I started off the day today downloading all of my data from Facebook with the thought that I would import all my users into Google+ and be ahead of the game. Fortunately the process was slow and cumbersome enough that I had time to think it through and decide for us it wasn’t the correct solution.
First of all the “download your information” link I found in Facebook was virtually useless. Yes it did give me a bunch of pictures I had uploaded (low resolution), as well as an alphabetic list of my friends. Keep in mind that this is only a list, no contact info, and no real way to identify them on any other system. Just a list. This got me thinking, why do I want them to be part of my Goggle+ circles anyway.
I’m tired of Facebook, and if I brought all those people to Google+ wasn’t it just going to become the same awful mess. I like Google+, well to be honest I am enamored with it. I look at it with all of the possibilities that I first saw when I stared using Twitter. Not as a way to share photos with distant relatives and acquaintances that I couldn’t be bothered to just email the photo to, but as a tool that was going to change how things are done.
So with that in mind I’m building out my circles from the ground up. Its a brand new system and I intend on treating it as such. With any luck, it will be at least a little while before it is totally swamped.
Secondly, I am interested to see how it grows organically. Will circles be more useful for permissions or audience segmentation? Will we end up using circles only as a filtering mechanism? For a multifaceted business like ours, will segmentation start to happen naturally, or will it have to become part of our marketing plan? I’m not sure, but I am very interested.