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Hello, you don't know me, but I like the cut of your jib. So, I've been thinking about where Google+ fits in and why it currently fragments. For quite some time, I've felt slight unease with term 'friend' when drawing boundaries within online relationships. I used to only have work colleagues who I'd drink with in the pub as my FB friends; then I got an email from one work colleague asking me why I hadn't accepted their friend request? An awkward email exchange ensued. I changed my policy sometime later, with the main reason being that I would consider anyone a friend and control access via the privileges. Then, a work colleague raised an issue regarding content I published as being inappropriate for work colleagues. I've had the same issue with Twitter - I might tweet a thought regarding an issue within the workplace and suddenly I'm being politely asked to refrain. Ultimately, I decided that I would block all work colleagues from both Twitter and Facebook with the exception of four or five work colleagues who are genuinely friends outside of the office and whom I've said that I may tweet or post a status update that expresses an opinion that might be considered inappropriate for the workplace. Its a Follower/Friend beware policy. So along comes Google+ and suddenly, I have exactly what I felt SNS lacked - circles; an easy way for me to define and manage the social boundary lines. The drawback of course, is that I now have Twitter, FB and Google+ to maintain ... and three is a crowd. I don't want to close my FB account as this is the preferred choice of SNS for many people I'd lost contact with and am delighted to remain in touch with. Twitter, great to follow many people I enjoy feeling contected with (Stephen Fry for example). Google+ ... after the initial joy of having SNS done smart, the reality is simply that I'm using it less because its additional time to spend on less reach than either Twitter or FB.
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Jan 27, 2010