Google Plus circles are a labor of love for me. Google Plus at its core revolves around circles. That has changed somewhat with the addition of Google Plus Communities. What makes Google Plus circles more important than the communities is the ability to receive all content shared by someone you follow who makes a post public.
Personally for the first year and a half I was on Google Plus I used to spend a few hours at a time going through my circles and cleaning out the people who do not engage or who just do not use Google Plus. This was quite a task, to this day cleaning circles has not changed much since the beginning of Google Plus.
The way I did it was to sort by relevance and scroll to the bottom of the list. I would then work backwards up the list, scroll over the persons name to see if they have me circled and then take action. If I did not recognize a person, or they have not posted in a long time according to CircleCount, I would delete them from my circles. Some may say, “but I do not post public or I do not post at all”. To those folks as long as I recognize them as someone who engages in conversation then I happily keep them in circles.
My Google Plus circles are a community of people who I share something in common with. I have circles for Klout, Aquaponics, Precious Metals and of course a circle for Veterans. In all I have a total of 22 different circles.
I have been asked how I decide who I put in my Google Plus circles. It comes down to engagement, if I see you comment on a topic I am interested in or you comment regularly on my posts. The other reason I circle someone is that we have something in common and this happens most often in Google Plus Communities.
Google Plus circles are limited to 5,000 people. You are only allowed to follow a maximum of 5,000. I do not like this rule, but Google must have a valid reason. Join Google Plus Communities to bypass this rule. You will not be able to circle any more people, but you will be able to have posts from that stream in your Google Plus feed.
One great thing about Google Plus circles is that you can turn off certain circles depending on your mood or if you are at work. So make sure that you have your circles filtered properly. Nothing is worse than when you are trying to be professional and a cat GIF pops up in your Google Plus feed. Due to the difficulty and time involved with Google Plus circle management I decided to buy Circloscope. It is a Chrome extension that helps you manage your circles better. You can see it in action on this Youtube video I made. Check it out!
So get to work cleaning up your Google Plus circles. You will have a much better experience on Google Plus and you will find that your engagement levels will rise accordingly.
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Google Plus Circles Keeping Them Up to Date by Randy Hilarski