Google to Launch Major New Social Network Called Circles, Possibly Today (Updated)

It sounds like Google is heading in the same direction that we are heading on the Landing, offering different ways of interacting with different people. This is necessary in the evolution if social software. It will be interesting to discover whether they are also thinking of personal as well as social contexts – not only do we present different facets of ourselves to different people at different times (and the same people at different times – a much trickier problem) but we also adopt very different roles at different times in our personal lives. I think differently, need different things, talk to different people and read different things depending on what I am doing and what I mean to do.

That’s the idea behind the poorly named ‘context switcher’ that is being developed at Athabasca – to adopt different personas at different times and different contexts both for other people and for our own personal purposes. I Just wish we had a better name that made the meaning more obvious. ‘Circles’ is pretty good in a social context but less meaningful in a personal context so I would reject that. Lately I’ve been thinking that ‘facets’ captures the meaning better (it is about different facets of ourselves, whether for our own benefit or the benefit of others) but ‘facets’ is (like context switching) maybe a little technical. It works well for me and anyone else who has ever read Ranganathan, but maybe lacks popular appeal.

Any and all ideas appreciated!

Address of the bookmark:

I am a professional learner, employed as a Full Professor and Associate Dean, Learning & Assessment, at Athabasca University, where I research lots of things broadly in the area of learning and technology, and I teach mainly in the School of Computing & Information Systems. I am a proud Canadian, though I was born in the UK. I am married, with two grown-up children, and three growing-up grandchildren. We all live in beautiful Vancouver.

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