G+ Etiquette

Google Plus is a vast and wonderful online community, but just like the real world and all the other online communities, there are certain basic rules that should be followed.  Now I’m not talking about the TOS’s or EULA’s or any of that official red tape crap, but about Etiquette.

I’m sure over time this post will grow, and I invite you to comment with any ideas you have to make it more interesting and insightful, but until then I’ll just cover the basics.

If you circle someone and they do not circle you back, lets not make a big deal.  Right now there is a limit on circling for one thing.  For another, the person might just not be looking for more strangers to befriend.  Or maybe they’re just not interested in circling men, or women, or republicans, or whatever you may be that turns them away.  Or maybe they’re on vacation and haven’t gotten around to checking into G+ in a while.  Never the less, just let it slide and move on, even uncircle them if you feel you must.

If you’re sharing a circle, notify those contained within that circle.  I’ve got another post here on the basics (https://gplusexperience.wordpress.com/2011/11/04/sharing-circles/) but essentially, just give a heads up.

Share posts.  It sounds simple, right?  Well, it is simple.  G+ has a built in function that allows you to quickly share a post, giving credit to the individual from whom you are sharing it.  Just click the share button, select who you’d like to share it with, and submit it.  You can even add a comment, a bit about why you like it and are sharing it.  What we’ve been seeing a lot of is individuals finding posts, copying the comment, or just a link if that’s the main topic of the original post, and then reposting it as their own.  Now some still credit the individual from whom they found it with a quick ‘via +soandso’ tag at the beginning, but this disrupts the pond so to speak.  G+ has integrated the Ripples feature which allows you to track a post back to where it originated and see how far out it’s gone.  Once a person fails to ‘Share’ a post, that post is plucked from that pond and dropped into a new one.  It might seem trivial, but think how you’d feel if you found some great bit of information you wanted to share, posted it up on your stream, and then two weeks later saw the same post filter back your way with you completely unattached to it.  Now I know this isn’t a popularity contest, but as we should in life, lets give credit where credit is due.

Again, this is just barely touching on the subject, and I welcome any and all input and will update accordingly.

9/10/2012 update
OK, so, it’s been a while.  Life gets busy and there is a world outside of the internet (INORITE!?)  Anyway, just a few more tidbits to cover here.

Spam.  It sucks.  Whether it’s the same crap rehashed over and over and finds itself on my stream, or it’s one individual sending a bunch of mindless, meaningless crap that just clogs my stream making it difficult to find those choice posts from my favorite users (yes, circle management makes this less of a pain in the rear, but now and again, i do like to just watch my stream flow without a million pictures of half-naked women and other mindless dribble that finds its way there…)  If you’re going to constantly post, make it something noteworthy.  Whether your area of interest is beauty, fashion, technology, or whatever might interest you, you can show us all kinds of great links and information on those interests without completely blurring out everything else in our streams.  Quality over quantity always.  Put one through now, wait 20 minutes, then send the next one… rinse and repeat.  No hurry, no need to just spam the hell out of our streams.

Drama.  Keep it between you and your significant other (or inlaws, immediate family, etc…)  If someone posts something that just outright annoys you… who cares?  It’s the internet.  You can uncircle them, you can remove them from whatever special circles they might be in to keep them out of your filtered feeds, you can just ignore them and wait for the next post to come streaming by… so many options.  Just like with children, if you don’t engage them, you don’t empower them.  If someone posts some blatantly insulting (to you) image or joke and you jump right in and tell them just how infuriating their post was to you… most people are just going to ignore you, but some are going to really screw with you and send another 5-10 posts just like it.  Fight nice.

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