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The Final Super Science Circle

Well, this is it, this is going to be the last posting of the Super Science Circle. Why? Communities, that's why

In case you didn't know, I've been maintaining my Super Science Circle from the very beginning of Google+. As soon as the feature to share circles was enabled, I was happy to share those circles around into Google. I did this because it was very difficult for people with related interests (science) to be able to find each other. I wanted new G+ users to realize this place isn't a ghost town; there are vibrant groups of people actively discussing scientific topics.

But it was a hack. Each month took me almost an entire day to curate down the list of people, remove the inactive, and incorporate newly active people who often posted about science. And it was always imperfect. Some people got a massive boost in followers and engagement, while other, equally deserving people were left out.

It was inelegant, inefficient and arbitrary.

But now you can do this all on your own. You can go into any Community that matches your interest and instantly discover thousands of people who share your enthusiasm for a topic - just joining a Community will bring a trickle of posts about topics that interest you back into your stream. Keep your participation in the Community, or circle the most interesting people and harvest them back into your own stream.

In the coming months, I'll be suggesting Communities you should join, instead of people you should circle. 

Thanks to everyone for using the shared circles and helping science get such a firm foothold here on Google+. Thanks to all the past and present members of the Super Science Circle for sharing such wonderful stuff.

Science!
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54 comments
 
I was anticipating this, +Fraser Cain. Spot on, as usual. Now... back to cultivating great content in my GPCs!
 
RIP +CIRCLES

Is there a single community with all these people? Or, are all these people event posting to communities? 
 
Thanks for the circle +Fraser Cain, but I have to admit that I'll miss the sharing of these circles. Will you still continue your astrophotographer photo circles or will that be coming to an end due to communities too?
 
Communities definitely are the way to go for interest based circles. Like you said Circles was what we had available at that time. Time to use the right tool for the right task. 
 
Communities will still struggle to get the right people engaged when those people can't also post to their followers without having to double post.  The sharing restriction has got to go.  
 
+Mike Rector I'm thinking of sharing circles within Communities. So, I was thinking of gathering up cool astrophotographers and then sharing them within the Community.
 
Thanks +Fraser Cain you gave us all a voice. It was great and things do change as we go along.
 
Seems like a space community would be the perfect place to share an astrophotographer circle. 
 
Thank you for maintaining the circle as long as you did, +Fraser Cain.  I look forward to seeing your community recommendations.
 
Thanks for all the fantastic work you have done +Fraser Cain to promote science on Google+.
 
Thanks, +Fraser Cain.  Your circles have been very helpful to me.  I look forward to your community recommendations.
 
+Fraser Cain, thanks for maintaining this circle for so long. Good luck moderating your communities!
 
Thanks +Fraser Cain, the shared circle is only part of what you bring to G+. The super science circle has been tremendous for a lot of people, myself for one. Once there is a "verified" science community, I'll agree that the super science circle is unnecessary. Until then, there are too many duplicate communities and a lot of them are getting spammed like crazy.
 
Thanks +Fraser Cain sad to see this going, but you're probably right. It is a lot of work to maintain and cull circles. I think they will still provide a great way to share sets of interesting people. But for the problem of finding people having discussions on specific topics Communities are much more powerful since they are essentially crowdsourced sets of posts on specific topics.

In response to +Jonathan Langdale 's question, if you are looking for your general science fix I'd suggest taking a look at Science on G+ (https://plus.google.com/communities/101996609942925099701) which is a general science community with active scientists curating posts in each subfield.
 
+Fraser Cain thank you for your work here on G+ in the name of science, and also in getting me turned on to google +
 
+Fraser Cain Thank you for starting the Super Science Circle, it was a great way to find some wonderful science posters here on G+. We really appreciate your hard work in curating the original circles!
 
Hey +Fraser Cain, I haven't said it too much since the beginning, but you've done an amazing job helping build this incredible scientific community on G+ (ultimately something much bigger than the circle of course). So thanks a lot for doing that! And I agree with you, communities seem to be the future.

But I hope this great circle stays around and active for a long time.
 
Thanks +Fraser Cain , you amongst a small number of people have been the unsung astrocytes and oligodendrocytes that have made Google + such a cerebral experience for so many of us. To quote your fellow Canadian Neil Young.....Long may she run!
 
Thanks for your great work. I for one welcome our new community overlords.
 
Thanks to you Fraser, and to +Robert Scoble for launching this circle into prominence. Heres to the future of G+, and Science on G+ :D
 
+Chad Haney It just means we have work to do. But we need to embrace the future, not hang onto the past. I'll bet the Communities will be amazing a year from now.
 
I predict communities will be eventually dropped after being  replaced by something else that comes up which is cooler.  And it will be a moderately sized brewhaha for a few large legacy communities.  But most people won't really care.

I don't think it will last as long as a year. 
 
I think communities are a welcome addition to G+, but the forced either/or choice of sharing with followers or a community is unnecessary.  Many content creators are still sharing their work publicly with their followers instead of in relevant comms.  Why can't they just do both?  

The sharing restriction is also not good for the other side of the sharing coin, those who are interested in good content, because now they are faced with the either/or choice of 1) follow the WHOLE comm just to get the posts of a person I'm interested in; or 2) not get the content at all.  
 
+Fraser Cain Communities might be the future of G+ but certainly not as they are now. I agree we have a lot of work ahead but so does Google. I think verified communities might be something that helps the science community, especially scientists that are concerned about their professional reputations.
 
+Chad Haney Why should things be verified? Verified by Google as the official Science community? Shouldn't it just come down to merit?
 
Or maybe an official suggested community list. If there are 10 science communities, how do you know which one has real scientists that you can interact with?
 
+Chad Haney The one that seems to have real scientists interacting.

Think of ways that you can highlight the cool conversations that have gone on. 
 
We are trying, +Fraser Cain and we might even consolidate two communities in an effort to make the science engagement better.
 
+Chad Haney I think that's the right way to go about it. You need to become the obvious location for science on Google+.
 
The problem with consolidation is that eventually people are going to get blocked/removed and personal differences might arise.  Unless you can support multiple dynamic "circle" networks within a community using the circles, where not everyone is forced to see everyone else's posts and comments, then you're going to end up with redundant communities.  This is putting everyone in the same bucket along with whatever rules are set in an arbitrary way. 

The more people feel vested in a community, the worse they might end up feeling if they're ever shut out. 

Then I imagine people petitioning, etc.  Person to person blocks work great.  The problem is when moderation steps in.

My preference is for a dynamic community using circles, perhaps within communities, or using circles to bridge multiple communities. 

If only Google would fix Circles by fully implementing them.
 
Even though we 'disagree' on some principles about circles and communities, on a personal level +Fraser Cain, I totally support you and appreciate the time that you spent curating the circle!  I know that the daily tasks of managing the commy will be much easier for you than the once a month circle curation.
 
+Fraser Cain, following people you recommended is one of the most notable reasons I have so much good content in my stream. And I'm very honored to have been included in the last few curations and shares of this circle.

Thank you so much for the Super Science Circle. I'm looking forward to your Community suggestions.

Science!
 
+Fraser Cain thank you! You gave Science a face here at G+! For that we're forever thankful! =)
 
Sorry to hear it but thanks for the shares and maintaining this circle. Do you have the community set up already?
 
+Jason Wells I have the Space community set up. And there are several wonderful Science communities already going.
 
Thank you +Fraser Cain for all of the hard work, patience and dedication to promoting science. I've been using forms of social networking on the net since the old US Videotel days (89 I think) and haven't seen anyone help promote science more effectively than you have done here in G+ recently. I tip my imaginary hat to you.
 
I know it was a lot of work, and I hope you know that it was sincerely appreciated.
 
Thank you very much, Fraser. 
Your work is very much appreciated!
(I just re-sumed my internet connection after about 1 month of interruption! )
 
Thank you +Fraser Cain you've made Google+ more 'science friendly' and interesting for us who care about the subject. :-)
 
Thanks +Fraser Cain -  your Super Science Circle really jump started my interest in Google+.  It's been a joy and we really appreciate all the work you've done - and still do - to make Google+ a great adventure learning and sharing all kinds of super science. 
 
+Fraser Cain thanks again for doing so much to promote science. We appreciate it! Excellent circle, great community, 
 
I've been wondering lately whether communities would eliminate the need for circles. Looks like I'm not the only one.

As I see it, circles are now more useful for keeping in touch of people at a personal level, while communities work at the topical level.

I like it. It marries the best aspects of facebook and reddit, with a better user experience.

+Fraser Cain needs to get a big fat check from google. I agree with all of the sentiment above; I don't think I would have stuck with G+ through the early months without such a strong science community.
 
Not necessarily. I'm not entirely sure if the communities are catching on as intended, now that we are a couple of months in. That said: Thanks again for all your efforts. I understand that curating this circle is prohibitively costly in terms of time. Is there any way to automate it? As I'm not convinced that communities will render circles completely obsolete, there might be quite some remaining value in this circle.
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