To Block or Not To Block? That’s the Google+ Question

Ok, first let’s dispense with the Google+ Love – so far I really like it.  Circles is a good advancement in social networking, and provides a base for much more advanced features.

As I’ve been using Google+, however, I’ve run into a few issues that I don’t like so much.  I can do anything about some of them – like all the left-margin dead space – but I can make a suggestion about one item: what to do when you have lots of people to circlize.

If you let G+ connect with an external contacts list (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.), you end up with LOTS of people to sort through, circlize, etc.  In my case, I had 1,200+ after connecting one of my external accounts.  Here’s what it looks like after quite a few circilizing rounds.


Google+ Circlizing Page


So, here’s the problem: As you go through the list to circlize people, all the  uncirclized people stay in the “Find and invite” queue.  Going through hundreds of people 11 at a time is grueling, especially when you have to revisit many of them over and over again.

Some might say, “That’s what the Blocked Circle is for.”  But that’s going too far for the large majority of the people in my list.  Blocked is very useful (I already have some in there), so I don’t’ want to dumb it down.

  • No, what I really wanted was a way to indicate:
  • I looked at this person
  • I am not ready to put them into one of my circles yet
  • But I may want to revisit and reconsider them later
  • And, if they circle me, I’d like to know about it
  • Therefore, I don’t want to Block them

In effect, I want to defer these people. So, I created a Deferred Circle.  Interestingly, I’m now going through my list and seeking deferrals first.  I just keep selecting people to defer until I encounter someone I want to put in a “real” circle.  Then I drop all the selected people into the Deferred Circle, select the encountered person, and drop them into the appropriate circle.

I like this much better and would like to see Google implement something like it.  If someone else has other ideas, I’d love to hear about them.


UPDATE: Another way to hide people from from the “Find and invite” queue is to use the little close icon to remove them from the queue.  This icon is a little “x” in the upper right corner of the person’s card in the queue.

G  Contact Card 01

This approach is certainly reasonable for cards that you know you won’t be adding to Circles.  I’ve been using this for mailing lists (e.g., * and some individuals.

The problem with this approach for those you want to defer is that there doesn’t seem to be a way to view or retrieve a list of cards removed from the queue.  I can always add people by manually entering their email address, so that’s why I’m not using this removal function very much – it imposes the possibility of lots of manual entry later.

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