Google+: A New Round of Etiquette


Now that I’m in Google+, I’m really liking it. It’s like a simplified version of Facebook with a potentially broader reach. And the privacy controls are up front, easy to use, and seemingly in place before we can even say, “Hey, what about – ?” Thank you, Google, for paying attention all these years.

But even here in this shiny new social media fun house, etiquette issues crop up.

Take Circles. The Google+ answer to Facebook Friends lists, you can create a Circle for any kind of group you want. Take a look at The Brutally Honest Guide to Naming Circles in Google Plus for ideas.

There’s also a lot of talk about reciprocity: If someone adds you to one of their Circles, do you automatically add them to one of yours?

I don’t think you should feel obligated, but if you’re in Google+ for social networking, adding people to at least an Acquaintances Circle could make sense. The privacy levels on posts and pictures let you decide who sees what anyway, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the job seeking world, it’s that you never know who can lead you to your next fabulous job.

But what about the people who clamor for a Google+ invite and then DON’T add you to one of their Circles? You’re effectively locked off from getting to know that person better, barring public posts.

Now with friends locking you out, it could be a simple case of morons online (or you need better friends). With name-only acquaintances or outright strangers, it could be another. I’ve seen a lot of begging out there on Twitter and other public forums to kindly folks who are sowing invites broadcast. What happens after that?

Do you feel a sense of obligation to give back to the person who invited you by adding them to a Circle, even if it’s a “Stranger who invited me” Circle, or is Google+ a take-it-and-run kind of scene? Let me know!

Want to know if Google Plus is for you? Read Google+ Micro-Review: If Drinking From a Fire Hose Entertains You by @jmacofearth.

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