# # I wasted more than a little time copying a Gmail group to Google+
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How to waste your time putting a Gmail Group into a Google+ circle

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© July 2011 Anthony Lawrence

I present this so that you don't have to waste your time in fruitless pursuit of something that won't work as you want it to even if you do get it done.

First, I'll explain the desired outcome:

Content Focused Circles

When I saw Google+ Circles, I thought "Great - I can have a Computer Club Circle, a Kerio Customer Circle.."

And I can. So can you. But immediately there was a problem: I already have those groups identified in Gmail Contact lists. You can export Gmail Contact Lists as CSV files. Therefore, you MUST be able to import those to G+, right?

Nope.

Well, not as I right this, anyway. Maybe tomorrow, maybe next week, maybe next year, but not now. No CSV import.

So I tried this Perl program:

#!/usr/bin/perl
while (<>) {
@s=split/,/;
print "$s[28]\n";
}
 

And ran that, using the CSV export as the input and piping the output to Mac OS X "pbcopy". Now I had all the email addresses in a paste buffer, but no, you can't paste them all in at once ..

So i wrote this:

#!/usr/bin/perl
$f=shift @ARGV;
open(F,"$f");
while (<F>) {
@s=split/,/;
print "$s[28]\n";
system("echo $s[28] | pbcopy");
<>;
}
 

This outputs one address at a time to the paste buffer and waits for me to press enter before doing the next. So I ran it, and added one address to the Circle. Then I pressed enter to get the next address into the paste buffer. With this, I was able to get everyone into the new Circle - slowly, but better than anything else I could think of!

And there was no point

The reason there was no point is that I misunderstood how Public posting works. If I never, ever wanted to post anything publicly, this idea would have worked, but of course I do.

I thought "Public" would mean "available to anyone who comes to look specifically at my page or searches for keywords in the post". Yeah, it means that, but it also means "in addition, shove it down the throat of every person in every one of my circles."

Oops. The Computer Club only wants to see posts about upcoming meetings. They don't want the rest of my rantings. My "Family" circle doesn't want most of my Public geekish rantings. So the long and short of it is that this bird will not fly.

This morning, I reluctantly deleted those content based circles. Gone. I won't be spamming them with unwanted posts, but I can't use G+ to give them what they do want to see.

What a waste of time.


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