A couple of people have started to come across the problem of being followed by way more people than they can possibly cope with following back, and their stream becomes insanely noisy. I've found a pretty simple strategy seems to fix the problem:
- Create circles for groups of people that match groups in your real life; e.g., old friends, co-workers, etc. Put people you actually know into these, and feel free to put people in multiple circles. That way, you can share with just these groups, and you can also view the streams for just these groups when you want to hang out (or Hangout) with just them.
- Create circles for groups of people that you want to follow, even if you don't know them. e.g., tech bloggers, public figures. Good sources of reading material, even though you'll probably never share anything with these circles.
- And if you get a bunch of followers who you don't know, that's OK; you don't have to add them to your own circles. That way, they can see things which you post publicly, but your own stream doesn't get flooded. If you want to see what they're saying, you can browse your Incoming stream, and occasionally spot interesting people to follow or respond to. (This continues to scale well even when you have a Really Huge number of followers, and lets you occasionally keep in touch with people even if you don't want to be doing that every single time you log on to Google+)