Google+ Communities: The Great, the Bad, and Why You Need to Join

sbhsbh
Steven Hughes President, GeeklessTech

Posted on December 10th 2012

Google+ Communities: The Great, the Bad, and Why You Need to Join
 

In case you missed it, Google+ Communities launched about 48 hours ago.

It’s Google’s answer to Facebook Groups.  That new car The Photo Community - Google Plus smell jumps off the screen, but this is more than another shiny toy.

I caught the post Thursday on the Google’s Official Blog that Google+ Communities were being rolled out.  They showed some public community examples including The Audi Community, Star Wars, and The Photo Community (led by Trey Ratcliff).  The Photo Community has over 14,000 members already if you’re keeping score at home.

Later that evening it became apparent that Google+ users could create their own community.  Hmmm, should I do this?  What the heck, let’s give this a shot, and the Blog Community was born.  Come join if you’re interested in blogging and making connections.

The Great

The People – While the core of Facebook is friends and family, the active Google Plus user has more of an interest in industry and hobbies.  While Photography, Technology, and Social Media are some of the favorites, there is a wide array of topics that have a passionate following outside of the communities.

Categories - So you’re not relegated to one long stream of dialogue and content as is the case with Facebook.  The Google + Communities have categories which basically create communities within the community.  Below is an example of some of the categories from The Photo Community.  As you can see there are many categories that are included in photography.  This allows the member to hone in on a specific aspect of photography.  This is powerful.  Whatever your community of choice, you’ll find a layer that should no doubt keep your interest.

Categories - Google + Communities

Diverse Communities - Only two days in and there is no shortage of community topics.  There is something for everyone from Photography to Nuclear Energy.  Here are few to check out that look like they’re cooking already.

The Photo Community

deviantART Community

Real Estate

Space

Makers, Hackers, Artists & Engineers

Friendly Interface and Search – The Google+ Community interface and search really makes it easy for you to take a look at a community before joining.  The overwhelming majority of communities are set at public, so the door is wide open.

Community Search on Google +

The Bad

Well it’s not all peaches and cream!  Google has a good reputation of digesting user feedback and making adjustments to create a better experience.  It’s a little tough to be overly critical after only two days, but here are two flaws of the Communities that have been discussed widely on Google+.

Currently if you post on a public community that post will also be shown under your profile.  This can create confusion especially if you are posting consistently in several communities.  It can make your profile messy fast.  Google has to allow users in communities to choose if they want their post shared to just the community or to specific circles in addition.  There is no choice right now.

If you are creating a community, choose very carefully if you want to it be public or private.  There is no turning back.  Unfortunately, if the need arises to change from one setting to another you’re out of luck.  If you wanted to go from public to private you would need to delete the group and start over.  That is a problem.

Why you need to Join

Ground Floor on Large Network – Communities are fresh out of the oven, and a great time for you to create your own community of interest. It’s unbelievably simple to start your own community.  Be one of the first to start a community in your niche, and build it up.

Make new Connections – The active users on Google Plus are generally not the same active users from Facebook.  Most pick one or the other to spend the brunt of their social media time.  This gives you the opportunity to make new connections in a whole new environment.

Many of us have made our strongest online connections in Facebook groups, and I have a few that are still of great value.  However, Google+ Communities looks like it has the makings to be a special place, and I highly suggest you give it a shot.

 

If you enjoyed the article and found it of value, please share.  Comments are welcomed. 

sbhsbh

Steven Hughes

President, GeeklessTech

GeeklessTech brings you ideas and best practices in social media, blogging, and online marketing. Director of Marketing at Dashburst.

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Comments

Qnary
Posted on December 11th 2012 at 2:26AM

Google Plus communities are a great way to meet new people who share your interests online.  If and when you create a new community, keep in mind if you want it to be private or public; once you make the group you can't change the privacy settings.

Kent Ong
Posted on December 11th 2012 at 6:17AM

Too many communities, can't see what the reason is to join another community.