What were we thinking when I created this PowerPoint slide, back in the early days of mobile?
When Google+ and circles crossed my radar recently, the meeting that resulted in this graphic creation back in 2004 flashed into my consciousness.………
MobileEverywhere, an ambitious tech start-up with Mike Hess at the helm, was “obsessed” with security & privacy related to the “circles’ of mobile users; secure virtual networks (SVN’s). Even at that time we were cognizant of overlapping & extended circles of users, and the large amount of information, which would be shared & passed around, though at the time we really had no idea of the social media explosion, which would happen soon thereafter. Security and Privacy were justifiable concerns, and a potential business opportunity. All is true today.
MobileEverywhere was a mobile phone focus and Google+ now 7 years later is into the “newer” Social Networking space. However the “circles” difference I see between Google+ and our model ca. 2004, is that the users in the above illustration were aware of all those in their own circle…..in essence able to see and be seen at anytime, anywhere (this function was an opt-in/out) You could choose to be seen or not. Instead in Google+, you have no clue how you are filed or cataloged in other’s circles, unless they tell you. Would this opt-in/out feature be an improvement to Google+ circles?
I am quite curious to learn how people are using “circles” to catalog and or manage their groups, and a couple of people have kindly shared theirs with me. My circles are as follows:
SMART ~ Smart online connections with whom I already regularly converse.
DESIGNERS ~ The best designers I know whom I converse with online.
NON PROFIT ~ Everyone involved in non-profit endeavors, who add to my learning experience.
ALWAYS LEARNING ~ People we ALL learn from (many are on my Twitterati list), and you can bet just about everyone else has them in their circles!
EXTENDED AWARENESS ~ People I really want to get to know (new finds on Google+ that appear interesting; and note this is NOT a catch-all for circling everyone back !)
PROJECTS ~ I’m hoping to use this circle like I did Twine and Diigo; sending specific info to people involved in a specific start-up or architectural design project. This could morph into several project “circles” ~ Will this work?
When I first heard about Circles in Google+ I thought the circles were going to be a direct enabler for conversations of like-minded people, because we would all know who was in a specific circle. But you don’t; so, do you think it will work as the conversation enabler I visualized?
Remember MobileEverywhere? Didn’t think so…. They didn’t get funding, and the technology was pointed in another direction. It’s probably only a tiny coincidence that the MobileEverywhere technical guru headed to Google next…..
Building Bridges between People ~ Designing Success.