☆ Making Google+ Work

Close RaceI sometimes see complaints by people that Google+ is not as exciting and/or useful as a social media service they are already using, like Twitter or Facebook. They both looked just as perplexingly dull when you started using them as an outsider – you’ve just become comfortable there and forgotten that experience! Treasure the chance to once again experience social media as ordinary users do when they first discover it…

Google+ is a different medium to the other social networks you’re using, and the techniques and expectations you’re bringing with you may not apply – you need the right horse for the right course. That feeling nothing is happening is unlikely to continue for long if you engage on Google+ in ways that make it work well as a social environment. My take is those are:

  • post interesting stuff publicly, preferably with pictures – Google+ is not a great place for private networking;
  • comment on what you post, don’t just post unexplained links or pictures;
  • engage in intelligent and respectful discussion on other people’s posts, as well as your own;
  • respect other people’s discussion threads as you would a conversation you were drawn into at the next table in a cafe;
  • track ripples (a feature on the context menu of any post that’s been re-shared) and cultivate new relationships by adding those who repost the same things that interest you to your circles;
  • use the delete-comment button to prune comments on your posts where necessary – always to remove spam and sparingly to sanction trolls.

What other suggestions would you make to new users, especially those with good experiences of other social media systems? The Google+ thread for this post is public

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2 Responses

  1. I just bought an ebook on the topic: What The Plus! by Guy Kawasaki. I’ll read it (or start on it) over lunch. It looks like just the thing for someone like me who actually reads the manual. I do like your starter list on how to make it work socially.

  2. Google Plus, like Facebook, makes it unnecessarily difficult to share a link to content with someone who isn’t on Google Plus.

    Google Plus, like Twitter, is completly unuseable without JavaScript – despite the content being almost entirely a text stream that would be fine without any script.

    So yeah, it does suck as an outsider, in that it seems to combine the worst of outsider-hostile behaviours.

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