Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My take on Google+ circles

A couple conversations about filtering messages to the right circles got me thinking about how G+ works and how I want it to work. I see G+ Circles like Twitter lists in that I can corral people into lists by topic, but I don't expect them to only post about that one topic. My NCIS tweeps might also be Dr Whovians, for example. There will be crossover and for me, that's okay.

Circles add another dimension. They add the ability for the sender to filter their posts by topic, kind of like adding a Twitter hashtag that we can follow and add to our tweets to be included in the conversation. In some ways when we post publicly or to our circles or extended circles, it's like we're posting our non-knitting comments with the #knit tag. That will be considered noise.

Personally, I like the noise because I recognize that the people I follow are more than knitters or geeks or SM experts. I like finding out that my NCIS friends also are Whovians or Whedonites. The fact that G+ allows us to post to Public, all our Circles, and Extended circles tells me that we're not expected to sort everything we post by topic.

Until G+ comes up with a way to listen multiple circles into our streams*, we may have to drop some of the noise in a circles into our Incoming or into a noisy circle. I would much rather do that than lose a voice that I want to hear. Having said that, I'm giving fair warning that I will not be filtering everything I say by topic, but there will be times when, for example, I'm talking about the Kitchener Stitch, that I will grab my Yarnies circle. If you feel you need to remove me from one of your circles because of the noise, I won't even notice.

note: I know there is an extension to add checkboxes in the stream. Broke my audio/video capabilities when G+ was running and I uninstalled. If you added it, check your Hangout to see if it still works. I'm running Ubuntu Linux YMMV.

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