Chances are if you read 10,000 Words, you’re a journalist of some stripe and you’re also familiar with — and likely already belong to — the latest social network: Google Plus. I’m no longer a news beat reporter, but I immediately saw an awesome opportunity for a specific journalist or even better a whole news organization to make this site into something awesome and useful to connect with their community. Here’s how:

Set up an account and create circles based on specific beats and topics. That’s basically it.

But what will make this useful is how you set up these circles and what you post and share with each. This is the part that I see as an interesting opportunity to build community.

Those circles are important because they will define who gets what news. You can go as deep or as broad as you like. If you cover education, your list will probably be broken down by school district or even individual school level (or maybe just high schools). If you cover city or county government, you could go down to the specific cities/counties, or if it’s just one city/county it could be broken down further to some of the departments or committees — city council, public works, street maintenance, etc. If you cover state legislature, you could take it down to parts of the state, counties or specific districts. If you’re creating this account for your entire news organization, you can do all of these or stick with broader circles for all education, city, county, crime, etc. Read more