One of the things that I like about Google+ is that it combines a lot of what I like about Twitter with what I (still) like about Facebook. Personally, I use Twitter primarily for keeping tabs on people who I do not know very well or at all, such as @JadAbumrad and @DemetriMartin, and I use Facebook for keeping in touch with my family and friends. Google+ is set up to let you do both. I can have +Matt Cutts and +Felicia Day in my stream as well as my wife and mother-in-law. But since voraciously adding people to my Google+ circles, my stream has become overwhelming (much like my Twitter account). In my perfect world, Google+ would implement a “favorites” feature that would allow you to pull together people from various circles akin to the iPhone starred contacts feature. But in lieu of that, and perhaps the reason why such a feature doesn’t exist on Google+, you can manually create a “VIP” or “Favorites” circle and bookmark it. That way, your “default” stream will consist only of the people you really care about. Here’s how I set it up:
Log in to Google+ and create a new circle called “VIP” or “Favorites.”
Add people to your Favorites circle. You can also do this in Step 1.
For me, my Favorites circle is a combination of the colleagues, friends and family whom I’m most interested in. For this reason, a simple Family, or Friends circle doesn’t really suffice.
Pull up your Favorites circle in your stream. Now, Bookmark the URL for that circle. Use this as your bookmark for Google+, effectively changing your “default” stream to one that’s a bit more relevant and intimate.
I don’t know about you, but for me, this subtle tweak makes me enjoy Google+ much, much more. I stopped using Twitter long ago because there’s just too much noise-to-signal ratio—though that’s my own dang fault for following so many people. But the way, I have Google+ set up, I get my inner circle most of the time, but if I feel like getting my fill of celebrity deep thoughts or cool link recommendations, I can just view my full stream.
[Image adapted from lolololori]