#Google+ there and back again

My G+ experience may be limited but the amount of information on G+ is essentially limitless.  This prenatal (July 31st, 2011) community already does an excellent job of using the Share method.   So much so that for certain information you will first search G+ (http://gplussearch.com/) before using good old G- (http://www.google.com).  And the more we put in the better it will get.  When you find web treasure let the People in your Circles know.  If you find it inside of G+ then use the Share method.  If find it outside of G+ then hit the +1 and it will land on your Profile +1’s tab.  You can also use that tab as sticky notes reminding you to put them into the Stream later to make it easier for others to find and Share.

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Getting excited?  Hopefully you are but before we set sail for G+ Ocean in search of treasure there is some training to do.  [Lesson Learned] The first step is to read the manual.  You can click it here http://www.google.com/support/+/.  Or for those with the Google+ bar and navigating within yadayada.google.com waters, you can click the sprocket in the bar at the far right to choose Google+ help.  The manual is fairly brief and easy to read so do yourself a favor and not toss out the instructions.  You know you are going to have to read them later anyway.

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Once you know what things you can do, you will want to know how, should you do things.

Here are some expert links you might Like +1:

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You will discover there is no one ring, or Circle, to rule them all.  Initially, much more of my time was spent on dealing with Circle management than on participating in the sharing.  After developing a working model the opposite was the true.  Circle management is another pay now or pay later choice.  No worries, this is time well spent as Circles are what cause you to fall in love with G+.  Here is my recommendation for courting G+.

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Regardless of how many Circles of People you create, you only use four types: Stream (In), Share (Out), Sort (Process) and Secure (Storage).

1. Stream Circles – Place all People into one and only one Stream Circle whether or not you would expect to watch for messages In.  These Stream Circles allow you to easily select a single Stream in the App or on the Website.  Being unique per Person prevents you from seeing the same message again later when you switch to a different Stream.  Being populated by all People ensures no one is accidentally missed.  You verify this by adding the count from each Stream Circle and matching it to the count for People in your circles.  An example of configuring Streams by volume levels could be Stream-High, Stream-Low, and Stream-Muted.  You might configure Streams by Geography, Surnames, Height or Whatever so long as they do not overlap.

[Lesson Learned] The current Google+ App does alphabetize Circles by name so using a prefix for each separate Circle type is helpful.  The Website does not currently alphabetize so for now create Circles in alphabetic order or keep shuffling them around or just get accept the difference.

2. Share Circles – Place any People into zero, one or more Share Circles that you would target for messages Out.  These Share Circles represent relationships you have with others.  You can try to build most ahead of time or you can build a few now and prepare (i.e. Sort Circles) for building more in the future.  You can come up with ideas for Circles by recalling groups of People at common events, on email chains or in topical conversations.

[Lesson Learned] Create a Share Circle and keep it synchronized with only folks from People who’ve added you.  The Share-Network Circle has two courtesy purposes.  One is discussed in the next session the over is as an alternative to Your circles and Extended circles.  Using it instead will prevent Incoming Stream messages and alerts to People who have not added you to a Circle.  Consider similar prevention techniques before using a Mention in Posts or Comments.  People may associate the Incoming Stream to the Junk Mail folder, associate alerts to Popups and therefore associate you to a four letter word . . . noiz (phonetically).

3. Secure Circles – Place any People into zero, one of more Secure Circles that you would show information to from Profile Storage.  These Circles work as security groups to the currently sixteen separately, securable pieces of information.  Depending on your security configuration some Secure Circles may completely align with some other Circle.  If that is the case then wait on building these but realize forgetting about the multiple uses for that Circle could expose some Profile information.

[Lesson Learned] Some folks commented that they do not like appearing in the In circle’s of a Profile to someone they do not have in a Circle.  Hopefully this concern will diminish overtime.  Meanwhile you can easily abide by setting Show people in on your Profile to the Share-Network Circle.  This practice conforms to the social norm and still demonstrates you interest in social sharing.  You can also set Show people in then inform People to look to it as a means to Share a list of People.

4. Sort Circles – Place any People into zero, one or more Sort Circles that you would associate an attribute with to later Process.  These Circles work as tags for People already in other Circle types.  You might want to tag People running a certain training event in a Sort Circle.  It could then be used as a Stream Circle or Share Circle during the event (hint #sqlpass).  Sort Circles can help with analysis by using them as sets with union and intersection. Sort Circles can help with Circle management.  If your Circles are too few, too many or wrong typed.  Sort Circles can help with addition, division and casting (had to do it) to other Stream Circles or Share Circles.

[Lesson Learned] Create a Sort Circle to use as a temporary container to be emptied.  The Sort-Empty Circle can help with the problem of trying to select many People but needing to start all over after accidentally clicking on the background.  If you place the People into the Sort-Empty Circle using Select all, you can then use small selections to incrementally move them to new Circles and Remove them from the Sort-Empty Circle.  The Sort-Empty Circle can help with analysis of sets.  Create a Circle for queuing People.  The Sort-Queue Circle can help with which People you still have to place in more Circles.

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During my journey I noticed a second social norm being enforced.  It also involved Profiles.  People did not appreciate being added to a Circle by someone who did not fill out their Profile.  This makes sense because you want to add People to the right Circles.  That is a nearly impossible without a Profile.  Why give out a Valentine’s Day card without signing it?  If you want to help People with adding you to the right Circles then a good place to start is the Brief Description.  It is always visible to the Public.  The number of visible characters is fairly short (mouse-over shows balloon).  It is indexed so keywords there should also help with searching.  Using this approach would have more valuable if there were G+ jargon to use.  The moral of the story is you can help by explaining what messages you publish and/or subscribe to.

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Feedback for Google+

  1. Please give options to custom order and to alphabetize Circles names
  2. Please add the capability to iterate across Profiles of People in a selection
  3. Please add Profile Subscription and Publication tag clouds, use for Suggestions
  4. Please add a permanent Followers or warn when sharing to non-following People
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Thanks for sticking it out to the very end or for just scrolling straight to the bottom.  Either way here is a precious treasure you are welcome to take with you.  In a Website circle tab you can hover over a Circle and the People in it light up or you can hover over People the Circles they are in will light up.

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About Robert Matthew Cook

Hello, my name is Robert Matthew Cook. This blog is autoposted to from my main blog at www.sqlmashup.com. For more profile information or to leave a comment, please visit me there.
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