This morning I had a conversation with a friend about Google+ and it’s a conversation I used to have about Twitter.
It all started with the announcement that the NFL is adding Google+ Hangouts to the league’s fantasy football pages to enable a video chat feature right on the pages. My friend said he signed up for Google+ ages ago, but really doesn’t enjoy it much because there’s not a lot of activity. GAH! Clearly he’s not circling the right people on Google+.

I used to say this to people about Twitter, and now I find people have exactly the same issue with Google+. They expect to sign up and immediately be inundated with vibrant, intelligent conversation! That’s not how a social network works though. On these kinds of networks you have to find people who are engaging and interesting as sources of conversation and listen, then talk back to them.

So here’s how to do that for Google+. If you think about it for a moment you’ll see it also applies to pretty much any social network, including Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin and many others.

Get set
Once you get Google+ set up your profile with links to your other social networks and a bio so we know more about you and are more likely to engage with you. Do some searches to find people who talk about the topics that interest you and create some circles to listen to and to share with.

Share good stuff and more people interested in that topic will follow you. What do you want to talk about? I guarantee you there are others who want to talk about it and they’re there right now, sharing information you’d like to have.

Comment and share some more
Commenting on another user’s post gets you into the conversation. Then share it with your own circles to spread the word and support both the people in your circle and the original poster. You’ll get more followers who are interested in those things too.

Get rhythm.
Visiting and posting regularly becomes a habit and you’ll start to find it a useful habit, and people will start to look for those scintillating posts.

10 people to circle who will add value to your experience
Of course you’ll find lots more, but these are 10 people I can always rely on to have useful and interesting content. They may not all work for you, but hey, diversity makes the world go round.

Stefan Svartling Is a wonderful curator of all things geeky and tech. He loves to test Mac apps too and being a Mac geek that appeals to me.

Steve Farnsworth Has lots of good tips about social media, marketing, PR and business. He calls it “New School Marketing”.

Debra Askanase Is on top of what’s going on in the non profit sector and online community building.

Stephanie Wanamaker Always has an interesting tidbit of news about films and music.

Louis Gray I can’t say enough about Louis. He’s super smart, his blog is a gold mine of knowledge and yesterday, it turns out, he shared his “top 99″ people circle. Go add that circle now and you’re well on your way to having great stuff to talk about on Google+.

Thomas Hawke Is an amazing photographer and his stream is full of beautiful shots that will brighten your day. Share them with your friends and brighten their days too.

Corvida Raven Another technophobe and founder of, she’s always ahead of the curve on the latest geek news and she posts thoughtful commentaries.

Mahei Foliaki The “chief happiness officer” he is. Mahei shares great fun stuff and he is generous in sharing other people’s posts and actually

KQED Science What’s not to love about this stream? I learn something new every day.

Catherine Laplace-Builhe Speaking of science I’m fascinated with Physics and Astrophotography and Catherine posts some pretty cool stuff.

Hey, and if none of these people float your particular boat, check out the Public Circles Database where you can find out who has circled you, share a circle with the world and browse for ready made circles of people who just might be interesting.

Last but not least, if you’re thinking of dipping your toe into Google Hangouts, go download my Google+ Hangout Cheat Sheet. It will give you the basics you need to know to get up to speed before the Fantasy Football draft starts.