Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Giveaway: "Google+ for Dummies" Portable Edition

After reading my post about needing "Google+ for Dummies," the folks at Wiley Publishing, publishers of the "For Dummies" books,  sent me a copy of that very book to review. They're also providing a copy for you to win!

For years, the "For Dummies" books have helped me navigate new technologies and software. They always make technical and perhaps intimidating information easy to understand in a concise and comfortable manner. This book is no different. Published in November 2011, this 144 page paperback book is a "portable edition," written to cover "just enough and yet allow for some flexibilty for when the service does change" and costs only $7.99 (ARV). 

The chapters address:
  • Leaping into Google+
  • Boggling over Circles and Privacy
  • Posting to Google+
  • Hanging Out with Friends
  • Finding Content with Sparks
  • Gaming with Google+
  • Abiding by Social Network Etiquette
  • Using Google+ on Mobile Devices
  • Using Google+ Photos
  • Liberating (Exporting and Backing Up) Your G+ Data
  • Ten 3rd Party Applications You Can Use Right Now
What I liked (a lot!)...
In addition to the concise text, icons point out the most important information at a glance.  The author provides information on topics of particular interest to bloggers, like how to populate your circles, both by finding people yourself and by making yourself more likely to be found. He also offers cool tech tricks too, like how to format the text in your posts with bold, italics, strike-through, etc. I appreciated finally finding the answers to questions like...
  • What's a +1 and how's it different from a Facebook "like?"
  • What's the difference between following and circling?
  • Why can't I see the streams of some people I have in my circles?
  • What's a hangout?
An unexpected bonus was the author's recommendations for what to post. Bloggers are usually keen on increasing followers and growing their blogs. I intend to apply many of his recommendations, and I look forward to seeing great results.

Thoughout the book, the author compares and contrasts Google+ and Facebook, which is helpful to those of us who are fairly familiar with FB. He even provides lots of information about little-known Facebook features, so one gets a sense that this resource is a "2 for 1," providing the reader information about Google+ AND Facebook.

What I didn't like (but couldn't be helped)...
Following their steps was easy, and they were usually dead-on when telling me what to expect, which was surprising considering the rapidly changing nature of social media. On rare occasions, there were subtle differences in the verbage in the text and that which Google+ has decided to use now. For example, the text reads "follow the recommendations on the right side of the page," while (at present) Google+ lists "Suggestions" in that same spot. Also, the book was written prior to Google+ pages being available, so it doesn't include information specific to that topic. Nonetheless, there was still a wealth of helpful information to make it well worth $7.99 (MSRP).

The bottom line...
This book is is a great value. For under $8, it provides a resource that not only acclimates one to Google+ but also helps optimize its features!

The Giveaway...
For a chance to win your own copy of this great resource, please use the Rafflecopter entry form below. This giveaway ends on January 31, 2012 (12:01 a.m. EST 2/1/12) and is open to US  residents only.  Winner will be notified via email on February 1, 2012 and will have 48 hours to respond. If they do not respond, another winner will be selected under the same conditions.

I received this book free from the publisher in order to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR 255.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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