What is your circle strategy?

by Holland-Mark | August 3, 2011

Over the last month there have been a flood of opinions and articles about Google +.

Our own Mike Troaino reported early on that its Google + vs. Twitter, not Facebook, Jeremiah Owyang later agreed and provided 5 Ways Google + Can become Mainstream, only to be outdone by 6 Ways Google + is Winning and Losing. Then, only a month after launch we learn that Google + hit 25 million visitors, at which point we acknowledge having Social Media Fatigue or maybe just Circle Fatigue.

The core differentiator and value proposition of Google + is circles. The idea is that I don’t want to talk or listen to everyone in my social network at once, just specific circles of individuals at a time.

It sounds easy right, make some circles put the right people in the right circles and you are ready for “real life sharing.” Not so fast.

If you have ever participated or better yet led the Information Architecture (IA) phase of a website redesign project, you will understand that defining what content goes where today is difficult. Planning for tomorrow, requires professionals. Taking from those experiences, here are a few ways to think about circles:

  • + add new circles as new things come along does not require any planning but will eventually result in dozens of redundant and overlapping circles. Google already responded to this problem by adding a new feature.
  • + create a circle for each of the groups in you life is easy to align to the real world today; work, friends, family, etc., but managing the overlap of the individuals within these groups will be difficult going forward.
  • + create a circle for each type of content you want to share is a better approach because it is less important that I play soccer with a group, than it is that I want to share “personal” content with some individuals and “soccer” content with others.
  • + limit Google + to a specific group or content type is the most common approach I have heard, probably because we have all been trained by bad Facebook experiences. It will keep things tidy, but using Google + for just a specific group or content misses the point.

There is no question that leading with circles is a big idea, but only time will tell if Google + is a revolutionary platform or just another social network.

How are you managing your Google + circles? Share your tips below.


Enhanced by Zemanta