Monday, August 4, 2014

Social Media Monday—Google Plus for Writers Part Two—So What’s Up with Circles?

by  +EdieMelson @EdieMelson




The list of new vocabulary words within the context of social media just go on and on and on. The words are—for the most part—familiar. But the meanings have changed. Even for those of us familiar with social media terminology it’s an ever-changing landscape. To today I’m going to tackle the basis for Google+ and explain what’s up with circles.

CIRCLES is the way Google+ defines connections. 

At first it seems an odd choice, but as I became more familiar with this social networking platform, the word made sense. Google+, more than any other platform, utilizes interests, topics and passions to help its users make connections.

Google+ has given us more control over how we classify our networks through circles. We don’t simply have to friend someone or follow them. With this network we can decide when, where and how we interact with our connections.

This difference is key and it’s intuitive, at least for me. I already group the people I interact with into categories. I have church friends, family, writing buddies, editors and agents I interact with, as well as many other. True, some fit in multiple categories, but even that is possible with Google+ Circles.

connections. For my way of thinking, this is a cleaner interface. It just makes sense.

Another thing I love about Google+ Circles is the fact that while Google+ gets you started with some default circles, you can add any you wish. For example, I added Editors and Agents, Crit Group and Followers. I even added a circle for Don’t Want to See. I can put people in this group that I feel obligated to add, but don’t want to interact with.

Here’s how to access your circles.

Go to your profile on Google+ and click on PEOPLE from the vertical menu on the left side of your screen (see screenshot below).

Now click on YOUR CIRCLES. From this page you can do several things (see screenshot below). First, you can add circles by clicking on the circle with a plus sign in it. You can also change how you see people (I have it so I see people by their last names).

I know it seems like I jumped way ahead in my series on Google Plus, but I wanted you to have a good idea about why I like this network before you obligated yourself to joining it. So next week we’ll back-track a bit and I’ll share how to set up a Google+ account, including how to add a cover image.

For now, I’d love to answer any questions you have about Circles in Google+. I’d also love to know what circle classifications you have for your own networks.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!



  1. Hi Edie! I was heavy on G+ when it started but drifted away. It seemed like activity there was substantially lower than FB, but it's definitely building now. I love circles... so much more flexible than FB. I remember when G+ first came out. One of my favorite quotes was, "Know who else puts his friends in circles? Dante." Thanks for the post!

    1. Tom, I followed the same course you did with Google+. And I LOVE your quote! Blessings, E

  2. Whoa! This is loaded with valuable stuff! Thanks so much.

    1. DiAnn, thanks so much or the encouragement and for dropping by! Blessings, E

  3. Thank you so much for diving into this subject. I just joined the circle family a few months ago and have been reading what I can about it, but was still confused. Your insight is helping me a lot. I want to be able to utilize this tool and be able to do it correctly.

  4. As always, good stuff, Edie! Hugs,Elva Cobb Martin

  5. I need this series. I have a Google+ account but I've never done anything with it. Thanks!

  6. I am with Lynn. I have had the account and even did the cover image, but I have not taken the time to discover how to use it. Great topic! Thanks Edie. I am learning so much from your blog.

  7. I can't wait to try! Thanks, again.

  8. Hey Edie thanks. I have a question. If I put one person in several circles, when they post something it seems like I am seeing it several times. Is that a correct assumption? Thanks so much for all your help.

  9. I can't wait to learn more. I, like Lynn, have an account but have never done anything with it.