This Week In The Google+ Help CommunityCircles: what are they, what do they do, and how can I use them
Hey everyone! Time for the latest Google+ Help Weekly Report
, where we discuss a trending topic within the Google+ Help Community!What are circles?
Google+ was originally designed to mirror the real world much more faithfully than other social networks. The idea is that in real life, the nature of the conversations we have vary, depending on whom we’re talking to. You don’t normally share photos of your family members with your book club, or discuss web design with your friends at the gym, for example.
Circles were supposed to model groups of people in your life that share common interests. So you could set up a Family circle and a Book Club circle and a Web Design circle and a Friends At The Gym circle. Some individuals may be in more than one circle. You may have a family member who is also a member of your book club and also goes to the gym with you.
When you make posts, you can target the specific groups who might be interested in reading them, and spare the ones who might not be. Also, you could temporarily limit your view of incoming posts to a specific circle, and see only those kinds of discussions.Who can see my stuff?
When you share a post or a photo, you can say which circles or individuals are able to view it. That doesn't mean they will
see it, it means they can
see it. If you want no restrictions, you can make it a Public share, and anyone can see it.
For non-Public shares, you can choose Your circles or Extended circles. If you choose Your circles, everyone in all of your circles (there’s a setting to exclude some circles from this category) will be able to view your post. Extended circles is Your circles + everyone in “their” circles. If you want to be more selective, you can choose any number of specific circles or individuals. Who can really see my stuff?
If you share to Public, the people most likely to see it are:
those put you in one of their circles
those who look at your profile
those who have in their circles someone who +1’ed your post
Also, if your post sees a lot of activity (comments, reshares, +1’s) it gets on the “What’s hot” list, and may be presented to anyone who opens the Google+ Explore tab and clicks “What’s hot”, or allows “What’s hot” content to appear in their stream, even if they don’t have you in any of their circles.
If your share is not to Public, the people who can see it are limited to the circles you specified. Of those, the most likely to see it are:
those put you in one of their circles
those who look at your profileWhose stuff will I see?
Adding someone to your circles is basically subscribing to see their posts in your home stream. It doesn't guarantee you’ll see all their posts.
The mix is determined by Google’s relevance algorithm, which seems to be in a constant state of change and refinement. It can be influenced by an amount (none, more, standard, fewer) that you can dial in for the circle the person is a part of. To control the amount, click the gear icon that appears when you view the circle’s posts.
The connection doesn't have to be two-way, someone you circle doesn't necessarily have to add you to any of their circles.
Also in the mix are the “What’s hot” posts. As with circles, you can dial the amount (none, more, standard, fewer) by going to the What’s hot page and clicking the gear icon.What else can I do with Circles?
You can control the visibility of the elements of your profile. For example, you can restrict your employment history to friends and family (assuming you’re maintaining circles of them).
You can customize who can invite you to hangouts.Can I use circles for secret conversations?
Circles provide great access control for keeping discussions away from those who would be bored or uninterested. But remember, anyone who does have access could make a screenshot and send it wherever they want. So if you have information that really must be kept quiet, your best plan is to keep it far away from the Internet.
Remember, what happens on the Internet stays on the Internet!What about shared circles? Can they help me get a larger audience?
First, what are your reasons for using Google+. Business? Pleasure? Camaraderie? In most cases, follower quality is far more important than quantity. A large follower count looks like social proof, but it doesn't necessarily lead to more engagement. Some strategies for increasing follower count involve sharing huge circles, but if you add one of these it ends up cluttering your stream with stuff you don’t care about or engage with, and it cheapens the whole experience.
On the other hand, a circle that has been carefully curated can enrich your stream. Look for the ones that are curated for an area you’re interested in, by someone you trust. They usually contain fewer than 100 profiles.
Top Contributor +John Skeats
covers this topic in depth herehttps://plus.google.com/+JohnSkeats/posts/YDKh7WkimrSHow do I remove a person from a circle?
This help article explains how to remove someone from a single circlehttps://support.google.com/plus/answer/1047849?hl=en
To remove them from all your circles (from the desktop) search for them in Google+, then use the dropdown menu at the upper right of one of their posts and choose “Remove from circles”How do I remove myself from someone else’s circles?
Short of asking them, you can’t. Even if you could, there’s no point because it wouldn't affect your stream. If they’re harassing you, you can report or block them.How can I use circles to improve my experience on Google+?
Your circles determine most of what you see in your home stream. Look through your stream and try to get a feel for what’s worth looking at and what’s just filler. Google’s relevance algorithm tries to prioritize what’s interesting to you, but circles have a huge influence on where it finds the raw material. Also, remember for each circle, you can suggest to the algorithm what proportion of content you’d like to see, from none
suggests this clever Flow System method for managing the content that flows in your stream.https://plus.google.com/+MartinShervington/posts/6ep1uCSBTF5What haven’t we talked about?
We haven’t talked about Communities. Communities are similar to Circles, but focused more on specific topics. When you join a Community, posts from the Community appear in your stream, and posts you make to the Community appear in other Community members’ streams.
Communities is a huge topic, best left to a another post otherwise this one will become a monster.
► Tip of the WeekThe quality of your profile is a key factor in someone’s decision to circle you+Google+ Top Contributors
recommends the following guidelines for setting up how you appear across Googlehttps://plus.google.com/103006385532664768608/posts/XkowQUb472x
Thanks for all of your questions and insights this week. Special thanks to everyone who helped respond to these trending topics this week. Make sure to check back again next week when +Kim Beasley
will help to highlight the best questions and answers on the community. #weeklyreport #googleplusprotip #besthelpontheweb