Sunday, January 27, 2013

Engaging with Google+

In the pub after the Sydney Oracle Meetup ('SQL Developer for DBAs, featuring a guest recorded appearance by the one and only +Jeff Smith ), Google+ got a mention. Okay, it was me who mentioned it, and it was closely followed by a remark by another attendee that he didn't know anyone else who used it.

It is getting some traction, apparently overtaking Twitter in active members ( I don't know how the figures are calculated. Twitter is more high profile still, possibly because practically every tweet is public).

Google+... grew in terms of active usage by 27% to 343m users to become the number 2 social platform. Interestingly for Google, YouTube (not previously tracked by us as a social platform) comes in at number 3....

But it is still a geeky place. The most popular communities are Space, Android and Photography. Photography is big in G+. Sport less so, with the Minecraft community being bigger than the 'F1 Racing' group (which is the biggest of any sport).

Google+ Tips and Suggestions

If you do want to get active in G+, finding appropriate communities is a good start.

Try Science Sunday or IT Professionals for active groups, or find something aligned to your non-work interests. There's no busy Oracle community yet. If you are an Oracle person, feel free to join the Sydney Oracle community (even if you don't live around here).

If you want a selected set of individuals to start with, I've shared a circle here. Some of them (Laurence Pegard and Artsaholic) are 'visual' posters with lots of imagery. Wired, The Economist and the Daily WTF will be known to anyone reading this. Frankly the comments on the Economist posts often fall into the drivel category.Tim Hall and Jeff Smith are included because they are the bigger Oracle 'identities'. David Brin is the sci-fi author, and the others represent good originators or curators of content.

I have one circle that is empty. I share articles to that if I want to read them later.

I have a circle for 'local' content (where it will be active during the daytime in Australia) and another for 'Following' a group of people who post stuff that I don't want to miss. I catch up on that group in the mornings (mostly) simply reading back to the last post I remember.

I have a 'Background' circle of stuff that I can read if I have time, but I can skip when bust. And I sometimes have 'potential' circles where I've imported a bunch of people and want to filter them into a better circle, or remove them altogether,

I generally remove (uncircle) people for posting lots of cat pictures or memes, or if they have a very high noise to signal ratio. I block people who irritate me. It makes life more pleasant.

If you comment on an article, you get notifications for subsequent comments (unless you mute the post). If you follow interesting people, you can often find other interesting people when they comment on interesting posts.

I don't expect people I follow to follow me back. I don't expect to find people I know in real-life.
Lots of people don't post publically. Mostly women, and mostly because of creeps. Because of this, you might need to wait until you are circled by them before you actually see any content from them.

Also, stick enough information in your profile so that people know 'what you are about'.

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