Many of us here at Dell have been fans of Google+ since they first started letting people in the door via a limited beta rollout back in June. It’s hard to believe that in just a few short months, that 40 million people have created Google+ accounts. Soon after that initial rollout, one of the hot topics of discussion was when Google+ would support pages for brands. Today, Google unveiled Google+ Pages via the Official Google Blog, and I’m pumped that Dell is an early example of an official Google+ Page.

If you’re already active on Google+ and you’re interesting in keeping up with Dell, please add Dell to one of your Circles, and we’ll add you back. If the previous sentence doesn’t mean anything to you, hold that thought.  Let me explain a little more about the kinds of discussions you will find on Dell’s Google+ Page, then I’ll spend some time providing background on what Google+ is all about to those who are new to it.

Dell’s Google+ Page is a centralized place to get updates from all of Dell from across all our businesses. You can expect to see the latest product news whether you’re into smartphones and tablets or server and storage solutions. We also plan to share technology trends that are affecting all of us, whether you are a home user, an owner of a small or medium business, or someone who is responsible for implementing technology in a global corporation.

We’re still in the midst of posting content to Google+, but after the content is live, I’ll update this post with links to some of the key reference posts within Google+.

Update: There are several posts that are live now on Dell's Google+ Page. The two that provide a good overview of what to expect are:

Like I mentioned earlier, for us to share information with you directly, we first need you to click the Add to circles button near the top right side of our page. From there, we will follow you back. Longer term, we'll use circles to share information with you based on topics of interest. To prepare for that, we're asking you to weigh in with a comment if you are interested in certain topics. Here are the three posts where we're asking about:
  • Consumer topics (Desktop and mobile product news, software, PC security tips, home theater and digital entertainment or music and events, etc.)
  • Small and Medium Business-related topics (entrepreneurship, growing your business using technology, and tips and tricks to use your technology more effectively in your business, etc.)
  • Large Enterprise-related topics (virtualization, security, systems management, data center and networking architecture, big data and storage, cloud computing or mobility topics, etc.)

What Google+ brings to the table

In my view, there’s some features that are unique to Google+, probably the most important being the concept of Circles. They allow you to categorize people that you follow. The real value in the concept is that Circles allow you to streamline who you share updates with. Google says this about Circles: “share what matters, with the people who matter most.” You may have a circle called Family that you use to share pictures of the kids. Or, you may share items relevant to the place you live to a circle called Locals. Bottom line, circles are easy to set up and maintain, and go a long way to helping you share information with the right people. 

  • Hangouts – These are online video chats with up to 25 10 people at a time. If you have a webcam, it’s a piece of cake to to install the software plug-in to configure the audio and video. From there, it’s pretty easy to invite either specific people or specific Circles of people to join in. Beyond that, Google’s in the process of rolling out live streaming of Hangouts via YouTube.  Rev Davis from Dell has been doing some live stream stuff and it’s fair to say that you’ll see more from Dell on the Hangout front.
  • Ripples – This is Google’s way of visualizing influence within Google+.  To see how visual, take a look at this post from Visual News. Take a look at David Armano’s post about Ripples for a bit more insight. In my view, Ripples in Google+ is one of the best implementations of online influence in any social network, or on the web overall, for that matter. The Dell’s Google+ Page team will be using Ripples to understand what kind of posts are important to you. Here’s a video from Google that shows just how powerful Ripples can be in terms of understanding how information spreads on Google+.