This Week's Google Plus Tips

Your Google Plus Tips for May 31st

  1. How to Create a Custom Lower Third.
  2. A Google+ Toolbox Resource List
  3. "Replies & More" Update

How to Create a Custom Lower Third Using "iPiccy"


When hosting or guesting on a Google+ Hangout, it’s good form to let people know who you are. This is usually done by generating a “Lower Third”, (the identification strip that appears in the lower portion of the screen,) from the Hangout Toolbox app.

If you’re not sure how to set one up, here’s Ronnie Bincer’s easy to follow step by step guide for creating a Lower Third using the Hangout Toolbox.
If you want to go one step further and maintain your branding, it's a good idea to do a “custom Lower Third” as I do for our #GPlusLunchBunch HOAs. I create them using a free Chrome extension, iPiccy.
There are many photo editors out there that have the same basic functions as iPiccy for those of you, like me, who are PhotoShop challenged. Using our last #GPlusLunchBunch show: What's Your Summer Social Strategy as an example, here's...

Your 12 Step Guide:

1. If you don’t have iPiccy, you can download it from the Chrome Web Store. Open the app and click on “start editing”.

2. Click on the “more” option, then on “new image”.
3. The optimal size for a HD video is 1280px x 720px

4. IMPORTANT. Make sure your background is transparent. (Then save as a .png file)
5. To create a typical “identification lower third bar", I choose a rectangular shape after clicking the “shapes” icon.
6. Size the bar as you wish then choose colour, effect and degree of transparency. I’ve found that around 20% I have enough opaqueness for the text to be seen and still allow some of the background to show through for a lighter look.
7. Import a brand logo or your profile image by clicking on the photo icon next to “add photo”. You can upload one from your computer or choose one that you’ve already uploaded.
One of the features I like here is when you upload a photo it stays in the library. Once you’ve manipulated it, it goes into a “history” folder which you can access later.
8. Add text to your lower third. (or anywhere else inside the view area) Be aware that you don’t want the text or graphics to hide you so be sure to keep them near the outside frame. To be safe, I keep graphics within a 200px frame on either side and 150px from the bottom.
9. I usually import another graphic for the show to keep it consistent with my HOA event banner such as this photo of me on the beach from last summer. I placed it in the upper right corner within the 200px area to avoid having it block my face during the show.
When everything is in place, click on the “checkmark” on the upper right then save as a .png file. I have a special Lower Third folder where I keep these so they’re easy to access when I need to upload them for a show.
The finished image looks like this. Notice that's there's lots of space in the centre area for my "close up".
Summer Social Lower Third.png
10. Upload and save the custom lower third to your Hangout Toolbox Lower Third app.
I prefer to upload it immediately then save it to my Lower third list. This allows me time to test it and make any necessary tweaks.
Open a Hangout, (here’s a quick url to use: ) then open the Hangout Toolbox.
Go down to “custom upload, click and upload the .png file you just saved.

11. Once uploaded, turn the feature “on”. The image should appear on your screen. If all looks good, save the image and add it to your lower third "saved presets" list.

12. While leave the custom overlay “on”, type the name of the file in the “saved presets” field and hit “save”. The file will show up at the bottom of your saved lower thirds and be there each time you open a hangout.
The saved list is a super tool for accessing special promo graphics that you want to use during your hangouts such as call to actions, web links etc..

Toolbox Of Google G+ Business Links

Google Hangouts Help Center
Sometimes when you want to find something out, it’s best to go right to “the horse’s mouth”. In the case of Google+, that would be Google. Denis Labelle is someone you should have in your circles, especially if you’re looking for Google resources. He share lists like these often and they cover pretty much every area of Google products you can imagine, but the majority is Google+ related.

Replies & More Chrome Extension Update

Replies & More
One last quick tip about another Chrome extension, Replies & More.
It's another favourite of mine chiefly because it allows me to reply to Google+ post authors without having to type in their name with a +1 in front. (I know, lazy. :-)
Another cool feature is the ability to share your posts on different social platforms. We were always able to share to Twitter and Facebook, but with this recent update, the choice has been broadened to include: LinkedIn, Pinterest, tumblr, Hootsuite and email.

That's it for this week. Thank you for taking the time to read this.If you found it helpful, please share. If you haven’t already, join our Google+ Tips & Topics Community. You can catch up on past #GPlusLunchBunch shows on my YouTube channel or Google+ Page.