My take on this discussion that +Peter Arrenbrecht and +Vladimir Kelman started on…

By | July 6, 2011
My take on this discussion that +Peter Arrenbrecht and +Vladimir Kelman started on +Robert Scoble 's thread (

What if I could have circles and facets in one?

Consider these two concepts:
Circles = groups of people,
Facets = themed interests.

In terms of use case: At the moment, Circles seem to be sharing (outgoing) streams – A user shares information with a particular circle. Facets seem to be reading (incoming) streams – A user reads according to the facet they want to focus on at the moment.

There may be some similarities, but I feel that there is a significant distinction in the behind-the-scenes implementation and the user interface. A user intuitively groups people according to facets – incoming streams – for example, I would intuitively put all of my work colleagues in one circle, all of my tech discussion friends in another circle, all of my dancing friends in another circle, etc. When I share a message with a particular circle – outgoing stream – I don't necessarily want to tag, but I'd like to specify which people get to read my message.

So far so good. But the complexity comes in when we consider assymetric relationships: What happens if one of my work colleagues isn't actually interested in what I want to share with them? Or one of my tech discussion friends is even more geekier than I am, and wants to listen to discussions tuned down to particular key words instead of general technology? We need a more intelligent way of filtering incoming streams into facets.

Proposal: Keep the same concept – circles. Having to set up facets and circles is just going to confuse users. Sharing (outgoing) circles remain with the same defintion as they've had until now. But, add some intelligence to them: allow filtering of incoming streams according to facets as an additional attribute (either automatically determined, automatically suggested with allowing manual fine-tuning), so that the circles do what users intuitively hoped for and expected since the start.

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Robert Scoble. Robert Scoble’s profile photo. Robert Scoble – – Public. Ahh, +Yishan Wong has started an interesting debate about whether Google gets social or not. Here, read his point, made over…

2 thoughts on “My take on this discussion that +Peter Arrenbrecht and +Vladimir Kelman started on…

  1. Peter Arrenbrecht

    Hmm. This really hinges on what exactly you mean by "automatically suggested with allowing manual fine-tuning". Who does the fine tuning? And when? If it's the follower, then they may not even realize there's a need for it. Interesting posts may simply pass them by.

    I still consider faceting a service provided by the poster to the followers. Whether posters are willing to go this distance is a question of how much they want to oblige their followers: put up with faceting, or risk being unfollowed. In this model, of course, analysis of the post may help the poster by auto-suggesting appropriate facets.


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