Two days ago Google rolled out yet another feature for Google+ – Communities. Lots of people are writing blog posts about Communities. Some love it, some don’t, some are indifferent. As for me, I see all kinds of potential for creative bloggers with Communities. Since I am a creative blogger myself, that’s the perspective with which I view everything.
For the longest time creative bloggers resisted anything and everything to do with Google+ for one simple reason – they felt they didn’t have enough time for another social network. Little by little, they started dipping their toes into the G+ waters and many of them are now saying, “Hey! The water’s just fine!” This post is for those you who are splashing around, having fun.
For anyone not on Google+, I’m updating my series, Google+ for Creative Bloggers.
Today we’re gonna talk about what Google+ Communities are. Later I’ll write more about how to create & manage Communities, as well as how creative bloggers can use them to their advantage.
Simply put, Google+ Communities are groups.
“With Google+ Communities there’s now a gathering place for your passions, including:
- Public or private membership to support all kinds of groups—from topics and interests to local neighborhoods to regular poker nights
- Discussion categories to find the conversations you care about most
- The option to start hangouts and plan events with community members
- The ability to share with your community from any +1 button across the web”
Okay. Sounds good, right? But what does that mean to creative bloggers?
Let me ask you a couple of questions:
Question #1 - Are you in any groups on Facebook?
If you answered yes, chances are you’re pretty active in that group. Otherwise you leave the FB group because you don’t need anything else clogging up your feed or email inbox. If you are active, it might be because you share similar interests with the group.
Now you can do the same thing on Google+ but it’s better. I’ll explain how a bit later.
Question #2 – Do you have more than one board on Pinterest?
Of course you do. Why? Because you have lots of interests and you like to see what you’ve pinned by category. Imagine one lump of “Things I Like” or “Things I Want To Make” on Pinterest. It wouldn’t be too much fun, would it?
Google+ Communities have Categories so within each Community you can quickly find the discussion topics, or photos, you’re interested in. Since it’s a Community, members of the group can network and discuss as much as they want, unlike Pinterest where you pin and repin without much, if any, networking.
Question #3 – Do you go to Twitter Chats? Have you ever searched for anything on Twitter?
Ok, I realize that’s two questions. I’m trying to keep the Twitter comparison limited. To participate in a Twitter Chat you have to be there at the assigned time, otherwise you miss out on the fun. You can search on Twitter via Lists or hashtags, but it’s a little tough interacting with more than one person.
I’ve used Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter as examples because, as creative bloggers, that’s where we network. But now, with Google+ Communities, you have another option, an option that allows you to interact with like-minded people, have discussions, share photos, and even hold Hangouts and Events. Because Communities have Categories, you can even search within a particular Community to find what you’re interested in.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, my friends. Like I said, Communities rolled out just 2 days ago and Google+ is all abuzz with invitations, suggestions, and, yes, even complaints. Already.
Some bloggers are still trying to figure out G+ Circles and now this?
I know, I know. Believe me, I know. Because those Facebook groups and Twitter chats I mentioned? I’m usually in there explaining Google+ basics. I’m still not sure how or why that all happened because there are certainly other creative bloggers who write posts about Google+. But that’s okay. I’ll continue writing and explaining to the best of my ability.
Now, with the excitement Communities has generated, I’ll have plenty of subject matter to write about! Next time I’ll explain how to create a Community. In the meantime, go ahead and click on the Community icon in your Google+ sidebar, do a search for a couple of your interests, and jump in! You just might find some new friends that love the same things as you.
p.s. I did form a ‘few’ Communities myself:
Decorative Paintings For Home & Crafts because . . . well, it’s a little obvious, isn’t it?
Google+ For Creative Bloggers where you can find the latest Google+ tips and share your own, as well as your questions.
Home Décor – for all things home décor related.
I also moderate a few more communities but I understand that everyone is a bit overwhelmed right now. If you’re experiencing a huge influx of Community invitations, I don’t think it’ll stop any time soon. Sorry. I wish I could offer some advice for that but I can’t.
What I can tell you is Google+ just totally upped the social networking game. And it’s going to be really, really fun!