As maligned as Google+ may be, it’s important to keep it around and promote it. After all, what mega-huge giant company that basically runs the Internet owns Google+? Exactly.

Google+ actually has a healthy community set up, though it’s less focused on Facebook-style social media and more on writing and authorship. A great many writers of a great many books use Google+ as a main source of promotion for their work. A few of them have amassed a following that rival some of the most-followed people on Twitter. And they don’t have to hashtag anything.

Wil Wheaton

While known primarily as an actor in both movies and TV, Wil Wheaton has also found life on the Internet as a blogger extraordinaire. This has led to the publication of several books, including two memoirs.

His G+ account is full of the same geek humor you’d come to expect (his cover photo is a guy in a creepy horse mask, and he lists “broke up Penny and Leonard” as a Bragging Right, in reference to his role on the Big Bang Theory as Evil Wil Wheaton.) His posts are largely links to his blog posts, along with various videos of things he find amusing. He’s amassed over 1.5 million followers though, so clearly his form of non-marketing works very well for him.

Steven Levy

For 30 years, Steven Levy has been writing about computers, the Internet, and technology in general. His first book, “Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution” was a seminal piece that explained just how influential a computer expert could be, with or without online access.

This 30-year pedigree, combined with his current position as Senior Writer for Wired Magazine, has helped him gain over 1.6 million followers on Google+. Many of his posts there concern either technology or writing, and are typically wordy and well thought-out, as befitting such a long-time scribe. There are no LOLs to be found on this guy’s page.

Gina Trapani

Gina Trapani is why your life is just a little bit easier. She founded the Lifehacker blog (all about little tips and tricks designed to help you get ahead in every small facet of life) back in 2005, and has since turned it into big business. This includes several successful books about hacking your life into awesomeness, along with another about Google Wave that clearly didn’t keep the product alive nearly as long as she (and Google) might have wanted.

Though she doesn’t have a follower count on her Google+ page, she does boast over 13 million views on her page, meaning she almost certainly has way more followers than you. She uses her platform both to promote her current work at ThinkUp, and to raise awareness for various charities she cares about. Also, the occasional video about adorable babies. Hey, this IS the Internet, after all.

As you can see, authors on Google+ are a varied bunch, when it comes to the things they post on the site. But one thing many of them have in common is that they’re not posting memes or sharing the same viral garbage that you’ve seen on your Facebook wall twenty times today. They’re promoting real content, whether it be their own or somebody else’s. And while Google+ might still lag way behind most other forms of social media, it’s clear that such an approach works over there.

Jason Iannone has almost as many followers as these guys, give or take a million and a half or so.

Photo credits: © Luigi Novi / Wikimedia Commons, © John A. Vink / Wikimedia Commons, © Mason Wendell / Wikimedia Commons