4. Public. A fringe benefit of Following in Google+ is that it makes sharing posts with Public one of the best things about the social network. I realize this violates the premise of Circles and the alleged awesomeness of being able to direct posts to segregated audiences, but hey--I can do that too, right?
When I share things only with my Family or Friends Circles, I limit the discussion and close myself off from more engaging debate, and maybe learning a thing or two. I like that when I post something to Public it can be seen by the 2,000 or so who have me in their Circles, anyone that might see it get reshared by one of those 2,000, and by anyone on Google+ who just happens to search for it.
It is one of the things that I think makes Google+ a more engaging and active social network. I get a fair amount of +1s, comments, and reshares of my posts on Google+, and almost none of them are by people who are actually in my Circles.
5. Circles. If you have followed along all 30 days, you know that I am not an advocate of the Circles. I am not opposed to them per se. I just don't think they are the privacy silver bullet that some make them out to be, and I think they introduce a whole different set of privacy concerns to worry about.
So, why did Circles make my top five favorite things? I don't like Circles for segregating the posts I share on Google+, but I think Circles are brilliant for helping me to sort through the hundreds and thousands of incoming posts.
Facebook lets me do this as well with Lists. I have used Lists on Facebook for quite some time to let me skim just the status updates from my family, or just the status updates from my closest friends. For the most part, the Circles concept is not any different than the Facebook lists. The main difference is that Google+ makes it easier to set up, and more simple and intuitive to choose which Circle I want to see the stream from.
There you have it. There are other things I like about Google+--Sparks has grown on me more and has potential, Hangouts are pretty cool, and Huddles for group chat from the mobile app are all neat tools that add value to Google+. But, these are my top five favorite things.
All that's left now is to summarize the 30 Days With Google+ experience and wrap this series up.