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I am creating a facility to allow people to create groups to put people in that they like to keep in touch. I need a name for these groups and the obvious answer is 'group'. However, groups are something completly different on the website and for that reason I think I should avoid using it. I also don't want to use whatever facebook, google+ or twitter use to avoid the idea that we have just ripped them off.

So, what do I call these groups of people? Im currently using Collections, but it doesn't really work and isn't easy.

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At times I find it somewhat odd that people are trying to come up with their own (sometimes peculiar) idiosyncratic vocabulary just to differentiate themselves from others, instead of using the same terms and thus facilitate easy recognition. Edit: It wasn't an attack, just me wondering :) –  agib Feb 3 '12 at 12:29
    
Are groups an entity like Facebook groups where everyone can talk to toher people in the group, or is it more like a contacts list? –  Ben Brocka Feb 3 '12 at 15:32
    
Groups existed way before Facebook or Google+ .. K.I.S.S. –  codeinthehole Feb 23 '12 at 15:15

2 Answers 2

"Collection" feels very IA'ey, so I wouldn't use that. Try something more human. What do people use to refer to groups of people?

Try seeing if you find anything inspiring in various lists of synonyms. Here are some fun ones:

  • Party
  • Team
  • Gaggle
  • Flock
  • Horde
  • Gang

Some of those may feel like they belong in a videogame, but that's not necessarily exclusive - your app or site can have a lighthearted style too if it wants.

You could also try a list, although I don't like that one because it refers to the shape of the information. Conversely, Google+ opted to use circles because it evokes a certain shape, so there's that.

If this is a major feature, you might consider naming it something initially counterintuitive but brandable. Circles is a big part of Google+ so perhaps that line of thinking could work for you.

Try thinking about the nature of this group. Is it an arbitrary group? Or are they related to some other data somehow? For instance, followers on many social networks is a great name because it describes the purpose of the collection. See if you can find something similar for your group.

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I think Google may have come up with the shape after deciding on circle as the term. Your "circle of friends" is a fairly common expression... –  Marjan Venema Feb 3 '12 at 13:15
    
I agree; the feature results from the earlier proposition someone had made for a social network with support for circles of friends. But my point is that it's a great name because it's evocative. –  Rahul Feb 3 '12 at 13:20
    
"What do people use to refer to groups of people?" GROUPS ;) –  codeinthehole Feb 23 '12 at 15:16
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Horde surely, who would not want to be part of a horde :) –  The Question Feb 27 '12 at 10:25

'A Huddle'

In sport, a huddle is when a team gathers together, usually in a tight circle, to strategise, motivate or celebrate.

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Directly ties into Google+'s naming convention; even more so than 'group', because it's more idiosyncratic. –  codeinthehole Feb 23 '12 at 15:17

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