- Don't feel compelled to reciprocate!
- Don't feel shy about adding people to a circle
- As a good rule of thumb, try to reserve one circle for the people you really care about personally, that you want to share personal stuff with.
I'm going to further explain on the social circle stuff, which is why I think it's a great appeal and how it pawns Facebook on privacy setting:
Instead of saying, "I'm going to write a blog post now," or "I'm going to send an e-mail" or "I think I'll tweet something" you simply say what you have to say, then decide who you're going to say it to.
If you address it to "Public," it's a blog post.
If you address it to "Your Circles" it's a tweet.
If you address it to your "My Customers" Circle it's a business newsletter.
If you address it to a single person, it can be a letter to your mother.
I'd say this is pretty revolutionary.
On Google+, your relationships are solely based on the information you are willing to share with them, which is a lot like real life. We give people titles but that doesn't "really" mean anything and your true relationship is based on what you wish to confide with them; like some people say "My Mum is my best friend" that is partly to do with what information the person is willing to share with his/her Mum. My Mum is not my best friend so I will not put her in that circle.
Example of a fictional circles:
Family (Mum and sibling)
Close friends (best friends I've met throughout my life)
Work colleagues (people who pull your legs in work)
Distant (Aunts who pressure you to get married)
Multiplayer pals (those peeps who pawned me in Starcraft II)
Childhood (People who as adults I do not know but they found me on the internet so I humour them)
Example of my information:
Summer vacation to France photos (all circles, possibly entire web, just to brag)
Look. Just bought a designer bag, guess how much!!! (close friends)
Just setup a savings account, I'm not spending money on frivolous things (family)
Photo of beautiful typography on a store sign (design buddies)
Drinks this Friday? (Korean friends, possibly work colleagues depending on my mood)
My first 6 months living in Seoul (family, Distant)
Easter weekend at the park with the *family name* (Distant)
Anyone prepared anything for the meeting on Tuesday? (work colleagues)
Now some of my work buddies are good friends so they are in two circles, but some are merely people I worked with in a company. I really don't want to send info about a new book coming out or a Terence Conran interview to my family so I have a separate circle. At the moment, work buddies is essentially my twitter but if Google+ becomes popular I can switch permanently.
Take your old school teacher, he is not your friend, you may introduce him to someone as "my old school teacher, and friend Mr. _____" but in a medium where all you are doing is relaying information to each other I'd be surprised if you put him into a friend category; I would put him into "distant relatives friends of the family" then he gets the info about you graduating from university or getting a new job and doesn't get the info about you phoning your ex-girlfriend when you were drunk or going to see the chiropodist next Friday.
The example is extended when a "university" is created, think of it again as sharing information... as a virtual school noticeboard. People you only know through Uni would like this information but your friends wouldn't, and you don't have to share personal info with the weird girl you are doing a group project with.
I think people have been indoctrinated into believing "social network" is just a website where you show off how busy your life is or how many "friends" you have, which it was for Facebook when it was first setup for self-absorbed, arrogant students at the most prestigious universities in America. It's a playground mentality applied to an online tool.
I know it is still early but I can see my circle groups are falling into categories that were previously divided between different online tools: Linkedin, twitter feed, personal blog, design work blog, email, and ironically facebook private messages... then if there is something I don't mind everyone knowing I'd post on Facebook feed.
Google+ (if it gains popularity) will be so good, it's your life and your interactions with people rather than a voyeur's wet dream/normal person's worst nightmare that Facebook is.