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Circle Management for Google+ extension update coming soon!

Thanks to everyone who likes my little Google+ tweaks. I wanted to give more stuff back back to the community, to say thank you for your support. It motivates me to create hacks which are not yet possible with the Google+ API. Please share this to your friends, the more feedback I get before, the easier for me to analyse what features to rush out the door early.

As everyone already knows, circle management in Google+ is really lacking. It becomes really hard (almost impossible in my case) managing your circles if you have more than 100 followers (people you follow, and vice versa, people who follow you). This upcoming extension would be an interim solution until we find official support.

Why isn't it possible?

Google+ didn't release an API for Google+ Circles and Followers. The community asked, but it has been over a month and nothing new came yet. I have studied how Google+ operates from head to toe, and I created my own Google+ API from packet sniffing the data and smarty discover the data when it changes. The JavaScript Google+ API can manage (CRUD) your circles, fetch your followers (people who you follow, who follows you, and who to discover), and profile management.

Why is the current not good enough?

The card layout is very pretty, but it doesn't tell us at a glance who the user is. We have to drag our mouse over their name and let the extremely beautiful hover card appear which tells us their occupation. If you wanted to know which location they are from, you have to click on their name, visit their profile, and then decide if they are interesting to you.

That becomes a really tedious task to organize your circles. Even still, if you are like me, I have over 150 circles, and it becomes difficult to even search or sort your circles quickly.

What have I done?

I am juggling too many projects these days, but this weekend I put 50% of my programming time creating this extension. Here is a sneak peak of of the current state of the extension. As you can see, you will quickly (I spent a good effort trying to do this) get your data, parse it, clean it, and store it in Chrome Database. Then you can do DB Queries to actually discover people.

For example:
- Who did I circle but they didn't circle me back?
- Who are the Googlers circled me? Perhaps, and that I didn't circle back?
- Who are the people from Ottawa, Canada that circled me?

Those are the stuff that you can do. As you can see, there is a lot of work left, and if you are a JavaScript Ninja, I mean Ninja, that is not afraid of JavaScript and would like to help, let me know.

And yes, I will definitely open source all this back to the community to see what others can do with the API that I created! Oh, and if I have time I plan to integrate it with my classification G+ app http://stream-plus.appspot.com

Let me know what features you would like to see :)
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105 comments
 
sounds great, keep us updated.
 
Looks great. Will a script be available for Grease Monkey & NinjaKit?
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Looks good!
Just hope I can remember it when I finally get to the desktop this pm! 
 
Looks nice. A bit off topic but related -- I'd like a way to quickly preview (ie. either hover popup/tooltip or side bar) a selected person's public posts so I can decide if/where to add them to a circle. The "posts preview" would be useful for not only ppl in existing circles, but would also be tremendously helpful for incoming new circle add notifications. Currently I have to open up a bunch of the profile links up in a new tab window to read and see where to categorize them, close tabs, and repeat the process.
 
sounds dope man. ill keep my eye out
 
People like +Robert Scoble +Trey Ratcliff +Tom Anderson and +Bill Gross would definitely love it. I just hope Chrome will not crash when they use it, since each of them have 200+K followers. I spent a good effort optimizing it so it can support such crowd. This was the most complex extension I have created.
 
+Mohamed Mansour I agree..If you have many people circling you, it's hard to open each page up. This will allow you to quickly scan, right?
My other peave is, there is absolutely no way to send someone a quick note~unless, you +1 person. Many people don't look at their notifications. Let's say I would like to write a quick note off topic to tell someone I like their photography, art, etc..yadda yadaa. There is no option for me to do that. Google was very kind to respond to my ideas on this and said they are working on something. My idea was to have a faux sticky note that you can slide over to a sidebar on someones stream/page. Could look like a cork board. It is private so the public cannot see/unless you allow. You can then stick a note there on the board, which allows someone to see your private post. Just a bit creative :-) If I wanted to leave you a note, I would have no way to do so unless I hijacked your post/if it was offtopic. anyhoo, just my thoughts :)
 
+Tina Vale correct, this will store all your contacts followers, recommendations into an internal local database that only your computer can access. Then the objective is to allow the user (yourself) to do reporting, so you can quickly discover people. For example, who else is a writer? Who lives in Kansas? If I have time, I will most likely create graphs that will help you analyse data, no promises, it is a lot of development, and this is only one of the few projects I am working on currently.

Regarding notes, I thought about it, and it is on my ToDo list :) I just have to figure out what the best way to do this, I might add a note to each person for each circle they are registered in, that would be pretty straight forward :) Actually, I will do it!
 
Can't wait to finally purge and optimize my circles with this extension. Thanks for your hard work.
 
+Mohamed Mansour very cool! I hope you setup a paypal, if someone wants to donate they can for your time :) It takes a lot of time and energy. As far as creating something..Can you manipulate a drag and drop sticky note, or would it have to be a circle? I guess I would like to see google get a bit creative :-) I love them/It's very streamlined.but, would adore seeing something out of the box . I don't know the whole computer prog. end..so, it may be hard to implement.
 
What monty said..I could imagine this is gunna be the best one yet, know I need something like that.
 
Well I would be hmmm glad to work on porting that sort of extensions to firefox too ! I keep on finding some extensions for google plus that are useful like a stream pause google plus only for chromium !
It would be nice to host it on app engine and have possibility to be used by more browsers I mean chromium and firefox !
 
What the go! Can't wait to get my hands on this! Been working on cleaning and setting up my circles over the weekend. Still have to clean out one circle and this extension will for sure help me.

Would love to be able to setup somewhat of nested circles. I setup a group of circles and each time I add somebody to a circle it will also be added to the circle onr level higher. Example;
Circle friends
- circle friends NL
- circle friends EN

I add somebody to circle Friends NL and they are automatically added to circle Friends as well. 
 
May not fit exactly, but my personal pet peeve is that I would like to have a meta-circle. For instance, when I want to follow the stream, I usually want to see the postings from 3 or 4 circles. It is tedious to look through one, then another, etc.
 
+Arvid Bux you will be able to do that here :) Find everyone in NL, batch add them to circles called "Friends from NL" this is exactly the reason why I did this.
 
Great idea Mohamed can't wait for install.
 
Mohamed, you continue to do great things. The type of problems you write about are the very same issues many of us have been having. In particular who has circled us, that we circled back, that no longer follow us? I'll be very interested to try out your Circle Management at any stage of development. I'm highly impressed with Google+ but there appear to be many things that would be nice, that you might think would be standard, that we are missing. You're doing a great job - thanks!
 
+Leo G thanks Leo, that is exactly the reason why I do extensions. The way I usually create them is by setting a deadline for myself every day, it is like working in a startup like environment :) If I don't do that, it will never be done!
 
Thank you for sharing this! I'm such a dummie when it becomes to JavaScript...
 
+Mirela Disco No one is a dummy, everyone starts at some place! I didn't know a single line of JavaScript until I did my first Chrome Extension two years ago :) I will definitely do some Hangouts in JavaScript!
 
Only 50% of your time this weekend huh? Not a Ninja yet; this grasshopper is still studying in my not so spare time...lot's of projects open myself. This would be rather beneficial to me; especially as my circles grow.
 
The diff between G+ & fb; with G+ you are the driver... with fb your are taken for a ride...
 
I think it's very important to know if the person has me in his circles also.
 
Exciting ideas and works +Mohamed Mansour >> we need more customizations for the profile such as showing the circles to some circles and not to others.

I love JavaScripts
 
This is interesting, more strength
 
Nice done just a litte suggestion for your plugin
All follows get into the Gmail other contacts but google miss to fill any details
instead of using a other database it would be great if the cicled fried public data go into the note card for example at least links like twitter webpage other social conections and if posible cycled or not. i realy love to follow people on twitter to that i follow on G+ but clicking thru all profiles make it hard. keep you good work rolling
 
Personally, I would like for G+ not to send every comment in a thread to my gmail account. Such ridiculous clutter. Is there a way to opt out of that? Also, I would love a way to report/block from the stream vs. needing to go to the profile to do so.
 
Is it manageable on android too?
 
Would be nice to see also the posts by hovering on the account, like the 7.x Beta does from +Huy Zing 's G+Me. It's often a quick way to decide if to circle and in which category.
 
my suggestions for circles management: it is a large circle and small circle, for example:
Google is a big circle and in this circle there are small circles ( G +, Google Map, Google SOE ,....) and the circle of G + you put smaller circles ( G+ API , G+ app , ...) ... it is therefore the hierarchical tree.
 
This looks amazing. It's definitely been the #1 request I've had for G+. That and to stop Chrome from crashing if I have more than one G+ circle open for too long (usually because I'm trying to look at profiles!)
 
Another great idea from +Mohamed Mansour. It looks like a fantastic dashboard. Will you try to add filters next to the headings. Like everyone in one location or company?
 
Just installed the Beta, but not really played with chrome extensions before and I can't see how to use it. Downloaded and announced that it is installed. Restarted Chrome... not obvious what to do next. Sorry. There's one like me in every class... and it's usually me! Can someone give me a pointer?
 
+Alex Garcia That would be possible, my next step is to create a simple query language with presets to assist people. I just need to make it simple for the average user but powerful for an advanced user.
+David Eason Compact list of circles is definitely high on my list.
+Amir Esmann that is interesting, would be nice if I could cross match your Google Contacts with G+ Contacts and pull in any information you could. But that is putting me into feature creep :)
+Eryk Bałdych it is done in JavaScript!
+Nick Hooper it isn't released yet, the one you see is v1 which filters circles only. +All, thanks, keep your ideas coming, it helps me prioritize my bucket list to see what is important. I don't want to go in feature creep mode!
 
awesome job man! this is totally great. who knows maybe google will hire you on for all your hard work :)
 
This is very cool +Mohamed Mansour, I wish I was ninja status! This is going to be extraordinarily helpful. Here are a few suggestions for this project:
1. I assuming you already thought of this, but in the pic I didn't see any sort arrows next to your column titles; that would be a really nice way to quickly organize the data set for browsing-style discover rather than search-query-based discovery (by sorting I am referring to an ability to rearrange the content by column alphabetically and reverse the sort order)
2. The other thing that I was thinking that would make this extremely helpful would be the ability to manually tag users into your own "categories" but without actually assigning them into a corresponding circle's. My thought is that there seems to be a desire for some form of hierarchical organization... but rather than implementing subcircles, you could just make your database have user defined top-level organization tags. For instance, I could tag a bunch of people as 'Android' and select that category through your extension to easily see them all... but then the actual circles those users would be assigned too would be more specific ("Android Devs, Themer's, end-users.. ect). I envision this concept to be very similar to the way gmail does tagging.
3. And to take that idea a step further... you could implement your stream plus sorting algorithm (like you already mentioned you were considering) to suggest these top-level tags. My basic thought is that there needs to be some type of automated filtering, and manual tagging for sorting, that is separate from creating and organizing the actual circles themselves.

This way your full database would be searchable, 'sortable' (alphabetical), and classifiable (manual/automated - tag governed) - so then the actual circle creation would be more intuitive because your entire data-set would be more "logically" (relative to the end-user) structured and thus easier to peruse.

Looking forward to trying it out. :)
 
You hit the nail on the head describing the frustration of managing circles right now. I've avoided organizing my circles because doing so with G+'s current system would seriously hurt my hands from all the clicking!

So thank you very much for jumping in and doing this yourself. :) My hands and wrists thank you, too.
 
Another thought... using checkboxes, and the ability to "check all" and then perform batch actions, like... add all to this circle, category, delete, ect...

I never liked the circle interface in google with the little rectangles.... I much prefer a detailed listed view with checkboxes.

What do you think?
 
Month? day 3.. Amanda has been asking for this.. since day 3
 
+Wug Fresh jup, that is what I am aiming :) Does anyone know the limits of adding people to circles would be? Is it 500? edit +Amanda Blain answered me on IM, it is 500!
 
I have a circle with 676 people in it for ML and AI class.
 
Hello Victor, +Mohamed Mansour is a BLESSING to the experience we have with Google+. There are Developers like Mohamed who use JavaScript and other tools to create solutions to make Google+ better. In the 3 years that I've been using Facebook, I can't ever recall a post regarding ANY Chrome extensions that make Facebook better. Before I get my Write On, and start preaching a sermon, let me close out respectfully and humbly by saying that I appreciate what Mohamed has done to create this extension for us.

"Thank you Mohamed. In my book you are the Dennis Ritchie of Google+. Continued blessings."
 
Given that you're already pulling all the circle data, it would be handy to have a method to export the resulting DB, with an eye toward adding an import feature in the future. This would allow a user to backup and then restore his/her circles if (s)he accidentally deletes them all, e.g. by removing the "Other Contacts" group ( http://www.imsocial.com/google-plus-warning-deleting-your-other-contacts-deletes-your-circles/ ).

Thanks for all the work you've put into making Google+ better for everyone, and double thanks for open-sourcing all your work!
Dee M
 
+Mohamed Mansour I only ask that Google please try their best to replicate as much of the interface to mobile devices. 
 
seems can not support Chinese characters
 
+Mohamed Mansour Am I doing something wrong? Do I need to change permissions somewhere? Nothing happens when I install the extension.
 
This is not ready yet - correct?
 
+Mohamed Mansour Well it definitely looks like you are on the right track. I use that "uncircle" extension sometimes and it is very limited. The developer doesn't believe you should know who you are following, but who is not following you for some reason. This looks like it could be a very useful tool.
 
this is great app. Thx... Keep up with great work...
 
+Juliane Clausen I am studying/working during the week, I will continue during the weekend, and I am travelling all next week ahhh.
 
Hey Mohamed, Did you find out how to use their write API?
_/socialgraph/mutate/modifymemberships/ takes an "at" parameter which I don't understand.
 
+Soroush Radpour jup, I did a basic version of this extension for myself 2 months ago, I am adding more features to it so you everyone can use it. The at parameter is the session parameter. When I open source the extension, you can see how it is done. It will be a clean simple API for everyone to use.
 
I wanted to develop an extension for G+ to importing Google Reader friends. They have a JSON export functionality which lists the profile IDs as well. It's a shitstorm here in my friend-list as people are angry about the recent change in Google Reader. If you can give me some beta-tester access to it, it would be really appreciated (and I will give the credit)
 
A simple way to find and delete people out of your circle please! I found that certain people I am following swear tooooooo much and have material I object to since following them. I don't want others to follow them because they think I am either. I want to delete these people from my circles PLEASE!
 
Circloscope: the microscope for your Google+ circles!
Since +Mohamed Mansour did not continue developing cirlce management tool, I've developed +Circloscope which can help you in everyday circle management practices.

One can use circloscope to analyze:
► circles,
► followers,
► ripples,
► shared circles,
► community members,
► post engagers,
► people recommended in other sites such as circlecount,

... and narrow down according to various criteria such as:
► circle membership,
► relationship (two way, following, follower),
► engagement in the posts (by resharing, +1'ing, commenting),
► relevance score,
► activity/inactivity period,
► name, g+ id, email, verification status,
► location,
► education,
► employment and much more... 

...in order to do various actions such as:
► circle operations (add/move/remove)
► exporting profiles to txt/csv for third-party analysis
► exporting ids to notify them in posts or comments
► visualize 50 most relevant people in circles

And the whole premium thing is free to try. The only trial restriction is circle operations and exporting.

Go to circloscope.com to install it and see for yourself :-)
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