highlighted" photos from view or add some more:
First look at your photo tab as "Public" (see below) and then start cleaning up what you don't want to display.

If the profile hasn't created albums lately, all you see are the individual "Photos from posts" albums and have to scroll down a long way to see any of the users actual photo albums.
Also the #Stories are shown: For the older ones you need to scroll down a bit.

The Photos tab on your profile is for visitors, there anyone can see your Publicly shared photos.

Who can see what:
You can check by changing the "View profile as" Yourself to Public from the drop down, or even check circle / individual profile's view.  Same goes to the information on your Google+ profile.

The colourful Photos logo on the left pop-up pillar is for your eyes only.
Of course you can share albums from there via a link, too.

Then there's a workaround to see the albums view, pointed to me by fellow TC's:

To come to the album view of another user on G+ you have to edit your URL from album view. Just change the 21-digit G+ ID.
Or for Picasa Web Albums:

How to find Google+ user ID

Earlier improvements: Moving and downloading images

- A new “Move” option makes it easy to move photos between albums. Just pick a few photos in an album by clicking on the blue V circle (or click the new “Select” link to select all of them) and choose where they go.

- Easier photo downloads. Once you’ve selected photos, use the new “Download” option to save them to your computer.
Open an album and  you will see a small drop-down arrow. This is right above the photos. Click it and choose download. A zip-file will created and downloaded with all the photos from the album.

- Faster uploading for large sets of photos. Google made a few small changes that make adding photos from your desktop an even smoother process.

Here is a nice post with a .gif showing how to control who sees your albums:

Change a private album to Public or vice versa

Go to your "Photos", click on an album. There you will see under the name how the album has been shared, see the screenshot below: Shared publicly. Click on that and you can change the visibility.
You can change the sharing settings also in Picasa for several albums at once:

You can also make changes to multiple album visibilities at once. On the My Photos page, select Edit Visibility located above your albums.

Share an album via link

Have an album that you want to share with people outside of Google+? Click the More button and select Share album via link. 
Keep in mind that people who have the direct link to your album may share the link elsewhere. If you want to prevent re-sharing from happening on Google+, check the Disable reshares box.

You can also share from the album view by clicking the Share button in the top.

If you share the link, then anyone with the link can reshare it, better be careful.

If I want to change the settings, I can share the whole album with anyone: Someone with an email, +mention a person or a Page, choose Circles or Public.

Just click on the share box and choose:  Remember to save.
Even if I don't share a post with this album, the people who are allowed to see it, will.

Sharing just one photo in a post as Public even from a private album is possible, then Google+ creates a Public duplicate of the image.

Picasaweb photo albums direct link:  Change visibility for multiple albums one after another in one place.

Moving photos from one album to another

Click open the album. To move just one or few images, click on the black V circle on the photo, it turns blue. To move more, click on "Select". This selects ALL the photos in the album: You must unclick the V mark in each photo you don't want to move or copy.

On the top you see the number of selected photos:  Here 21 selected or all photos in the album.

The easiest way of deselecting images is to click on the drop down arrow next to the 21 selected:
Then untick the blue V circle, photo by photo: It turns black.  You will see the number of selected photos diminish or get smaller.

After you have the selected photos you want with "Select": Click on the grey area above the images and the pop-up box disappears, leaving the selected photos still selected.

Now you can share, copy, move or download those photos, or even delete the selected ones if you want by choosing one function in the blue bar.

Moving or copying the selected photos to a new album or an existing one:

You can type a name in the top or choose one of the existing albums by clicking on the name in the list.
Just save and the move / copying is done. To view the new album among the old ones or make sure the photos have been moved to an existing album, refresh the page.

Photos from posts

You can even move images from your Photos from posts album to a new or existing Public albums without the post or image disappearing.  The original post made with the uploaded photo is also moved with all the +1's and comments, it is visible at the bottom of the album:

If you move an image reshared from an album on Google+, the actual post will not show up like it does with an uploaded photo, but when you click open the image inside the album, all the comments are visible and have migrated with the image.

The album where the photo is moved to must have settings for Public visibility if you wish the post to stay public or it will just show the original post but the image will be grey.  Same with shares to circles or extended circles, the photo album must have the same or wider settings.

A strange thing happened with an image posted in a Public community:
I shared an image in the Google+ Help community as my page +Gplus Expertise. Then I decided to move the image to a new album from "Photos from posts". However, the image and post is still visible on the Page's profile but it disappeared from the community view!

Only the page can see the post in the community, for the others it's hidden, even though it says on the post that it's shared in the community. I changed the settings of the new album I created to be Public, but it didn't help.

I shared the post from my personal profile to the Help again, but it's only visible to me!

Be very careful when moving photos around!

Photos from posts album and more

Click on Photos, then Albums and take a look at the "Photos from posts" which is the first album.
It says on top that you have around 100 photos in the album.

Here's a trick:

If you click open the album and just scroll, you'll see all the pics.

If you wish to copy the images to another album or download them, click on select and you get these choices displayed in the screenshot below:
The limit however is 1000 images.

If you delete any of the photos, your posts where you shared them will be deleted too!

Reshares of those posts will lose the image and just display a grey pic.

I've noticed that the captions don't work with "Photos from posts".  I do recommend uploading photos to albums first and then sharing from there: That way the pics also retain the +1's and comments when reshared in the future.

Organize your photo album

When you select "Organize", you can:

- Change your album's name, top left.
- Set a cover photo by hovering your mouse over the desired photo and click the "Album cover" bottom left: The album view must be set for larger thumbnails like in the screenshot below.
- Change the Order of your photos based on date taken, name, or reverse chronological order, from the arrow top right.
- Upload more photos to the album.
- Use the two buttons top right to change the size of your photo thumbnails.

When you're finished, click the  Done button.
Move or copy photos to another album: Clicking Move lets you move or copy selected photos to one of your other albums or to a new album: This may change the degree of visibility of the photo.

Delete a bunch of photos:
- In Organize view only one-by-one by clicking on the trash can symbol
- In Album view: Click a photo / photos and then choose Delete from the top to delete the selected photos.

Changing the order of Google+ albums is not possible at the moment but there's a workaround:

Change a date in a photo and that changes the place of the album in your Photos tab.

Delete an album:

If you delete an album you also delete all the photos within, unless you have a copy saved on another album on Google+.  If the photo is only in that folder / album and you delete the album, the photo is deleted from Google+ altogether.

Popular Photos from Google+

After you finish an album, on the left you can see "Popular photos" headline:
Click on the images to see them and to browse interesting albums from different photographers on Google+.

I clicked on the first image and can see an album of 200 pics.

I will be updating this tutorial when I know more: If you do tests of your own, please post your findings in the comments!

Moving images from a shared Public post to a private album makes that album Public!

More about Google+ Photos:

Google+ and Your Photos - a tutorial

Photos Updates - whenever there's one, I'll add to this article

Auto Backup and Picasa - Also how to delete Auto Backup photos.

Google+ official Help Center about Photos

An app to help keep stuff organized from the Play Store:
Tool for Picasa & Google+ Photos

Do you have any questions about the Google+ photos? Leave a comment!