Circle of Trust – Effective Organization of Google+ Circles
There is a lot of buzz right now about G+. (Ironic how Buzz didn’t get this much, well, Buzz but that’s neither here nor there) Most of my non-techy friends generally come to me with technology questions and today, more often than not “What is this G+” has been the topic of conversation. These recent questions are reminiscent of those received after my mom discovered Facebook, except now it’s coming from my generation, my friends, who grew up with AIM, MySpace, and Facebook. While reactions generally seem mixed, the second question I usually get is, “Hey bro, how should I arrange these circles?”…well that’s actually half true, I live in the midwest and most of my friends would never use the term “Bro” but again, I digress.
The organization of your circles in G+ is actually the solution to the biggest problem, in my opinion, in Facebook. How do I set security at an individual level? Sure, it can be done on Facebook, but creating lists took a long time, and was somewhat confusing. For example, I want my friends to see all of my awesome, crazy party photos, but I’d prefer that Mom and Aunt Tootie (yes, I really do have an Aunt Tootie) not. I want to share a great article I found that relates to a project I am working on at work with my co-workers, but I know my friends would either hate it, or make fun of me. (or in my case, both) Google+ solves that problem by essentially making the organization of your circles the first thing you do, and giving you the choice of what and where to share with every post.
Looking for some ideas on how to organize your circles? Below is what I think makes the most sense, and will allow you to utilize Google+ to its full advantage. First I would define my 4 “core circles”. These are the broad groups to which most people and information will fall into. In addition, consider making sub circles of smaller groups with really defined interests. For example, a co-worker with whom I am working on a project, may fall into “Co-Workers” but also into “Project 123”.
First I would think about your friends, and if you are like me you have two levels. Those who are friends, and those who would, in a time of need, bail you out of jail. (point of information, this is completely hypothetical, and I have yet to test the group) I would create two friend circles and define as such.
Next, you have your family. This is a great place to share vacation photos, notify your brother or sister that it is indeed their turn to host Christmas, and maybe share Grandpa’s famous potato pancake recipe.
If your using G+ for business, you will have your client circle. This is a great place to share community information, neighborhood deals, and the occasional helpful video blog post. (I haven’t taken the time to read the terms and conditions on Google+ yet, but I’m sure it’s against them to post your listings, and even if its not, don’t do it, its annoying)
The last core circle I would create would be for co-workers. A great place to share work related information and chat about management. (Hint: If chatting about management, including said management in the circle is not recommended)
Its important to remember that sub circle merely refers to a circle with less people and a more distinct interest. There is no defined difference in Google+ between a Core and Sub circle, that’s just an easy term I use to define them. So if you have specific interests or projects, for example “Golfing Buddies or Project 123”, create separate circles and include the related individuals. It might even be beneficial to categorize your clients into geographical circles. This will allow you to easily supply targeted updates to a community regarding the classic question – “How’s the market?”
Finally, Google+ offers a really cool new feature called A Hangout. This is where you can invite a group of people to a virtual chat room and several people can all talk and see each other at the same time. You can create a hang out at any time and invite groups to join the chat. This feature works really well for sub circles, to work on projects, plan your next tee time, or work through the complexities of a deal.
So, give Google+ a try! I think you will find, that at the very least it will shape up to be a very useful business tool for sharing information and meeting up to chat about your next deal!