For those of you that have never checked it out, one of the (multitude of) things that Google+ does infinitely better than Facebook is allow you to manage your streams and the content in them using ‘Circles’.
Facebook has ‘Lists’ that you can create to sort people into categories. This works ok. Their mechanism/UI for managing and adding or removing people from these Lists is very clunky and un-user friendly. In addition, they have default lists that they give you such as ‘Family’ or ones based on where you’ve worked or where you went to school, and you can’t get rid of these, even if you want to. Lame.
Google allows you to create Circles – which are essentially lists, but their system of management is much better and a whole lot prettier and easier to navigate. They present you with some default Circles to start, but if you don’t like those, you don’t have to keep them.
I don’t do a lot of compartmentalizing of my friends/contacts, but in each application I do create separate lists for ‘actual people’ vs. ‘brands, companies, products’ etc, as I like to sometimes just see what actual ‘people’ are saying, vs. who wants to sell me something or tell me about their awesome widget.
Overall the Google+ Circles apparatus allows for a monumentally better user experience. Give it a try. Let me know what you think.