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7 Circle Management Tips That Will Increase Your Google+ Experience

Many people complain that they won't circle someone who posts something in the neighbourhood of 20 times a day, the good news is that with circles you can have someone circled and never see their posts. Here are some of the ways I keep my circles organized. Doing this as early on in your G+ experience as possible is recommended, since putting together and organizing a lot of people takes a lot of time.

1. Create Circles for Content You Want to Consume: Not everyone I circle I want to see posts from, I have +Britney Spears and +Paris Hilton in my circles (see tip 7 why) but I never see a single thing they post because they aren't in my circles of content I want to consume. You also have a volume control on your circles if you like looking at your main stream.

2. Divide the Content You Want to Consume Into Smaller Priority Based Circles: There are many people on Google+ I wouldn't mind seeing posts from, but some people I like to see more often than others. So I have a series of circles dividing people who I want to see content from starting with people who I don't want to miss and ending with a series of circles containing people I'm not too connected with yet but still want to keep up with and interact with on occasion.

3. Divide the People Who Produce Content You Don't Want to Consume Into Circles: Doing this helps me remember why I circled someone, for instance I might love hanging out with a person but I find the content they post utterly annoying, so I put them into my "People To Hangout With" circle which is the circle I tend to select when doing a limited hangout. +Britney Spears and +Paris Hilton are in my "Celebrities Who Don't Interact" circle and I mainly just have people like them circled to keep track of big names and when they are hanging out on G+ (see tip 7).

4. You Can Limit Which Circles Are Publicly Displayed on Your Profile: I don't really want to boast that I have a lot of mainstream celebrities on G+ circled so most of them are in circles that aren't publicly displayed. I find this to be a good measure to limit who's displayed since it will affect the "IN COMMON WITH YOU" box you find on people's profiles (found only on profiles with less than 14,000 followers). I don't want to look like I'm following and supporting people I only circled just to organize and see if they might be hanging out (see tip 7). I'll give an example as to how "IN COMMON WITH YOU" works, on G+ I have +Summer Holmquist circled publicly, so if you have me in your circles and go to her profile page, on the right above where it tells you who she has in her circles it will say "IN COMMON WITH YOU" if you hover over that box and click "View All" and type "Billy Wilson" into the filter box I will come up as one of the people who you have in common with her. You can select which circles you have displayed publicly by clicking "Edit Profile" at the top of your profile page, then click the box that displays who you have in circles and you can select who can view this (your circles or public) and which circles will be shown. People will never know which circle you have them in of course, just that you have someone circled or not if you chose to show a particular circle.

5. Create More Circles to Organize People: Even when I have someone circled I like to add them to more circles. For instance I have circles for people I enjoyed hanging out with, people who are artists, Canadians, scientists, musicians, photographers, Googlers; into technology, news; I know from Flickr or Youtube; people who have been on my show, and so on.... This way I'm not just pigeonholing someone based on only one thing.

6. Create Hangout Invite Circles: When you start a hangout that is public or a limited one to more than 25 people, they won't get a notification in the top bar or in chat. So it's a good idea to make a handful of circles with 25 people each that you really want to hangout with so they will be better notified that you want to hangout. It's best to mention you are hanging out in advance in a limited post so people are ready when you invite.

7. Get +Mohamed Mansour's "My Hangouts" Extension and Make a Notification Circle: I want to know if people I enjoy interacting with are hanging out, and I also want to know if people like +Britney Spears ever actually do take the plunge into hangouts. By using +Mohamed Mansour's extension and connecting it with one of your circles you can be assured that if there's someone you want to hangout with hanging out, you will be notified.

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138 comments
 
Thanks for this great post +Billy Wilson. It's probably the most instructive one on using circles that I've seen in the time I've been on G+
 
Helpful and insightful, especially how to control and maximize your hangout potential.
 
I'm in need of a serious circle management revision and there was some good tips in there! It will be tough considering I've been here since early August. I'll share this in hopes to help the newbies.
 
Yes +Chris Bagley it would be best for the newer people to see this. I cringe at the thought of ever redoing all of my circles. It's something you do over months, not hours.
 
I'm glad you clarified that +Billy Wilson - I'm sitting here thinking I need to do a massive tidy-up of my circles (been here since late July), and wondering how long it's going to take.
I have a temp circle for people who post something interesting, or someone new, it gives me a chance to decide if they consistently post content I want to see.
 
+Margie Hearron people complaining that they won't circle people, or that their circles are messed up. Better understanding of how to potentially use them will help more people enjoy Google+.
 
I have the same issue. I've posted about it a few times. I wish we had the ability to subscribe to specific interests of people and get specific types of posts from people: links, photos, posts, Hangout invites. It would also be nice to have a slider on individual people.

I just put my stream hogs that have good posts in a specific circle and I turn the volume all the way down to zero for the posts in that circle. If the Stream Hog stops commenting, sharing, interacting with me on G+, I'll uncircle them.

I'm gotten to a place where I'm not afraid to uncircle anymore. I think I just don't care if the following count drops b/c most of my followers don't interact with me. Many are just lurkers.
 
You can follow 5000 people (have people in your circles) on G+. Usually only about 1% of people that follow you interact with your post frequently. 9% interact sparingly. The other 90% are usually lurkers.
 
wwwwwwwwwooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww a lot of people!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Does any of that matter if everyone in your super specific circles posts everything to PUBLIC?
 
Fantastic tips... Thanks for sharing. 
 
Great post, Billy - and timely for me as well.
 
go away now .......................
 
You know a social network is dying when we start talking about "tips" for "managing" things.
 
Nice one! I've been doing this, but i'm glad you put it in an article. Will share...
 
what did morgan do anyway let her be
 
I am still lost...lol
How do I find hangouts or people with common interests or a group where I can follow and meet people to hang with
 
So i just start circling people and troll them or what
 
Ok I am knew at this. Is this like facebook? Or something new? And what do I do on here?
 
Facebook has gotten really difficult to deal with I have lost 7 or more accounts because of groups I was in being reported ..it is a joke
 
Trolling is the term for bullying ....no matter what anyone else says its bullying lol
 
Facebook is cool and user friendly but anymore its anti 1st amendment ..lol.
 
Lol. I never was good at it so i don't do it ...
 
ew no ur sik laugh my ass off u r sik do not speak like that okay... :P
 
Two things that start a fight politics and religion lol
And I don't know shit about either
 
what? me big shit??????????? hairy ass
 
i am new on google + and to read this post will come in handy... appreciate it..AWSOME!!!..
 
Thanks +Billy Wilson that was very helpful. Just curious because I just started, are there any other helpful starting things that I should know? I am still not really getting the full grasp of the whole circle thing
 
Nice post. It will be great to continue to learn more about G+
 
It so gud 2 be a member of Gmiail...........jst subscribd now. Lolz
 
Since I think Facebook is over done, I think I will be using Google+ more often.
 
Thanks a bunch. My circles just got a little out of hand.
 
me too i thnk da same thng nw facebook is rly over done _
 
Easy circle categories I do. Name the seven dwarfs, place people accordingly. I'm the Snow White of G+ :)
 
thanks billy...now i can manage my circles
 
This is great. Good examples of how to get the most out of it.
 
+Billy Wilson When you talk about never seeing content in your feed, you mean you are going to Home and then clicking some other circle, correct? There isn't a way to exclude a circle from appearing in the default "All" tab which is the default view for home, or is there?
 
+Sid Burgess The way to exclude posts from some circles from your main stream (home) is to select that circle stream (like when you only want to read that circle) and then at the top you will have a slider. Move it all the way to the left and nothing from that circle will show in the main stream
Sean S
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Any tricks for turning down the volume on a particular person or several people in a Circle that posts too much?
I have a person in one Circle that posts alot. I've tried putting the person in a Circle called "Noisy" so that he is in both the regular Circle and the "Noisy" Circle. The volume slider on the regular Circle was moved to the far right and the volume slider in the "Noisy" Circle was moved to the far left. This didn't work in turning the volume down on this person.
 
Total agree ment when ido right evey body say actually as when we do wrong nobody care s i. Wear the Grime repair , he das rgt and nobody care but grime still help s him out eney one only the twyne remains the same never the same random !O:-)
 
its awesome you are great billy wilson
 
hello pleas join me google
and google buzz in map
tanx
 
free hugs if u ADD me!! ;D
 
Just have family friends acquaintances and following circles. You cannot consume more than that. This should work for most people. 
 
Why follow someone if you don't want to see their posts :/
 
Why circle someone if you never want to see their content?
 
wow. The PhD. of circle-making. Unfortunately needing a PhD in circle-making is part of the problem with the Google Plus experience. Lot's of "heavy lifting" - social media construction - needed on this here Network.
 
Thank you +Billy Wilson now I have a great how to I can show everyone who is complaining about the Google+ Circle system:)
 
You have a separate circle for Canadians???
 
+Billy Wilson Great tips. Thanks for that!

Here is another tip, might be helpful. I've an empty circle where I post interesting stuffs for reading / posting it at a later stage. Since there're no people in it, none can see those posts except me.
 
Awww, +Jamie Hobbs you make my point for me so eloquently. See what happens when we substitute your "God" with "the Universe":

In response to a couple people I see asking the question "Who then created the Universe?" I'd have to ask you why you think the Universe needs a creator? You assume that the Universe had a beginning. But spacetime is by logical necessity the foundation of reality, and therefore the concept of a "beginning" is irrelevant. The idea of the Universe makes absolutely no sense if we try to constrain it to human boundaries. This is called arrogance. The foundation of everything is outside the bounds of "everything", i.e. matter, energy, space and time. The Universe had no creator because it had no beginning, just as it has no end. "Who created the Universe?" is a question that has no basis in logic.
 
+Billy Wilson I think Google+ ought to split circles into two distinguishable categories: consumption and publishing. (Maybe even give them different colors; red and blue?). Here's my rationale:

When someone visits a person's profile or page and clicks on "follow", the drop down should list the consumption circles only, such as "News", "Celebrities", "Music", etc... These consumption circles would revolve around topics, so even if you wanted to follow a family member, you'd add them based on their interests instead of just "Family" (unless you really wanted a stream exclusive for family members), so that volume of those topics can be better controlled. This solves the "I don't want to follow person X because they flood my timeline" problem.

On the other end of the spectrum, when someone wants to post or share content, Google+ should only list publishing circles: "Family", "Friends", "Videogame Buddies", etc.. These circles should be populated as a subset of your followers. It wouldn't make sense to publish a post to the entire "Celebrities" circle because people, for example,+Britney Spears, or pages like +Team Coco (content producers) won't find it relevant, nor are they following you; you're "barking up the wrong tree" as they say.
This solves the "I'm actively posting to thousands of people, but most of them don't respond or seem to care" illusion.
 
Reposted! Thanks for the tips!
 
+Cynthia Fusillo I tend to post about G+ and how to make use of it now fairly frequently between my photography.
 
+Sid Burgess I go to other circles to consume content, but you can use the volume slider on particular circles as well so you will see particular circles less frequently or not at all.
 
+Sean Duffy I circle some people just so they can join my limited hangouts, but I don't necessarily have an interest in seeing their posts.
 
+Curtis Coburn, same as the previous answer I typed; I circle some people just so they can join my limited hangouts, but I don't necessarily have an interest in seeing their posts.
 
+Alizée Rait what is "wrong" about that circle? There were no rules given as to how to use circles on G+. By using this system it should lead to more people circling for a particular purpose, sure you may not circle someone from wanting to see their posts, but you interact with them through hangouts. When it comes to celebrities, the effect of circling them this way is negligible, if you use the tips I talked about, you will have a higher chance of hanging out with them if they ever decide to jump onto G+. Overall, I see circling through these methods to be increasing interactions.
 
Really great post +Billy Wilson . I am moderating the Circle Strategy Panel at the g+ conference for photogs and your insights and the responses are very helpful in the preparation
 
+Enry Esl the first point you made I'm quite aware of and I believe I mentioned in the original post. Concerning the second point you made this post was mainly for consuming content rather than sharing with particular people. I know who I want to share with and I meet new people all the time. It's impossible to circle everyone who follows me because you can only circle 5,000. A lot of them don't even speak English and they just like seeing my pictures so it's a consuming relationship on their part.
 
This is super cool. There is stuff here I did not know and I have been here from the beginning. Thanks +Billy Wilson :)
 
Thanks  I do really need it to educate some people on my stream as they have tendency to underestimate people who don't belong to their group as well as not quite understand how circle system works.
 
+Billy Wilson Okay so I found how to limit which circles are shown publicly and set it, but when I view my profile publicly I don't see the people in my circles just the people who have me circled.  hmm...
 
Tip. Celebrities and high profile people NEVER follow you back. So whats the point in circling them?
 
+Chris Burgess, since they do hangout and some of them do interact although not many. It depends on what you want. 
 
Yes, I Like and added...
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