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John Chapman
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Please check out Justin's Kickstarter project; he's a friend of the family suffering from ALS and is working on completing this jazz project. Contribute to the project. Share this. Comment on his kickstarter page. Many thanks!
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Ok - am starting to get frustrated with G+ Circles, Find People and privacy... They definitely need Hierarchical Circles and need to use Circles in more places...
Right now, you can set up some basic privacy and filter your Stream by selecting one or more Circles; this is a good start, but it is not sufficient. At this point, G+ has a lot of the positives and negatives of both Twitter and Facebook and the negatives are starting to win out...
Like Twitter (and Buzz - heh), you can use G+ to 'Follow' people that you don't personally know. Unfortunately, as part of your 'Following' Circle (or 'Acquaintances' Circle):
1) They automatically show up in anything you set as 'Your Circles' - e.g. list of people in your Circles that shows up on your Profile. With no distinction that you don't actually know these people.
2) Worse, they are part of the Security for anything with 'Your Circles'. Such as who is allowed to View the members of your Circles and a heck of a lot of other Profile, Photo and other Privacy settings. This is bad.
3) They also start to populate the 'Find People' recommendations. This is not entirely bad, but the weighting screws stuff up (e.g. some celebrities tend to know each other and get weighted higher and are pushed to the top of the list) and there is currently no way to Filter the list of 'Relevant' recommendations.

I think G+ allowing more filtering by Circle would help resolve some of this (e.g. narrowing down the 'Find People' recommendations by which Circles they are relevant to you through).

However, that makes the need for nested, hierarchical Circles even more important (or else you spend most of your life adding the same people to a dozen or more Circles to ensure the filters work right) and also introduces the need for a "NOT" operator as well.

Case in point: For most profile privacy settings, I want to allow all of my Circles EXCEPT the casual contacts (Acquaintances, Following) that I don't actually know personally.
Similarly, for a few other privacy settings (e.g. sharing photos, certain posts), I might want to allow most of My Circles but also exclude a few others (e.g. 'People who are easily offended') that I know would not appreciate the content.

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