|Google Plus Communities - An Idea with Wings?|
|Written by Doc Sheldon|
|Tuesday, 18 December 2012 13:50|
On December 6th, Google launched their newest innovation to Google+, perhaps the piece of the g-Puzzle that will give G+ the juggernaut status the folks at the 'Plex are hoping for: Google Communities.
Early reception was enthusiastic, and Communities started appearing almost immediately. Predictably, there were a lot that appeared with SEO in their names - at least 20 as of this writing, 15 of which were all identically named "SEO".
There were similar duplications in niches such as Marketing, Design, Coding, Development, Optimization and undoubtedly in many others, distributed among the predominantly technical denizens of the G+ playground.
Those same technical denizens, of course, often tend to look at such things in their own peculiar fashion, which, depending upon the individual, might include:
Some Feedback & Chatter
A lot of interesting discussions have taken place, so I thought I'd highlight some of the points noted by various community members:
Directly under the image for the community, next to the Actions drop-down, just click on the little bell icon and toggle notifications for that community off or on. As for the invitations, if there's a solution, I haven't found it yet.
1. The ability to 'lock' a category from anyone posting in it.
Charles Carrigan had these suggestions:
Phillip Maddick (and many others) voiced a desire to see community posts shown separately from his profile posts.
A LOT of people are complaining that there's no way to bookmark a community post so it can be found later. I feel their pain, too. I spent nearly an hour scrolling down through the Discuss community to find a post from 5 days ago!
One that I'd add is a listing of Communities (at least those that aren't private) on a member's About tab. However, I think members should be given the option to hide or show those to others.
I think another great addition would be the ability to browse existing communities. Presently, if you try to create a community with a name that already exists, it doesn't notify you of the fact. I would really prefer to be able to browse communities, and the search that exists now only displays 20 results. If you want to create a San Diego SEO community, it would be nice to know beforehand that your best mate already started one.
As with any social platform, there are those upon whom the meaning of social and community are totally lost... they see it only as a broadcast channel, and are dropping self-promoting posts in many communities. So far, most of the owners of the communities I've been monitoring are keeping close tabs on things, and a lot of folks have found themselves on the outside, looking in.
Such antics are inevitable, but in communities comprised mostly of SEOs and marketers, they're ill-advised. In that regard, self-policing should be adequate to control things. In all probability, Google intends to let things sort themselves out for a while anyway, before making any changes.
In general, the G+ denizens seem to feel that Google's Communities are a great addition. More than once, I saw it referred to as a "Facebook Killer". That may be a little bit of an exaggeration, but I do think Google+ just became much more of a player in the social media game.
I could go on and on with all the complaints and suggestions, but the above are the highlights from just two days of probably 100 posts each. If you join the Google+ Discuss community, you can kill a few hours reading from the 11th forward to catch up. I'm quitting.
You may have some of your own suggestions you'd like to share with the engineers at G+... if so, use their Submit Feedback link and maybe you'll get lucky!
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