Confessions of a Google Plus Profile Snob

I admit it. I’m a Google Plus profile snob.

I take a look at someone’s avatar, hover card, and profile to make a very quick decision about circling or not. I am likely misjudging and therefore losing out on following some amazing people. But the fact is my time is limited. I can’t spend a lot of effort researching people. I take a look and make a decision. And I suspect that many plussers are just like me.

Here are things that turn me off when it comes to following someone.

1. Avatar

I am not prone to intently look at avatars that are not smiling human faces, looking directly at the camera. I tend to mentally dismiss these avatars

  • stuffed animals
  • flowers
  • dogs, goats, cats, rodents, snakes (Yes, I’ve seen all of those animals on G+ as avatars.)
  • logos
  • inanimate objects
  • cartoon characters
  • men without shirts or women showing cleavage
  • people looking aloof or wearing sunglasses
  • couples or groups of people

2. Hover Card

If the cover image is the default Google color swirls, I have an automatic prejudice. I’ve seen it so many times; it just doesn’t stand out to be noticed. If the hover card has no additional details besides a name, I tend to move on without clicking over.

3. Profile

By default, the hover card click takes you to a person’s posts. If I see three or more identical posts (normally to communities), it signals spam to my brain. If there are loads of silly gifs, memes, inspirational images/quotes, and map check-ins, I tune out. If all the shares come from the same domain and have no interaction on them, I get bored.

If the content looks promising, I usually switch to the about tab to learn a bit more. If an about section is vague, sparse, or filled with platitudes, my eyes gloss over and I am clicking back.

That’s my confession. It may make me sound like a very shallow person to evaluate a plusser in this way, but it’s my typical mental process. And I suspect that I’m not alone in this snobbery.

Moral of the story? Get your profile and hover card beefed up so you are attracting followers.

  • Phew! I think I passed all of these. I’m still such a G+ newbie!

  • I, too, have some criteria by which I judge a profile before making the decision about Circling. But that’s not the only time I scrutinize a profile.

    After crossing paths several times with someone – usually in the comment stream of an HOA – I find myself revisiting their profile. My reason for this is to find out what other social networks they’re using; often I then connect with them there, too. But if they don’t list their social links, how am I to find them????

    If they DO list their other social accounts, and I see they are active on those sites, I put them into a “special” G+ Circle. These are the people who are most likely to understand online engagement . . . and that’s what I’m here for.

    • Jimmie Lanley

      I like hearing how you manage people on G+, Debi. You bring up a great point about the cross promotion among different platforms. There are so many reasons to optimize a G+ profile.

  • Well, Jimmie, you pretty well described my method of deciding who to and not to circle.
    I’ve posted so many times on the importance of having a complete profile and proper profile photo that I tend to get impatient with those who don’t.

    Of course that’s their decision – as it is mine not to circle them.

    • Jimmie Lanley

      Exactly, Ray. Some people may resist completing a profile, thinking that they would rather have their interactions on G+ reflect who they are. That is certainly valid. But a lot of people do follow the same train of thought that I have, and if you welcome followers, it is to your advantage to cover all the bases.

  • Oh my gaaaah! I’m a total Profile Snob too! You’re not alone, Jimmie! I mean, why would Google put those widgets and areas in place if they were meant to be stagnant? I’m pretty much like you! I get choosy when it comes to checking out someone’s profile!

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