Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Google+ goes corporate, launching branded pages - including the Muppets

Yesterday, Google+ rolled out branded pages. Essentially, they're like Facebook Pages, but, you know, on Google+.

Google had resisted rolling these out until they were ready. When companies tried jumping the gun and setting up pages using regular Google+ accounts months ago, Google+ began shutting those accounts down.

Well, Christmas is here for all those businesses that wanted to be on Google+ before.

It's hard to say how successful these will be. Google+ has struggled in its early going, quickly gaining a lot of followers but leaving many scratching their heads about why they'd want to be part of Google+ rather than doing similar things somewhere else, particularly on Facebook.

However, there are some compelling possibilities. The coolest thing I've seen since the launch: A Hangout with the Muppets. For those of you who haven't used Google+ yet, Hangouts are Google+ video chats that manage to rather seamlessly allow groups to chat. Now, the Muppets hangout was fairly structured, but it was the latest in a series of bold attempts by the Muppets to utilize digital media to promote themselves, such as spoof trailers for their movie and other random online videos.

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Cheat sheets to help understand Google+

Google+ is the hot ticket in town, trying to steal Facebook's lunch (and Twitter's too, if they can get it). The service is still in its early days, so confusion is likely inevitable.

Thankfully, Simon Laustsen has risen to the challenge and created some Google+ cheat sheets to make the latest in social networking a little friendlier. There's at least one typo (see if you can spot it!), but what matters is the information that he conveys.

The first cheat sheet explains text formatting, some of the basics of circles, how to send someone a private message and more.

The second tip sheet takes a closer look at circles, photo sharing, navigation and Chrome browser extensions that can be used for a better Google+ experience.

You can read more of Simon's Google+ tips and tricks on his blog.. AppStorm also has an excellent guide to Google+.

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