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Google Plus Rules of Engagement

These are not the 10 commandments. Just a basic list of things you should consider when you interact with others and what to expect as a result.

1) Followers are not a free gift granted for completing your profile.
Unless you are a celebrity or a known brand you will have to build your own audience.

2) Signing up does not entitle you to interesting stuff streaming in your home page.
All you get it's "What's Hot". Probably the most overrated content in G+. If you don't like it, you can remove it with the tool provided.
You will have to build your circles, follow people that post things you like, get rid of or reduce the noise of people that post things you don't like.

3) You must listen before you ask to be heard.
At the beginning you won't even have an audience. Shouting like Donkey in Shrek pick me, pick me won't do much. 
Posting a lot won't give you a big number of followers.
Keep in mind that control of the conversation in G+ is tilted toward the reader, not the publisher. You need 2 to tango. And you can't force anyone to read your stuff.

4) You reap what you sow.
Fill out your PROFILE and add a PHOTO. Publish 5 interesting posts about things you like to talk about (not what you want to sell). And go your merry way to find people.
If you want to be noticed +1 their posts (not all of them), comment on what you like, re-share if you want to tell others about this discovery and add the person to the appropriate circle.
If the person likes your profile, posts and comments, they will add you back.
Adding back is not mandatory in Google+. I might like you because you are a great singer, but you might see no reason to follow me.
Remember: every one is in control of their own stream by deciding who to add, who to ban and the content they want to see.

5) Shine by your posts not your comments
The post owner is the host. He is opening the door of his house but not for you to become the new owner.
Comments should be brief and to the point. Discussion is encouraged but any action that makes you take the stage will be seen as rude. If you wish to further interact with a particular person just send them a private  message rather than start a conversation within the conversation.
The quality of your posts will be reflected by the +1s, comments and re-shares you receive. Do not blame G+ for people not reacting to your post. You obviously are doing something wrong. Penalty: Go back to 4). :)

6) Only after you are recognized as a valuable member of the community, you will be able to do branding through pages, communities and expand your business
Guy Kawasaki calls it the NPR model. He says we watch the telethons because the rest of the time we get quality. If all you do is post to get a sale, you won't go far. 

7) When resharing give credit to the author and the person who made you aware of the information
Thanks +author.  Via or h/t (hat tip) +resharer. Never copy/paste someone else ideas.

8) If you have nothing nice to say just keep it to yourself
Believe me it's not worth the annoyance and the bad reputation. No matter how right you are if you tell someone off, you will be labeled a troll.
Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference. (Mark Twain). There are too many other posts that deserve your attention. Just move on.

9) Do not forget about the low hanging fruit
Those who have 100,000 followers attract a lot of comments and share a lot of valuable information. Follow them.
But if you only circle them and comment only on their posts with the expectation to be noticed rapidly, you are in the wrong place. Your comment will be drowned in seconds. Everyone is looking at the shining star not scrolling through 500 comments.
You should be searching for smaller crowds that give you a chance to be seen.

10) Expand your circles
From the book Consequential Strangers by Melinda Blau. Strangers provide novelty and information, shape our identity, and open us to new opportunities. They help keep us healthy and are invaluable when we’re sick. They fuel innovation, propel social movements, hasten the flow of new ideas, and are vital in times of uncertainty.
Stop saying "no" to new and different. Embrace the experience. Learn to accept different points of view. Start thinking about these little exploratory expeditions as adventures.  Some will be strange or duds, but most of them will be interesting and even wonderful.  Don't miss the opportunity to expand your circles.

#gtips   #googleplustip   #googletips   #googletipsandtricks   #plushelp
Gilberto Sánchez Ortiz's profile photoTeresa Daniel's profile photoMara Lee's profile photoAravind Roy's profile photo
Scot Duke
Good stuff!  It's ALL about social!
M Smith
And some are evidently uncommon sense.
Good reminders.
What say you +Yifat Cohen ?
Sure they are +Stephen Earp We can write books about them. I think the post is already pretty long for my taste :)
Most of them are nothing new, but a lot of starters are ignoring them and then complaining about the lack of engagement.
+Alex Garcia As you know, a lot of First Adaptors ignore these facts as well!!!!
Thanks +Alex Garcia needed to be written and shared. About #7, I thought if you re-share, it will be seen who is original poster so I've rarely used the h/t thing. But now I know, it's just the polite thing to do! 
+Eunice Coughlin when you reshare a shared post, the original author is always credited, the finder does not get credit unless you mention them.
+Alex Garcia Correct me if I am wrong.
If someone does not make a comment in the comment section and just reshares a post they do not show up in the Reshared post..but if they make a Comment then they show up in the reshared post.
I don't think that's the case +Scot Duke 
You will show up even if you don't make a comment.
I'm pretty sure that if you just reshare without commenting, it still shows up.
Learn something everyday!!
+Alex Garcia I was attempting tip #7 by sharing this post, and discovered that when I was typing "Thanks to +Alex Garcia for..." it showed me a list of many people named Alex Garcia, but not you. You'd think G+ would figure I'd want you included in the list it showed me, since it should detect I am sharing your post. (It seems to have no trouble doing this when adding a comment).

In order to get your name to show up, I had to cancel the forward, go back to the original post, and add you to one of my circles. Then when I started typing the intro to my share, your name was top of the list.
I'm going to add a little something to #4.  COMPLETELY fill out your profile and any form of "privacy notice" saying no one has permission to use your photos or information is utterly WORTHLESS!!!!  If you don't want your info being used, WHY then are you using GOOGLE?!?!?
+Lee Brewer The question is a little broader...if you do not want any of your information posted to be used then Why Are You On The Internet? 
Well I was attempting to be nice.  Next time I'll be direct.
+Lee Brewer I was just quoting my attorney,,,they sometimes are not nice.
Thanks +Alex Garcia This is great stuff. I am new to this and I am much wiser from this post as well as the comments.
+Scot Duke I used to think I had some modicum of privacy which I could control on the internet. Lately I figure if there's anything the NSA needs to know about me they can find out without Google +.
+Mike Rowell Agree..if you don't want any of these social platforms to know something about you or your business then DON'T POST IT. Pretty simple if you focus on that.
Quality summary :) I wish the Facebook community respected the majority of these as well. I'm slowly converting my positive friends into G+ users :)
Thanks +Alex Garcia for great info, never looked at the whole thing as marketing and branding. But are you saying that Paris Hilton doesn't know me? ಠ_ರೃ
Well said. I like the (19th century?) illustration.
It is labeled as 1876 in some websites. I just thought it was a nice representation of the post +Brian Gill 
Hey +Alex Garcia  One of the things not mentioned in this list but could be part of #4 is posting a Location in the profile.  I know I know..people are scared to show people where they are located and the Troll and Stalker factor does exist ...and I am not thinking the exact street address being posted, but showing what city or even section of the world REALLY makes a difference on what Circle I place someone in.
If anyone follows +HTC you will see several of these rules broken instantly and often.  Lately I've been breaking #8 a LOT in those "conversations", thanks for keeping me keep it real +Alex Garcia!
This post has been very informative. A good read.
+Scot Duke  #4 is just open to interpretation. All I am saying is that you have to complete your profile and add a photo (any photo) before adding people. So when they come visit your profile there is something there. 
Why you need to put in writing all these common senses or uncommon senses in the first place?

Why not just trust the people that they will follow this on their own term?

Is because people are not to be trusted with unwritten ethics?
Sounds like a great guide on how to be an attention whore -- ewps I broke rules 8 and 5
+Alex Garcia, thanks for this. What I love about G+ is that I get a lot of good content on here. It's like having an interactive, informative RSS feed. I pray it keeps this altruist atmosphere. :)
+Liesye Reini It's because some people are complaining that there is no engagement. The reason why they are not getting engagement is because they are being deleted from circles or put in circles that are not read for not following the common sense / unwritten rules. 
I think a lot of people signed up thinking it was going to be like Facebook but weere disappointed when they found out it wasn't so they left. I had a Facebook and Twitter but closed both accounts. It got stagnant for me. I prefer G+ because of the clean layout and people here seem to be much more friendlier.
# 8 needs to be Removed
Joey T.
Its all common sense. Good stuff!
You mean, you have to like put ... effort into this?!?!!?!?!? ;p
Well... i don't think so.. when we are trying to put what supposedly be unwritten behaviour to be written to tell people that is what we should behave to engaged with other people, than we wouldn't know that what his/her behaviour is something genuine or not.

So, people would just have to behave because that is what's written to be the common sense that they should act when socialized with other people.

I prefer sincere from people not insincere...
but hey... at least you are sincere +Alex Garcia that is the most important.. thanks for your post ;)
The ideas here can and should be applied to anywhere, throught the web and in everyday life. :D Well said, sir.
To someone new into Google+, this is very valuable. Many thanks to you.
You forgot "remember not to post every five minutes." Tee-hee.
Huh. Maybe I should be looking at this thing called Google+ more like Twitter and less like a better Facebook.
you forgot #11 - "If you want to communicate effectively with people you may actually know in real life, use another social networking tool.  They won't be found here."
Dav Bob
You had me until number 6. This is a social network to me. Not a business page. If I want to be sold something I will search for the product i want to buy. If you try to sell me something on a social network you will quickly be removed from my circles......
so weird. post it on facebook more than google+
+Alex Garcia  Its not something that is completely new, though.  Its just organized and integrated in a way that hasn't been done before.  I believe +Joshua Larkin got it somewhat right.  A lot of people have been calling it 'Organized Twitter' for a long time.
Some idiots need to be smacked, #8 should be No Blocking.
Well said.

You can't hide in the closet and then complain that no one talked to you at the party.  
+Jeff Willard You might be looking at Google+ as a social network isolated from the rest of the Google products. G+ for me is internet social. Everything you do on the internet will have a social component tied to who you know in Google Plus.
honestly.. i am sorry about what im gonna say but this "rules" are bloody hell ridiculous....a g+ profile is not a stupid is?
Where is the competition +Muse Calliope? You have to follow certain civility rules if you want people to talk to you. These are not recipes to have the most followers, they are guidelines not to be totally ignored.
James H
So, since this is in the "WHAT'S HOT" tab now, is this content "overrated?"
Answer to my own question: "No"
These are really fine suggestions for how to get the most out of Google+.  The only thing I'd add is that Communities seem to be a particularly effective way for new users to be able to find interestingly relevant content.
Actually there is a hidden competition being waged and its aint a lie . Its in fb so its in g+ too
No, +Muse Calliope , it's not a competition.  But wouldn't you like to know SOMETHING about the people you interact with?  If that's your cup of tea, than rock on.  For instance, a quick look at your last 20-ish posts I get the feeling you're not a huge smooth jazz fan so I wouldn't put you in that circle.  Point being if that info was on your profile I wouldn't have had to look at your posts.
I welcome the idiots, as long as they don't block comments.
+Alex Garcia I don't disagree, but that's also how I feel about Twitter.  They both push information to me based on what I've done to go out and decide what nodes I want to look out from.  The advantage of G+ comes with things like circles and communities.  The former allows me to change the perspective on the fly and narrow down the amount of information I'm seeing.  The latter broadens my view and allows others to push me information based on common interests without me subscribing directly to them.

So G+ and Twitter are both feeds of information that I've said I'm interested in.  G+ just lets you organize how you consume and disperse your information.
You cann't be asleep and at the same time cry for food.
How do I send a private message here ?
Ironic this is the first "what's hot" comment I actually do think is overrated
+LR L You can send a private message by going to your 'Share what's new...' area and choosing the people in the block below the text area.  Alternatively, you can +Name them and they'll be added directly.  Just make sure no one else is in that block and no one else will be able to see the post, thus its private.
One thing I would add though, is hangouts - you'll meet the most amazing people there, you'll deepen your relationships and you'll have an experience not available anywhere else.
Good tips and well said. Most of your points are things I had already noticed about G+ if not given a lot of thought to. Well worth sharing.
I love the way you made these points so very clear - excellent!!  
+Lee Brewer  +Alex Garcia  that's kind of rules, reminds me when i was in college, i was really different than every girl, iwas not "fashion", i wasnt a nice looking girl i was little and fat, while my classmate used to be intersted by stupid silly magazin and stupid commercial music, me i used to spend time reading book and enjoy to discover blues jazz and classical music... i was not like everybody, i didnt follow the "rules" to have friends here, and like i choose to stay like i was they ignor me...ignor people because they don't follow the rule that YOU want it's a kind of discrimination, i mean untill the person with who you interact respect you, there must not have stupid rule to tell you how to be... we are like we are, all with our personalities, which are all different, and we don't have to follow rules to have friend or interact with people, the only rule if must be one is "respect" that's it... we are not in high school, or college, whre we put people in this or this category, where we give you mark for what you do, or who you are...yesterday, i don't remember in which profil i saw that a post about "people the most intersting in g+", so does that mean that other are shit and boring? these kind of post with classification and "rules" are in my opinion just discrimination and exclusion...this is because of this kind of stuff that people can start to lose selfconfidence on them... why always create rules and put everyone in the same mold? why be so serious?
Thanks. Clear, simple and sensible. 
Thats alot of work..i think i will just be a luker...
+Muse Calliope , no one is saying you have to use these "rules".  It's not like you're going to be banned, and no, it's not discrimination.  These are a way to help you get the best out of Google+.  If you don't want to make your experience better, then don't.  And you will find a lot of G+ peeps like to know a little about the other folks they interact with.  It's personal preference.  Hell, I was also that kid in high school and college.  I was the fat ugly kid.  Well guess what?  25 years later I'm still the fat ugly kid.  But I don't give a damn because I am what I am, like it or not.  And if I can help someone here have a better experience on Google+ by offering a little advice, then I've done my good deed for the day.  But don't sit there and call them rules and discrimination, because you're not comparing apples to apples.

My point is, don't complain about how boring the party is when you sit in the corner and don't interact with anyone after being given the tools that will ensure you will have a blast at the party.

I see what you are saying. I just think we are looking at it from two different points of view.
That's all I need really, +Lee Brewer :)
Join my Hangout tomorrow  - I double dare you. :)
me i don't complain about nothing, i mean i don't need to have 1000 +1 or 500 comment on my post... i have some friend maybe less than 10 with who i interact regulary and i am fine with, it's maybe little but not such superficial, i took the time to know them, to interact with ect. i even meet my boyfriend with who i am since 7months on g+ lol ^^' 
i understand what you said and your point of view... but as you said, we see that from different point of view...
and i never said that g+ was boring, people can come +'d or not it dosent matter, that will not make happy or sad...i am happy to share my photographies, my passions, the books that i read anyway =)
and even if my point of view is a bit extrem, i still think that these rules are in my opinion a bit "abusive" and dont give a good image of what is G+...we are not at school..we are for the most part adult or young adult... but well that is just my opinion....

about me 14 years later, i am not anymore fat and little, but i didnt take back my selfconfidance...but it is an other story... =) cheers +Lee Brewer 
+Muse Calliope I agree with you somewhat. The moral of this entire story is Google+, as with most things in life, is what you make of it. You're only going to get out what you put in.

As for these "rules" I'd agree with some of them, others not so much. Maybe we should call them suggestions? Rules seem harsh.
Really good stuff, got something fruitful at G+ for the first time...
+Muse Calliope , if I got anything out of our conversation it's that you live your life the way YOU want to live it, and don't give a damn what anyone else thinks.  THAT in itself takes a huge amount of self confidence.  You may not believe it, but it does.  So the next time you walk in public, you hold your head up high and shoulders back!!!
+Derek Ross yes ''rule of engagement" are quite exagerated... for me the only rule is "respect" ...and there is also thing more important to do in the life and goals to reach than be "popular" on a virtual social network..but that is an other topic anyway...we are like we are... there is no rules to follow to be liked or to interst people about what we do... there is no rules to follow for get a god feeling with others people if not respect... some people often attach to much importance on whats going on in g+... for me g+ is just a way more nice to have relax the night or while the day..i prefer than watch tv for exemple... but i would never spend hours and hours to find THE post to get 1000 followers and get a new popularity...this is quite ridiculous (in my opinion...)
So people be yourself, we love you because you are unique not because you follow rules!
Whatever happened to people keeping themselves to themselves?Does everyone think the internet will give them their 15 mins of fame and a chance at celebrity?Anyone who truly deserves celebrity will earn it in other ways than online, (celebrity is overated anyway, usualy a clothes horse with one talent if they are lucky and otherwise very ordinary).Those people with something called "a life"dont need to continuously update their facebook and tweet their bowel movements to the world. 
To each their own...stop trying to police the interwebz
You can follow me back if you'd like.
this is age old wisdom for life, too, and foremost.
If you had 1,000,000 +1s on a post, would that make you a success? Somewhat pointless way of saying the "Golden Rule" IMO. BTW, there is less engagement in Google Plus than other social networks. Maximizing relevant content displayed should not be a chore to be grinded through.
If anyone here is just looking to interact with people from all over, feel free to add me to your circle.  Having an occasional conversation is nice on a boring day. What you're doing today could be something I might wanna do later on myself where I am at. 
+John Lawson I understand where you are coming from.  I don't have a lot of followers and i'm only following a few personal friends of mine but they no longer come on here anyways.  I am following a couple of tv shows I like and comedians but nothing major.  If people talk back to me that's great, if not oh well I guess.  I enjoy interacting with people from other places.  
Wow! This should be applied to all social medias... 
Alex, this was great!!! I'm new to social media and somewhat shy about reaching out but after reading your post it has put a whole new spin on things for me... Thanks so much for that.
Most of this is good advice for life in general.
A very big kudos to all commentators because every word used if promptly understood has a sense 
I have a question- must I make a post public in order for my followers to see it?
if everyone is of one mind,  will there be any discussions.  it will only be unchallenged ideas and opinions maybe truthful maybe not.  seems a real dull conversation.
good points and love the pic.
good info for those of us who are new to this!
Cool,brah ! I'll keep this in mind .
Thanks Alex for putting those together - much appreciated.  
+Stephen M Roberts You don't have to make your posts public for your followers to see it. But if you post nothing public, someone who is not in your circles yet, will see no posts in your profile "posts" tab. Public posts are not limited in the distribution to others.
+Mark Wisniewski Your followers are your readers. You can chose to have 5 people in your circles and post everything to them only. That's the level of engagement you will get. If you are happy with that, it's fine. This post is a guideline on how to generate more conversations and exchange of ideas.
Google+ is getting worst and worst.
+Victor Abbott This is what this post is all about. You have to build it.  It's not a stadium that people will walk into to listen to you. If you don't put much effort just don't complain when you get a very low response. If you are happy with the level of engagement just enjoy!.
Maners maketh man and women shame it has been forgotten these days 
Google plus is great compared to Facebook!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on engagement +Alex Garcia ! I find myself in complete agreement.
Well done.  I made a mess of my FaceBook (too many friends and subscribers).

I am attempting to understand Google Plus, so that I don't make a mess of it.  Any ideas about organizing circles or systemic methods about who and how to organize people who circle me is greatly appreciated.
Circles are mostly for organizing your reading +Debbie Coultis 
When people add you, first you have to decide if you want to add them or not. No obligation. If you want to and you know why add them to a particular circle. If you don't have an idea, just add them to a general "added me" circle and when you have time look at the posts in the added me circle. There is a lot more to circles. 
I have a "New to Google+" community if you wish to read more about it.
Borderline +Sunset Cycles I'll let it stay for once, but you can't walk into my house and put a billboard with that hashtag. You should post from your page and link to this post or reshare to your circles
I still having trouble implementing the #7 when try to reshare this post. I keep getting all the other Alex Garcia on pop up list although I have circled +Alex Garcia . So how should I do it? I'm using the G+ app on my android phone.
Thanks +Alex Garcia ~ these rules and helpful tips may just help me get my head out of my ass, at least where G+ is concerned...
Hi +Stephanus Aditamaputra don't worry mate. You should click the reshare button on the post, then type a text like Thanks +author. But if the link is not popping just leave it as +Alex Garcia (type the whole name). At least people can see it.
This has been one of the most enjoyable conversations I've had here on G+.  Many thanks to all the posters for their input but especially for the one(s) who posted opposition.  We agreed to disagree and I look forward to more conversations with you in the future.
Thanks to everyone who has participated with comments, +1s and reshares. I had upset some people with the word "rule" but it was a play on words. The main word is ENGAGEMENT. 
My first two sentences also were intended to convey that it is a choice and not an imposition on how things should be done.
These are not the 10 commandments. Just a basic list of things you should consider when you interact with others and what to expect as a result.
The road to success has not been built for you. Everyone has to build their own, depending on what you want from this experience. So if you are not getting what you want, use this as a checklist.
Have a great weekend!
Useful life lessons that extend well beyond G+. Thanks
This was a great read, thanks for the tips!
Someone mentioned that g+ is not Facebook.
I think g+ has just "fallen" into this styling of social networking by its earliest users, but I'm sure when the idea was originally conceived by Google Facebook was their exact target audience.
+Alex Garcia Many, many thanks for this. I've been unsure of how to get the best from G+.
I agree, be positive. It is called Google Plus not G Minus. Negative comments are a turn off unless written very tactfully.
+Alex Garcia thank u for answering!  so if I share something with a certain circle some of those people may not be following me so unless I share it with them they will not see it, whereas those who are following me can see everything I see on my wall no matter who I've shared it with?
+Stephen M Roberts Public posts are visible to everyone if they visit your profile. Limited posts are visible only to the group of people who you shared it with. At the top of each post you will see the author name, timestamp and if it's limited or public. You can click on the word limited to see who is participating. 
Hello!  Good luck with all your followers.  Take care!
Brilliant stuff +Alex Garcia really enjoyed reading it.
I spent some time yesterday interacting with a fellow who was a tad disillusioned with the whole G+ experience, and like a lot of folk who come and then go it's their ego that takes a smashing when they find they are nowhere near as popular as their Facebook page, for instance, where all their mates lol and like even the most mundane of postings.
Below, is a piece of what I thought about it yesterday.... 
G+ is a lot like real life, you know when you first meet a new crowd of people, or you start hanging around in a new pub or something, at first, you're nothing, and no one really gives a rat's clacker bag about who you are, and what you think. So, to counter that most healthy minded folk join in by laughing at other peoples jokes, listening in and enjoying other peoples stories and then, over time, the people you are joining in with want to know more about you, want to know what you have to offer the market place. It's the laws of reciprocity at play.
Give first - receive latter.
Good article.  Even though many of the points are common sense, a great number of people lack that and need to be told bluntly.  Appreciate it!
A l epoque,y avait pas meatic;j imagine qu au mileu c est le pere, j imagine?:-)
Thank you for your wisdom. Im considering the event planning as an virtual gathering and noticed a theme of popcorn. Is it possible to get short cartoons on google plus to watch with mates???
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