Tuesday, 11 October 2011

How To Use Google+ A Beginners Guide - Part 2 Setting Up Your Profile

Your profile is the way you represent yourself on Google products and across the web. In this Google+ tutorial we will be filling in our profile so friends and family can find us more easily. We will manage the information that people see, such as your bio, photos, videos etc. While your profile is public please note that only your name is required information. Your profile is about you, so you deserve to be in control of who can see that information. Let's get started and I will show you how to set the various permissions on the information in your Google+ profile.


  • Click on the Profile tab at the top of the screen, see Figure 1-1.
Figure 1-1


  • Click the blue Edit Profile button on the right of the screen, see Figure 1-2.
Figure 1-2


We are now ready to start editing our profile. Please remember that the only required information is your name, so feel free to skip over any of the steps that I cover in the rest of this tutorial.

We will divide the profile screen into four areas and tackle them one at a time, see Figure 1-3.

  1. Profile picture.
  2. Name, Brief description of you and Scrapbook photos.
  3. Posts, About, Photos, Videos and +1's.
  4. Visible in your circles.
Figure 1-3


1. The Profile Picture


We will start with our profile picture.

  • Click the blue Change photo link in area one, see Figure 1-3. 
This is the same screen that we saw in the previous tutorial signing up. You can select your profile photo using the various methods listed on the left hand side of the screen, see Figure 1-4.

  1. Upload - select a photo from your computer.
  2. Your photos - select a photo from an existing source, Google Picassa, Blogger etc.
  3. Photos of you - photos of you that have been tagged by you or other people.
  4. Web camera - take a picture with your web cam.
Figure 1-4


I'll chose the Upload option so I can pick a photo from my computer.

  • Click the blue Select a photo from your computer button, note your button may say something else if you have chosen a different option to select your profile picture.
  • Select a photo to use for your profile and click open / choose, see Figure 1-5.
Figure 1-5


We now have the chance to fine tune our profile picture by cropping it or even editing it. If you need to edit your photo, fix red-eye or add text etc. you can click the blue Edit photo link, see Figure 1-6.

Figure 1-6


Editing is beyond the scope of this tutorial but feel free to play around with the fun effects available. As of the writing of this tutorial it was close to Halloween and there was some fun effects with fangs and scary eyes etc.

But enough of that, let's get back to the tutorial. As you can see from Figure 1-6 you can drag the square crop box around until you find the crop that you like. Note that you can also click and drag the corners of the crop box to re-size it.

  • Click the blue Set as profile photo button when you are happy with your profile picture.
  • Click the Cancel button on the Post about your new photo screen to continue.

2. Name, Description and Scrapbook


We will start with our name.

  • Click on your name text in area 2, see Figure 1-3.
You can change your name at anytime but please be aware that your name will also change in other Google products like Gmail and Google Docs etc. Note that you cannot change the privacy setting on your name, it is set to Anyone on the web, see Figure 1-7. As discussed earlier this is the only required public information that you need to provide in your profile.

Figure 1-7


  • Click the blue Save button when you are finished editing your name.
Now we will add a brief description of ourselves.

  • Click the A brief description of you text in area 2, Figure 1-3.
  • Now add a description, see Figure 1-8. Note that you cannot change the privacy setting on your description either, it is set to Anyone on the web as default.
  • Click the blue Save button when you are happy with your description.
Figure 1-8


Next we will add some photos to the scrapbook.

  • Click the Add some photos here text in area 2, Figure 1-3.
  • Click the Add Photo box to add a new picture, see Figure 1-9.
Figure 1-9


  • You are taken to a screen that resembles the one in Figure 1-4. I'll chose five pictures to upload, note that Anyone on the web can see these photos in your scrapbook, so skip this step if you feel uncomfortable.
  • Click the blue OK button when you have finished.

3. Posts, About, Photos, Videos and +1's


  • Click on the word Posts in area 3, Figure 1-3.
You will see the text Nothing to edit here. That is because there is nothing to set here as you set the privacy of your posts as you write and publish them. We will cover this in depth in a future tutorial so don't worry about it for now.

  • Click on the About text in area 3, Figure 1- 3.
This is the meat of the profile. This is where we will tell the world, or just friends, about us depending on the privacy settings that we set here. We will fill in the left hand column first (Introduction to Profile discovery) and then tackle the right hand column (Other profiles, Contributor to and What pages interest you?).

  • Click on the Introduction text, see Figure 1-10.
Figure 1-10


  • In the pop-up box that appears enter some details about yourself so people know they have found the right person when they read your profile. Notice that this time there is a small triangular icon next to Anyone on the web drop down box, click this to set who can see your introduction, see Figure 1-11.
Figure 1-11


From the drop down box you have five privacy choices, they are:

  1. Anyone on the web - as it states, anyone on the web can see this.
  2. Extended circles - people who are in the circles of people you follow can see this.
  3. Your circles - all the people in your circles can view this.
  4. Only you - as it states, only you can see this.
  5. Custom - custom setting, you can set just Family, or Family and Friends only etc.
We will set the privacy of the introduction together, then I will leave it to you to fill in the rest of your information down to Profile discovery as the steps are much of the same.

  • Click Custom text and I will show you how to set custom options, then you can chose the right privacy setting for yourself.
  • The pop-up box expands to show you a new field with Public and +Add more people in it, see Figure 1-12
Figure 1-12


  • Click the small x icon to the right of Public on the green button. This deletes the Public (Anyone on the web) option.
  • Now click the Add circles or people to share with.. text. Select Family, you will see a Family button now appear in the field.
  • Click the +Add more people text again and this time we will add a single person.
  • Start to type the name of a friend after the Family button in the text field, I'll type Marc Kennedy to find my real account. Notice many Marc Kennedy's may appear.
  • Click the name that you want to add and it will appear as a button next to the Family button.
  • Hover over the new button to see more info about the name and to make sure it is the correct person, See Figure 1-13.
Figure 1-13


  • Click the Save button if you are happy with your settings.
 Now this was for demonstration purposes only, you will need to go through the settings and make up your mind as to what privacy you want to give each option. I have most of mine set to Anyone on the web, as I am a business and I want people to be able to find me easily. You can go down the list and fill in all of your details and set the privacy settings for yourself, we will continue with the right hand side of the About tab (Other Profiles etc.) when you have finished filling in your details down to Profile discovery.

On the right hand side of the About tab we have three areas we can fill in, Other profiles, Contributor to and What pages interest you?

We will start with Other profiles.

  • Click the Other profiles text, in area 3.
First I'll show you how to Manage connected accounts (this means linking any other social media accounts you have like Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, MySpace etc. to this account).

  • Click Manage connect accounts link, see Figure 1-14
Figure 1-14


This will take you to a Google connected accounts page in a new web browser tab or page, see Figure 1-15.

Figure 1-15


  • Click the Connect an account drop down box, see Figure 1-15.
  • We will select Twitter from the list.
A new field appears asking for your account name or Profile link.

  • Enter your account name, e.g. thelucidnerd.
  • Check the add this link to my Google Profile, too check box (this will keep your Google profile current with Google+).
  • Click the Add button, see Figure 1-16
Figure 1-16


You will now see that your Twitter account has been successfully linked, see Figure 1-17.

Figure 1-17


Now repeat the steps to add any other accounts like Facebook etc.

When you are finished adding connected accounts close the browser tab / page and return to Google+.

  • Select a privacy setting for your accounts, Anyone on the web, Family etc.
  • Click the blue Save button when you have finished, see Figure 1-14.
You will now see that your accounts have appeared in the Other profiles area. If you want to add a custom link to something like a web site follow the next instructions:

  • Click the Other profiles text again.
  • Click Add custom link text from the pop-up box.
  • Enter the name of your link in the top text field. e.g. The Lucid Nerds web site.
  • Enter the URL in the next field, e.g. http://lucidnerd.com, see Figure 1-18.
  • Manage the privacy of your links using the drop down box as discussed earlier.
  • Click the blue Save button when you are happy with your settings.
Figure 1-18


The next section Contributor to is where you add links to show people your work online. For instance, links to sites you've written for, sites you have designed for etc. The steps to achieving this are the same as the steps to add a custom link that we discussed earlier. So you can handle this by yourself now, go ahead, add any sites that you want.

The final area in the About tab is the What pages interest you? area. In this area you can add links to web sites that you think visitors to your profile would like to check out. If you are interested in web design, you could put links to your favorite web design blogs and web sites. The steps to achieving this are the same as Contributor to, so you can tackle this again by yourself.


Now that we have the About tab fully filled in we can now move onto the next tab Photos.

  • Click the Photos text next to the About text, in area 3, see Figure 1-3.
In the Photos tab you will be able to set the visibility of the Photos tab itself, which tagged photos of you show up in your Photos area and if you want to show geo location information in newly uploaded albums and photos, see Figure 1-19.

Figure 1-19


  • Check or uncheck the Show this tab on your profile box. If you uncheck this box your Photos tab will be invisible on your profile page to visitors. I would leave this box checked as you can set the privacy of your photo albums in the main Photo tab in the stream. We will cover this in depth in later lessons.
Peoples whose tags of you are automatically approved to link to your Profile. This is where you set whose photos appear in your photos tab. For example say a friend of a friend had a picture of herself with your friend and you, she could tag the photo with names and if your privacy setting was Public or Extended circles that photo would show up in your Photo tab, if you set this preference to Family only, it would not appear. The privacy settings are the same as you have seen before so pick the correct setting for you.

Show photo geo location information in newly uploaded albums and photos. If you check this box it will show geo location for that photo (where that photo was taken on a map) if your camera has this feature available, most smart phones have this feature.

  • Click the blue Save button when you are happy with your settings.
Now let us move onto the Videos tab.

  • Click the Videos text next to the Photos text, in area 3.
In the Videos tab you can set the visibility of the Videos tab itself, see Figure 1-20.

Figure 1-20


  • Check or uncheck the Show this tab on your profile box. If you uncheck this box your Videos tab will be invisible on your profile page to visitors. I would leave this box checked as videos are only visible to the people you sent the video to when you published the post. We will cover adding video to posts in a future lesson so don't worry about it for now.
The last tab in area 3 is the +1's tab. This tab shows any pages across the web that you have publicly recommended using the +1 button. We will cover this further in later tutorials.

  • Click the +1's text next to the Videos text, in area 3.
In the +1's tab you can set the visibility of the +1's tab itself, see Figure 1-21

Figure 1-21


  • Check or uncheck the Show this tab on your profile box. If you uncheck this box your +1's tab will be invisible on your profile page to visitors. All your +1's will appear in this tab. As stated above, +1's are the things around the web you like or want to recommend to others, they are just like the Facebook Like button. You will find +1 buttons next to most of your favorite blogs and news stories. If you want to learn more now click the blue Learn more link.

4. Visible in your circles


The final area we need to set-up is area 4, see Figure 1-3.

We will set who is visible in our circles to others now.

  • Click the blue Change who is visible here link.
In your circles area:
  • Check or uncheck the Show people in box, see Figure 1-22.  If you uncheck this box the people in your circles area on your Google+ page will be invisible.  If you want more control over who is seen in your circles by others you can use the drop down list.
  1. All circles
  2. Friends
  3. Family
  4. Acquaintances
Figure 1-22


You may also see some extra choices if you have made some circles of your own.  Select the circles that you want to appear on your Google+ page.
  • Who can see this? radio button.  Select who can see people in your circles - Anyone on the web or Your circles.
Have you in circles area:
  • Check or uncheck the Show people who have added you to circles box.  This will add an additional box under the people in your circles area with people who have you in their circles.  
  • Click the blue Save button when you are happy with the settings.
Lastly above the In your circles area you will see a text box with the words Send an email written in it.
  • Click the Send an email text.
  • Check or uncheck the Allow people to email you from a link on your profile box, see Figure 1-23.
Figure 1-23

  • Select the privacy level using the drop down list provided, Anyone on the web, Only you etc.
  • Click the blue Save button to accept the settings. 
And there we have it you are now a master of the profile area of Google+.  In the next tutorial we will tackle Circles.  So until next time, that is it.  I hope you found this tutorial of some use and I thank you for your time.

You can read part three of the Google+ tutorial here.

Your friend

Marc Kennedy - The Lucid Nerd