Google+: A New Round of Etiquette

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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.

Google Profiles for Google+

Just a quick note about Google+, which I still have to get IN to, and typically enough want to be part of the more I am kept in the waiting room–per ZDNet, all Google Profiles will be forcibly made public by July 31, or deleted forever. This means at least your full name and gender have to be on display to all. How do you feel about that?

You can still avoid Google search indexing despite being public–at least for now.

Happy Friday!

ETA: I’m in! Now I can see what all the fuss is about and how this will help me in social media, because that’s where it’ll matter for me. In the process, I found this article: Google’s Circle of Strife.

And you’ll want to follow @How2GooglePlus on Twitter for the best tips and resources on how to deal with this new social media beast.

Google+ (Minus?)

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Google+ is all over the internet (especially Twitter). From what I understand, using this means you’ll never have to think again.

Admittedly, Google tends to have fun things, if not good things, and a fun-good thing that could also help my social media lifestyle is worth checking out.

Yet social media, while exciting, fast-paced and innovative, is also a major time-suck. If I’m going to adopt a new platform, I want to know what it IS first.

From my outsider’s viewpoint (‘ware sarcasm):

Circles puts your connections in groups so you don’t forget who shouldn’t see what or who these crazy people are that you’ve friended.  Yep, similar to Facebook.

Sparks looks for things it thinks you’ll like, because searching for stuff yourself is so passé, and who cares if you’re missing something Sparks doesn’t think you want?

Hangouts is an “unplanned meet-up” tool. As in, “OH HAI I’M WALKING INTO A STORE!” only it’s online, so everyone within eyeshot will come find you in real life. Face-to-face in this day & age! I don’t know why SmartPhones still come with the phone.

Instant Upload. Now photos upload themselves! Hurray! I bet that’ll never come back to bite you in the ***!

Huddle: Instant messenger turned into group chat so you don’t have to waste precious milliseconds relaying information.

Again, I’m looking in at this candy shop with my nose pressed against the window. For all I know, actually using some or all of these features could be awesome, and I’m curious enough to see what it is before dissing it completely. Only: “We’re still ironing out a few kinks in Google+, so it’s not quite ready for everyone to climb aboard. But, if you want, we’ll let you know the minute the doors are open for real. Cool? Cool.”

Guess I’ll have to wait to get integrated!

Want more information? Google+ is a Facebook beater PLUS a social phenomenon: Nine reasons why sounds intriguing, while How to Get Started With Google+, Your Complete Guide should help after you get your invite.

And the post that may convince even me: A social media sensation as the world goes gaga over Google! via @marketingm8.

Enjoy!