Google Plus Communities Focus on Your Interests Gord McLeod December 7, 2012 News 9 Comments 107 Shares Google+ 28 Twitter 62 Facebook 3 LinkedIn 8 Reddit 0 Pin It Share 0 Buffer 6 107 Shares × Google’s still hard at work building up the Google+ platform and they took a big step in that direction with the introduction of Communities. Communities are basically the Google+ version of a forum or group; they’re a place where people of similar interests can gather and talk about that common interest. You might wonder how that’s different than circles. After all, don’t they already let you sort people into categories by interest? Well, yes, they do, but those are categorizations that YOU impose on THEM, and the other person may not even know you’ve put them in that category. A community is different. If you were to go to Google+ and add me to your Writing circle, you’re going see everything I share publicly in that circle, whether you want to or not. There’s no way for you to filter out my non-writing posts. On the other hand, if we’re both members of a writing community, there’s a pretty good chance that I’ll only be sharing writing posts in that community, or else I may get kicked out by the owner and/or moderators. They’ve also considered the spam issue, and they flag suspicious messages that are posted. They’re held with a visual indicator, awaiting approval or deletion by moderators or the community owner. In having created several communities of my own at this point and spent the better part of an evening playing around with them, they do add a lot to the Google+ experience. Though this is definitely a feature along the lines of “Now we’ve got this thing that we were missing and we’re not missing it anymore,” not an exciting new advance in social networks that will leave people wondering why nobody had ever thought of it before. If you’re spending a lot of time on Google+, you’ll want to get a handle on what communities bring to the table pretty quick. With that in mind, I’m preparing another post on the subject, explaining exactly how they work as a user, and what you’ll experience if you decide the time is right to create a community of your own. We certainly haven’t wasted any time on the community front. Our own John Poz created the Geeks community and a Photoshop community for Photoshop geeks, and I have two myself, The Writers Community and a Fiction Improbable community centered around my personal sci-fi, fantasy, steampunk and horror writing endeavours. Have you joined any communities yet? Maybe you’ve created one? Let us know in the comments! Update It has come to my attention that some people are running into problems using Communities. They’re unable to join them, and can’t see posts properly in some cases. I had this experience early on myself. It turned out that a Google Chrome extension was the culprit. If you have installed the “G+ Extend” extension, disable it, and Communities should work properly. I am planning a followup post to this one that goes over Communities in great detail, and I’ll have more about this in that. Also be aware that as this is a brand new major feature, you won’t be able to take advantage of it on mobile app versions of G+ until the apps are updated. 9 Responses Chris December 10, 2012 I started using Google+ communities this weekend, created one called Blog Marketing, and I look forward to seeing how this may make Google+ an even more powerful tool. Honestly I find the relationships on Google+ to be some of the best compared to the other social networks I use. At least for business purposes. Paul December 8, 2012 That link to John’s Photoshop community doesn’t seem to work, and a search on Google+ doesn’t show it either? Gord McLeod December 8, 2012 I wonder if he deleted it for some reason. I’ll check with him and update as appropriate. Thanks! Drew Franklin December 8, 2012 I work with 30+ bands here in Austin. The best thing that has happened to them since facebook was google plus. I am more and more favoring google plus over facebook. I am excited about google communities, but i am also concerned about it becoming a spammers paradise. Only time will tell, and careful choosing of the members. I hope it will be as good of a marketing tool to sell music as google circles has been. I am posting my google music community as an example to any musicians or any others working in the music industry to give them an example on which to build upon. https://plus.google.com/communities/116530591403007119719 Excuse Typos, misuse of the english language, It’s a family tradition. Gord McLeod December 8, 2012 I’ve started several communities and moderate in more than that, and so far I’m finding that they’ve done a really good job on the spam front. They could do better, and I’m sure it’ll improve, but their algorithms are very aggressive about catching posts that might be spam and holding them invisibly until moderators can make the call. Dragos Ioneanu December 8, 2012 Interesting article about this new feature by Google. I find Communities pretty helpful, however they need to fix some more issues until they become fully functional. I have a community for Architecture Photographers: https://plus.google.com/u/0/#communities/105794646381494402222 alex December 7, 2012 Worst font I’ve seen in a while.