My Strategy: Google+
I was an adamant Facebook resistor until I finally gave in back in January. First I couldn’t believe what I’d been missing – a continuous party with all my close friends. I caught up with people I hadn’t seen in awhile, which was great. There were pleasant surprises in the form of people I had more in common with than I knew, both in and out of town. People Liked my posts.
That was the honeymoon; it didn’t take long for my Friends to balloon to 146. It’s stressful; I can’t imagine having 600 to keep track of. Plus there are people who are vaguely work-related that I don’t really want to post everything to all the time. And I don’t like that everyone can see all my comments. It’s creepy.
The point is, although I am usually a Late Adopter, I am jumping into Google+ and have even formulated a plan.
On Arranging Circles:
– Make everyone either a Friend or an Acquaintance/SFW. Acquaintances don’t need to know I spilled cranberry juice on the floor, but they might like to know I have a show opening.
– Most Friends will also be added to one of two Circles – In Town or Out of Town. Sometimes I want to discuss things with out of town friends but not necessarily everyone who lives here. But out-of-towners don’t need to hear all the in-jokes from work. I want to keep those circles to a manageable number, although I’m not sure what that number is yet. Facebook was fun when I had between 25 and 80 friends, then it became unwieldy.
– The Family Circle is obvious – close family members. So far they are also Friends, but that may change as more people join. I also created an Extended Family category, all though no one is in it yet. Not all relatives are Friends. Put that on a fortune cookie.
– There is a Following category built in – I added local performers whom I don’t know particularly well but would like to see what they’re up to. I imagine they will only allow me to view their more public posts, which is fine.
– Then there are what I hope to be very small Circles. Girlfriends, which is my ladies, my peeps, my besties with whom I don’t want to censor myself. There’s also Artsy that I imagine will be where I deposit cool links and political
rants commentary. This will help keep other people’s streams manageable while videos, etc. reach an audience who will appreciate them. There are some people in Artsy who I didn’t make Friends; they are people I think are awesome but who don’t need to know the mundane details of my life. These are people whose aesthetic I admire and/or whom post hilariously but also prolifically.
The person in the most Circles so far is my brother. He is in Friends, Family, Out-of-Town and Artsy. Hope he wants to follow me!
On Making the Switch:
As of now I’m not planning on defriending anyone on Facebook since I still want to be able to receive invitations, read comments, get messages, etc. But, as people move to Google+ I am Hiding their FB posts. Eventually I imagine the people left on FB will be acquaintances, extended family members, and professionals. I will probably still check FB, but not nearly as often. It would be nice to drop it altogether, although I can see how that would be more difficult if you’d been on it longer. It will really depend on what the majority of other people do.
Good luck navigating your Stream. I Heart Circles!