Tips for Social Networking on Google+
by Andrew Reynolds
This week I’ll be talking about some important aspects of Google’s answer to Facebook: Google+.
An important function of any social networking site is the management of content. In the case of Google+, users who might be browsing under the ‘All’ tab would have to wade through every post tagged as ‘public’ to find content from people they know, as these are shared with all members by default. While this can be an interesting way to interact on a global scale, users can easily organise the content they wish to view by setting up different ‘circles’, such as family, college friends, workmates etc. Selecting the appropriate tab will then filter content to be viewed and shared by the user and is a fast way for users to search for messages or responses from particular people. This also allows users to network with one group of people and keep interaction and shared content separate from another group where it may be appropriate and wise to do so.
(https://plus.google.com/u/0/ , accessed 15/7/12)
Images and videos are easily added, as are comments which can also be edited by the user after posting. For example, consider the following screenshot from the Geek circle:
(https://plus.google.com/u/0/112510423783808568672/posts , accessed 9/7/12)
Here, I made a comment on the user’s zombie version of House. But what if I thought I’d said something inappropriate and wanted to make changes, or maybe add to my comment, or delete it altogether? This is easily done by clicking the ‘Edit’ button to the right of my name. Doing this would present the following screen:
This editing facility is simple to use and available next to each member’s post. Obviously you can’t edit other users comments.
Another related aspect of content management is ownership of content. The first thing to consider in Google+ before you post is whether to ‘Lock’ the post or not. This is important because the option for others to re-share your post is automatically enabled. Clicking the lock button before you post means that others cannot click the re-share button – an important consideration for copyright holders who may wish a greater level of control over the distribution of certain content.
It should be no surprise that copyright law is complex, especially with social media traversing international boundaries. However, the central tenant here is that copyright attaches as soon as the original work is created. This applies to words, photos, artistic works, music etc. So the originator of a post on a social network such as Google+ retains ownership of any content they created, even though it may be re-shared countless times by other users. Check out the following link for more information on copyright and social media.