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As I'm visiting each one of the 5,000 people I was following I'm noticing a trend: many women aren't posting publicly, but are rather posting to private circles. I pick the women out here, because it's happening at a far greater rate with the women I'm following than with the men.

I can see having conversations about this from a number of different angles.

But, honestly, it hurts the women because a lot of times they are sharing really great things but if you share items with me in a circle I can't easily reshare them with the public which does the following:

1. You don't get credit for bringing value to the world.
2. You lose networking opportunities. Which DO lead to job opportunities (and other opportunities, too, my family has hung out with many people we've met online and those experiences have been very valuable to all concerned).
3. We lose the value of the information you are sharing with your private circles.

I understand why women feel scared of being public, though. Guys are dogs. I remember talking with folks at Microsoft's Netmeeting team (the Google Hangout technology of 1996) and they used to test that product by using a female name. Guys would call off the hook.

Some might claim that letting women use non-real names would help.

Well, yes, that would. Except that women who hid behind fake names that didn't have female connotations wouldn't get credit and would lose the networking opportunities.

Anyway, just something I've noticed and thought it would be worth having a conversation about. By the way, I'm looking to follow great female geeks who DO participate here. Please post in comments the names of those you've found.
Christa Laser's profile photoNicole Simon's profile photoHumberto Gauna's profile photoGregory Barr's profile photo
I post nearly everything in public and in English, just in Finnish language sometimes to my FINNs circle. This way I have 'met' some splendid people from all around the world and had great discussions, too!
I do post everything publicly so far... but have noticed that also
Good point! a lot of my reshares have to be posted to extended circles, simply because they are originally shared limited.. :(
+Robert Scoble You are right though, most people that I follow or that follow me usually post in a limited way. But I think it has more to do with the fact that they are trying to make the information more revelant to a group of people than to everyone.

I know I once had an awkward moment because I posted an inside joke publicly.
I believe the fact that you can choose to not have a public online life, but still connect with people in your circles is one of Google+'s greatest strengths. Though some people may lose networking opportunities, that is a a decision that is completely up to them. They are offered as much privacy as they want.
You'll find that it's mostly women who want pseudonyms too ... but we are not allowed that privilege ... we aren't looking for notoriety ...
Well I'm posting publically +Robert Scoble ) head on over to my stream and read all you like ;) Got a nice article on the TouchPad waiting that I'd love opinions on :)
I don't get the whole sharing limited thing. I do share some personal stuff to limited circles, yes. Such as stuff related to, well private parties or the likes, or maybe some German-spoken geocaching stuff only for my geocaching circles. But generally speaking, I try to share in public, and I can't see the reasoning in 'sharing' everything only to a limited audience. But I find that those who do it are those who would want to control their followers as on FB, which I don't get either...
Hmmm. I post to public whenever I can and I do that because otherwise people who might want to follow me otherwise would not see any posts from me. I don't think fake names are the answer.
I always posts publicly, but maybe i'm the minority.
Many G+ users publish no or rare posts, but are very active in comments.
My understanding from the press is there are no women on G+. lol. +Robert Scoble remember that survey you did about how many people you follow on Twitter. It would be interesting if you did the same survey on G+
+Robert Scoble Would you advice everybody to post everything to the public - unless there's something private being shared? For instance... me:

1) I'm a political blogger and columnist. It's what I do first and foremost. A lot of people who have circled me have done so because they enjoy my writings about politics.
2) I'm also a new media guy, who loves talking about tech stuff, learning from others, and exploring different social networking sites
3) I'm an entrepreneur who obviously finds it useful to have conversations with other entrepreneurs
4. I'm into photography

Now, the problem with number one is that some of the people in groups 2-4 may not be ... into politics, or perhaps even have completely different views. That's not a problem for me, but I've noticed that many others feel differently, taking politics personally. This is one of the reasons that I'm starting to use my politics circles more and more to post political stuff to - to keep it separated.

What do you think? Is that smart or just throw everything on their publicly?
What's weirder is that 19 comments popped up this fast, at a time very late at night.
I post publicly, I am fairly geek-y, although only just started with G+, so not many posts yet-but will keep at it! Please feel free to follow me!
As both a blogger and a photographer, I post my photos publicly, but not much else. Most of my female blogging friends don't want to post anything publicly ... and this is a legitimate concern because we're often putting a LOT of information about ourselves on our blogs - but not using our real names so we aren't "found" by the occasional stalker/freak. I've had to deal with a reader tracking me down and feeling enamored just because he had been reading my blog. It's not fun. Do you have suggestions?
Possibly it could be since women are more relationship based and many people are waiting to come over from Facebook, they dont have enough of their friends on here.
Great subject, I wonder if being afraid of harassment is the reason for women to not share public... Maybe they just like to share things in a more intimate surrounding and are not so concerned with 'going public' as man.
Maybe we will read it here :-)
Robert, one thing is that, if Google has created circles, it means that they have done some research and people wants to share with people they know. And especially women. And what's why Google has created circles. There was a demand for that. just my 2 cents.
+Robert Scoble Once someone is Verified on G+, does Google freeze their About page or somehow ensure continued validity?
I do like to post as "Public" when sharing ideas and information that I find on G+.
However, if there is a message that is direct to a group or a person, I will take the option and make a limited post directly to those people.
+Robert Scoble I strongly disagree that women with pseudonyms lose the networking opportunities. I've seen it myself; we get WAY farther ahead because by the time we meet, we've already established the quality of our thoughts. Too many gatekeepers screen us out on gender.

I've lived it for twenty years using "raincoaster." I've seen the difference it makes. Heck, my speaker bio at Wordcamp is under "raincoaster," same as Northern Voice.

But you're right it's been discussed to death. I only hope everyone who works at Google+ is getting it from all sides right now and they're as sick of the debate as we all are, regardless what side we're on.
i actually use my circles for reading more than posting.. i post to everyone and i read by circle.. so if i want to catch up on screenwriting stuff, i have a circle for that.. photogs.. a circle for that... etc
@Nate, it's always daytime somewhere else....
@Robert: I didn't realize I had to be a geek to be on G+ but maybe it helps.
I just enjoy finding out how this works. And maybe by posting publicly I will find that out to a greater extent. Thanks for noting.
Almost all my posts are public ~ unless I am posting something of a specific interest to a particular group (i.e. Work related question to co-workers, etc...).
Oh... but, you are not following me, so I guess my posting preferences won't weigh much with your research... ;)

Edit: Whoa ~ you have really trimmed the circles of peeps you are following!
... at any rate, once you collect names of 'great female geeks', are you going create a list of recommendations for fellow female geeks to be able to check out? I'm sure there are similar lists already; but, it's nice to be able to check out new names and faces! :)
+Lorraine Murphy I understand exactly what you mean.!! I have decided to give the public posting a shot here.. I will be doing a good amount of blocking ,
I see they fixed the whole block issue - if you block someone they can't comment on your posts - see +Jesse Stay comment on this
+Steven Streight Yep ! Its unfortunate that the new definition of a troll is " one who has a different opinion than the most popular one " people simply no-longer have the right to have a different opinion.
+Taraka Anil Sabbineni No it was not a contrary opinion, it was your blatant and transparent attempt to whine like a bitch and be inflammatory. Do you endorse female circumcision?
+Robert Scoble maybe they are afraid of stalkers since they have to use their real names... i have already had a stalker incident on here and had to report it.. unfortunately... i have yet to have anything like that happen on twitter or facebook, but it didn't phase me too much..
+Petra Hildebrandt +Robert Scoble OK, that makes sense: share only with a specific circle when it's something 'private', something you don't want others to see. If, however, it's OK for public consumption, share it with the world. Thanks for the feedback!
You are all partially correct.

1. I post Security related posts to other Security and tech people. Who else cares about an obscure vulnerability?

2. Women get stalked online. Walk a mile in my shoes.

3. Women get bashed to a much greater degree online. Look at the troll who popped up in this one conversation.

If my post is personal, it's not going to be public. Too many bad experiences in the past.
Are the women who are privately posting doing so deliberately? I know a lot of people, men and women, who are still finding the circles concept a little confusing.

I wonder if age is a factor and younger women are more likely to post publicly being more socially savvy and aware that you can block people.

Who knows (not me as I go against your trend). I am going to ask the question to my circles - but will as always make it a public post.
+Steven Streight Did I say any thing against women ???? Why can't you think straight ??? I only talked against sexism. Check a dictionary what it means !!! I blame myself for even picking a conversation with you . Bye
+Liz Christopher the women I know who post to circles do so deliberately. They say they don't want to "clutter the stream" but I don't understand that thinking.

I'm really getting a perverse kick out of the fact that a man's post has picked up a male sexist troll. It's hilarious.
I agree with Carole, not only does this apply to women but to everyone. Sharing too much openly is not a good thing. I remember there was a website that used 4 square to tell if someone was not home, perfect for planning a heist. You have to be smart as to how you balance your sharing.
im confuse. one can check people post to circles we dont belong too if they post publicly? i thought circles were always private. need to check again
I post publicly. I help manage devChix which is a group of female programmers. Some of them post privately and some just read.
Perhaps women should not post so much sensitive information and personal updates, even in "private" circles and direct messages -- ???
+Carole Wozny I've been stalked by a female (and she still will make any attempt at harassment). So I can understand keeping things private. Unfortunately, if someone has it out for you, they can really be a pain. If she were to find this, she would chime in right now and slander me. She's posted on my work's website, contacted my's terrible to have to live in such privacy.
I think that having the option to release things just to our circles is an amazing draw that fb just didn't really afford. Now that we can subdivide our followers, friends, aquaintances, etc, we are empowered to use that feature.

I had an experience just yesterday with some friends who misinterpreted a public tech discussion as some sort of sociopolitical/personal attack. If I'd been posting to a circle that may not have happened. But I'm not letting that bad experience, prevent me from public posting on tech and other things I enjoy commenting about.
Hi Robert...we met at a Tweetup in Indianapolis a few years ago...always nice to see you! I always post to Public! Have a great weekend everyone! :-)
I'm male, and me too only share when I feel the thing I'm speaking about is worthy. And for very specialized arguments I have specific circles. Security is one, photografy is another and so on.

Even if I'm male, I'm used to have female avatar and name in many games, and I can feel a little bit of the pain female can receive online.

If we want more female actively sharing we have to help, there are lot of ways to help, a strong and vigilant community can help a lot.
+Liz Christopher I agree in what you're saying: Many people don't realize that if they are reading the stream from a circle and then decide to post or share, G+ assumes it's for that circle only. If you don't change the settings to public, you'll just post to that same circle even if you change to the public stream.
Thanks for the info. Wasn't aware of the non sharing ability via private circles. It all makes sense now. Thanks
+Robert Scoble - you asked a question ... I answered - it is relevant because it's part of why women don't post publicly. In our own discussion (among those pro-nym) we've discussed that many women are not joining because they can't use pseudonyms ... I'll bow out now ... just wanted to respond.

I do want to be public - I just don't want the public to have all access to me - I post publicly ... with this name.
Right now I don't have much reason to post to individual circles, except for that one circle that gets the NSFW, politically incorrect stuff. I suspect this might change as G+ membership grows and I add more non-geeks like friends and family to my circles.
But --- don't you get the option to choose what Circles you want to Share something to? What do you mean Google assumes "it's for that Circle only"????
+Robert Scoble I know, it's more about the pervasive nature. She is the most persistent person, she will make multiple accounts and get her dig anyway she can. She's a sociopath and good at convincing people she's a an uncanny degree. So it becomes better to be private than to mitigate the damage she creates.
I am not using my real name online because I had a stalker in flash and bones for nearly 10 years. Making up a fake surname for g+ and facebook gave me the freedom I was looking for ;)
Someday perhaps human beings will evolve to let go of the petty behaviors. Of course, watching Idiocracy doesn't give me much hope =)
?Time to mention Women of Google+? Btw, early reputation on G+ was 'sausagefest'. So I promised to use my invites to change the balance. Without my efforts, the balance is now up to about 33%. Your post +Robert Scoble will help. Oh, and the great conversations that happen with lots of women participating.
Regardless of sex if someone is being so obnoxious to another person that it would drive them completely off the platform or into a cut down private version of it then isn't that a problem? There's a difference between argumentative dialog or disagreement and hateful cyber-bullying or creepy cyber-stalking. If I ended up feeling that way and couldn't sort it out myself I'd escalate it to Google or go to the wider community to get a second opinion or ten and make sure I wasn't being overly sensitive. After all this isn't the perfect medium for conversation and discussion. Not all of us are great at getting our ideas across in writing and misunderstandings can happen. But pretty extreme leap from nuances or out of context to something freaky enough to make you want to drop out or stay all private. Maybe in the future we'll need social media peacekeepers to enforce the rules and keep the peace?
I am not able to make out - from where the stats are coming. Do you have multiple accounts and sampling has been done before forming a prospect.

And when you have formed this opinion, how do you suggest Google can provide better feeling of security and privacy while making original credentials flow through stream of sharing ? The problem you have highlighted is unique - how much do you think Google+ architectonics of sharing is contributing to this phenomenon and what is the alternate that has best of the current and new features of sharing ?
I mainly post publicly. Yes, I've had issues with stalkers in the past (and present), but for the most part, it has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. Serendipity and leaving yourself open for random encounters is one of the things that makes social networking so wonderful for collaboration. Imagine being at a cocktail party but refusing to talk to anyone you don't already know. The random stranger next to you may end up being the perfect business partner, but you'd never know if you don't allow for that opportunity.

For me, transparency, radical openness, and accessibility is part of my identity and brand as a scientist and writer. It has been amazing for my career so far, and I don't intend on letting a few obsessed men (or women) stop me from my way of doing science and networking. Of course I am selective about the type of thing I post, but generally I assume the whole world might read everything I put out there.

But isn't that the whole idea? :)
I gotta say I'm a bit puzzled/annoyed about these discussions on women being bashed on online in a greater extent than men. Not saying that it isn't so but by the fact that descent people (both men an women, but perhaps particularly men) participating in the same thread isn't speaking up to a greater extent.

As a side note, isn't the blocking feature in G+ help in most of these situations when men harass and stalk women?
:) You've made me look at sharing to Public feature. I wasn't paying attention.
+Steven Streight Oh yes, if you delete the suggested Circle g+ has set already in the box and change it to public. Try it out: Post to one circle and for the next post g+ 'remembers' it?
+Taraka Anil Sabbineni You insulted +Robert Scoble by trolling him with "Now I hate you for promoting sexism." which is classic troll talk. You hate him???

Robert is anything but sexist, not a patriarchal pig nor a feminist extremist. Grow up little boy.
Yes, the insecurity that some women may feel in posting publicly is quite understandable. However, I also agree with Robert that sharing information publicly has its own benefits.
Xah Lee
if i may say so, from the ethology perspective, this traces to the behavior difference between the sexes.

males, are showy, loud, because it has evolutionary advantages. e.g. attracting females.

females, are not like that, because they are the chooser of partners.

and how this relate? ultimately, because females can have only one offspring per year, while males can have potentially hundreds. (in the past, kings indeed have hundreds; and today, male porn stars except contraception)

meanwhile, females, are more inclined to establish connected social networks (in particular with other females). Because, by nature they are physically the weaker sex. Establishing friends, close circles, help them form a protective ring (from predators). (thus, you see girls on the phone, outing together, etc.)

in summary, this is just the nature of things.
Well, I like to balance a public persona versus one that I reveal to people I actually know. But that's mostly because I'm sort of a minor "Internet personality" (very very minor) so that's why I find I have to manage it that way. But different strokes, etc.

Re: The cocktail party scenario: I am exactly the sort of person that does only talk to people I know at parties. Because that's why I go to these parties -- to catch up with them. I do like getting to know a few people, but mostly I go to parties not to network, but to see people I haven't seen in awhile. So, like I said.. different strokes.
I have noticed that too - most of the people I have circled are women - and very few have any public comments at all - and a lot of them are running businesses. Most of my comments are public - unless I have something very specific to say to a certain circle.
+Björn Lindahl Blocking does nothing so long as people can make new accounts. My stalker has many accounts and many platforms, and likely more than I even know. Sure, you can keep blocking them, but it's just more work than it's worth; easier to just keep private.
What bothers me most about the unbalanced men/women public commentary on G+ is how the resultant public chatter on Google Plus could easily distort Google search results (if Google starts to integrate the data being linked and discussed here).
A quick visual count on my Android of uniques posting comments to this thread so far: 28 females & 32 males. That's by far the most balanced by gender I've seen on a big public post. Great conversation yet again!

Does this indicate lots more female g+ users than early reports suggested? 
Xah Lee
PS a question. you follow 5k still? and from another post few days ago, you also said so and it shows. But now if i go to your profile, it says you follow only 306. I probably missed a post? is there some g+ technique to hide some or some such?
nope...humans keep getting worse and worse, more violent, warmongering, racist, etc.... devolving.
How about adding a "thumbs down" button to the profile page +Robert Scoble? so that women, and men too, can sanction someone for inappropriate behavior, maybe they can even write in a comment to Google+ team via the button.
+Xah Lee You can control which of your circles show... so may impact on what it looks like for followers.

If you want to publicly only share certain circles that you have, feel free. There may be reasons to hide other circles from that count, such as family, or personal friends that may not want to be publicized. Or work colleagues.
Ron Bee
+Darrel Sukhdeo It's in effect now. Go to a persons' profile and on the left you'll see a 'report this' button under their picture.
Not the place to discuss pseudonyms? Then that stops you being able to connect the privacy/pseudonym issue with the phenomenon you've noticed and I think that's incredibly relevant.

I have a stalker who has threatened the life of my daughter yet I am a geek who needs to be here for my work. So I post to extended circles under my real name and have a second pseudonymous account that posts only to friends. I think that your perception of the way that people/many men use G+ as being the Only True Way (not what you've said, but how it reads to me) means you are missing some if the ways/reasons other people/many women use G+. Many won't care about jobs/fame but rather about connection/sociality/communication. 
+Rob Larkin alright I understand that the blocking isn't totally fool proof but if a person try to stalk you here on G+, blocking is just two clicks away. It feels like the stalker have to create a lot of accounts in order to keep up with you blocking them? I might sound very naive and I never had this problem but I got a bit curious on how these people do. Oh well, I'll stick to the topic of discussion from now on.
Ron Bee
Why does gmail allow a pseudonym for that account but will not allow the same for G+ ? hmmm...
+Ron Bee When gmail was developed, there were different consultants than when G+ conceptualization and execution happened
+Robert Scoble What do you think of the Plusser's lists, G+ users lists, Pluserati etc?
I made a list of Finnish Plussers and collected 33 people from my Social Media circle who are posting publicly and might be worth following, as newbies might find it difficult to know who to circle at first. But anyone can add to that list (now 185 peeps) and it seems one journalist was very pissed off to be in it, even though she has several SoMe accounts in different medias. I didn't add her, someone else did. There has been a very nasty discussion about it in the Finnish Circles as she blamed me in no uncertain words and it dampened my enthusiasm considerably.
All the others on the list are happy and many even wrote that they would have been disappointed if not present...

Give me opinions, folks, please. Are these lists necessary, nice to have or not?
Should I delete mine, am I offending the community? It says on top who owns the list so it would have been very easy just to send me a message and ask to be removed from the list.
+Robert Scoble I post for Everyone on Google+ pretty consistently. It's more interesting that way. Love your posts. Looking forward to more of them. Will try to make mine interesting for everyone too.
+Björn Lindahl The biggest problem with a stalker isn't actually what they would do, say here for example. I mean worst they could do is post some junk and I can block them. If they were to comment here and I had them blocked, everyone else would see the comments, but not me. The real damage a stalker does is psychological, by getting into your head. My stalker is someone I was in a relationship with, so it's different than a random Internet person, but the effect is similar.

Prior to this happening, I wasn't quite able to understand how much it can affect a person. So in the end, I just keep things private, also because someone who is determined to rail you will use any public info against in any way they can (referring to a public post that isn't really a personal one).

Anyway, I've hijacked this thread enough! I guess it comes down to the person, some people can easily tune out the trolls or stalkers; others are more affected and prefer to avoid any interaction with them..even if it's just seeing that they have done or said something as it can trigger a PTSD-like response and make it difficult to just feel relaxed.
+Rob Larkin Actually your posts were very interesting, I've never heard in detail how stalking affects a guy. Men and Women are more similar than we like to admit.

+Xah Lee we are not the "weaker sex". I haven't even heard that term except in 100 year old literature.
+Ron Bee Heh, fortunately you won't get anything in a stream from me...ya know, private and all :-P
Public stream for me is only sharing and re sharing stuff .. mostly i would use privates circles etc..It gives you better and appropriate feedback than a public stream. and in the future it would increase as it will be open to all.. So private share for real communication well directed discussions and better feedback ..public stream for fun and information.

And for women its of obvious reasons why not to share publicly their are trolls everywhere and geek trolls are more dangerous..:P..

Though for public posters like you it is different quite evidently.
There are also lot of women that just made an account but don't use it at all, at least in my close friends. I've managed to persuade them to open G+ account, but most of them don't see the purpose of posting on G+ if they are doing the same on FB.
Xah Lee
+Robert Scoble +Victor Goff after 10+ min, i finally found out how to hide some circles from public view. Thanks for the lead. For those who don't know yet: (the setting isn't in your circle page) Go to your profile page, click Edit Profile, then click your circle on the left, then you can check-mark each circle.
We need an exclude certain circles option when posting. There are many posts I want to make public but know it will be irrelevant to one or two circles so I end up posting privately to my other circles. 
Very good point Robert, and great thast you brought this up. I think it's important for us guys to let the girls know that we don't accept anti social behavior from the other guys. I think therefore the best policy would be naming and shaming of delinquents. I have asked the ladies in my circles what they would think of that kind of policy. I think g+ can be the sort of place where we can introduce this type of etiquette. Does this also have something to do with Xeni Jardin?
+Jeremy Couch I agree... Or perhaps when trying to plan a surprise part, excluding one family member may be helpful, for example.

+Xah Lee You could have asked me, I would have been happy to save you a couple of clicks. :)
Except that women who hid behind fake names that didn't have female connotations wouldn't get credit and would lose the networking opportunities
Why do you say that? There's nothing to say that they can't let you know their legal name once they get to know you, or when they meet you in person. So long as they name they are using is persistent, they get just as many networking opportunities as you do. Yes, it's more complicated and leads to more surprises, but I don't see it being particularly detrimental to networking. Pistachio, IdentityWoman, The Bloggess…they all network very well, and although they don't hide their real names, they also don't use them on social networks. I only know the name of one of them, and that because I know her personally.

Using a partial or constructed name is a way of controlling who gets to know your legal name. Among the people I regularly converse with using my pseudonym, there are some people whom I would never trust with my legal name. There are others who know who I am and follow this account as well. But the point is, just like in "real" life, I get to control that access. That's a freedom we take for granted offline, one which we exercise every day as we talk to people or simply walk down the sidewalk, and it's one that that Facebook and Google are trying to take away.
+Robert Scoble Do you have a time machine to be able to put all the work in organizing your circles (visiting 5000 people!) and sharing your posts?
Ron Bee
+Jeremy Couch You can do this already. As you post, look below and you can decide who receives it. You can add or remove circles as you wish.
+Robert Scoble I wonder what you mean by controls. In comparison with facebook and twitter g+ already has a lot more options and granularity. And it's quite intuitive, I wonder how much more controls you can add without it becoming too bloated. There is a line where technical functional controls stop and where general civility and understanding towards each other step in.
Ron Bee
Robert Scoble has an app for that.. lol
Not sure I can be considered a geek :)
But I'm here hehe

I do share some things publicly, namely albums created by myself. Other topics depend a lot on the subject, where they came from, and so on.

Wouldn't it be the case that people just worry a lot on copyrights and individual recognition rather than sharing what they think is good?
Are they insecure on the quality of their work?
Would they rather spread the news through individual circles to somehow ensure their name is attached to whatever they share wherever it goes?
+Robert Scoble I am used to sharing photos - flickr, SmugMug, etc. so that's what I share publicly. I find it easier to engage in conversations like this that are outside of photo sharing here in this thread - Right now I would not make this comment on my own stream. Because in this thread I feel like I am in a bar where I don't know anyone - but the people here seem like good folk who will help me out if needed. If I posted these thoughts on my own profile I would be all on my own.

Re: your comment on being able to restrict who can comment on your posts, I definitely prefer the disqus model. I would be worried about creating some kind of walled garden - albeit one with glass walls that the excluded (but not blocked) could see into but not be heard by those inside.

G+ is like being in a public space where you can speak to anyone openly or you can just post privately to them - like waiting until they are on their own to discreetly mention something to them. Example: a photographer posted a link to his photosite asking for feedback - his pricing was set to at print cost only and as a fellow Smugmugger I realised that he needed to fix that quick. I sent him a private post rather than call this out on his public post.

Having to friend people or follow people to private message/ interact is annoying and itself causes stress of why am I not friended back. It causes people to set false expectations of one another, set up relationships too soon - as it is right now people can interact without having to circle one another - if they are interacting in the same conversations, they will naturally form closer connections and circle when it feels right and won't have to do so much cleaning of their circles because they will circle more of the right people for them.
Twitter didn't take-off till the woman arrived
+Robert Scoble Ok, clear. I see your point of view on the comments system. As a super power user g+ does not pack the punch that it should have. For the average user though it should be good enough for the moment.
That's interesting....Doesn't apply to me...I chuck everything out to Public! lol
Even from early childhood -- whether it is nurture or nature -- women tend to have a mid-sized group of really close friends, whereas men tend to have one huge group of acquaintances and then one or two very, very close friends.

tbh, you could simply be observing something that is related simply to the differences in how men and women communicate.
A comment I get here by +Caspar Kleijne is that the ladies are more savvy in using circles and that maybe g+ is more suited for everyone instead of just the big powerusers.
A lot of guys are really bad at talking to women, and I've seen many awkward and inappropriate comments on G+. It is really unfortunate too, because a lot of those guys are (probably) decent, they just don't say things very well.

For people to feel safe posting publicly here, the environment needs to be welcoming and not negative. I think this means we have to help each other get better at posting friendly comments (even if we disagree), and we need to help each other learn how to deal with bad manners.

Social networks don't automatically come with the social skills to use them well.
I'm reminded of a scientific study into the proportion of players in MMOs who adopt a game gender different from their RL gender. The common view is that many in-game females are in males in RL however the study claimed that the percentage of women pretending to be men was far greater than men pretending to be women. Sadly the study's methods didn't stand up well to scientific scrutiny and wasn't widely reported (maybe there are new studies out there now that have been done better).

The study claimed that, as many have said in this post, that women adopt male identities in online environments as a way to avoid unwanted male (sexual) attention. I've certainly had my share of unwanted male attention online as have just about every other woman i've talked to online.
+Robert Scoble You are very welcome to include me in your geek female/tech journo/analyst circle:-)
I was discussing this very topic yesterday, but applied to real life networking. Same problem there: guys network well, women fail to do it.
The example put forward by this male industry fellow (within a big consulting firm) was the following: the female/male ratio for new hires is 60/40. Five years later, female workers are still doing a great job, but not making it to the top.
Why? Nothing to do with skills, but rather in the overbelief that professional skills and a work well done is more than enough to move up. They basically miss out on the networking game.
@Douglas Grubbs - It's hard to understand WHY YOU don't understand why some people use fake names. Have you never read any history? Have you never heard that in many countries people are tortured or imprisoned because of their beliefs??? Where have you been hiding your head??
Very good post. +Robert Scoble, how did you come up with the idea to begin this study? Interesting.
In my opinion Context is the whole point with circles, and I don't agree with +Robert Scoble's suggestion to publish almost everything publicly. Sounds like Facebook to me, having to browse through tons of uninteresting stuff to find the goodies. What I love the most about Google+ so far is that my stream is always full of interesting things to read, and very little of the typical Facebook 'having a hot dog now, tastes like the hot dog I had yesterday' junk posts that are totally uninteresting to all but possible the closest buddies. If everyone posted everything in public we'd soon have the same noise level here as on Facebook.
Thinking about how to use circles. If I were running a [public] blog I would of course make all related posts public to promote it, but also keep my daily 'friends and family' nonsense in the friends and family circles to spare my followers. But what if I'm also very keen on chess and follow a great number of chess geeks? I'd most likely post my thoughts on chess to my chess circle. If they share my chess related posts, fine, its more likely to be interesting to their readers than mine, and if some of their readers add me they'll most likely end up in my chess circle too. The alternative would be to have a altogether separate account for chess, but that's not the way Google+ is intended, right? Using circles is a win-win for everybody, including Google.

Sure, there are things that need to be addressed with circles, and I'm sure Google is already working on improvements. What new features would you like to see?
Megan V
I post off and on public items and then not public items. I usually try and tag location I am near to people in the Chicagoland area can see my public post. Most of the time I've only had chicagoans add me to a circle. I get a few here and there from different places because maybe I've posted a comment on someone else's status update. Ill try and post some public topics.. Ive tried to do a question of the day but it seemed to have home unnoticed and untouched. When I bring up specific things for people go discuss then I get the sound of crickets. Those have been posted publicly as well. Now when I talk about random pointless stuff going on in my day or how nice th weather is.. suddenly my comments and Google plus light up.. ill try doing a question of the day again but I'm doubting it will go anywhere or be answered. 
Wow, +Robert Scoble, you really do have some sort of mental block when it comes to pseudonyms, don't you?

If a woman decides to call herself "Jack Jill" and publicly posts content under that name, and someone likes it and decides to reshare it or start a conversation with her about it, how is she not getting credit for her work or losing that networking opportunity? Is the responder somehow unwittingly contacting a different human being?

A name is just a bunch of letters conveniently crammed together to label something. Really, is there any functional difference between:

1. A name someone chooses for themselves and uses online long enough to become known by that name.
2. A name someone chooses for themselves and goes down to the courthouse the next day to get it legally changed.

I say there isn't a difference. Unless what you're really saying is that women only get credit for doing things when they have female-sounding names, which does a great disservice to women with names like "Alex." But then again, G+'s "real name" policy has been demonstrably proven to be nothing more than a "sounds like a real name" policy, so perhaps that's what you're saying after all. Comments?
I've been thinking about this as well +Robert Scoble I posted publicly at first but then I was worried I was spamming people so I created circles and put some thought into what I was sharing with whom. (This is the point of circles... no?) It's worked nicely so far, but I don't know how new people can get interested in my stream if I only share to certain circles. I've added info about my interest to my profile but a keyword/tagging option would be much better.

While I agree that it's important for women to be well represented here, I'm not sure that "women of Google" type lists are the answer. I added my name to one or two of these lists and that's when I started to notice an influx of male followers who post nothing and follow ONLY women. Very odd. I don't want people to follow me because I'm a woman but because we share common interests. I really liked +Brendan Thesingh idea that guys should vocal when another guy shows anti-social behaviour towards a woman (famous or otherwise)

Most of the people I follow post everything publicly and although I'm interested in some of the things they share, I'd love to be able to opt-in to the streams that interest me and opt out of the stuff we don't have in common. +Per Siden 's comment about context is right on target.
I have to say that most of the women I follow, while they do post to circles, tend to post the most interesting stuff.
There is too much assumption here, +Robert Scoble. I appreciate your desire to share the great stuff you find and I definitely appreciate that you are a public celeb blogger sort of guy but just because this is how you have chosen to conduct your business in G+ doesn't mean that's the way others should use it.

You seem to assume that all these women want to be projected as public personalities, and want their posts to be shared widely but clearly not everyone does. Some of us are trying to sort out the right balance not only between public and limited projections but also the balance of public versus limited content we want to take in. A lot of the reason G+ is being used in the public way that it is, is because it was pushed out to pros like you first. As others come in, circles will get tighter to some degree in an effort to curate a content stream that is more meaningful and perhaps even more intimate. Some people might argue there is no such thing as intimacy in an online community and I agree it may be challenging but there definitely is no such thing as public intimacy.

This is one of the rare times I might like to see the "searcher" in you take prominence over the "influencer".
+Yanik Falardeau is raising a good question when she asks "_how new people can get interested in my stream if I only share to certain circles?_". Even though may aim isn't to attract as many followers as possible, I have been thinking about the same. Let's say my main interest lies in photography and that publish related post publicly, but keep posts on my other big interest chess in a chess circle. One strategy to attract new chess followers would be making my "best" chess post public so that once in a while, whenever some chess geek gets curious about me from a shared post or one of my comments in the chess context and checks in my stream he might still find it interesting enough to follow despite all my boring photo posts. Fair enough, but I still feel that would be like spamming my photographer followers with unrelated stuff. Ideas anyone?
I mainly post publicly, but I can understand how many women feel uncomfortable by random men following them. It doesn't bother me. My profile says I'm married with kids, and I figure they'll get bored "collectng" me as a woman to follow when they find that 90% of my posts are about technology.
Why should I tattle on anyone who doesn't want their birth name to be known? In some cases it could (and has) put them in physical danger in meat-space! I wish I was joking. But speaking as someone who has been raped, I've had my former rapist look me up (after jail time) wanting to hook up. That wasn't the first time I told him to never contact me again.

Fortunately, as the founder of the Pink Pistols, he is far less likely to try to contact me in meat-space at this point than someone like him would attempt to contact one of those women.
I post most things publicly, though they aren't interesting.

I post some of the more offensively funny images and comments privately to people that share that sense of humor, as well as some of the controversial topics, because I don't need someone in my professional life retaliating against an opinion they don't agree with. Stuff you say can come back to bite you. Some things I only want to discuss among people I've established won't take a passionate online discussion to my boss to "win."

I look at circles kind of the same as a private facebook group.

If you really want to get sexist, you can say that women aren't sharing much publicly because kitchen appliances don't have their own opinions, silly. Their men in their are saying what they are supposed to think publicly for them, what need to they have to do it?
+Robert Scoble I'm perplexed to why the different way (some) women prefer to engage in Google Plus is such a big issue. G+ offers so much more freedom to customize networking and engagement to how it suits us individually. I'm sure you don't mean it but your post suggests that the incredible non-public sharing and networking happening is somehow of less importance/value. Do you feel left out? [tongue in cheek :) ]
Just about everything I share is public. However, I don't share often as I'm busy. Really busy. So I read more than I share. Reserve comments for when I have something truly valuable to say - or an extreme situation (illness, bad days, etc..) when I want to let someone know I'm thinking of/praying for them to encourage them.
Robert- to get around the secret sharing, would you share with some circles and with public?
Rae O.
+Robert Scoble I share public, but you haven't visited my profile, lol! I did post about the Darth Vader hot air balloon ride I'm taking my mother in, that is GEEK like
+Robert Scoble me too. It's sweet that there's more content than one has time for. Thanks for the clarity. The other group that's not posting all that publicly who have amazing content is the vast number of people from diverse areas of the world. The amount of great content is truly staggering.
I love sharing, not always public. I feel that there are times I don't want to contribute to the noise. I do value this post and I do value what you contribute, it will make me think twice next time I post. Thank you Robert:) +Robert Scoble
+Robert Scoble It seems to me that if you find something really cool from a female you are following, rather than lamenting that you can't share the post, how about instead giving an endorsement and brief content description, recommending that people follow her if interested? If they follow and don't enjoy the content, they can always unfollow but this is a way you could use your influencer status to give both a gift to your readers and as well as a gift to girl posting the great stuff while respecting their chosen balance of limited versus public content. Seems a more committed way to bolster the female contributors.

If your main point is to just debunk the notion that there aren't females participating here, I feel you but pushing for a change of behavior seems off-base.
+Jonathan Chalker that would require that she circle you back and share the post in said circle wouldn't it? If she doesn't post publicly the problem remains.....or am I missing something?
+Johnny Roberts Exactly, which respects her choice. If she wants to broadcast widely (but still limited), she'll share. If not, she won't. This gives her a lot more control over who receives and comments on her stuff.
+Robert Scoble I think you should do another post that only says "By the way, I'm looking to follow great female geeks who DO participate here. Please post in comments the names of those you've found." ;-)
I never post publicly in order to protect myself. You make a good point and I think I will now start opening up my posts.
I think I still feel inadequate sharing here because those I follow are HUGE names in tech. Personally, I've been in the tech industry for over 14 years and get mixed signals. If I do graphic work, it's little threat, but if I talk coding, some guys really get steamed if I know 'too much'. Which to me says, I've just crossed that barrier that took me from 'cool' to 'bitch' just because of my knowledge.
It amazes me how so many women are SO confused about how to manage their personal brand/online presence. I share everything with everyone, the more readers the better. I love sharing articles and getting feedback. My goal is getting traffic to my business, my other social media sites - especially my youtube... If I was all personal and private, I probably wouldn't even be on google+ I'd be like all the others on facebook with 25 friends complaining about how I don't get any leads and how I need to find work.. rather than having work find me. +Keith McElwain <- would love your feedback on this post
Dear god! Where to start. I'll start by saying that maybe reason one through three is not why they are sharing stuff?

1 Maybe they aren't so needy that they need validation from a couple of million people? The people they share content with still are aware who the source is and if they appreciate it I think that's good enough for these women.

2 How did people EVER find a job or did serious networking without Google+ and Facebook or the internet?! I'm pretty sure if that is what their after they can find other ways to do that.

3 Great ideas tend to spread. The people they share those ideas with could share them with other people and so on.

Scoble you need to realize that not everybody wants to jump on the podium and go "look at me! look how much I contribute!". Some people are happy with working backstage or try to inspire those who like to take the podium.
+Robert Scoble are visiting each and every one of 5000+ profiles ?? i dont think thats a easy job.even if it is, Google+ doesnt have popular news feed in profile page.So u might end up with deep shit(On my profile) rather than interesting articles(Which were hidden @ bottom)
peter k
you realize you're not likely to get much in the way of counterargument or comment from women who are not posting publicly? so you're going to get a big echo chamber of people mostly agreeing with you. good for bloating the ego, but not so good for listening and learning. you've turned arguments about the need for pseudonymity on their head, and wound up blaming the victims of a sexist atmosphere (which you acknowledge - "guys are dogs) for seeking protection.

why don't you tell guys to stop being dogs instead?
I have noticed this trend. At first, my stream was loaded with good stuff from and about all facets. Lately, it seems fewer posts stream thru. I believe it is because of the reasons you give. I was thinking G+ was progressing fast thru the product life cycle, but it turns out I'm not included in the right circles. Alas, it is a popularity contest after all.
why should I come out of a safe place that I can communicate from, and be visible as different when I know there are people (mostly Male) that will treat me in manner that can/will cause me to be harmed

Notice that +Xeni Jardin is not posting publicly anymore?
True that! Thank you for starting this discussion. Women should not be afraid to share their thoughts publicly. My role models are mostly women. If women share their posts (some of them are very informative and helpful!), most guys will give them the respect they deserve. And the girls who follow you will appreciate it.
+Robert Scoble But Robert, your post is specifically about encouraging people, especially women, to post publicly.... But your solution is that she should stay private. You don't have to empathize with the plight of muzzled people, but it doesn't help to imply that their problems don't exist. This is, after all, still a pre-release product.

from previous comment +xeno phrenia "not the time or place to discuss pseudonyms. That topic has been beat to death and, like I note, it doesn't help women. If you don't want to be public, you can post to private circles. That solves your claim well."
Jajaja, (Microsoft's Netmeeting 1996), we still use it at our Company, and to be honest, it has saved us a lot of time (we use it to see other computers in other countries, for support purposes). It is quite simple and free (and all Windows PC's have it, yes because most of the companies out there with +5,000 users, are Windows based).
+Robert Scoble your posts are always fun to read. yet i feel like this issue will never get solved. Women have to constantly be proactive in the fight against dogs since society has no serious intention of ever taming these animals. Sexism is still everywhere. We, as posters, must decide which is more important: posting to public with the chance of being harassed or posting to circles and not getting heard. =/

If i ever do find anything really interesting i will remember to share it with you though.
Have to agree with Robin, I post some things public but limit most due to the high wacko quotient out there. And some of what I say doesn't need to be heard by all. :) Love reading your posts!
Thanks +Carolyn Witte ! I have noticed that I have very few women that I follow & even fewer actually post... it would be nice to see a little more female perspective in my stream ;) and +Robert Scoble , I mostly post public - to me that's kind of the point of g+, to be out there & meeting & communicating with some of the greatest minds on the net. I don't think I'd be meeting them if I hid myself... FB is more the place for private conversations, I think. Great to point this out thou! :)
What a surprise, proud of it, +Robert Scoble, to be menctioned here. You´re right, women ever have to show more to be seen. Thanks for taking me into account, +Margarita Morales. Hugs to both
I share the stuff that most people wouldn't care about privately. I don't care if it gets re-shared, it's not majorly secret or anything, but it's also not related to my field. Things that are personal or related to my hobbies I'd rather post to limited circles.
I don't create as much original content as I used to, but I do like the level of engagement here and participate in a lot of discussions. But because more of my sharing here was personal, I started out posting solely to Circles with only an occasional public post, likely re-sharing content. Now I'd say I'm about 50-50 posting between Limited/Circles and Public. I have been trying to find new people to connect with (not just the same Twitter/FB contacts) and I'm specifically looking to connect with more women. Nothing against men, would just like to bust out of the 70-80% male demographic.
I suggested this should be implemented to tell whether or not someone is actually posting or Suggestion for finding out whether or not someone is worthy of adding to your circles on Google+. +Robert Scoble For users looking at the person's profile, if they aren't in your circles yet, there should be some statistics of that person based on public and private interactions like a meter showing green for a frequent poster, yellow for medium, and red for rarely to never. There could also be a stat for when the user last posted ex. "Last posted on Aug. 17th, 2011." This would help find out if the user is one of those people who make a post and leave never to come back again. Another statistic could be the date they joined Google+ to understand if the person is just experimenting or is an actual every day user. There's probably more features I'm not thinking about that would help the user decide whether or not to follow someone or be followed.
+Ron Bee That's not how it works though. If you post publicly then all of your circles see the post too. So a public post is the same as choosing all of your circles plus the public. We need to be able to post publicly but exclude certain circles at the same time.
There is always the opposite situation, we could all be required to use pseudonyms. Think about how much fun that would be?
I've decided to block some obnoxious followers, and then post more publicly.
+Pam Wolfe I don't see any photos posted other than your scrapbook - which is entirely different to posting publicly. There is so much happening on peoples streams that one photo can drown but leave it there and add more, eventually people will comment or +1. Try adding more info to your profile related to photography and any other subjects you would like to interact publicly over. Make sure that you include some text with any photo you post, thereby starting a conversation. Ask photographers for help, not the ones with 1000's in their circles - start by reaching out to other beginners, or people a little further along than yourself.
Not posting publicly is not a defect, although it may seem so to extroverts. Taking it from the introverts' perspective we might just as well say that people who always post publicly aren't taking advantage of the unique features of this system (circles), and are self-obsessed egomaniacs who think that their every thought is equally interesting to every person in their audience. That wouldn't be right, would it?

More on this:
I am a geek and a woman. I post publicly. There are plenty of women I know who do the same.
Yeah there was a long ocmment but it is lost thanks to the missing ctrl-z feature.

short version: women especially, but other groups as well, don't understand how to think like a producer of content and attention. Otherwise they would strategically at least have some public postings available. That is 100% fine unless they start complaining about being at an disadvantage. The tricks of the 'old boys club' are not complicated, have been around for ages, but if you don''t use them, that's your choice.

I am with orli - I only post limited when I do german stuff, but if I could I would set that to public as well.
+Robert Scoble, you make a valid point. Women are more private than Men are. Having people approach them through other comments they make on public comments could help as well. As far as providing names of non-public persons, I would say do by way of introduction.

And ladies, please get the word out.
Could have a lot to do with little or no self confidence.Here in Finland,women have a lot since child hood and so openly chat.The UK is more clicky,due I belive to women being subjugated for so many years