Sorting My Friends: Circles vs. Lists

July 19, 2011

One of the things that really excited me about Google+ is the idea of circles. Circles are a means to group your friends, people you follow, and just a great way to organize contacts on G+. They also provide an efficient way to select with whom you share your posts.

Personally, I am a bit of an organization freak. My emails are all labeled and archived daily. I have filters galore. I have my contacts grouped according to how I know them or mailing lists. Grouping my friends is something I have been doing for a long time. It just makes things easier. This is why I was a little surprised when I saw more than one review that questioned whether users would want to organize their friends.

It's not uncommon for new products to be compared to what existed before, especially when there hasn't been time to evaluate it. The nearest social media comparison is Twitter's list feature. Lists are a terrible system. I finally organized my more than 700 Twitter friends into lists the a couple of weeks ago. It took about four hours, mainly because of the horrible interface for accomplishing the goal. On the other hand, it took me about 15 minutes to organize 300 contacts in G+.

It comes down to ease-of-use. Circles are a great feature. Lists are a great feature. Implementing circles is quick and easy. Implementing lists is annoying and tedious. Comparing circles to lists or even Facebook's networks is just not fair.

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Jeff Francis is a marketing geek who would never refer to himself as a guru. He is that weird sort who enjoys watching commercials and analyzing communication strategies. He is also available for hire and would love to hear from you. So, head on over to the contact page and get in touch.


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