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This Is Not Facebook

I've been noticing that over the past few weeks that quite a few people have been migrating to here from Facebook, which is great! Welcome to all of you! To help your experience here, I'm going to help you by explaining what G+ is and, most importantly, what it is not.

I'll start with the latter. As you guessed from my title, this isn't Facebook. What I mean by that is that Google+ isn't the place you come to reconnect with old friends, people you knew (and didn't give a shit about then either) in high school, or people you hung out with in college. For the most part, those people aren't here. They're on Facebook, and despite the fact that Zuckerburg and company regularly disregard their privacy, think they're too stupid to make choices for themselves (EdgeRank), and show a general disregard for anything they'd want to see done with the service (instead catering to advertisers), they're comfortable there. They're not going anywhere.

So, if you come here, try to find some of these people, maybe find a few, make a few posts and don't get any feedback, you're going to go right back to Facebook complaining that G+ is boring.

You will also have missed what Google+ is about. To sum it up as simply as I can, Facebook is where you connect with old friends. Google+ is where you find new ones.

See that search bar at the top of your screen? Unlike the site on which you're accustomed to spending your time, the one here is actually useful. Interested in poetry slams? A quick search up there (https://plus.google.com/s/poetry%20slam) will show you who else shares those interests. Photography? No sweat (https://plus.google.com/s/photography). Harry Potter? Twilight? True Blood? Pottery? You'll find it here.

Take a few of those people that share your interests. Add them to your Circles. Interact with them. Post things here about the things you're interested in. The more you do that, the more you'll start to see where G+ shines, why it can do what no other network before it could do so very well.

And for God's sake, fill out your profiles! Really can't stress that enough. If you circle someone, chances are they're going to check your profile (I always do). If there's nothing there telling them why they should circle you back, it's likely that they won't. It really doesn't take all that long to type a few lines about who you are and what you're interested in. Feel free to see mine as an example (someone can see that and know exactly what I'm about without ever having to see a single post from me).

Oh, and don't be afraid to comment on the post of someone you don't know. People make posts public for a reason; to encourage interaction with as many people as possible.

Let me give you a couple of people to add to a Circle to get you started. +Natalie Villalobos is a given; she's a Community Manager here on G+, and will always keep you in the loop on cool things that are happening around here. +Daria Musk is another one to keep an eye on; she's practically the Official Singer/Songwriter of Google+.

The more you're here, the more you'll meet people that you find interesting and decide to add them. The more you interact with them, the more fun you'll have here.

Edit: Oh, can't believe I forgot this one. DO NOT ASK HOW TO WRITE ON SOMEONE'S WALL! There is no Wall. This isn't Facebook. Leave that mentality behind. You cannot post anything on someone's page. If there's a post you want them to see, tag them in it, and it will appear in their notifications.

2nd Edit (4/27/12): I'm re-posting this because I have a few things to add, mostly involving Hangouts. While many of us use this feature a lot (I'm in no less than three Hangouts daily), I've noticed some of you seem to be scared of them. Trust me; don't be. You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain by just jumping in and meeting people. Even if the Hangout isn't necessarily 'about' a particular subject, just jump in!

Here, I'll even help: http://goo.gl/NJUQP

Pick a Hangout, and join it. Just go for it, give it a shot. It's not like you're doing anything useful today, and besides, what have you got to lose?

Edit: Oh, people, this should help you out a bit too. Any Hangout that isn't On-Air you can join from most mobile devices with a front facing camera. That includes the iPhone 4, the iPhone 4s, and just about any Android device with a front camera and an Android OS of 2.3 or higher. I've become fond of joining Hangouts from my Evo 4G.
That's all I got for now, so again, welcome to Google+, and I'll catch you all later.

Edit (6/9/13): Since this post has apparently been resurrected, thought I should add a bit about Communities. That feature takes everything I've said in this post and pumps the volume considerably. You can come to G+, search for a community that matches your interest, and instantly have a vibrant stream that's just what you want to see. Personally I'd recommend the +Geeks of the Round Community (https://plus.google.com/communities/110450902622162721358),but I may be a bit biased.  You absolutely should join the Google+ Discuss Community (https://plus.google.com/communities/115758385206378551362) though; if you need help or have questions about G+, that's your first stop.
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78 comments
 
My biggest advice: don't over think/use circles. Don't spend too much time futzing with a taxonomy and trying to squeeze everything into a circle. Private, friends & family stuff aside, circles are best used to filter people you're following, rather than limit who you broadcast too.

Be bold. Public is your friend. 
 
Well, cat gifs won't even work on Facebook.....
 
Circles can quickly make this place sound too complicated for the average user. I shake my head every time I see a profile suggest what circle to put someone in. 
 
Actually forgot this, and I've also added it to this post: DO NOT ASK HOW TO WRITE ON SOMEONE'S WALL! There is no Wall. This isn't Facebook. Leave that mentality behind. You cannot post anything on someone's page. If there's a post you want them to see, tag them in it, and it will appear in their notifications.
 
That' why I closed my first account,Joost. I just made things too complicated for myself!
Greg Xu
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Truly well said. Facebook is where you connect with old friends. Google+ is where you find new ones.
+Google+ is all about openness and interaction.
 
+DeAno Jackson, very well written post, thank you. When I first signed up for Google + I tried to get a few Facebook friends to join but they weren't interested and now I'm happy that they weren't. One friend that I did talk in to joining Plus checked it out and hasn't been back, he said we Plusers are a snooty bunch, lol! Sad to say but he's somewhat correct, the intelligence level of post made on Google + are much higher than some of the Facebook crowd.
 
+Barry Wilkinson: Thank you. Not bad for a post I just wrote on a whim. *chuckles*

I agree that posts here are mostly vastly different from what one can expect on Facebook. I've often wondered why that is. I've got people on FB that make very interesting posts that really make you think before you answer. The problem is, no one responds to these. Make a post about something like So You Think You Can Dance?, and boom; responses. Which is exactly the opposite experience I've had here.
 
This post is spreading like wildfire...I never expected this when I wrote it, but it is freaking awesome to see! I hope this helps people.
 
I shared your post because I was struck by just how helpful it was to people in here. Well written, great pointers and easy to grasp. Enjoy the limelight. Your post reflects everything that G+ is striving to become. :D
Eddy Z.
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Very good post +DeAno Jackson , I never even considered the importance of filling out your profile and I can definitely see how it can affect the people you circle. I'll get on that soon as I have the chance. Thank you for sharing.
 
I'm not sure I agree with you. Indeed Google+ is NOT Facebook, but I still want some of my Facebook friends to join and be active on G+. I still have my Facebook account, but I have decided not to post there anymore, because I want to know what my friends are up to. If I want to keep them informed about me, I share with them on G+, using the e-mail option if they don't have an account.
I think that saying that G+ is to communicate merely with strangers about your interests is limited.
G+ can be a better version of FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, and much more. I think this is how Google sees it. For instance, the TV advert clearly promotes circles for people that you know in real-life.
 
+Max Madonia: Allow me to clarify my point. I'm not saying that you can't use it in that way whatsoever. Google+, as you say, is very open ended, and it absolutely can be used in that way...that is, if your friends and family were here. Unless you're in a fairly rare situation right now, chances are fairly good that they aren't, at least not yet. So if someone were to come here right now and immediately attempt to use this in the same manner they'd do for Facebook, they'd walk away disappointed.

I never meant to imply that this was the only way to use Google+, but consider the audience to which it was addressed. People used to Facebook simply aren't aware that a social site can be used in this manner because it's fairly discouraged on Facebook. This wasn't written in an attempt to narrow the focus of Google+, but to expand the horizons of people recently coming here from Facebook.

Does that make more sense?
 
+DeAno Jackson Makes more sense now. I just thought you were being a bit dismissive about Facebook in general and its audience in particular. FB has a real purpose, though I prefer G+.
 
Found this post using the search bar for "new google bar"...
 
hey.........my words exactly! er not exactly but quite the same !! loved the post! you have no idea how hard i have to try to make my friends understand that Google plus is wayyyyy more better than anything else! thank you for the awesome post....
 
Great post +DeAno Jackson! Thanks for the tip on searching. I have been trying to figure out how to find people/pages that are into/about running.
 
well written and amazing post. i had to come to your page and add you because i agreed with it so much and shared it.
cheers deAno.
 
Thank you for giving me food for thought about the "walls" and interaction! I recently blogged with the title "Google vs. Facebook pages - who's got the initiative?" (http://goo.gl/saiAJ) Maybe when G+ evolves and people learn to use it more effectively, things get better also for pages.
 
G+ evolving is the most interesting thing to me. I can't wait to see what new features and upgrades get added to the service. For most of last year, upgrades happened weekly. I wonder if we're still going to have that maintained?
 
This is probably the best post I've read this year (I reaed this tonight). Actually I agree every point of it and I HAVE to share it.
 
Great Post +DeAno Jackson Never joined Facebook. Just starting with G+ and like it very much. Ya +1 & shared :-)
 
+DeAno Jackson Found you through a long trail of reshares of your post. Love the clarity of your thinking and your willingness to tell it like it is.
 
Thanks for the shout out +DeAno Jackson! Singing for everyone here on G+ changed my life overnight. I adore the beauty, openness, energy and and kindess of our community. I'm so excited for everything we can do together in 2012!! :-)
 
I like the wall feature on Facebook, I'd use Google+ more if I could interact with people this way.
 
I do not come from facebook, in fact G+ is my first social network, but I found your post very interesting. Thank you.
 
+Steve Collison: What difference does that make to you? The only purpose in posting something on someone's Wall on FB served is so that not only could that person see it, but so could all of their friends. Why do you need that?
 
I miss the functuality of a wall in G+ as an admin for a Career Services page: in FB employers can post job offers straight on my wall, but not in G+ (see my earlier post or blog post "Google vs. Facebook pages - who's got the initiative?" http://goo.gl/saiAJ). Got an idea from your post+comments to try to teach my G+ page followers to tag my page in their post, if they wish me to share their content (eg. job offer).
 
+Tiina Niskanen: I recall reading that a few days ago (I think it was Tuesday). I think it's a bit of a tradeoff. As the admin, you'd have to pay attention to what posts you're tagged in and reshare them to make sure that everyone that has added the Career Services page can see it. More work, but I actually like the fact that no one except me can post something that can be seen by others on my profile page. If it's there, it's because I wished it to be. That means no spam, no crazy illicit material, no bullshit.
 
I guess that in our small country Finland (c. 5,4 M) the spam filter of FB has been enough: I don't remember any spammy posts on my Career Services wall during the 1,5 years it's been open (only 955 fans yet). Few spammy posts I've left hidden in the filter (wanted to keep them to see if there would appear some frequent spammer).
 
+Tiina Niskanen: I honestly wasn't even aware that FB had a spam filter. Unless one counts that stupid EdgeRank thing (don't even get me started). At any rate, in your position that problem wouldn't as as significant compared to large companies, like AT&T, for example, whose page on FB is almost always littered with spam. Nevertheless, I think the G+ page will end up being the better of the two. What helps a lot is that G+ public posts can appear in regular search results (I tried finding this very post on regular Google search the other day via its title, not signed it. It was the 4th result on the first page).
 
+DeAno Jackson , so on a business page you wouldn't let people comment your posts either in fear of spam? Spamwise it's the same thing to let people post on your wall directly or let them comment on your posts, isn't it?
 
On my posts? Of course. Just not on the page itself. If something is flatly on my page, it appears to have my approval. That's why spammers like FB so much; someone is far more likely to click a link if it seems to have the approval of someone they trust,

The difference is a comment won't pop up in the stream of someone that has you in a circle. A post would.
 
In FB I've understood that the employers' posts on my Career Services wall won't go in my fans' stream, only my page's posts do. That means that my fans need to visit the page to see the job offers there, which someone might argue is laboursome.

Giving customers possibility to post on the page, not only comment, makes the relationship more equal, though. Then it doesn't look like the business is shouting its message, but that it's more conversing, letting the other part take initiative, too. This I've understood to be one of the essentials of social media.

Edit: Previously with "your posts" in the end I meant "your posts as a page".
 
That's an interesting point. Perhaps Google should allow it, or at least make it an option. I wouldn't like it personally, but perhaps there are some, like you, who would be able to make use of it.
 
Very good post. It gave me the answer I have to give every day to my friends in real life that use Fb and to the most boring question I get from them: "Why don't you use Fb?" :P
 
+Justin Virly +Joost Schuur My first impressions and conclusions about G+ circles haven't much changed: I post public and hope that Google take care of the filtering for people with varying interests (eg hashtags came along quite quickly) - translator it already had (see my reasoning in the blog post "Google+ circles - talking vs. listening" http://goo.gl/uBv8d).
 
Thank You! Very useful information for some of us that are stuck in the parking garage!
 
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Great post! I'm really excited to see people using Google+ how it should be used :)
 
thanks for this article bro, i really appreciate. because i was really thinking like you said.  thinking like i was using facebook.
 
Thank you. I have been wandering around here for weeks wondering what's going on... you advice was needed. I'll finish my profile tomorrow.
 
Google + supports gifs? I'm totally in!

But to be honest, I really enjoy Google +, just like I enjoyed Facebook when it initially arrived. However, the overall perception of everything that people create is based on what they make of it. Yes, when Facebook began its existence it was a place where everyone can connect with people they already know and share some stuff with them. What is it now? A concentration of the very excrement that our society produces, a place where people live by their avatars pretending to be honest, to be better than they are. I really don't want to go deeper into this, since I lack the ability to express my thoughts in a meaningful way (that's why usually no one understands me).

What I like about the state of Google Plus now is that it successfully follows the very definition of the internet, which is sharing. I have always respected the way Google treated that aspect of this powerful network and I hope it will stick to its principles up till the end.

Thank you for your tips.
 
Oh wow, I can't believe someone resurrected this post! I need to edit it; there should be a section on Communities.
 
Classic post. Since your writing google+ grew to #2 and the migration over is still going on, too
 
just joined google + and I am trying to understand how it works....
 
For better or worse, the genie is out of the bottle.  Compared to FB, G+ is unintuitive, bloody confusing and overall hard to use.  It's a niche network for G+ers to tell each other how much they love G+.  That's it.  The only real concern is that the fairly large commitment of resources Google is making to it might actually imperil the entire operation when G+ finally fails.
 
With all due respect +Stephen Tuck, you haven't been here long enough to even make that call.  I'm not even sure why you bothered making that comment.  Google+ is Google; it's not going to fail and it's not going anywhere. 
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