millions of users registered in the first weeks of operation, the Google Plus project is on its way to becoming a major player in the social networking world. I started using Plus on day one and love the clean interface, refreshing Circles concept, and the all around functionality of the platform. Even more, the word from Google that Plus is coming to Google Apps could make this a game changer in education. I can't think of a better way to start this new blog about Google in education and social media than with the utilities I have found the most useful so far. If you are new to Google Plus start by checking out The Complete Guide to Google Plus or visiting Google's videos over on YouTube. If you are ready to go deeper with your use, you have to try these tools.
1. Plus One Anything
I have been using Chrome as my primary browser for a long time now and I value the Chrome Web Store a great deal for its great collection of utilities. This extension allows Chrome users to add the +1 button to the browser bar and store any webpage to my collection. The value for me is that it adds to my list of great things I want to share with my Plus community. Then next time I am in Google Plus, I can check my profile page and see all of my +1 sites to share. Then I can share with my network.
One problem with Google Plus is that it is difficult to share your profile in a format that identifies you. The default page from Google has a string of digits that is difficult to share let alone tell someone about. GPlus.to changes that by allowing users to shrink their profile address with a friendly look like gplus.to/rkiker.
3. Start GPlus
This is another Chrome extension that solved my biggest problem in the early days: How can I share to Twitter and Facebook simultaneously while I post to Google Plus? This little beauty allows you to turn on posts to both networks as well as give you the option to see your Twitter and Facebook streams in the Google Plus window.