Sometimes you say something and don’t exactly realize what you’ve said until someone repeats it back to you. Not in all cases is this a bad thing but it happened to me yesterday. Yesterday I did an online presentation about Google+, the recording of which should be available later today. At some point during that presentation I said something about how I view circles. Here’s what I found in twitter after the presentation:
Wait, did I really say that? Is that what I meant? I though about it and I decided that I really did mean what I said, I just hadn’t planned on saying it. It just came out. Let me explain.
I’ve got a few hundred people I follow in Google+. I’ve organized them into circles such as “Librarian Peeps”, “Work”, “Family”, “Friends”, “Whovians”, and “Horror Lovers”. I use these circles to decide with whom to share whatever I’m posting. For example, not everyone is a fan of Doctor Who, so I just share Doctor Who news with my “Whovians” circle. Horror novels and films go to “Horror Lovers”. In this context I was also showing the ability to disable re-sharing of posts. (Which I can’t say I ever actually used.") However, I cautioned that even if you disable resharing someone could take a screenshot or use copy/paste to reshare whatever I’d posted. In other words, if you really want it private, don’t put it online. As a result of this I’d realized that I don’t view circles as a privacy issue but as a share-only-with-those-that-might-be-interested issue.
Is this the right way to think about circles? Is it not? What are your thoughts?