21/09/2011 07:25 BST | Updated 20/11/2011 05:12 GMT

Google Plus: How To Get Plussed

After 3 months of beta testing amongst a select number of journalists and techy types, the Google Plus social network has now opened to the general public.

If your time online is not already colonised by Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram, shopping for food, groceries, holidays and your xxx needs, reading news, watching repeats of your favourite shows on iPlayer and downloading music, you can now add a new social network to your schedule.

To join the 25 million Google+ users already online, head to The extraordinarily bold arrow points you exactly where to sign in.

Now get used to the lingo. Google+ Circles is the tool to separate groups of friends and contacts. On tip is to lump them all in together and see what happens. Another school of thought says keep friends, family and business contacts separate.

Instead of separate chat and video chat add-ons, Google+ has Hangouts where you can run conference calls, share your screen, create and edit documents together.

+1s work as a "like" function on Google+. You'll find bright Google+ buttons on most digital media and online news stories. When you click those, the +1 will appear on your profile.

Next, search for friends and interests. Naturally, Google has added their search function to Google+, making it easy for you to find people you know, and things you're interested in, like laughing dogs or Pippa Middleton.

Now broadcast yourself via Hangouts On Air. Well, watch the first Hangout On Air with on the 21st of October according to IBT. You will soon be able to record and then broadcast Hangouts. Just be careful that you're aware of a Hangout being recorded, or results could be embarrassing. What am I saying? This is the internet, we're all about embarrassing here.

Are you ready for Google+? Let us know in comments below and we'll add you to out circles.