Another off topic post today.
However, I think this will become a recurring theme here on Wisdom and Life as I’ve found a new Social Home. Google+ has definitely fulfilled my expectations, especially since I finally understand how to use the platform. I fooled myself for the entire length of time I’d been on the network. I was given a beta invite in July 2011; and it wasn’t until November 2012 until I realized I was working in an entirely backward manner.
Now that I understand what G+ is and how you’re supposed to use it (Well how I use it) I want to share what I learned.
People not on the network and even some on G+ will tell you this is one of the best tools available because you can target individual people and you don’t have to share with everyone. Yes that is true. Whether it is something you SHOULD do is up for debate in my opinion. Here’s why:
The entire premise of G+ is to reach as many people as possible, people you don’t know, people all over. If you target a small percentage of those on G+ then you are missing the point. Yes not everyone will want to read what you have to say, and that’s fine. Those that don’t want to see your posts can ignore them. This is where circles come into play.
Here’s how I use circles:
I have a Social Media Circle, a Spiritual Circle, A Blogger Circle, A Photographer Circle, etc. When I share content I make all of my posts public and here’s what I learned in November 2012:
I use my circles now to view what I want. In other words, if I want to see what’s going on in one of my circles I simply go to to the drop down and pick the circle I’m interested in. I don’t use circles to post to an individual group and I don’t think you should either. G+ is meant to be used a public forum and if you’re posting to individual groups then you are missing the point. I believe circles should be used to filter the noise.
What do I mean? Go back and look at what I said about how I use circles:
When I want to see what one of my circles is up to I go into that circle. That’s the benefit of using circles, NOT what some are professing, that you can target individuals.
As I mentioned in my previous Social post The Power of Social it is imperative that you share what you know here on G+. Here’s another misconception I was under until about a month ago:
We should separate our posts.
In other words, if you are, like me (I was about to say a little bit, but that would be doing a disservice to myself) very spiritual, a photographer, a reader of everything and a writer then we should create pages here to keep our individual traits separate.
Again I refer you to how I now use my circles:
I don’t post to individuals. I make everything I say here public. There’s another reason I do this and I’m making a concerted effort to be cognizant of it now especially after reading here that this is what G+ has been created to do. In an article I read recently here, by, J.C. Kendall called What is Your Personal Brand Saying About You? the author stated that when prospective clients, when prospective employers come looking for you, do they want to know that Johnny is spiritual only? Do they want to know that Johnny is just a photographer? Do they want to know that Johnny is just a writer? Or do they want to know all of these things? I’ll leave that answer up to you. I imagine you’ll come to the correct conclusion. Here! I’ll make it easy for you:
Thanks to J.C. for setting me on the correct path here.
Another advantage to G+ is the opportunity the network gives its users to re-share content. I’ve seen examples of this all the time. WHENEVER I re-share content, I ALWAYS mention the original person in my re-share line. How do I do that? In the content line, I place a plus (+) then immediately next to the sign I add the person’s name. This way they receive notification that they have been shared. This is only good etiquette and I believe it is something everyone who re-shares content should consider.
I have G+ers re-share my own content and it wasn’t until about a month ago that I saw a huge benefit to this as well. Something called Google+ Ripples gives an overview of who re-shares what. There is a caveat here however. Ripples only shows PUBLIC re-shares. This is another HUGE reason why we shouldn’t JUST be sharing our own content publicly, but why when we re-share we should be doing so publicly as well.
So here is where I’m saying publicly and giving permission publicly to PLEASE PLEASE if and when you re-share my content, PLEASE do so publicly. You have my permission to do so. Ripples will ONLY work with public re-shares. I understand this.
It is because:
G+ is a public forum.
G+ is breaking away from the old guard.
G+ is building an entirely new platform:
One based on search. And who does search better than Google? Can you think of anyone? I can’t.
Since Google is building this social platform based on search then it is in everyone’s best interest to remove the idea from our thoughts that the notion behind circles is to target individuals. I don’t understand why it took me so long to realize this as all the data was right there in front of me.
Those posts that are targeted don’t show up in Google’s stats for G+. That is one reason why many have proclaimed G+ a vast wasteland, as my friend, Dustin Stout wrote in a blog post:
Ghost Stories and Failure Fairy Tales.
The reason that G+ had been seen as a failure is because those supplying that information were only seeing some of the data. What data were they seeing?
Well only the content that was shared publicly of course. What they didn’t see was content being individually targeted. And this yet another reason we must dissuade ourselves of the notion that circles were created to share with individuals within those circles. In my opinion, circles are created to (as I said above) filter the noise. You don’t want to spend all of your time in your public stream, which is EXACTLY what I was doing until November 2012. Now that I learned my lesson it is time for me to share my own experience with everyone else so you can learn from my experience and get up and running here on G+ sooner than I did.
G+ers are here to help. All you have to do is reach out.
Be Happy! Be Well! Be Positive!
Blessings to you.