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Your Google+ Guide: 15 Tips For Newbies

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 07/13/11 03:29 PM ET   Updated: 09/11/11 06:12 AM ET

While Google+ has a slick design and Google clearly tries to make the platform as intuitive as possible, your first few days with the new social network can be overwhelming.

You may expect to log in and immediately see all your friends' activity with no effort at all. Or perhaps you're looking for a Facebook clone in every sense. You'll find neither on Google+.

The "Welcome" screen helps. When you start up Google+ you're told that the project "makes sharing on the web feel like sharing in real life." You see Circles, Hangouts and Sparks as three important areas.

But what does it all mean? What exactly are these "Sparks" and "Circles"? And what are the other key features of Google+? You can use this handy guide to learn all about G+ features. But that just gets you started. How can you make the most of your Google+ experience?

That's where the tips below comes in. Here are 15 pointers to utilize the social network to its full potential.

Start By Finding People You Know
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You can use the "Find People" search box at the top of the site to search names, company names, places (cities/towns), schools, etc. to find people you know.

Open up the profile pages for each of these people and hover over "Add to circles" to put them in a circle (friends, family, acquaintances, following or make a new circle).
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