Yeah I really, really like Google+. You can see from my Google+ profile that I spend a good bit of time there posting, commenting, and sharing. This also means that I spend a good bit of time there. Now the question is, how can you spend quality time on G+ and not have it become a giant time suck in your day. Well, I have 5 ways to help you do this and maybe if I write them down, I can help myself too!
First thing to know about Google+ is, like all social networks and information portals, you get what you give. So if you don’t spend any time there, don’t post anything (share, comment, +1), or cultivate circles of people who make Google+ valuable for you—you’re not going to reap any benefits from G+ and the benefits are real, believe me. Okay, so how do you keep from being sucked into G+ (to the expense of work, life, etc). Here are five ways:
- 1. Cultivate focused circles of people to follow, and stay in that stream most of the time. Yeah, I have a lot of people in my whole stream, but remember I’m an info junkie, I’m used to this kind of stuff and know how to mentally filter.
2. Turn off email (and phone) notifications. I turned off notifications for when people added me to their circles, I still get emails for comments on my posts or posts I’ve left comments on, but just cutting out circles cut out a lot of “oh let me check that…” temptation.
3. Mute posts. I love to leave comments on my friends’ posts. However some of my friends are rather popular folks so sometimes their posts can get a little out of hand. So after I while I mute the post so I don’t keep hearing about it. When do I mute? Either when the post is becoming a distraction or the new comments have started to become redundant.
4. Use some G+ extensions for Chrome. The first of the “killer” extensions was G+me and this brilliant extension collapses all the post threads while still letting you see a live comment count. To add more oomph try Google+ Ultimate for some great layout enhancements and Plus Minus for features like being able to show/hide streams with a click. Plus Minus and G+me have a couple over lapped features (collapsible posts in particular), so I found you need to add Plus Minus, refresh, turn off collapsible posts in Plus Minus, refresh then install G+me. It also works to install then enable and disable them in order, but it’s important to start with Plus Minus I found.
5. Just close the window/tab. Yeah I know. Just step away from Google+ for a while. I’ve try to “make it part of my routine” and spend an hour on G+ then move on … yeah that doesn’t work. If you really want to get things done, sometimes you just have to close Google+, Twitter, Facebook, even email and just get stuff done.
That’s all I got. I love the level of posts, interaction, and general “interestingness” of G+, but these blog posts don’t write themselves so even folks like me have to tune out sometimes.
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