Google+ is great. I honestly believe it. I’ve used it to interact with people who share similar interests as me and it’s been very rewarding so far. However, some people might struggle to get to grips with it at first. Coming from Facebook, the main ‘Stream’ can seem a bit barren until you start circling (following) others. And this was the tricky part for the first few weeks – knowing who to circle.
Features have been rolled out recently that has helped immensely with this. Being able to search across posts, helps you find people posting about the things you care about. But the biggest thing in my opinion was the ability to share circles. This meant that if someone had gone to the trouble to build up a circle say of Authors, they could share that group with everyone else. If you were then to add that circle, you could suddenly have another 200 or so people in your stream. Great. More content.
What this really led to was a lot of noise.
In my case, my friends were suddenly a drop in the ocean compared to this sudden inrush of posts from complete strangers.
Google haven’t really posted any advice about how to ‘fix’ this.
In the meantime I’ve adopted some advice from a fellow Google +er.
- Create a new circle called ‘Following’.
- From your Circles page, drag it to the start of your circles (top left-most position).
- Go through your circles and select those that you want to interact with. For me this is friends, and those from my other streams that I’ve interacted with.
- Drag those people into your Following circle.
And that’s it.
If you’ve got a lot of people in your circles this might sound like a lot of effort, but I’ve got 1000 people and I raced through my circles in five minutes. If you think you’ve missing someone, you can always add them later.
Now, I have my following stream appear directly underneath my main stream. I ignore the main stream and generally click on the following stream to see what’s going on. I’ve kept all my other circles as well and still use them when I want to immerse myself in the Authors or Artists stream.