Popular Google+ user lists on gpc.fm

05 Aug
05/08/2011

A few days ago, I’ve launched the lists feature at Google+ Counter.

Within the first week, users have created more than 1.200 lists – way more, than I ever expected in my wildest dreams. And the number keeps growing.

So, what are Google+ Counter lists?

In short, gpc.fm provides you with an easy and elegant way to create and maintain lists of interesting Google+ users.

There currently is no method on Google+ to publish your Circles – they are always private. However, you might want to publish lists of interesting profiles with. Think Android Developers on Google+ or My favorite Baseball Players. gpc.fm gives you exactly that and even allows to crowdsource list creation!

Why should I use it?

While you could create your own webpage with links to profiles, using gpc.fm to curate your lists has some major advantages:

  • Keeping your lists up to date with gpc.fm is straight forward and easy.
  • Our crawlers constantly parse and update all profiles in our index. This means, your lists will always show the latest follower counts and occupation for all members.
  • In case a member leaves Google+, or her profile gets pulled, gpc.fm automatically updates your lists. No manual intervention required. Your list always looks fine.
  • With the powerful guest password option, you can allow others to add members. This is a great way to crowdsource list growth.
  • gpc.fm is visited by more than 30.000 users per day. The Popular Lists page is a great way for others to discover your list. At the moment, we include all lists with more than ten members!

How does it work?

To start your own list, visit gpc.fm and click the Your Own Lists button.

If you additionally set the Guest Password, your list is prepared for crowdsourced operation. People who know the Guest Password can add new members to the list, but they cannot delete anybody.

The idea is, that you might want to share the Guest Password with others, but keep your Owner Password secret.

Next you add profiles by simply copying and pasting the URLs to Google+ Counter and hitting the Add Profile button

The unique Google+ profile URL is in your browser’s address bar when you click on the Google+ user’s name.

Once you click Add Profile, gpc.fm checks whether the user is already part of our index, reaches out to Google+ to parse and update the profile data and adds it to your list. You can then paste the next profile URL and add it, too.

Finally, don’t forget to Save Your List!

When others visit your list via the permalink, members are automatically sorted by follower count, with the most prominent one at the top.

How do I edit my list?

At the top of each list, you find the Edit link. Click it and you’re asked for a password. Depending on whether you submit the Guest or the Owner password, you can either just add new members, or also change the list title and remove members.

In case your list is a long one, you also find the edit list at the end of the page.

Is there a list of lists anywhere?

Yes! I’ve just added this tonight and rushed it out, so chances are, it’s still a bit rough around the edges. The Popular Lists on Google+ Counter page at http://gpc.fm/l/all shows our most popular lists. Popularity is calculated based on visitors. Also, we only include lists with at minimum ten members.

Any plans for the future?

Google+ Counter is just one of my side projects. I love the open web, web development and culture. That’s really the only reason why I created it. So please don’t expect a formal roadmap or anything similar. Most of the stuff, that’s on my list for the next few nights is based on user feedback.

Here’s what I will definitely add over the next few days:

  • List descriptions: This seems to be the #1 requests. In addition to the list title, you will be able to provide a more detailed description.
  • Open lists: If you don’t want to maintain some level of control over who can add members, you will be able to allow guest editing without the need to provide any password.
  • Profile search: The ability to search for profiles in our index.
  • Profile statistics: We keep updating each of the more than 32.000 profiles in our index on an hourly base. However, I currently do not provide detailed stats, like follower count over time, etc. Those stats are next on my list.
With that said, I’ll call it a day. It’s 3:09 am here in Germany, and I can hardly keep my eyes open.
Thanks for all your great feedback. I’d love if you spread the word.
As always, I’m available at Twitter and Google+ should you want to get in touch.

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