How I made my online info diet healthier in June: a few last Google+ tips for you

26 Jun 2012

Red Leaf Lettuce

This will be a short report this month, as we're in the home stretch of the book deadline. Think good thoughts!

As my weekly Google+ project continues, I'm noticing that people are adding me to their Circles. I always go look at their profiles, because I'm hoping to connect with interesting people on G+.

…Only, more often than not, there's absolutely no information in these profiles. This is too bad, because without any data, I won't be able to tune into your future posts. I can't let my G+ Circles become as bloated as my Twitter feed has. I need to curate, and to curate, I need to know a little something about you.

Google+ doesn't seem to make it very clear how to build a good profile presence over there. So here are a few good tips I've noticed. Maybe they'll help you grow your G+ network faster.

Post Publicly as well as to Circles

So, the whole Circles thing on G+ is great for many reasons. But here's a hidden fact: if you only share stuff on G+ with your Circles, then your public profile page will look a lot like what you see above. As a new visitor to your page, I have absolutely no idea what kinds of things you share, so I have no idea whether it makes sense to tune into your future updates.

The solution to this is easy. Post some stuff as Public! You don't have to post a lot of stuff that way if you don't want to, but how about selecting a few posts that represent what you're doing on G+, and making those public? That way, new people will have some window into how you use this tool.

If you aren't sure how to set a post to Public, take a peek above. Right below your post form is a field labeled "Add names, circles or email addresses." Click that, and you can select the Public button.


Add a freaking photo!

Have you ever looked at someone's Google+ profile page and seen the bokeh image above? I have, dozens and dozens of times. This is because people don't often upload their own image to replace it.


Don't be generic! A custom banner image on your page works wonders toward my being able to get a handle on who you are and decide whether to tune in to your future updates. Photo uploads are super easy, too – just click the default banner and follow the upload instructions.


See what a big difference this makes? I love how Rachel's page expresses something about her personality and favorite craft.

Fill out your profile

When I first click on someone's profile page, the first thing I see, obviously, are their recent posts. And then, if I want to go deeper, I click the About tab of their profile page. Only unfortunately, I don't always see much of anything there.

If you want to build more of a G+ network, don't neglect this section! You've got places to link to all your other online presences there, and to tell us a little about your background and what you do. (Again, I think Rachel's done a great job here.)


Your profile page is deeply customizable, too. Click that blue "Edit Your Profile" button you see above, and you'll see all the kinds of information Google can include.


You can click right on any of these items to edit it.

…And, you can control which elements of your profile are seen by which people. If you only want people in your Circles to know where you went to college, you can set that. If you want to keep your birthday or relationship status so only you can see them and no one else, you can set that, too.

Root-y Carrots

Next month, I'll be back to a more philosophical look at how to keep an online information diet healthier – what tools do we need to live in an information-abundant world?


Thank you for demystifying Google+ As with many newer social media sites, it's hard to know what to do next, or even first!

Doh! You've totally got me as I haven't changed the photo. I was just thinking about it, but then couldn't decide on a photo. Sometimes, there's just too many accounts to setup!

Thanks! I did update my profile. I'd actually forgotten how to FIND my profile...

Thanks for these tips. I am over on G+ more these days but I haven't spent much time really customizing my presence. Maybe I'll take that on as an upcoming weekend project.