Via Isegoria, we don't often see something that so brilliantly cuts to the heart of a problem:
Whether Google+ will actually do this well, or whether it will succeed in the marketplace, remains to be seen.
A few years ago, before the CEO cared a whit about social networking or identity, a Google User Experience researcher named Paul Adams created a slide deck called the Real Life Social Network. In a very long and well-illustrated talk, he makes the point that there is an impedence mismatch between what you share on facebook and your interactions in real life. So when you share a photo of yourself doing something crazy at a party, you don’t intend for your aunt and uncle, workmates or casual acquaintances to see it. But facebook does not do a good job of making this separation. This, in essence, is what the slide deck says and his point is made with great amounts of detail and insight.
So when Google began its social effort in earnest, the powers-that-be seized upon Paul’s research and came up with the Circles product. This was to be the core differentiator between Google+ (then codenamed Emerald Sea) and facebook.