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Bala Bosch
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Interesting read.
If you're just dipping your toe in the water on Google+, haven't been pleased with it thus far or seem unsure about its value, I thought I'd share a few tips on how to improve your Google+ experience (at least from my experience):


It's not immediately clear, but the "Find People" search box at the top of the site isn't just for searching names. It's also for searching Google+ profiles. That means you can enter company names, places (cities/towns), topics you're interested in, schools, etc. and turn up results by clicking "Find everyone matching."

I recommend creating circles big and small. Make circles for sharing, but also circles you purely follow, simply to keep tabs on topics/industries that interest you. I also recommend taking time to add hundreds of people to circles, as only then will your home Stream transform to real-time.

It's not a bad idea to make Google one of your circles. Googlers have been super engaged on the platform: they're quick to respond to feedback, often post about new features, and also share the most innovative uses of G+ which will give you ideas. I've created a comprehensive list of Googlers on Google+ here:

Remember, as you create circles, circles are not public. Adding someone to circle, while they will get a notification, is not "friending" them on Facebook or creating a close bond between you and them. It's simply curating/personalizing your streams so they're more interesting to you.

Also, as some have already said, you can create a bookmarks or favorites circle. You don't need to put anyone in that circle. Simply share posts to that circle when you want to save them to read later.


When you find something interesting, say so: give it a +1, comment or share. Beyond engaging with the Google+ community, and possibly forming new connections, you're giving signal to the original creator that their post was valuable or meaningful. That means they'll likely share more content like it.

Interacting with content you find interesting is also a great way to meet new people who appreciate the same content. They may join in on the comments thread or even click over to your profile to learn more about you. It can increase the number of people who add you to circles, which makes your "Incoming" stream all the more value (people sharing to you / folks who added you to a circle).

Along these lines, content that interests you, do spend time to set up a number of Sparks. Throw in topics that interest you, sports teams, people, companies, and even websites as it will become an RSS reader of sorts. Not only does this make great morning/night reading, but Sparks can be a place to find interesting content to share on G+ and it's easy to do so.


For some, it's awkward. Maybe you don't like how you look on camera (many people don't) or you're not comfortable interacting in front of a computer with strangers. One way to ease the initial pressure is to first hangout with a friend: either start your own and invite people you know, or head to the same hangout with a friend.

Still uneasy about hangouts? You'll be glad to know you can mute your video and/or audio if you'd like for your first few, basically hiding yourself from view. You can still chat with the group via text if you'd like, or just watch. You can also mute the video and/or audio of another participant if you don't like what you're seeing/hearing, or report abuse directly to Google.

The more hangouts you go to though, the more you'll see the thriving community that exists on G+: the many friendly people and the "small world" it indeed is, especially at this stage with so many tech/media/social folks here.


Please share your tips for making the most of Google+.

I just deleted all my public Facebook data that I couldn't hide through content access restriction. Feels good.

Have you tried the new CivWorld for Facebook? Fun for a few hours, then boring and repetitive. #fail

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