G+ Circle Management

My circles on G+ have been exploding in the past week and I think it’s because I’ve been included in a few public circle shares.  One from Christine DeGraff, that has been shared multiple times and one from another G+er, Johnny Wood, who is in my Social Media circles. Jonathon Barton discovered me and added me to his own circles.  I previously discussed circle management on my blog at Sharing, Re-sharing and Circles.


In that column, I discussed the fact that i broke down my circles into topics that I was interested in and I understand many people on G+ do so when they first break into this Social Media platform.  For the past couple of weeks however, I’ve been looking for a new way to communicate with my fellow G+ers.  As is ALWAYS the case, (And this is how I choose to see things) when I put something out there (to the Universe/God,) I initiate a spark that follows my thought until it finds what is looking for.  When spark and thought meet, to create what I’m looking for there is an explosion of joy.


Jonathon Barton was that explosion on Saturday, July 20 when he circled me.  Jonathon recommends creating 5 new circles in G+:

Post Share


Dump everyone from all your circles into “Everyone”.


This may take two passes, as you may bump against the ‘daily circling limit’ that Google has, if you have a lot of people already circled.


Go ahead and keep people in your various (dishevelled) specialty circles if you like, but




People in those circles are real human beings and post all kinds of stuff, cat macros, macro photography, circle management strategies, etc. that are completely unrelated to the circle you’ve put them in…


Again – your specialty circles are now for POSTING, not READING.


Now that you have everyone in Everyone…

As people interact with you, add them to the circle that matches how they interacted.

Did someone +1 your post, your comment, or your comment on someone else’s posts? Put them in +1ers. Same with commenting on your posts, and/or resharing them – put them in the proper circle right from the notification pane.


When you discover someone who has been added to 4 of the 5 new circles – i.e. they have check marks for Everyone, +1ers, Commenters, and Post Shared, add them to Regulars.


The side effect of organizing this way is that the level of consistent interaction I have with people has gone WAY WAY up. because I’m interacting more frequently with people who interact with me more frequently. There isn’t really a case where someone who is +1ing my posts regularly is getting lost in the shuffle – it just takes one +1 to get dropped into the +1 Circle – and then when I read the +1 Circle, I’m likely to +1 your post, because I KNOW you’ve already done the same with me… Same with sharing, and commenting…

And of course, it makes figuring out who your ‘regulars’ are dead simple.


* Everyone who circles me gets circled, and they go into Everyone, so when I run out of content in the other 4 circles of people who have interacted with me, there’s a secondary stream of content where I can be the one giving the first +1, Comment on, Reshare, etc. “Give and Get Give” as the mangled paraphrase goes.


* Periodically remove everyone from the Everyone circle and leave only the people in special interest circles and the ‘interaction’ circles. If you’ve had me circled for a while, but haven’t found a single thing I post to be worth a +1, and you haven’t posted content interesting enough for me to drop you into a specialty circle (Gaming, Science, Ukulele, Motorcycles, etc.) where I think you belong, then you’re outta here, bub.


All of this info is at his “About Page” on his profile.


As I said at the outset of writing this column:
I was looking for a new way to manage my circles within the last week or so; only because I wanted to interact with my “regular” interactors and here comes Jonathon Barton knocking my Law of Attraction/Universal door.


Once more this proves to me again that what you “put out there”  will be answered.  Can you now understand why I feel that Law of Attraction REALLY does work?  You only have to choose to see it.


Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.


Where are the G+ Business Pages?

On Friday, May 31, 2013 I wrote on Google+:

I keep hearing:
“Find us on Facebook.”
And I wonder how much longer it will be before we begin hearing:
“Find us on G+.

I sometimes give a tease for an upcoming column on my blog.  This was the case with the post I shared last Friday.  I seldom say whether what I say on G+ is a tease so be on the lookout in the future for this activity coming from me.

I’ve been listening to WPLR in the morning before heading out first in the early to mid 1980s for school then in the late 1980s and forward before heading into work.  A few days ago while listening to Chaz and AJ in the Morning, I heard them say for the upteenth time:
Find us and like us on our Facebook Page. which is what lead me to post that content on Google+.

I know!  You’re probably thinking:
This isn’t the first time they’ve said that.  Is this REALLY the first time you heard it?  
No.  It wasn’t the first time, but it WAS the first time I paid attention and that was when I realized we have yet to hear:
Find us on Google+/plus one our page.

There are indications that Facebook is on the downslide.  It was reported several months ago that many Facebook profiles may not even be real.

–In August 2012, Forbes.com wrote an article:
An Estimated 83 Million Profiles are Fake.
–In another column written by Janet Takavoli on Huffington Post  in December 2012, called:
Facebook’s Fake Numbers: ‘One Billion Users’ May Be Less Than 500 Million
–Finally on Huffington Post in August 2012 Dominique Mosbergen wrote:
Facebook Has 83 Million ‘Fake’ Or Duplicate Users, About 8.7 Percent Of All Active Accounts

I certainly understand that the 83 million figure is not a hugely significant number when you have the accounts that facebook has.  However, that 83 million number DOES stand out.  If, as it looks, there REALLY is a number of that implication, how many of those “Fake” profiles are pushing the “like” button on various pages and how many of those “Fake” profiles are following pages/people/groups?

This is where Google is improving its standings in the like/follow community.  Google is insisting that its users of Google+ (G+) sign on and continue in ALL of its services with their full names.  I think Google concluded from watching Facebook that it was in Google’s best interest to correct some of Facebook’s mistakes.  (So, see?  Sometimes it is beneficial to come late to the party.)

You’re able to stand on the sidelines and watch the errors that others make and ensure you don’t travel the same road.  By insisting on real names being used when on any of Google’s products they have circumvented Facebook’s challenge with fake users vs. real users.  I don’t think you will see the same issue appear in relation to fake users on G+.

Which brings me back to the reason for this column today:
Why haven’t we seen a “Find Us on G+” campaign?

Are companies still afraid to jump into an untested product?

Google as a company is far from untested.  Maybe other companies have seen the results of Google’s other forays into “social.”  Maybe they believe G+ will go the way of Buzz and Wave.  This certainly doesn’t appear to be happening however.  Buzz and Wave were only steps into the vast ocean of “social.”   Google+ is on a deep dive that shows no sign of rising.  The ONLY thing that is rising is Google’s place in “social.”

–According to Business Insider in May 2013:
Suddenly, Google Plus Is Outpacing Twitter To Become The World’s Second Largest Social Network

PC World in January 2013 wrote:
Google+ outranks Twitter as no. 2 social network after Facebook

Seeing these signs pointing to social domination by Google as well as search domination leads me again to ask the question:
Where are all the businesses?

A company who built its reputation on search would more than likely build all of its products around search, wouldn’t you say?  And that’s exactly what Google is doing with G+.  I won’t rehash what I wrote in the past, I will simply refer you to my:
Social category at Wisdom and Life

If you want detail on the search implications of G+ read my column:
Why Google+.

You’d think that companies would see the bigger picture and at least “step into the vast ocean.”
Create a G+ Business Page
–Start promoting your page on radio, in print, online, in television ads.
–Make sure you post relevant content.

It continues to baffle me why we don’t see this happening yet.  If Facebook is still a priority because that’s where your followers are, fine.  It certainly can’t be that challenging to update another profile.  Heck there are applications that let you share the same content across media platforms.  When you create your pages make sure you have way to track your visitors to your website.

–Follow up on your stats.
–Watch how your visitors find you.

I use Google Analytics on all three of my websites.  As you can well see I’m ALL in with Google.  I have been since Google debuted.  Analytics does an excellent job of showing what you need to see.  I’ve noticed a huge uptick in visits to all of my sites since I received my beta invite to Google+ before the platform debuted to the entire public.

If I’ve seen an uptick can you imagine what someone the likes of Ford, Sony, Apple or some other big name company would see if they spent time creating a business presence on Google+?  If business waits too long it may very well be too late.

Once more:
What are you waiting for?

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.


New Clients and G+ Relevancy

G+IconJesse Wojdylo over on G+ wrote a column on his blog called:
Proof that Google+ is not mainstream yet.  I have several Social Media clients that I meet with once or twice a week to help them market their wares online.  One day last week I met a prospective client in Guilford, Connecticut at the Vegetarian Enclave.


While I was there I overheard another conversation at the table next to mine about that other network. Another meeting was happening there between a few people who were looking for Social Media advice.


I smiled to myself because I felt I knew a secret that no one else did.


What is that secret?


I saw my prospective client walk in.  I waved to her and she sat down.  As we began discussing what I could do for her, two of the people in the other meeting turned our way because I mentioned Google+.  They asked if they could pull up their chairs and listen to me, leaving their “guru” out in the cold.


I kinda felt a bit distressed for the guy who was helping his two clients, but not distressed enough to turn them away.  That was kind of amazing to me as I sometimes have a challenging time recognizing my abilities.  I think we all have that challenge at some point.


These two new people wanted to understand my fascination with G+ and as I began laying out the lessons I learned being on that other network and coming to Google+, everyone seemed to get it, even the other guy began asking me questions.


Maybe he didn’t want to feel left out?
Maybe he REALLY did want to pick my brain?


Whatever the reason, I wasn’t bothered.  My entire perspective has changed now.  Whether someone uses what I teach for themselves or uses my lessons to help others really doesn’t make a difference to me anymore.  I’m simply a conduit and what people take from me and how they use it after is really up to them.


I explained to them how Google was building their network on search.

I showed them what author rank was and how it could help content providers.


So why did I mention Jesse’s column at the beginning here?

Well, it’s because (Okay, I’ll say it) Facebook is still the major network that everyone discusses.  That network was what was being talked about at the other table when I walked in.  Jesse’s right:
Many people are not even aware of G+.


In fact when I began talking about it to my prospective client, the two women at the other table hadn’t ever heard of G+.  They know about it now.  Oh and not only did I pick up my original client who I was meeting last week.  I also picked off one of the women from the other meeting.  My schedule is slowly filling up as I now have four clients that I help regularly.  I’m not about to go above six or seven at the moment.


I learned my lesson well.  Before I was hired full time at my local library I created a computer consulting business where I built my client list to well over a hundred.  I’m certainly not about to go down that route again.


Facebook or G+?

What’s best for you?


When I left my meeting last week in Guilford, I think my new clients now see the huge benefits of of G+ over Facebook now and once they begin using it with some help from me I hope they become G+ evangelists as well.  Here’s hoping we can build G+ into a content provider’s heaven.


Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.



Why Google+?

Here’s a question for my G+ers and those of you not yet on Google+:
Why are you here?
Why are you NOT here?

Let’s tackle the first question first?
Why are you here?

For content providers (Writers, Photographers, Bloggers etc) G+ is a boon if used in the right way.  If you’re a content provider, there is no reason you shouldn’t be here.  If you are a blogger you should take advantage of Google Authorship.  I won’t go into great detail here except to say that Authorship is another way of ranking searches.  To make it even easier, Colin Clerkin  wrote Google Authorship WILL Raise Your Online Profile.  Read the column to get a better understanding of exactly what Authorship will do for you.  Those who are on Google+ and have implemented Authorship on their blogs will find their avatars show up in searches.  The idea behind the concept is to draw people who know you to your content.  Would you rather trust someone you know who provides authoritative content over someone you don’t?

If you’re a blogger, this is yet another reason to jump on the G+ wagon and implement authorship on your blog.

Google is using G+ to build an entirely new search engine based on social search and those of us fortunate enough to understand this new search paradigm will benefit most from it.  So, again I ask you why are you on G+?

You do understand that Google+ is vastly different from any other social platform that is available at the moment?  In order to get anything out of the service it is imperative that you build relationships.  I have two columns on this subject you may want to refer to:
The Power of Social
Sharing, Re-Sharing and Circles

Building relationships here is different because you have the ability to “circle” people you don’t know.  That’s one of the advantages to Google+.  Take a look at the two columns above for further information.

I keep getting sidetracked.  Why are you on G+?
If you are a content provider you should be here to promote, to market, That’s where G+ excels; especially if you implement Authorship.  Google built itself on search.  It only makes sense for them to incorporate search into anything they do.  What I like most about the way they have built it into their social platform, is HOW they did so.

By giving their users an opportunity to rank higher, if they are on Google+ and they put Authorship into effect, Google has made it more important to join this new social platform.  They are showing their users the benefit of joining and using the service correctly.  The advances the company is making, at least at the moment, is to help their end users.

That’s why I believe content providers belong here rather than any other social network.  We can take advantage of the advances in search that Google is implementing and the sooner others like us join this fast moving vehicle that is “social search,” the better off all of us will be; and speaking of search:
Who do you trust more to build a better search engine?  Someone whose sole business has been search since its inception?  Or someone who is hodgepodging it together?

In the time I’ve been on Google+ I’ve found the platform to be immensely helpful for promoting all of my work.  Social Media is the new Advertising venue.  Google+, especially, has hit this product WAY out of the ballpark.  With Author Rank/Authorship coordinated with Google Search it is imperative for content providers to jump on the Google+ wagon sooner rather than later.

So the answer to the question Why are you here? is if you are a content provider:
You’re here to promote what you have to share.
You’re here to build NEW relationships.
You’re here to be of service.

This MAY sound harsh.
This MAY sound negative.
But ESPECIALLY for Google+, I can’t wrap my head around why someone would be here if they don’t have a product to promote; whether a blog, whether art, whatever.  G+ is the perfect vehicle for promotion more so than any other social platform available today, only because Google is building search directly into G+.

As to the second question:
Why are you NOT here?

Because that other network has you in its grip.
You do know however that G+ is different than that other network, don’t you?
G+ is for building new relationships
That other network is for maintaining the “friends” you already have.
If you must maintain the other network, you can certainly do so and I imagine that once you wrap your head round G+ you’ll see the advantages here over the network there.

If you ARE a content provider, I highly recommend signing up for G+ and seek out people to help you get started on the platform.  Social Search is here to stay and I’d hate to see anyone get left behind.

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.


Rules of Engagement

One of the things I’ve stopped doing since enjoying this new paradigm I’m in is not to engage someone in a verbal confrontation.  Typically if someone launches into me it has to do with my belief system.

It happened on a local blog/news site a few months ago.  I didn’t engage, because I understood they were simply looking for a reaction.  Ninety percent of the time when someone questions me they are simply looking for a reaction.

The above example of my being confronted reminds me of Dustin Stout’s entry at his blog called Stay Humble.  I shared that entry yesterday saying:
One of the things I do when I’m emotionally abused is to take a step back from my attacker and realize that much of the time when something negative is done to me, it has nothing to do with me.  Either:
A) My attacker is releasing their energy on me because they themselves had just had an equally negative experience and I was the first person in their line of sight:

B) My attacker is simply reflecting something in their own persona they don’t like about themselves and they can’t throw the negativity at themselves so they look for a substitute and transfer their anger:

If you can keep this in mind the next time someone negatively affects you, you’ll maybe be able to better handle the situation.

Why give someone what they are looking for when what they are seeking is a reaction to negativity?  It will only serve to perpetuate the activity.

I’ve learned to turn the other cheek.  It’s not that I’m averse to confrontation, but why devote negative energy on top of negative energy?  Isn’t better to throw light upon darkness?  If you can’t throw light, then certainly don’t throw dark.  That will only hurt you.  I learned this lesson long ago and I’m hoping to teach it by example.

I understand that I run the risk of verbal confrontation because some of what I discuss at Wisdom and Life is ripe for attack:
Writing about Spirituality can cause conflict especially when using words such as God and Religion.

That’s I’m very careful not to use the word Religion in any of my writings.  When I use the word God I mention that I’m using it in the universal way as in the Divine, the Spiritual God, not the Religious God.  Typically, this sets most people at ease.  There will always be that one person who can’t see what I’m attempting to point out and occasionally I will be on the receiving end of negativity.  When that happens I’ve learned not to react.

Of course there will always be a segment of society that either doesn’t care or doesn’t understand the ramifications of said behavior.  I mentioned J.C. Kendalls blog entry:
What is Your Personal Brand Saying About You?
in last Friday’s entry:  
Sharing, Re-Sharing and Circles
and that entry happens to hold some truth here as well in that ALL of our online activity is now searchable.  Business, prospective dates, clients:
They can all find anything about any of us easier now than at any other time in history.  What does your online resume say about you?

Are you an instigator?
Are you a verbal/emotional vampire?  If you said yes, it isn’t too late to change.

Are you strong enough to turn the other cheek in the face of a negative storm?
Are you strong enough NOT to be the vampire?  Not to attack?

Social Media and the Internet has brought everyone closer and yet has also pulled everyone further apart.  How can that be you may be asking?  It has pulled us further apart because we are able to hide behind a screen, hide behind a created persona, hide behind a made up name.

That’s another reason Google+ has so drawn me into its realm.  G+ is attempting to have its users adopt their real names when writing content.  As I’m writing this now, I understand the implications for this policy:
By using our real names, we MAY be less likely to throw vitriol around.

Social Media has brought people together in a more meaningful way than anyone ever anticipated with the advent of the Internet.  Think of all the ways we connect now:

And these are just four of the most prominent networks.  Social Media is becoming Internet 2.0 if it hasn’t already.  That’s why it is so important to filter what we say online.

Do we really want the “Drunk” photo showing up permanently in our online resume?
Do we really want that post saying I suffer from Tourette’s. as part of who we are?

Unfortunately for a vast majority of people on Facebook this is what we see.  And it’s another reason I extricated myself from the network.  I don’t need to be part of a network that is becoming more juvenile with each passing day.  It’s why I’ve settled into G+.  The discussion on Google’s platform has so far been focused on the positive, has so far been more professional.  It would appear that for professional content, LinkedIn and Google+  are where you want to focus your attention.  Although these two networks operate in different ways, G+ being a platform where you must actively share and produce content and LinkedIn being a storage bank for your professional resume, they both rely on professional content and not the common content you find on Facebook.

Have you noticed I don’t have much positive feedback for Facebook?  Maybe it’s because that network has outlived my productivity.  The place to be now is Google+ and I’m so happy to be here.  I’ve learned more here on G+ in the past few months than I have during the entire time I’ve been here.  One group I belong to is responsible for my exponential learning.  The Blogging Army that Jeremy Smith assembled placed me in contact with several heavy hitters in the G+ World.  Larry Deane being one of them.  From Larry I became acquainted with several other G+ heavy hitters such as, Jesse Wojdylo and Mark Traphagen.  If you have any desire to know what’s happening on G+ I suggest putting these people in a circle you regularly check.  They will all provide you with a vast amount of much needed info on G+.

What I find completely fascinating about The Blogging Army that Jeremy has assembled is the fact that all of our blogs have the same central theme.  It just proves to me again how connected everything is.

Tim Young and I connect because we tend to parallel each other.
Dustin Stout
and I connect because we have a common interest in Social Media.  We also share a commonality with our blogs.  Heck everyone in this group is amazing and just another example of how Social Media can bring people together.

I’m reminded of a question recently I posted on Google+
Is it more important to you to be right or to have a relationship with someone you care about?

I’d rather keep the relationship and not give energy to something not worth fighting over, even if the other person is only someone I know virtually, or may not know at all.  Why create negativity by continuing a discussion that is best left alone?  I’ll let someone else take up the mantle.  Someone always will.  It happened on that local news site and I’m sure it will happen again out in the world as well as online

So if someone questions my authenticity online or my belief system online in a less than positive light, don’t expect me to join in and continue throwing negativity at it.  I’ve learned to stay above the fray.

It keeps me healthier.
It keeps my happier.
It keeps me centered.

What are your rules of engagement?

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.


Sharing, Re-Sharing and Circles

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:
Share publicly!

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.

For example:
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.


The Power of Social

Something VERY different today.  Almost entirely off topic.

You’ve seen me mention Google+ (G+) often in the past few months.  For those of you unfamiliar with this platform, let me give you a primer based on my experience.  You can find many primers on the platform itself, but I want to give you my own as well.  I’m sure those of you already on G+ have heard this multiple times.  The question that reverberates around social media is:
Why do we need yet another platform?

That question is a shot at G+ from the other major platform out there.  I think we all know its name.  I won’t mention it in this post.

G+ is different.
G+ wants you to find people you don’t know.  Interact with people who are strangers to you, build your circles with those you are unfamiliar with.  Make new connections.

That’s the REAL power of social.  Building relationships with people you have no connection with.  If you stay in the same place your thoughts, your posts become an echo chamber.  If you have something important to say, isn’t it better to reach the broadest audience possible?  I’m not at all telling anyone to leave somewhere where you’ve built a community.

The biggest challenge I have, the most distressing thing I see about adding people to my circles is when people do not include a bio in their “About” section on their G+ profile page.  Tell us about yourself.
What are your interests?
What circles should we include you in.

You have no idea how many people add me and I want to add them back but I have no clue where to put them because they haven’t taken the time to fill out their profile.  If you are serious about being here on G+, then PLEASE, I beg you take a moment and tell the rest of us about you.  It will go a long way toward proving your value to the entire community.

G+ is different.
The concept behind it, at least from my impression is to build a community of like minded people who are not initially familiar with each other.  You can continue finding people who share similar traits.  I believe this is what differentiates G+.  Other social platforms rely on your knowing the other people in your groups/circles.  That’s all well and good if you use social to communicate with friends.

G+ is  different.
G+ expects (at least in my impression) you to network.
Use G+ to build a business.
Use G+ to build an audience.
Use G+ to promote yourself, whether you are a blogger, like myself, whether you are a photographer, like myself.  Whatever business you are in, you should be on G+.

G+ is different.
You can’t expect to be placid, be dormant on G+.  You must do the work.  People won’t come to you.  You must make the first move.  Create your circles, then go out and look for people to fill them.
Are you a fan of Science Fiction?
Are you a writer?
Are you a photographer?
Search those interests and add people.  When you’ve added people you can’t just leave and expect miracles.

G+ is different.
G+ expects interaction.  You have to devote time to G+.  You must post relevant data and if you want interaction with others, you must comment on posts you find intriguing.  Sharing others posts is a sure way of receiving kudos and having your posts shared as well.  I think G+ is the most social virtual environment I’ve yet to discover.

Is G+ a ghost town?
Dustin Stout, one of my recent additions to my G+ family has attempted to debunk this theory with his post:
Google+ Ghost Stories and Fairy Tales

I agree with everything Dustin writes in the post and I’d like to add my own thoughts here too.
I think the reason The Ghost Town Theory proliferates is that people are still stuck in the old social media paradigm.  As I inferred above, the people who are spreading The Ghost Town Theory are the ones who are not using G+ in the new and correct manner.  In order to get the most out of it, you must be interactive here.  You can’t expect to create a profile and simply disappear for weeks on end.  Never mind weeks, you can’t fade away for days.

Unless you have time to devote to making yourself visible on G+,
Unless you have time to comment and share on G+,
Unless you reach out and make new friends,
Unless you make time to be relevant, you’ll come away with the same concept: that G+ is a ghost town.
Unless you fill your circles your stream will be empty and that will confirm your suspicions that G+ is a failure.

G+ is not a failure.
G+ is a vibrant and exciting community but it will only seem that way if you devote the time it takes to build an audience.

G+ is different
for all the reasons I stated above.  Are you willing to do the work to make it more vibrant?

What are you waiting for?
If you are waiting for your friends to join then you have missed the theory behind G+, then you have missed the entire thread of this post today.

G+ is not a place for your old friends.
G+ is a place for engagement.
G+ is a place to make new relationships.
G+ is a place to network

You must do the work however.
Are you ready for a new paradigm in social?  If so, come on over.  You won’t be disappointed.  If you have challenges everyone is here to help.  All you have to do is ask.  Might I suggest creating a social media circle to start with.  You can even grab mine:
Chris’s Social Media Circle

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.