Google Plus – My Circle Management System

I have been focusing a lot of my time over at Google+ lately, trying to figure out the best way to use it and find interesting people there. I am still getting used to the “unwritten” rules of the road that have evolved since Google+ was opened for Public Beta testing back in May and probably have accidentally stepped across a few of those rules more than once.

It seems that a few of the early adopters are getting a bit snippy with the newcomers who are flooding their streams with more noise, as I discussed in my post on Look at Noise as an Opportunity on Google+.  At first some of those attitudes bothered me, nowI just kind of chuckle, when I read those responses in people’s streams about “this isn’t how we do it here on g+.

Just think for a minute about what they are attempting to do, when they make those statements…

Well it’s about time to get to the real point of this post:
CirclesOne of the things that is different in Google+ from other social media sites that I have used is that Google+ uses Circles to manage who sees what you post and that you can publicly share those circles.I got the idea for this blog post from a Google+ post that I wrote a couple of days ago about how to manage your circles and some of what I wrote then is already outdated and needed to be updated to what I am doing now. That is how fast you can grow your knowledge of g+, which requires you to then re-think how you do something there.
Circle ManagementCircles Management can be a pain in the ass, until you figure out how you want to use them, especially if you are new to to using g+ and starting to follow a lot of people all at once – like I recently have done going from under 200 to over 1600.Yesterday I found a link to a Google Doc Spreadsheet that has published Shared Circles by category and decided to add some of those Circles in categories that interest me, to my Temporary Circle (more on that in a minute).
Adding all of these Circles and people has really screwed up my follower/following ratio to the point where I felt the need to do a g+ post explaining to everyone that I am not a spammer – which I am not.
As a result of finding that spreadsheet of Shared Circles, I had to redo my Circles yet again, but now my Circle organization system is starting to make some sense to me and I actually have a system in place.
Circle NamesTemporary – Where I put new people to see if we actually have common interests, this circle will always get my updates/posts to see who is interested in what I have to say and then move to a different circle or be deleted. Every couple of months I will probably go through this circle and remove those who no longer seem to be active or for other reasons.

Post Temporary – If someone follows me back or comments on one of my g+ posts I put them in this Circle from the Temporary Circle and see if we continue to have conversations before putting them into an Interest Group Circle. This circle will also get all of my posts to g+.

Basically I have a two stages before I put people into more permanent Circles.  Cumbersome and a little labor intensive, but six months from now when I want to see who I want to continue to follow, so that the quality of my conversations are better, it will pay big dividends.

Inbox – These are family friends, people that I have met face-to-face or have been talking with for long periods of time on social media sites like Twitter or Facebook.  There just are not enough of my friends and family on g+ yet to have a separate circle for them yet.  Usually I have had many conversations with people in this Circle and hopefully they might be interested in what I have to say – will usually get my updates.

Following – Those who are famous or well-known, who really could give a rats-ass about me or what I say :-). I plan to send all my updates to this Circle, you never know when someone might think that I have a great idea or post and comment on it. You notice it isn’t very big and probably never will be, I am not someone to suck-up to the more popular ones amongst us.  However, I believe it is good to do, you never know if one of these more popular people might steer traffic to your site by accident. ;-).

Read – This is a Circle that I like to read what these people post, but have not had many two-way conversations with them. I will not usually send updates to this Circle, because most people in this circle will be in Interest Group circles too, but it will get a few blog links from time to time.

Interest Groups – will get updates based on content

  • Gardening
  • Education
  • Running

Todo – Posts that I want to comment on later or something that I want to do here on g+.

As I figure out my interests and find more like minded people my interest Circles will grow.  I can see adding photography (absolute beginner, but love it), blogging, hiking/walking, boomers, retirement, simple living and possibly a few more. The best thing is that the Circles give me plenty of flexibility to change things as I or the people I follow change.

The reality is  that

Circles are a great system to grow your interests and target who you want to address a post to, but until you get a handle on how you want to manage your circles, it is a learning process.  I know I have made a lot of changes from how I originally envisioned using them when I started here back in June.Originally I thought it would be better to have a more granular approach to how I used Circles I, now I am heading in the direction of less is more when it come to how many Circles I have.
Finally

The best part about g+ is that if someone doesn’t want to look at what I have to say, they can either ignore or block me and I have the same option to those who follow me.  So if I am following you on g+ and you are not interested in what I have to say or how I am using g+,  you have those two options and I will not be hurt if you do so.
After all g+ is about making this “your” social media hub, not what someone else thinks it should be.How about you, how do you manage your circles, any good tips for me to improve my system?

2 thoughts on “Google Plus – My Circle Management System

  1. Hi Harold, Have you tried hangouts yet on g+? We are entertaining using them to link up students in growing domes around the country. Thanks for the info on circles. Will keep that in mind if we decide to start networking there. Good luck! – Stacey

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  2. Hi Stacey – Yes I tried it once and it was really easy to use. I was very impressed with the Hangouts feature, haven't used it since, but since I retired from teaching, haven't had much need either. Good luck and thank you for commenting.Harold

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