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Interesting read on the circle phenomenon. I guess by forwarding this, I'm being a curator of content. A good read and interesting observations from someone who has studies Google+ pretty deeply. Thanks +Gideon Rosenblatt
We Are "The Filter Bubble"
My surprising lessons from the very careful curation of a circle the other day:

An excerpt:
If you spend any time looking at networks, one of the things you’ll find is that the rich tend to get richer. As people build lots of followers (or “circlers” as their known on Google+), the probability that additional followers follow them increases. There are lots of explanations for this, but one important one centers on the notion of “social proof.” That’s what happens when we think to ourself, “boy, so-and-so sure has a lot of followers – they must have something important to say.”

There are lots of problems with this "rich get richer" phenomenon, one of which popped up for me this weekend, almost by accident. I had decided earlier that I was wanted to identify a group of people who were sharing interesting content, but who hadn't yet built big followings on Google+. After a bunch of work to identify this group, I then shared the results in what's known as a "circle share" on Google+. The results were quite positive. Several hundred people added these individuals to their own circles, which is great visibility for this group - a nice opportunity to get their content in front of more people.

That wasn’t my accidental discovery though. No, that came when I started looking at the stream of content from this circle I had created. It was new and interesting stuff; way fewer LOL cats and a much more diverse flow of information. I wasn’t the only one seeing it either. Yesterday, +Dusan Vrban shared a post talking about the importance of the human touch in content curation and his excitement at the results of this new circle:

“In just a few minutes, my stream changed. Suddenly there were posts about history books, science, psychology, food and all of them had some added value. Not just resharing of some article, but adding some comment or thought that made it more relevant.”

This is what led to my “discovery.” You see, when it comes to networking information, curating content is only half of the problem. The other half is curating people.

When we take the time to build interesting, diverse circles on Google+ or lists on Twitter, we improve the way we filter information. It’s up to us. We can pursue strategies that concentrate the stream of content into just the same old stuff, or we can go out of our way to increase the diversity – and the quality – of what comes to us. It’s all in the people we follow.

Eli Pariser has a book out called The Filter Bubble, which makes a very important point about....
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Robert Muhlig's profile photoCJ Liu's profile photo
It's sort of confusing to me when I get asked what circles I should be included in so that I can see certain posts. I'm usually of the mindset where I'd rather see everything so I can figure out for myself what's interesting and what's not. I've discovered a lot of new things that way.

I see the proper use of circles (aside from things that are more private) as a way of choosing what content to look at in your stream at different moments. This way you're doing your own filtering and not being filtered. If that makes any sense. :)
CJ Liu
I just got 500 adds recently and it really helped me get clear with the types of information that folks have on posts. Some are audio (quick pictures/videos) that state a POV that the person shares, the others are more feeling/experiential (e.g.- beautiful photo that captures the perspective of the person), and others are interesting perspectives on real-time events. I think all are valuable and really the choice depends on your goals with content. Be entertained (e.g.- LOL cats), feel moved by life's beauty or mystery (e.g.-nature photos), feel that you are not alone in the world (e.g.-+1 for belief systems you relate to, quotes), or open your mind to new ways of examining an issues (sort of like an online book club). Frankly, I like all of the above. My favorite though is the later... which is why I will ask... What do you think +Robert Muhlig or +Nina Boston?
CJ Liu
+Nina Boston I agree- real time is good. Don't know many people who do that though. I'm going to try that and see how that works out. Have you seen anyone who does this really well?
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