Really, they are having trouble getting the hang of the service and are trying to use it too much like Facebook. Here are a few ways to optimize Google+ and get out of the Facebook mindset. Otherwise, you’ll get very little out of the year-old social network.
1. Circle People You Don’t Know. Really.
In Facebook, you friend someone and they have to accept you to friend you back. Google + is just the opposite. You can circle — add to your Circle of contacts — anyone who want. Circle +Mick Jagger if you must. You’ll follow their comments in your stream from then on. Want to get rid of Mick or other circled contacts? Easy.
Just pop them out of your circles. The system won’t rat you out. Try to add a lot of interesting people to your Circles. You definitely should add +aNewDomain.net to get a ton of tech news fed out from our staff daily.
By adding folks from suggested user lists, shared circles and even just people who comment on other users’ posts, you’ll have a constantly changing stream that you can tweak to your heart’s content.
Post to Public
There is a Circle in Google + called Public. It is what it says. If you post to it, everyone on Google + plus a certain number of Google Gmail users will see your post. It is broadcasting, in a sense. If you are promoting something, though, it works to help get the news out. Some of Google’s rising stars in photography, comedy and film started getting a reputation exactly that way.
When you circle someone on Google+, he or she probably click on your profile to see who you are and what you post about. If you’ve only posted to your Limited Circles or Extended Circles, the public recipient you don’t know won’t see anything about you and might choose not to circle you back. So post to Public when appropriate and don’t forget to fill out your profile.
Make sure some of your posts are shared to Public and anyone who visits your profile will have a better idea of who you are and whether they might enjoy engaging with you.
Engage, engage, engage. That’s the quickest way to meet new people and build a network of friends, followers, fans, compatriots and fellow hooligans (ha) the worldwide on Google +. Comment and hit the +1 button on posts. Share cool things. Genuinely interact with people. Ask questions. Take polls.
Watching my Facebook feed gets depressing. Ever notice how lots of people just post an endless lineup of personal highlights and accomplishments. The bragging is a bit much. On Facebook, remember, most people know their contacts because both sides have to opt into a relationship.
On Google + most of your contacts — or many of them — are going to be strangers. Post what’s really on your mind and don’t worry about backlash from friends on the other side of the country and their political views or whatever.
If you want to talk about something with more of a niche following — Whovians, anyone? — create a Dr. Who Circle or join one and post to that limited Circle of those with similar interests. Post to Public when you want to start a conversation that you haven’t seen elsewhere.
If you want to post everything to your own Limited Circles and you don’t care if new people circle you back, know yourself. Maybe you really are only interested in circling people who love Spiderman as much as you do. Fine.
For all the self-proclaimed experts, Google+ is just over a year old and we’re still all just learning as we go. This is a nimble system. It’s changing and evolving continually and has been since Google unleashed it to just the tech community last summer.
For ANewDomain.Net, I’m Becket Moorby.