Halos and Circles

Facebook and Google+ both have ways of categorizing people for targeted sharing.

The first way I attempted to handle my Facebook lists was basic categories like Coworkers, Family, Friends, Internet, and Locals. Then I switched jobs. It became a little weird to gripe about the new job to both, so I went down the crazy path of splitting lists in more and more specialized so I could include and exclude very targeted photo albums and posts. I have four family lists: Dad’s family, Mom’s family, Sister-in-Law’s, and Extended (beyond aunts, uncles, and first cousins). I also have VSU IT, VSU library, and VSU other former coworkers, USG coworkers, and a random cloud of friends who happen to work at UGA. There are 64 lists. It surprised me it was not closer to a hundred.

A goal for a while was identifying the supernexuses of my clusters of friends. (Malcolm Gladwell in the Tipping Point described them as “Connectors“.) Many of my contacts were due to my social connection with a specific person or a couple people. We friends form a ring around these…. A halo. An example are the high school and college friends of my brother and his wife. Maybe an electron cloud would have been more appropriate? Anyway, the point is I used an allusion to a round object for naming some of my Facebook lists.

Google+ has circles instead of lists. It struck me as odd Google and I both would use a round shape for categorizing people. Of course, Google using “Halo” might invite lawsuits from Microsoft who owns Bungie, makers of the game Halo. More likely it is all coincidence.

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