The innovation of “Circles”: a reflection on Google +

I have just read a very good post in “Teach Paperless” by John T. Spencer which discussed what education could learn from Google +
I feel that it outlines very well the user friendliness of Google + and the way that it has learnt from the past mistakes of both Facebook and Twitter, particularly in regard to the creation of “Circles” which I believe is the masterstroke in allowing for the true use of social media.
For myself it has been the ability to extend and learn from my PLN that has been really useful. Yesterday I posted the following on +:
malcolm bellamy's profile photo

malcolm bellamy  –  Yesterday 23:01  –  Public
In defence of G+ following the BBC article:
I see the whole thing as a means to extend the learning process that I enjoy online. I am not seeking “friends” as such, but knowledge, leads, ideas and ways to navigate the ocean of information that is out there. The Circles allow me to keep my real “friends” in a tight network along with my family… my largest Circle is my PLN and I have learnt loads already from these people call them “friends” (In the “Facebook” way) or “acquaintances”…the denotation is really irrelevant.

The much-hyped arrival of the Google+ social networking site throws open the debate on the difference between friends and acquaintances.
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In the end, I believe it is “Circles” that will be the real innovation of + and a way forward for social interaction on the net for us all.

About malbell

I am a retired Teaching and Learning Consultant. Previously I was a Primary school headteacher and deputy headteacher. I enjoy reading, doing MOOCs and learning new things.
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2 Responses to The innovation of “Circles”: a reflection on Google +

  1. James Michie says:

    A succinct and well considered response Malcolm… at the end of the day it comes down to how you shape the use of technology to shape your needs that is important.

    While mass adoption is integral to the longevity of a product the finer nuances of how it works… ‘do circles create walls or open up new avenues/opportunities for collaboration’… is entirely dependent on the user.

    ‘Friend’, ‘acquaintance’… the divide between these two distinctions will differ for everyone anyway and why are the distinctions important in the first place? Facebook has not redefined what ‘friend’ actually means… anyone will make clear distinctions between who their friends and acquaintances are… friend as referred to here is merely the term utilised within a platform to mean ‘person that I am connected with online’ in the same way Twitter uses the term ‘follower’. As you say: “the denotation is irrelevant’… I’d go as far as to say in this context the connotation is irrelevant too.

    Google+ then is a good thing, for those of us who adopt it and choose to shape it to fit our needs, just as many of us have done the same with Twitter and Facebook.


  2. Andy T says:

    cheers for the ping back – nice collection G+ content


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