The Perfect Metaphor For Circles Is The Watercooler
— And How Many Watercoolers Do You Need?
Executive summary: Use just three circles to set up your personal watercooler since circles don't work for topics,
or most anything else regarding your incoming
Why? Nobody is posting about one topic
all the time. Nobody.
When I started here on Google+, I created several circles, at first, as suggested by labeling groups of people. An artists circle, where I expected to see a stream of art, which came true, for the first week or so. Then people began to realize that they can post everything else
as well, and they did, as did the folks from my Bloggers
circle, the Politics
circle, and the Scientists,
and the Designers,
and the Athletes.
Everybody just posted everything, because that's what such a system is for, it's the watercooler,
which is a great thing because you meet very interesting and diverse people at a watercooler the size of the world.But specific circles? Not so.
Later, I resorted to gather people who actually know eachother in circles sorted by projects or organizations or initiatives. Again, great people and great to share because what's more exciting than seeing yourself and your peers in a big, publicly shared circle? As for visiting such a circle, well, incestuous perpetual resharing ad infinitum
is a collateral you can't prevent.
Still, no incoming
usefulness. Sharing the circles to bring people together, yes.Next iteration?
Shared circles of "interactive" people who actually use Google+ and are interested and in fact do comment and converse on interesting topics. Boom!
Question: How many circles do you need for "interactive" people? Answer: One.Here is my setup:
I have a couple dozen of legacy circles which label people according to the criteria specified above — which I never visit or use otherwise but which add meta-information, so I can't delete them for now.
Other than that, I use three circles —#1 with a maximum of 50 people
which I find interesting enough to read every post of,#2 with a maximum of 500 people
which I visit regularily but not continuously,#3 all the rest, ≤5000 minus 550,
active people in a lightning-fast stream of
That's it. Now, how do you get into my #1 circle? I'm commenting more than I'm posting, and chances are, if I come across someone interesting, with intelligence, knowledge, and opinions, I'll follow and add them to my #1 circle
— as long as I'm interested. (Try to game that!)
As for topics, they are fluid, even as a "power-user," I don't use #hashtags consistently; instead, and on top of my own extensive reading, I rely on people to alert me on topics I might be interested in — just as in real life.And pages?
My own experience shows that the conversation happens with people, and posts are easily shared to be discussed from an angle and with an initial commentary. So for me, pages are another indirect source, but almost never a destination.
Note for #UI / #UX pros: Even Boolean logic wouldn't solve the various issues outlined here.
Related: +Brian Titus
(on shared circles, good comments) https://plus.google.com/u/0/106313443642953370943/posts/LJ5dtTHhP1F+Alex Reusch
(on shared circles and topics) https://plus.google.com/u/0/106101747626595194897/posts/92rYFAMXi9z+Max Huijgen
your followers) https://plus.google.com/u/0/112352920206354603958/posts/QM7SXwXhvhH