Google Circles is great. But I'm waiting for Google Venn Diagrams.

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If you’ve managed to sprint inside of Google+ during one of those brief periods when the front door has been left ajar, then the first thing you’ve seen has been Google Circles. It allows you to organize your contacts into lists, based on how you know them, how much you trust them, whether you consider them cool, how you want to communicate with them… whatever criteria you want.

It’s a great feature, done in an appealing way. But it only goes so far.

If I want to create a circle called Close friends, for people I deeply trust, and another called nptech, for folks active in the non-profit technology field, I can. But say there’s something I want to share only with close friends in the nptech community. There’s no way to say “Share this with the people who are in both of those circles, but not with the people who are in only one of them.” Instead, I’d have to — manually — create a new Close nptech friends circle.

So either I’m creating a lot of circles, some of which I may only use a handful of times, or I’m missing out on the potential power of the feature.

The thing is, this is exactly the kind of issue Google deals with easily in its search function. (Yes, Google still does search.) If I wanted to search for content that contains both the phrase “Close friends” and the word “nptech”, I’d just enter this:

“close friends” nptech

If I wanted pages that contained “close friends” or ”nptech”, or both, I’d enter this:

“close friends”|nptech

And if I wanted pages that contained “close friends” but not ”nptech”:

“close friends” -nptech

I can do it (and much more complex queries) with search terms. I can do it with iTunes playlists. Why not with Circles - either post-by-post, or with automatic smart circles?

Added competitive bonus: I can't do it with Facebook Lists.

Comments

Yogi says

July 12, 2011 - 4:49am

Two dimensional Venn diagrams are only good for up to about 3 or 4 sets, though, and after that they get too complicated. The UI for actually categorizing your contacts is fine as Lists or Circles, but what they need is the ability to do better mathematical expressions of these sets.

Currently, both Facebook and Google+ allow for the union of two sets, i.e. "post this only to SetA and SetB." Facebook also give the user the ability to do the relative complement of sets, because it gives you the option to say, "post this to SetA but hide it from SetB" and if a contact is in both sets, the "hide" function will win. What it needs is the ability to tell it to do the intersection of SetA and SetB. They could easily do this without needing to change the way the sets are created or maintained.

PushkaCom says

July 18, 2011 - 4:07am

Yeah ~ can't wait for more powerful options ~ ~

 

What I would really love is to be able to add one circle in another...

so when a person is added to one circle, that contact could propagate through the other ones, (and same if removed)

 

EG:

 

Work -> my work -> Boss

 

3 circles, where the one on the right is in the left one etc.

 

Work -> my work -> co-workers

 

etc.

 

you could do this, but you'd need to add people into more circles one by one..

and if you wanted to remove someone you'd need to do it everywhere...

 

inherited circles?

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