Messaging & Online Collaboration: Google+ Tips: How to Use Your New Favorite Social Network
Think About Your Circles
Google+ starts with the premise that you can add anyone you want, bucketing people in friends, family, following, acquaintances or custom Circles. Do what eWEEK didn't do: create custom Circles early. We made the mistake of putting everyone we didn't know into the following section, similar to the way we did it on Twitter. With Twitter, we had no choice; Twitter Lists weren't added until later, and it took hours to lump people into different loops. Circles is the default mode of contact classification, and it's excellent for letting people create Groups out of the gate. If you take advantage of this functionality when you start working with Google+ by separating, say, colleagues from the "acquaintances" or "friends" Circles, you'll save yourself lots of time.
Google CEO Larry Page said on Google's second-quarter earnings call July 14 that more than 10 million people have signed up for Google+ social network accounts. Google+ comprises four major components: Circles, Sparks, Hangouts and Mobile, which includes instant photo and video uploads and group messaging. Circles is a sharing service that lets users add circles, or groups of users, who are united by common interests, by dragging and dropping their profiles in a circle. Circles could include family, friends and colleagues. Not only are many of the 10 million or so users leaving loads of content, but we journalists, pundits and media types are writing oodles about the social network. The crazy thing about this glut of information is that it comes while the service is in its "limited field test" stage. People are still becoming acclimated to the service and features like Circles, Sparks, Hangouts and, of course, the all-important mobile application. This eWEEK slide show runs down some tips and resources that new Google+ users may want to try to improve their current social-networking experience.