I have been participating in Google Plus for a week now and I am enjoying the interaction and community. There are a couple of things that I would suggest to new users to help make Google Plus more fun and useful
- Create Circles
- Follow People who interest you
- You don’t have to follow everyone who follows you
- Control your incoming Notifications
The first thing you want to do when you join Google Plus is set up Circles. How you set them up is up to you. You may want to have your family and friends in one. You may want to create another circle with people who have a specific vocation or avocation you are interested in (like photography). If you plan to follow someone who you know to have a very active community for example Robert Scoble or Chris Pirillo you may want to put them in their own circle so they don’t overwhelm the conversation. You can also put people in more than one circle, so you may want to create one large circle that combines two or more circles like family and friends plus people who interest you. Then make that your primary stream. One of the best ways to find new people to follow is by seeing whose post your friends and those who you are already following are sharing and commenting on. Remember you are under no obligation to follow someone just because they follow you. It is easy to get pulled into the numbers game, don’t. Google Plus is a place for conversation, don’t use it as a bullhorn. Participate by commenting and sharing other people’s post along with posting your own. If you just want to announce your latest and greatest adventure/conquest Google Plus is not for you. Finally to avoid notification overload click on the gear at the top right hand corner and then go into the Google + settings and decide when you really want to receive a notification. You can also decide how you want to receive the notification by email or SMS.
If you want to learn some tips and tricks for using Google Plus Comptricks has a great article 10 tips for Google Plus Beginners . Finally have fun. Google Plus is a unique community it is not Facebook or Twitter. It has its own strength and weaknesses. So I say welcome, come in and stay awhile.