Five days after joinging G+ I did a post about my initial reactions to it. (See:

It has now been five weeks since I joined Google+ and time for another post about the G+ experience. Since joining 5 weeks ago I have acquired either 338 people or 372 people in my circles (depending on which screen you look at). Additionally 322 or 317 people have me in circles. In both cases the higher number comes from circles screen, the lower from the left margin of the about screen. Why ARE these figures different??

Going round in Circles
I'm reasonably happy with how I have my circles set up. Let me talk you through it:

My most important circle is "Friends" – This is people I know and have met. No offence to anyone who isn't in that circle but these are the people who's posting I want to be able to see first. It's at the top of my list of circles and when I log on to G+ the first thing I usually do is click that stream to see what my friends are posting. (BTW: Some of you have been a bit quiet of late…! What's going on?).

Next I have four business related circles. These are:
Photographers: All – Anyone who adds me to a circle and claims to have an interest in photography gets added to this circle.
Photographers: UK – Any photographer here in the UK – Many of these contacts come from this G+ list I set up:
Photographers: Local – Any photographer within easy travelling distance of Stockport.
Models – Contains erm… models.

How do I use the photography related circles?
I use the Photographers: All to see what is going on the the world of photography. I like the mix I have when seeing posts and photos in this stream. I can see people I know (some of whom are just starting out in photography), posting images and advice alongside big names such as +Trey Ratcliff +Scott Kelby and +Rick Sammon. And this is how it should be – no matter how well known and how experienced a person we can learn from everyone.

Photographers: UK and Photographers: Local I use to market events at my studio ( If the event is a few days away I'll post to the "UK" circle… I do get people travelling to the events I run! If I want to do a quick up date along the lines of "Still spaces for tonight's event" then I'll restrict it the local photographers.

The "models" circle – Well it erm… contains models… not quite sure the best way to use it yet. I don't have enough contacts in there to make it worth while spliting it geographically yet. G+ doesn't appear to have taken off as much with models as it has with photographers. BTW I have a G+ thread to try to put UK models in touch with photographers and with each other: (But it hasn't been as popular as the corresponding photographers one).

Finally I have an "Others" circle – this consists of people who have added me but I can't quite work out why. Folks who just post animated GIFs, or do nothing but share amusing posts from others, or people who just post links to mainly unrelated sites all get put in here.

The problem of ever growing circles
So far anyone who has has added me to a circle I have added to one of my circles. Thankfully most of those are either friends, photographers and the occasional model. However my "Others" circle is growing!

I have under 400 people in my circles and even with that number looking at a combined stream of everyone's posts is unmanageable. I HAVE to look at posts based on individual circles to make any kind of sense of it all.

At some point I'm going to want to prune my circles. And the "Others" will be the first in the firing line. After that it will be people who I have in my circles who haven't reciprocated. Which reminds me, does anyone know how to find out which people I have in my circles but who don't have me in there circles? (You can do the other way round ie people who have me in their circles but who aren't in mine, by sorting "People who've added you" on the circles screen by "Not yet in circles")

In Conclusion
Of all the social networking sites I still like G+ the best. Circles do make it easy to manage what you want to see (and don't want to see). I'm looking forward to the eventual release of the G+ offering for businesses, but till that comes on line I can manage on G+ using my circles. Although I wish I could create events and send invites to them as I can on FB. I'd love to have the "NOT" filter on viewing circles… in my case I'd like to occasionally view all my circles…. except the "Others"

If you found these ramblings useful please feel free to share.

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