Google + The Missing Manual, By Kevin Purdy, O’Reilly Media, Inc.

Cover photo for Google+ : The Missing Manual bookWriting a book about a social networking site is a little bit like writing about the weather. Both are in a constant state of flux and ever changing. Author, Kevin Purdy, makes a point to inform the reader of additional resources for updates in the introduction to the book. Be sure to follow the links for the errata and Missing CD located there.

I found this book to be very useful in learning how to ‘effectively’ use Google+. The chapter on Circles was very informative and helpful in explaining the fine grain controls for sharing that Google+ allows the user. This is one of Google+’s strong points when compared with other social media sites. You control the settings and who gets to see what. Very handy indeed.

I found Circles useful in segregating my content streams. My friends are separated from people that I follow. This is a useful strategy for keeping up with various media outlets and for staying informed on the opinions of pundits, celebrities, and tech moguls with which I have no personal contact.

Search on Google+ is an area where the sight really shines. No surprise here since Google is the premier search engine on the planet. Google+: The Missing Manual will explain the nuances of the search feature. The ability to save searches should prove to be one of the more useful tools for anyone tracking a specific topic. Want to find out what is being said about your brand? The Google+ search tool will far out shine other social networking sites when it comes to keeping up with the buzz.

The chapter on Photos and Video has some interesting tips for sharing this type of media. This chapter contains workarounds for album features that may not be all together intuitive. Specific information is outlined for those individuals using mobile devices to access Google+. While mobile access is similar to desktop, some things work differently. Where things differ, options are explained.

Overall I would recommend this book. I read the digital version with the book open in one window and Google+ open in the other window. I admit that I found myself getting immersed into Google+ as I tested topics I was reading in the book. After completing the book, it is my opinion that I now have a much better understanding of Google+.

Disclosure: I received a free ebook copy for review purposes.

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