I’m going to guess either you’ve received an invitation to the Google+ beta or you’ll leave a comment below asking for one. If you don’t want to be a part of the G+ flash mob, you stumbled on here looking for a different Chuck Welch.
I’m going to assume you’ve already logged into Google+ and know the basic layout. Please read all the tips before dismissing them individually.
1) Forget reading the Stream. The Stream is why you want to leave Facebook. It’s a firehose five feet from your face. Unless you’ve limited your circle to the three friends in your cell, the Stream is simply too much information to swallow.
2a) You’re already worried you’ll add too many to your Circles. Jump in. This isn’t your sewing circle. Forget Dunbar’s Number. Google+ is not about staying close to your tribe. Google+ is a vast library where you get to read delightful autobiographies still in progress.
2b) On the other hand, don’t add every person Google suggests. Show some sense. I could be one of those suggestions and where would that get you? Take a look at a profile before you add the person.
3) Many MANY circles. I know Google stuck you with Friends and Family, but this isn’t your cell plan. Drop in as many Circles as Pi has digits: Family Who I See at Christmas, Friends I’d Let Borrow my Car, Hyperlocal Publishers, Reporters I Trust, Urban Planners, Former Montreal Expos, The Cast of Barney Miller. Anything but three or four overworked circles. I suggest a Dunbar’s Number of Circles.
4) Keep. Each. Circle. Underpopulated. Each time you check out Google+ you’re going to dip into a circle or two and catch up on a couple of days worth of posts. You don’t want to see you’ve missed 127 posts each with 42 witty, but never pithy, comments.
5) Don’t Round Up the Usual Suspects. I know it is is beta and you’re looking for activity, but use this opportunity to not follow Ashton Krutcher, Chris Prillio or Robert Scoble. You’ll have plenty of time to follow them after this mad rush. You won’t miss much of what they say about Google+. You’ll catch their pearls of wisdom in your circle: Folks Who Regurgitate the Experts.
6) Listen. Follow more than who follow you.
7) Share just 10% of what you read. It really isn’t all good. Remember Sturgeon’s Law.
8) +1 is your bookmark friend. It’s your bookie tip. It’s a “ditto” when you just don’t feel a need to add anything. Some are just for those in Google+ and some are more public. They’re never completely private. Here’s how to display your +1 list on your Google Profile.
9) Read the Help File. Either they thought of your question or you’ve found a bug. (Speaking of bugs…expect them. You’re there for the adventure.)
10) Here is your first link: G+ Account Settings. Turn off unneeded notifications. Visit G+ a couple of times a day. You won’t miss anything important.
Tomorrow, I’ll discuss adding your Twitter and Facebook feeds to Google+ (Hint: Don’t cross the streams.)
…to be continued….