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+Kevin Cheng offers some great feedback on Circles and "grouping"... Kevin, now at Twitter, is a brilliant product designer (and worked for me back in the days of Brickhouse back at Yahoo.) +Fred Wilson further opines on Kevin's piece here and shares much of what I was gearing up to say... I thought this quote from Fred was interesting:

"This is an opportunity to use machines. And Google is doing this with Google+. The recommendations on who to add to what circles are amazing.... I trust Google to do a fine job of this for me. They've proven themselves worthy of the job so many times in my relationship with them over the years. I trust that they can build algorithms like this as well or better than any other company out there."

These are both great posts... recommended. I want share a bit more on where things stand today, and how we're receiving the feedback.

Circles should be easy. Per Fred's point, users should be able to put their own data to work in their service... and Google is typically pretty adept in this regard. I think there is ample opportunity to suggest meaningful circles based on a user's domain-specific interactions with others. (See Fred's example of "Music Friends".) I've seen great feedback in this direction from both users and pundits... shared affiliations, interests, geography, etc. can all help build meaningful circles (all pursuant to a permission model that respects all parties of course.) I'm confident we've got some great innovations to share here.

Circles should be fun. +Andy Hertzfeld +Joseph Smarr +Eric Cattell +Shimrit Ben-Yair (and contributors too numerous to mention, apologies) designed an interface that is fun, unexpected, whimsical... and works. I've never woken up one fine morning and thought, "I'm going to spend an hour categorizing my friends today." But in my own experience, the Circle editor doesn't feel that way at all. I find it easeful and fun... and I've heard some great ideas about improving its usability already.

Circles should be useful. A user should get a hundred-fold payback for the easy (see above) and fun (see above) "investment" she made managing her Circles. Using Circles as filters for consuming information, destinations for sharing, and ACL's for managing visibility of information are just the beginning... but already we think there's a pretty good ROI.

We're just getting started. I believe we've already created something that's easy, fun and useful. But the foundation we've realized today isn't the end state. We're attuned to this feedback, have some great ideas of our own, and have a lot of exciting developments underway. Some of them are just around the corner... others longer-term. But this kind of feedback is greatly appreciated and spurs great conversation. Stay tuned.
DJ Premvaree's profile photoEric Reasons's profile photoGary Walter's profile photoLaura Gibbs's profile photo
Thanks for the share Sir

The opportunities for "circles" are limitless. I look forward to seeing how you roll out new developments. All the best!

PS: Hows +Kevin Cheng and his thinking processes! wowsers! Great thoughts on his post.
Hopefully you guys take into consideration my suggestions to allow sorting the stream/circles list, and possibly allow circle groups in the stream list.

Or at least fix it so it alphabetically sorts.
Eagerly awaiting "shared circles", because some circles shouldn't have to be manually managed (or re-created at all).
I take issue, I guess, with the core assertion that we are using + to "digitally organize our friends." That implies that we are only interacting with "our friends" here in + which isn't true we are interacting with total strangers, coworkers, family members which are all different "roles" that each of us fill. We are drawing circles almost like a game to capture each of the other humans we interact with in the proper roles. I think people haven't had circles long enough to fully grasp how to best use them much less critique them. But the original video I saw on circles when it was still a secret made the light come on for me. It's the love child of a rubber band ball and an address book and I think soon people will wonder how in the hell did we ever get along without it.
I've never woken up one fine morning and thought, "I'm going to spend an hour categorizing my friends today."

That's because you, unlike some of us, have never been a potential poster child for ADD/HDD. :-)
Personally, I have some circles for incoming selection and others for outgoing privacy.
I would really like an option on each circle whether to include it in the Stream or not, like "Incoming". As it is I can either see an aggregate of everything or only one circle, when I'd really like an in-between option.
+Bradley Horowitz great article, but when are we going to be able to click back to the op when someone reshares something?

Although I appreciate the reshare, I would rather give the original author the +1 and comment directly below the article so I can read and respond to what everyone who sees the post is saying. Thanks
I would love to have a big matrix of contacts vs circles it could make life so much easier for us square heads!
I think public circles should be made visible for others to "subscribe" to if they want. Think of using the circles in reverse. Now, I need to decipher what my "followers" interests are based on their "About" page (if they have one) or other random information. It would be nice if potential followers could look thru your circles and decide for themselves. I am trying this myself, I set up four "channels" (circles) of disparate topics, aviation, photography, video and craft beer and made a post on my public feed and About page asking people to let me know what they want to to subscribe to. Just did it today, we'll see if it works.
+Jacob Neff I've made myself a circle called "All personal", in which I include everybody from my circles whom I know personally. I use it for reading - it's the stream of posts I don't want to miss. (As opposed to the main stream, which is fun and educative to browse, but not nearly as important.) However, it'd be more convenient if I could just somehow choose which circles to include in the main stream "right now".
Will groups come or has somone mislead me? Cause thats the only feauture iam missing
+Matthias Bolliger That's a good idea. I guess I was sort-of using "Friends" for that, but there's other people that aren't technically friends that I also want to keep up on. I still prefer my idea, though. :)
Waiting to do automated group suggestions has two benefits. One, Google avoids the creepy label Buzz got. And, two, they now have huge data on how people group their contacts and other people, which gives them both training data and a set to rate their suggestions against.
Circles can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be... and I think that's kind of the point to them. However, I wouldn't mind having a few extra tools e.g. set circle colour, easily duplicate circles, collapsible friends section (so I can concentrate on circles only), circles than can be sorted or bunched together (not for posting but for easy identification visually).
I'd just like a few meta-circle controls, like reversible switches for "Combine Circles (x + y)" or "Share With Everybody Except _____" or maybe even a "Least Often Shared With" option.

This way, circles could be far more granular without the cost of adding too much extra work in advance of every new post. The "Add circles or people to share with..." routine gets tedious.
I think I read somewhere that share with __ except __ was coming soon...
+Joachim Thomas - your concept of constrained circles sounds pretty much like what I was thinking the shared circles would be like if and when it is implemented. The notion of being shareable would allow other people to contribute to such a circle emphasising on a community driven circle maximising participation.
Please don't complicate the circles un-nessesarily. They are great the way they are. What we need is to expand the search capabilities so that people who have public content that is interesting to one another can find each other. Dynamic keyword based circles to join people with common interests in public posts would be nice. Any more complexity will just kill the elegance of the circles.
yeah, I wouldn't really want to see shared circles on the same page as our own personal circles... hopefully it would be separated from that view to avoid clutter and confusion.
I wonder if Kevin Cheng ever wishes his name was Devon so he could be /dev/null/......

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I would also like a bit more circle control. Circle colors is one I hadn't thought of but thought it was cool when I read it here. Having parent/child circles would be nice - for instance, I would love to put photographers into circles by genre and have all of those circles be a part of the greater Photographers circle. That way I could speak to Wedding photographers about something the Landscape guys don't care about and vice versa, but when I talk gear or something that applies across the board I can simply address photographers.
I think of circles as audiences and they have nothing to do with my social graph. I'm not the least bit interested in rating my relationships and organizing communication based on the rating.

I want to share and discuss topics of interest with people without annoying them. I don't think Google+ has completely solved that problem but it's far better than Facebook or Twitter.

For example, I've created a "Parents" circle that is for anyone I feel comfortable sharing parenting topics with.

The one flaw I have is there is some parenting topics I'd prefer to share only with close friends or family that are parents versus acquaintances.

For me I want the following from a social web site:
- A lightweight way to keep in touch with people I know (at any level)
- To control what I share with people I trust (at multiple levels of trust)
- To control what is shared about me
- To discuss topics of interest and control the feeds on those topics (so I don't get spammed by anonymous people I don't trust)
- To discover and learn about people I know (at all levels)

So far circles is doing a better job than Facebook.
Thinking about Circles as people centric only scratches the surface of what's possible. To me Circles, like folders in the world of WIMP, provides an arbitrary organizing methodology for anything; People, Topics, Events, Groups. It really feels like a potential breakthrough.

As a user I'd like to be able to create a Circle called "Motorcycles". Within "Motorcycles" I have relationships with people I ride with, subscriptions to content sources that I follow, alerts for companies whose products I buy, coverage of events I attend and more. By taking my interest and channeling all of these facets through a Circle I can both immerse myself in a deep experience, but also easily contain it outside the daily conversations of family, friends and colleagues.
+Martin Wong feel free to add your suggestions & ideas to the public GoogleDoc... it's there for this reason ;)
+Carlos Benjamin more than a circle hiearchy, maybe it would be more interesting to have the option to have "intersection" of circles (maybe dragging one onto another when posting?) so if I have "Co-Workers" "Music" "English Speaking" among my circles, I could restrict my post to "English Speaking Music lover Co-Workers"
I would like it so that some circles automatically included all of the friends from another e.g. friends circle automatically includes all of "friends at work", "friends from college" circles. Also I would like some easy way to see a stream of everyone except my following circle.
Indeed, a stream of "everyone except my following circle" is something I'd like, too.
I have a suggestion more related to huddles, that is stopping me and all my friends from switching over from Beluga: the ability to mute for only one hour for until the next day at 8am(otherwise, I have to remember to unmute), and the ability to attach pictures/images to huddle posts. Do you know if this has been talked about or might be being added?
I also believe you've already created something easy, fun, and useful.

And it will keep getting better from here.

Time for me to write a sequel to "Pandas and Lobsters" in which I officially eat crow.

Well done, G+ Team!
IMO, G+ needs interests or subjects related to a user. The user could make post and indicate subjects of this post (as well as he/she indicates target circles now) and other users could subscribe for specific subjects of the user only and get notifications about his/her new subjects. BTW, G+ has already interests in the Sparks. Why not to expand the idea?

This would also help bi-lingual people to communicate in right language with right audience -- the problem which is not addressed properly by any social network.
It will take time to get the algorithm right. To my mind data from the following could be used.

1) Users who include you in their circles should be automatically added to your Followers list. Updates from your followers should not be pushed in your stream

2) People who you are frequently tagged in posts and pictures with. Parties?

3) People you share events with.- Acquantances?

4) People from your previous companies should automatically be be added to your Ex-Coworkers. The same applies to schools attended and organizations joined.

5) If Google would have something like a community page (re:Fan Page) their should be a way to autodetect fan relationships. A message should popup whenever people with similar interests comes your way asking if you want to establish him/her in your circles.

e.g. You frequently interact with XXX, YYY, ZZZZ in this community page. Google+ suggests you create a circle. Would you like to create one now?

Certainly auto suggesting circles is the way to go.
You can suggest it. Currently only Google Wave has realtime collaborative document editing. I'm thinking they might be integrating those capabilities into G+ soon. I can see this as a most requested feature by educators and students.
+Dmitry Gudkov check the google document about linked by me more above and feel fre to add your suggestions/ideas :)
I'd like g+ to look at the tags on photos to try to figure out who's friends with whom, and what circle they belong in. I don't have any privacy issues with this, as it would be very useful for suggesting new friends, and we're not giving up additional personal info to g+.
This is all great stuff, but as a very heavy mobile user, I am not able to appreciate many of features mentioned here. I hope all of this intelligence does make it to the small screen.
cant watch upped videos in the mobile app :(
+Bradley Horowitz relating to circles, I saw +William Shatner mention the limit for the amount of people you can have in circles combined is 5000, which is way up there I know, but is that correct? Is there an individual circle max number too?
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