When I was first invited to use Google Plus, I didn’t really know anyone who was active. I wasn’t sure who to circle – or even why. I left and didn’t visit back for a few months.
Now that I’ve spent some time in Google Plus, I understand it a bit more — and would like to share some advice for those just starting out.
So let’s start with the basics . . .
What is a Circle?
A circle is basically a group of people that you categorize under a specific topic (e.g. Friends, Family, Bloggers, etc.). When I first started in Google Plus, I made circles of friends, family, acquaintances, and other random people I was following. Here are my first circles:
As I started adding more and more people into my “following” circle, I realized that this strategy wasn’t really efficient for organizing information and optimizing my time in Google Plus. I needed to start segmenting people into specific types of circles. More on that in just a minute . . .
Why Create Circles
Circles are simply a way to organize posts from people you follow. If you’re familiar with Google Reader, it’s similar to grouping RSS feeds into certain folders. When first starting out, you might just start circling people within broad categories (e.g. entertainment, bloggers, crafts) like me, but you’ll soon start segmenting your circles into more specific topics.
Creating circles also allows you the ability to share specific content with specific people. For example, you might want to share certain information with just your circle of family members — and you can simply post content to just that circle if you wish.
Here are benefits of creating circles:
- Circles help you organize content and people
- Circles saves you time because you can just read posts by people in specific circles
- Circles can be shared with others
- You can share specific information with specific circles
Here’s a video from Google to give you a better explanation of why you should create circles:
So now let’s briefly talk about the different types of circles you could create . . .
Types of Circles
When you first begin circling, you might start with broad circles like: Entertainment, Music, Food, Bloggers, Movies, Humor, etc. And that’s a great strategy to begin with. In time, your circles will give birth to more circles. For example, I created a generic circle of bloggers, which eventually led to little circles of photo bloggers, craft bloggers, tech bloggers, etc. Here are some new circles that I recently formed:
And once you start creating circles, you can share them with friends or people that circle you.
Here are some shared circles you might find interesting:
- Thomas Hawk shared his circle of awesome photographers
- Anthony De Rosa shared his circle of Reuters journalists
- Jason Kennedy shared his circle of programmers and developers
- Jason Calacanis shared his celebrity circle
- Robert Scoble shared his circle of “geeky/technical folks”
So now let me show you how easy it is to create and add people into circles . . .
How to Easily Create Circles
Creating circles is really simple – and there are several ways to make them.
After logging into Google Plus, click on the circle icon:
And then simply drag people into the blank circle that says “Drop contacts here to create a new circle.” As you start to drag people, the circle will look like this:
You can click on “Create Circle” to name it and add a brief description.
And that’s really how simple it is.
How to Share Circles
Sharing circles is very easy, and allows you to promote people you think are interesting.
You can do this by simply clicking on your circle icon:
Click on the circle you want to share, and then you’ll notice the “Share” link in the center.
Click on “Share” and then you can write a brief message about the circle you are sharing.
Google created this nifty video to show you how sharing works:
Learn More About Google Plus
- How to Find Fascinating People on Google+
- How to Get Circled: 8 Ways to Get Added into More Relevant Circles Today
- How to Optimize Your Google+ Post: 8 Simple Ways to Get More Visibility & Interaction
- 10 Circle Management Tips to Save Your Time and Sanity in Google+
- How to Avoid Getting Uncircled
- Google+ Text Formatting Shortkeys & Shortcuts You Should Know
Here are some other articles to read . . .
- Mashable.com – Google Plus Articles
- Google.com – Google Plus Tour
- ZDnet.com – Google Plus Articles
- Circled.us – Google Plus Blog