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#Tip: Keep an eye out for the launch of Google Capture for Hangouts

By Potzuyoko on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

By Potzuyoko on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

If you use Google+ Hangouts out at your news outlet, you might like to know that Jeremy Ng from Google has this week announced Google Capture, a tool for taking photos during a Hangout.

Mashable explains more:

The app lets Hangout users take photos of a Hangout in progress, saving all of those photos to a shared folder available to all Hangout invitees. Photos can be viewed while you’re in the Hangout, while you’re browsing through your photo albums, and by visiting the original Hangout post on Google+.

The post adds:

The Hangouts Capture app will be available worldwide soon within the traditional Hangouts app, alongside YouTube and Effects.

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#Tip of the day from – how to host a Google+ Hangout On Air

An increasing number of news outlets are using the Google+ Hangout On Air feature to involve their community both as participants in the video broadcast and as viewers. On Air hangouts are broadcast live on YouTube as well as on Google+.

Time magazine held its first Hangout On Air last month and Al Jazeera social media programme The Stream held an editorial meeting via hangout.

If you would like to follow suit, here is a video hangout explaining how to host a Hangout On Air (HOA). It is hosted by Sarah Hill.

In this HOA, France 24, KOMU-TV, KRNV-TV, WSPA-TV, developers and independent Journalists share tips, tricks and tools on how to host your own Hangout On Air.

This 10 person video chat room is fueling a journalism renaissance as it’s a collaborative space bringing together developers with traditional and independent journalists.

Tipster: Mike Downes (via Google+)

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link.


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#Podcast – Google+ at one: Lessons from and

June 29th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Podcast

It is one year since Google+ was launched, with news outlets and brands being given the ability to create pages in November.

In this podcast we hear how and have each achieved more than one million followers on the platform in just seven months. technology editor Sarah Marshall speaks to:

  • Cathy Sharick, managing editor of
  • Bede McCarthy, executive editor of
  • Sunny Hundal, founder of Rippla, which measures the social media ‘ripples’ of news stories

Sharick and McCarthy share their lessons, tips and future plans for Time magazine and the Financial Times Google+ pages and Hundal explains research he has carried out into the number of stories being shared on Google+.

Related content:

Google+ at one: How Time magazine clocked up 1.2m followers
Financial Times clocks up 1m followers on Google+
Time magazine hosts its first Google+ Hangout On Air
The Stream holds open editorial meeting via Google+ Hangout
NYT opinion team experiments with Google+ Hangout

You can hear future podcasts by signing up to the iTunes podcast feed.


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#Tip of the day from – how to measure the impact of Google+

April 25th, 2012 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Top tips for journalists, Traffic

Daniel Waisberg, founder and editor of Online Behavior, has written a guide to Google+ analytics.

He states that he will be updating the article as Google releases new features.

The detailed guide is at this link.


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Searchmetrics: Financial Times is news outlet with most Google+ followers

March 22nd, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Social media and blogging

The Financial Times has the largest number of followers on Google+, while the Daily Mail and Telegraph websites get the most Google +1 recommendations from readers, according to a release from analytics software firm Searchmetrics.

Searchmetrics has looked at the Google+ presence of 13 national newspapers which have “a combined total of 544,545 followers”.

This compares with a total of 1,284,674 followers (fans) on Facebook, currently the world’s biggest social network, for which all 13 newspaper sites maintain official pages.

The social network, which was launched nine months ago, has more that 100 million user accounts, according to Google.

At the time of the Searchmetrics study, which was carried out on 19 March:

372,159 people were recorded as following the Financial Times’ page on Google+ (or having the newspaper’s page in their Google+ ‘Circles’) beating the Guardian’s page which came second with 75,255 followers. The Independent came third with 60,195 people having its page in their Google+ circles.

In the release Searchmetrics points out that the Times, the Sun, Daily Express and Daily Star have not created a Google+ page for their news sites.

Searchmetrics found stories and content from the Daily Mail website received the most recommendations from people using the +1 button, with approximately 10,493 +1s a week on average.

Second came the Telegraph website with around 5,822 +1s a week and third was the Guardian with around 3,367 +1s a week.

While the Financial Times has the most followers it averages around 670 +1s a week, probably due to its metered paywall.

The most frequently +1′d article on Daily Mail site was “a story (with images) about how the majority of runway models meet the Body Mass Index (BMI) criteria for anorexia”. It had been +1′d 837 times.

This contrasts with the Mail’s most “liked” story of 2011, which saw more than 62,458 people click the Facebook like button. This story was headlined “the 9/11 rescue dogs: Portraits of the last surviving animals who scoured Ground Zero one decade on”. See our story on the top 10 Facebook stories of 2011 (we used Searchmetrics to gather the data).

Marcus Tober, Searchmetrics’ CTO and founder said in the release:

Google+ is still a relatively young social network but Google is very positive about its future and we’re already seeing a large number of people on the site, so it’s important for newspapers and other big brands to get in early and have a strong presence on the network.

Frequently +1′d articles from national newspapers:, 12 Jan 2012, 837 +1s
‘Most runway models meet the BMI criteria for anorexia’, claims plus-size magazine in powerful comment on body image in the fashion industry’,  18 Nov 2011, 1110 +1s
EU bans claim that water can prevent dehydration, Comment is Free, 25 Nov 2011, 1,142 +1s
The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy

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News organisations can now create a Google+ page

November 8th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in About us, Social media and blogging

News outlets and brands can now create a Google+ page, something many organisations have been attempting to do since the launch of the social network in June.

Google previously pulled accounts set up by companies and appealed for patience. Yesterday Google announced pages in a blog post and said the roll-out was imminent. That has now happened and pages are open to all. now has a page on Google+, which you can connect with here.

To create a page for your news organisation select ‘company, institution or organisation’ and the ‘media, news and publishing’ category.

After an initial rush to join Google+ interest then waned. Journalists received an extra incentive to join last week when Google announced that journalists with a Google+ account can get a photo byline on Google News.

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Journalists get a photo byline in Google News (but only those on Google+)

November 3rd, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Social media and blogging, Traffic

Google has started the roll out of a new feature giving journalists a photo byline for stories displayed on Google News. But there is a caveat – for the byline to be displayed journalists must have a Google+ account.

The highlighted picture and author name will show how many followers that journalist has, which may encourage more connections as readers can then choose to add the named journalist to one of their Google+ circles.

It could be a smart move from Google’s point of view as it could encourage journalists to start using Plus and may prompt those who signed up early but whose interest has since waned to pay more attention to the social network.

There are instructions on how to link your Google profile to your news stories to enable your photo byline to appear in Google News.

An announcement on the Google blog fully explains how and why journalists are to be highlighted in Google News.


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#Tip of the day from – how to cross-post Google+ posts to a WordPress blog

Today’s tip explains how to cross-post your Google+ posts to your WordPress blog.

The Next Web tells you how you can do this using a WordPress plugin, Google+Blog.

The plugin lets you import your posts automatically to WordPress with next to no effort. Simply download and install the plugin, follow the instructions listed [in the article], and you’ll be able to share your Google+ posts with your blog followers who don’t have an account on the social networking site. There are two versions of the plugin – a paid and a free version, both of which you can download here.

The article guides you through installing the plugin.

Tipster: Sarah Marshall

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link – we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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Google+ users can now share circles – help us create and share a UK journalists circle

September 27th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Social media and blogging

Google+ users can now share their circles, one of the key features of the social network which launched in private beta three months ago and is now open to all.

Users create their own circles and give them a name, such as ‘journalists’, ‘city councillors’ or ‘PRs’. They can then read news from members of a particular circle and share updates with one or more specific groups.

A link now appears when you hover over a circle that allows you to share it with a contact. Your circle remains hidden and confidential from others and is not updated in your contact’s account when you add more individuals.

The video below explains more.

Help us create a master list of UK-based journalists on Google+ will now create a master list of UK-based journalists on Google+. When we have built the circle we will share it with those who request our circle.

We will be doing this from John Thompson, owner and managing director of’s account as Google+ does not yet allow news sites or brands to create an account. You can connect with John at and fill in the form to let us know you would like us to share the master list with you.

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Google+ is now open to all – but are journalists using it?

September 21st, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Social media and blogging

Google last night (Tuesday, 20 September) announced that its social network is now open to all.

The was much optimism about Google+ when it launched in June, particularly among some journalists who were quick to share invites and sign up, but who is now using the newest social network?

A quick straw poll on Twitter suggests many are nonplussed (see tweets below).

Technology journalists, including the BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones and Channel 4 News’ Benjamin Cohen – an early advocate who predicted Google+ could be a Twitter killer - are among those posting with enthusiasm.

So are journalists using all the features available? Despite these 10 ways journalists can use Google+ it appears most are simply using Plus for sharing stories and for conversations around them but are getting quality comments and a high level of engagement.

Even if you do not feel inclined to post or try out new features such as hangouts (video calls) on your phone, it is worth journalists being aware of one new feature: improved search – something Google should be good at.  You can now search topics as well as people. With more than one billion items shared and posted on Google+ every day, according to the announcement, it is worth keeping Plus in mind as a newsgathering tool.

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