Contextual Circles

Since Google + came in and introduced circles in a playful manner, people seem to be fascinated by circles. I like them, but they are not what they appear to be. I want much more from my circles.

It is very difficult to form useful circles except for some obvious ‘fixed’ relations in life — like my nearest family relations, my colleagues at work, people living in my neighborhood, people with same school that I went to etc. And these things can even be algorithmically detected and formed. They are not useless — like white bread is not useless. But they are not very exciting also. The real question is how useful they are after you have been using them for some time.

I usually find that almost every day, I come across a situation where I want to share something from people who are in different circles — I want to chat about Cricket or about American Football; want to talk about corruption in India and the damage religion is causing all over the world. Theoretically, I can form a circle for each item, but practically this will mean that I am always running in circles. Most of the circles are formed for a specific thing and they naturally exist for some time to serve a specific purpose. Over time, these circles start becoming stale. And this where the real problem lies — how to keep my circles relevant. And for this, there has to be a better mechanism then the nice playful mechanism of creating Google Circles or an algorithmic approach (that can be manually refined) of Katango.

What is needed is an approach that will form contextual circles automagically with little human and mostly algorithmic component so as soon as I specify my context, the system creates a circle and uses it.

4 thoughts on “Contextual Circles

  1. Mark

    Hi Ramesh

    You raise an interesting point about G+ circles. If your interest in G+ is mostly commercial with some family or interest sharing, then circles can split groups in a way that will work for you. The commercial split will probably be by how close and/or intense you want the relationship(?) to be. If you are interested in sharing ideas in the broad way that you suggest, then the approach is not very useful.

    I believe that the concept was designed to keep G+ away from the shallow linking that you get in apps like Facebook and to give people an app that would allow fewer but deeper linkages. However, the commercial intent behind the app also comes through in the design.

  2. Celine Raymond

    Hi Ramesh, i agree about what you are saying, but we all know that Google is a industry leader today, and i believe what they do is considered trendy by others. That’s a big advantage also, i’m already seeing some ads on tv’s about google plus, especially android phones.. So let us see how google + will change social market, what folks are planning about this market at google!

  3. Mr. Komodo

    I’m not a big fan of G+ circles either. It has become apparent that Google has a considerable way to go still to catch up to Facebook’s social presence. I’m sure that the big G is not too concerned as they will be willing to play this game for a long time and continually try to improve their social applications.

  4. Buitenspeelgoed

    For Google to create a circle for your context it is necessary to give them as much data as they need to form a good circle. I don’t know how many people are willing to give that much data about themselves?

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