Jeff Sexton

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Bring Back the Incoming Stream


Having the Incoming steam, I can share with Extended Circles. Persons I don’t know, but have a real connection to, through another person, may see those items. They are free to ignore them, or add me to a circle themselves. They can even easily ignore the Incoming stream altogether if they like. Without the Incoming stream, it’s first of all hard to see the point of the Extended Circles option at all. But even more importantly, I have no incentive to grow my own circles, beyond what I actively read, to included interested persons.

This devalues the whole idea of Circles by removing one of their innovative applications. Circles are used both to read incoming items, and to direct out-going content. Without the Incoming stream, there’s no functional middle ground in out-going items between a carefully directed shared item, limited to people I know fairly well, and a completely public item.

The idea that the suggested friends display in circle management is a suitable replacement is almost laughable. Items appearing in my Incoming stream are items expressly made available by someone I don’t (yet) know, to me. The suggested friend list is nothing more than an selection of Google executives, billionaires, pop stars and assorted internet celebrities.

Google+, do you want our circles to be a core collection of 100 or so people we directly interact with, plus William Shatner, Robert Scoble, Larry Page and a few others so widely followed that they don’t even know we exist? Or do you want us to crowd source vast networks of people with common interests in labeled collections?

Google+, please bring back the Incoming stream.

Thank you.

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