A Google+ workflow and it’s problems

by sjledet on July 11, 2011

In a discussion today on Google+ with Evan Prodromou (https://plus.google.com/u/0/104323674441008487802/about), I found myself defending the need for more than 5000 people in your (Circle of contacts).

First, let me say that of course I agree that having 5000 people in one stream is unmanageable.

That’s why the workflow I propose is to not only think of the circles you want to keep people in, but think of the bigger funnels they need to pass through to get into those circles.

Here’s the idea:

1) People who post something cool or I have a cool hangout with go into a (Maybe this person is cool when it comes to Swedish Fish) bucket.

2) Sometimes I go check out that (Maybe this person is cool about Swedish Fish bucket) to see who belongs in the (This person is probably a good Swedish Fish friend) bucket which is obviously much smaller.

3) After a while, if you are a true Swedish Fish aficionado you may make your way into my elite (My best Swedish Fish buddies) circle.

I want to keep track of the people who I thought might know a lot about Swedish Fish, but actually turned out to be Gummy Bear imitators. I don’t want to have to throw them back into the sea. I want to keep them in my (Imitation Swedish Fish lovers) bucket.

Get it? I want my social network tool to help me filter my potential social network friends for me, and the 5000 people limit, which is the total number of different profiles Google will let you have among all your circles is a real, hard limit on that.

As I’ve used Google+ over the past 10 days or so, I’ve found myself using circles as holding buckets more and more. Initially, I added everyone who followed me into one big (People that follow me) circle, even though I know I could use incoming for that. THe problem with incoming is it doesn’t provide me with a way to easily sort through the people who follow me. No holding buckets.

The People who’ve added me (on the circles page) shows everyone, including people who I’ve already sorted, so it’s useless for my workflow.

What I want is to be able to drag and drop people into my little circle bins like a mad little Google+ circle scientist, bwahhaha!

But I keep running into this 5000 People in your circles limit. I can’t take all my Google Find and Invite suggestions and put them in my own little holding bucket that I control. If I try, I run into the limit. I can’t create circles for (People who follow me but speak in chinese so I’ll never follow them back). That means that if they stop following me, but start following me again later, I’m forced to sort them again.

The problem with Google+ for OCD people like me is that it gives you just enough of a taste of what it might be like to truly take control of your social network, but just when you think “Oooh, this tastes good!” Google+ says “No! You are just too greedy.”

P.S. Don’t be mislead by the number of people it shows that someone follows on their profile. I don’t make all my circles public. I don’t want the public to know my family members, for example, and I don’t want them to see the people who are in circles for the express reason that I don’t want to be following Chinese speaking second life bots. You can easily turn those off by clicking on your profile, choosing edit, and then choosing the little pop up next to the appropriate section in your profile. Pick and choose exactly which circles are being displayed as people you follow. Make yourself look really important if you want. Make people think you only follow people with a net worth of over $100 million. It’s your profile.

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