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I like Circles, but I can see the novelty wearing off already. I think Circle maintenance might become an issue eventually too, if you used it as intended.
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I think they'll become more relevant as more folks get on. But hell, who knows.
Circles are exactly what I wanted from Twitter Lists. The ability to follow/share with a specific group.

I don't think maintenance will become too cumbersome, so long as you drop someone in the right circle right off the bat.
I was thinking about this and decided that if I maintain it properly from day 1 then it might be ok - especially since this time round I'm not going to go and add 400 strangers that I don't even know :P
It's just awkward when you put someone as an Acquaintance or something and they're like "Dude, we're supposed to be friends wtf is this shit!?" and you're like "Do I know you?" lol
Protip: don't add them to a circle while they're looking over your shoulder :)
my understanding is that folks don't know what circle you've put it in, just that they are in one. 
I like the idea of 'friend tags', which is essentially the same as circles, and controlling visibility of activity through associated tags. There had been talk of implementing them in buddypress a while back, but I don't know if it ever had traction. 
Just getting going here, and I'm getting the same feeling!
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