Feature Request – Subscribe-able ‘circles’/hubs/’aspects’/’contexts’ or hashtags

While Circles themselves are fantastic for allowing me control over my post distribution, there is a need for a better tool for filtering post consumption.

Description of Problem:
I could theoretically create a circle for every interest that I had. Some of my friends might appreciate a link about Diet or Health. Others might want to know more about a particular sports team. Members of a church may be interested in more religious-focused posts. Only a subset of my friends with their own children may want to hear about anything related to kids. Some people might like celebrity gossip, others might like humorous videos.

These interests/aspects/contexts may span many of my existing circles, friends, close friends, work friends or acquaintances.

Using the current build, I could create my own context related Circles, possibly naming them things like C-Diet, C-Sports, C-Church, C-Kids, C-Celebrity, C-Humor.

I could pick and choose which of my friends I think might be interested in these topics and which ones might not. None of these circle names are public, so my friends would not know if they were in my C-Kids context-related circle or not.

If I guessed incorrectly I might send humorous posts to people that didn’t want to see them, or flood people that really don’t care (but may be too polite to say anything about it) with too many baby pictures.

I would like to see the ability to create more public circles. I imagine a public circle/context/aspect/hub would have these features and options:

Visibility: Select which Circles can see that this context-related circle even exists. Maybe I want to world to see it, but maybe I only want close friends (rather than work friends) to see I have a context-focused circle that can be joined.

AutoApprove: Select which Circles can auto-join this context/aspect/hub without my approval or moderation. In this way my friends can opt-in or out of my Diet/Nutrition related posts, Gaming posts, CrossFit posts, Humor posts or BabyPictures if I have created these aspects/hubs/contexts. These users can leave this context/aspect/private hub at any time.

RequireApproval: Select which Circles can still join, but only with approval from me. To be honest I feel this feature is less important at the beginning and may never be needed, but it is certainly an option. Things like BabyPictures seem a bit more sensitive to see who has subscribed to them as an example.

MembersVisible Selecte whether or not the names of the members are publishe and visible to other members. Or not. I would almost prefer this was always off.

Name: A short name of the circle

Description: A more detailed description of what I expect to post using this context/aspect

With these features, I could add aspects/context-related circles to my profile and users could opt into them.

I’ve met some interesting people as a result of Google+ already. Many of them have ‘circled me back’ and we are following each other; but I risk losing that connection if I post too many things into their stream that they have no interest in.

Using subscribe-able circles/contexts/aspects/hashtags to allow users to opt-into topics and select which posts they see would help to keep the stream from getting polluted and would allow people to post more content. Without these features people will resort to more ‘lowest-common-denominator’ posts like they do on other Social sites; and only post things that they consider broadly interesting to their larger circle of friends.

Business Impact:
There are business implications here as well. Corporate entities may wish to have multiple streams for different products, different services or different campaigns. Allow people to subscribe to public Circles for Progressive Insurance, Ford or other companies based on a specific product, interest, contest or campaign will make it more likely that people will opt-in for messages. By ensuring they are more tailored to the customer, a business entity has a better hope of remaining in a circle and their more context-specific posts reaching their customers.

I could see these context related circles being used either in conjunction with existing circles or instead of them. What I mean here is this. In an ideal world I could post to my WorkCircle and apply the C-Humor context. That may be more complicated, but works similiar to hashtags while still allowing me control of distribution. If that is too complex, I would have to resign myself to the fact than anyone could join a particular context-related circle/aspect if they were in the approved Circles to do so.

[Thanks for listening and feel free to contact me with any questions or further clarification]
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