So, you decided to sign up for Google Plus, huh? Feeling pretty rockin' now aren't ya? I know, I did too when I first signed up. But after a few days went by, I realized how bored I was and suddenly, I felt like I had been duped by the big deal made during Google's beta period.
Well, before you sign this off as being another social networking flop by Google, I have a few questions to ask you.
Who is in your circles?
Possible Answer # 1: Just the people you know.
Who has circled you?
Possible Answer # 1: My friends. And some weird guy who I don't know. Should I call the police on him?
Before you pick up that phone to have the police haul the creeper away (not saying he isn't a creeper, but he may know more than you do about how to use Google Plus)...consider this...
Google isn't Facebook.
Okay, I know, I know. There has been quite the battle between the two social networking services, starting with Facebook banning any ads that promote Google Plus. But, in reality, it will be quite a long time before people go around saying, "Everyone's on GooglePlus now." So, you probably won't see many of your friend's providing content for your stream, and that will lead to a very boring experience.
Which brings me to my next point.
Think of GooglePlus like Twitter.
Twitter has gotten it's rep for being a micro-blogging service and that 150 characters have provided great fun for some and great disasters for others.
And to me, Twitter will always have a place in my heart. And yes, you're right, I've not quite warmed up to the idea of having to manage three different social networking sites. But, really, you should be using GooglePlus with the same intent that you use Twitter.
GooglePlus represents a similar type of information sharing type of social networking like Twitter.
You get more than 150 characters, and a bit more content than you do with Twitter. And unlike Facebook, it isn't really about "friending" just the people you know. If you have found someone absolutely fascinating that provides wonderfully great information on GooglePlus...you just "circle" them and their messages get put into your stream. They have the choice if they want to post "public" information (for all to read, you included) or information to just a certain "circle" (that you may or may not be a part of). And you have that same choice, too.
Great, isn't it?
Alright, so we have established that Google should not be used like Facebook where you only add the people you know, right? And that you do add people you don't know with GooglePlus. And yes, you do have the ability to control the information you share, by simply going in to the account settings, so don't panic.
So how do you find all these fabulous people?
Okay, well that's the fun and easy part. When you have logged into your Google Plus account, find that search box, and simply type in the category you are most interested in. If you're like me, you would probably type in something like "Writers" or "Writing."
And guess what will pop up?
Tons of people, who are like you, who love to write. No, you have no gaurantee of this person not being a (potential) stalker/creeper (hey, you circled them first, you know?), you can pretty easily fix that by checking out their profile and seeing the content they have shared and how many people have circled them, as well (the higher number that is, the less likely it is they are stalker/creeper).
Yes, it's probably somewhat of a judgment call, but if they creep you out a bit too much, or the content they post is dull or just nonexistant, you can always "kick" them out of your circle (their feelings won't be hurt, I promise; in fact, they probably won't even notice).
And with a click of a button, by adding them into your circle, you will have content in your stream that you will (hopefully) find informative, fascinating, funny, entertaining...and all with more than 150 characters.
So, my G-Peeps, enjoy your new (and now improved, thanks to yours truly) social networking life on Google Plus and don't forget to come up for air to see when the next social networking craze comes out (I know, the idea disturbs me, too).