Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Using Google Plus To Share Research Funding Opportunities

Matthew Collins sent me an email recently about using Google+ Communities to share research funding opportunities and news within his department.

What I find fascinating and useful to the rest of the university is that Matthew and the team in Archaeology are actively exploring other tools to do things ( like sharing tidbits of useful news ) out of email. That is to say, to say, "let's not use email anymore for this activity, let's use this new thing instead".  Quite often this can have some useful effects:

  1. People get less email
  2. People are happier to contribute to the new thing because they know that their creating content won't be a burden on other peoples' email in trays
  3. The new thing has features that email doesn't that are really handy ( like being able to share all the posts with the new member of the team ).
  4. A different model of consumption happens. Because we're finding lots of people turn off Google+ notifications which generate email AND they use the mobile Google+ app to browse the items, reading the content tends to happen over coffee or on the bus.
I think that this approach of actively trying out new behaviours, especially for things that don't really work well in email is something we all should be experimenting with. 

This is what Matthew wrote to his team, to help encourage to start doing this new thing....

A short into to posting if you have not used G+ before

If you find something you want to post to the new site.

Copy the url in to the Share what's new box

G+ will abstract the post and (where possible add an appropriate image)

Type in Archaeology Research Funding and the Group will come up (if you have signed up for it).

The group is broken down into different sub-topics 

You need to select the topic area, as it groups posts into themes.  In this case I selected News.

If you do not select a topic area, it will not post....

Then delete the horrid looking URL that you first pasted. 
G+ has migrated the url you used to the blue hot-linked text, so the URL is now superfluous. Add a comment if you wish.

Notifying a specific person
If you think the post is relevant to a particular person (or indeed a number of individuals), if you type a +then their name with no spaces

then a list of people in the Community will pop up.  

If you click on the name of the person you want to target from this menu, their name will be added to the post and they will get an notification that they have been 'mentioned'.  In this way, even if someone has been turned off notifications you can highlight a post relevant to them.

Ordinarily comments are turned on - i.e. people are allowed to comment on your post. 

If you want to turn this off click the little down arrow in the search window box at the bottom of the post

You will get a list of options to control the sharing of the post. 

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