Friday, August 7, 2015

GPF Basics: Get Help in Google Product Forums

If you are having trouble with a Google product or service - YouTube, Hangouts, Gmail, Blogger, Drive, AdSense - your first stop should be the Help Center for that product. There you should find instructions, troubleshooters and even direct contact options for some products.

But what if you are still stuck? You can't figure out YouTube channel settings, your AdSense application keeps getting rejected, or Blogger keeps showing an error message? Or maybe you want to provide feedback and discuss a new feature? Or find out if other users are experiencing a problem after an update?

Your next stop should be the Google Product Forums, where other users and experts may be able to help you out. It's easy to do!

Posting a question in the Google Product Help Forums does not require any special knowledge.

  1. Find the right product help forum
  2. Click the red New Topic button on the top right (you'll be prompted to join the forum)
  3. Post your question
  4. Check back on the post page (or in your email) for replies

If all you want to do is get your question answered, you can skip the details.

But you can better find your answer, post a clearer question, or more effectively reply to other users' topics if you know more about how the forum works.

That's why I've started this series of posts on Google Product Forum (GPF) Basics.

GPF Basics: getting around the Google Product Forums

>> 1. Find the right google product help forum! Try one of these:
  • Follow the Forum link from the product's Help Center 
  • Find a forum in your language at productforums.google.com
  • Search the forums or web for the Google Product Forum 
2. Join the forum and configure your membership and email settings
  • Join the forum: 
    • Start a new topic or reply to a post to be prompted to join
    • OR click the gear icon on the top right of the forum to check your settings
  • Set your forum name
  • Choose whether to show your profile photo
  • Select your email notification default settings
3. Search the forum: find the answer to your question 
  • View Pinned topics
  • View posts by category
  • Search for terms
  • Sort search results by Relevance or Date
4. Reply to a topic
  • Open the topic
  • Click "Reply" or the reply icon at the top or bottom of the discussion
  • Enable or disable email notifications
  • Format your reply, insert images, attach references
  • Post
5. Post a new topic of you own 
  • Click the "New Topic" button at the top of the forum
  • Set a category
  • Enable or disable email notifications
  • Format your post, insert images, attach references
  • Post
6. Find your forum discussions
  • "My Discussions" in the left side bar
  • Filter the forum using Action > Filters > My Discussions
Read on for more details!.


Find the right Google Product Forum


To get an answer to your question, you first need to be sure you post it in the correct place. There isn't a universal "Google Help" in most languages, so finding the right forum is your first step.

Did you find your forum? Join the forum and configure your membership and email settings


Visit the Google Product's Help Center and follow the link to the forum

If you have a question or issue, the first place to stop is the Help Center for that product or service. You can find all the Google Support options at support.google.com

Every Help Center has a link to the product's help forum and direct support (if it is available)

Google My Business Help Center  (Forum & Contact links)

YouTube Help Center (Help Forum link)

Note: there is no general "Google Support" phone number. If you call Google's main phone number you are likely to be pointed to the forums (at best) or be put on hold for hours (at worst).

Did you find your forum? Join the forum and configure your membership and email settings


Find all Google Product Forums at productforums.google.com 

All Google Product Forums are listed at productforums.google.com

Change the language setting to find all the forums in your language:

English Google Product Forums (a subset)
Indonesian Google Product Forums

Click the gear icon on the top right to manage your global Google Product Forum settings, such as your display language. Your name and profile photo are set individually for each Product Forum, and you can manage email settings separately for each forum as well.


Note: the English Google+ Help Community and the Google Photos Help Community are Google+ Communities, rather than a Google Product Forum.

Did you find your forum? Join the forum and configure your membership and email settings

Search For the Forum

You can also find the right forum by searching the Google Product Forums or regular web search

GPF Search: 

Use the search bar at the top of any Google Product Forum page

A search for "youtube" in GPF shows the YouTube Help Forums in different languages



Web search:

Use Google Search or your favorite search engine to search for product name + forum
Search results for youtube forum
Just make sure the forum link starts with productforums.google.com to make sure you open the official forum.

2 comments:

  1. Dear Peggy,

    I've been looking for an answer for a question without success.

    When hangout created an album on picasa web just with my hangout: own name, and when its created with hangout: me · parties?

    Do you understand the question?

    thanks

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Tomàs : when you upload an image to a Hangout chat, you will then see an album for the Hangout chat in your Picasa Web Albums. The album title will be Hangout: [name]. The album only includes the images you uploaded - you would have to view the other Hangout chat participants' albums for the Hangout to see their images.

    ReplyDelete