Google announced the Google+ project today
, which is a collection of features to make it easier to connect and share with people you know. At the heart of this is circles: groups of people that mirror some of the groupings we make in real life. There's the straightforward "I don't want to share the pictures of Saturday night's party with my coworkers" case. But circles can also be used with more nuance, too: the people I won't annoy by posting amusing links about bacon, the people who live near me, the people I feel comfortable talking about my sex life with… Circles aren't a new idea for many LiveJournal users, who've had access to friends groups for years, but it's a concept that's missing from many prominent places in today's Internet landscape.
As a Googler, I was asked to invite a few friends to the Google+ field trial, which started today. This will be an opportunity to find out how everyday people use and confuse the features. "Launch and iterate" is one of Google's mantras, and we know we'll need strong feedback and iteration now that we've got users that aren't all in the atypical "Google employees" circle. The system isn't adding new users right now, but if you're interested in an invite when they become available, leave me a comment. (If you've got an invite from someone else, feel free to add trevorstone at gmail to a circle of your choosing.)
On the flip side, I don't intend to cajole, pressure, or spam anyone into joining. If this isn't your bag, I won't flood your inbox with invites and notifications. And feel free to invite me to be social the old-fashioned way: email ;-)