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So, here's a thing: There's a notion that this Google + thing will be wrecked if too many of the "wrong" people get invited. Ha-ha funny, but serious. This is how interesting communities get diluted into worthless smears.

What I hope Google + does is keep that from happening with circles and suchlike. They need to help us maintain semi-permeable cell walls that keep a high interestingness gradient inside.

For a long time, I've been thinking about this metaphor for communities online: Consider biological cells and concentration gradients. Cells have walls to manage chemical balances and life processes. If you smash a colony of cells and burst open the walls, you no longer have an organism. You just have a dead mass of mixed chemicals in which most interesting processes stop.

I've been sort of trying to use lists on Twitter and TweetDeck to do this for myself, but the implementation is incomplete and one-way. I'm hoping Circles around here prove to be different.
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Rick Harding's profile photoMike Taylor (bear)'s profile photoLes Orchard's profile photoCraig Maloney's profile photo
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Yea, I've never understood the backlash of twitter over time. Since all the content is based on who you choose to follow. Every so often you do some pruning of the follow list, but what you get is what you choose. I think the same thing goes here. Except now I can use circles to choose to keep up more on some circles and let others sit more idle rather than sifting through all people at the same attention level.
 
I think that is already happening with how they implemented circles - you see in your stream only folks who are in your circles and you can go finer grained by selecting only certain circles.
 
Well, part of the gripe for me is that lists on Twitter are incoming only, and can't serve as transmission targets.

And, of course, I'm a weirdo who follows over 1000 people and have over 2000 following. The implicit circles of "people I follow" and "followers of me" have become smears, over there.
 
That's the beauty of circles, though; I can say "Hey, I want to see what my friends are doing", and suddenly the folks that I'm peripherally interested in disappear. I never had that with Facebook, and only recently had that on Twitter with lists. So the "Hey, I just got engaged / procreated / had a tasty sandwich" that my friends are doing doesn't get buried under the deluge of other folks.
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