Circles, lists and searches - Methods for using Google+ and Twitter

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Image: Eric Ziegler

As a change of pace away from search engine optimization (I still have several posts on SEO), I thought I would jump into how I use Google+ and how it relates to how I use Twitter (yes I use Twitter and yes I do find that I gravitate to the better conversations in Google+ more than I use Twitter).  

I use both Google+ and Twitter in a very similar way.  For each tool, I follow many different people, and in fact I follow more people of Google+ then I have ever followed on Twitter.  But when you start to follow too many people on either tool, your main stream becomes a water fall, a fast moving stream or even a river.   There is no way you can keep up with the stream and digest it all.  To be honest, it makes my head spin sometimes.  So instead, I create circles / lists that I use to follow the main people that I am interested in following.   This is where I get great information from people I know and trust are going to provide great information.   Some circles/lists are based on topics, such as E2.0/Socbiz.  Other are just groups of witty people that have great things to say.  But the key is, both Twitter and Google+ provide the same type of mechanism to help you monitor the stream while maintaining you sanity.  

The other mechanisms I use on both tools is the search capabilities.  While the basic concepts on how I use search are slightly different, the end result is very similar and equally useful.   For Twitter I follow tags that are of interest to me - again E2.0/socbiz are my main tags.  for Google+, I use a boolean search string for topics of interest (e.g   e20 OR socbiz OR "enterprise 2.0" OR "social business" OR "E2.0").   I save both lists (in Google, your saved lists are under the explore icon on the left).  While I get a lot of great information that I don't see in my lists or circles, the other great thing about searches is that you find new people to follow.  I will typically add the new person to a secondary topic list / circle to monitor to see if the person provides good content and not too much spam (spam to good content ratio has to "feel" just right).  

What other tips or tricks do you use to gain value out of for Twitter or Google+?