What Collections Are (Not)
Google+ now has a new feature, obviously, called Collections
. But what are they and what can you do with them? This post is designed to give some inspiration and tips as to how to use Collections.
First off, collections are not the Google+ variation on Pinterest or Flipboard. More on what they are will adequately dispel the idea that these are any similar to Pinterest of Flipboard, so we can leave it at that. Following
There are two sides to the collections feature, collecting and following. I'll deal with collecting last, as following is briefer. As far as following is concerned, collections will simply open up the door to more nuanced ways to follow/unfollow people. Initially, everyone now starts off following all the collections of everyone else. That's where we have been in the past. We already have:
- Follow everything from someone.
- Follow nothing from someone.
- View topic specific communities to get just that kind of content.
Collections however give us a layer of nuance that is going to change much of how we interact on Google+, as individuals and as brands. What we get (follow wise) with collections:
- Follow everything from someone and
get notifications from a specific collection. (Each collection has a notification setting, in case we want to get notified when that person shares into that specific collection. The notification only happens if new content is shared directly to the collection, and not if pre-existing posts are moved to a collection.)
- Follow everything from someone except
what they put in a specific collection. (This is especially great if you enjoy most of a person's content, but don't want to see their selfy/cat/gif/food collection. Luckily for you, they put those things in a collection, just in case you wish to unfollow it.)
- Follow only a collection or two of someone, but don't follow them!
(Let's say that person doesn't put their cat posts in a collection. But you really love that photography collection they have. Simply unfollow them from your circle but continue to follow that particular collection of their content. The long term result is, if you post mixed content, it pays to use collections for different topics. If you don't nuance how you post, people can't nuance how they follow.)
- The option then is to have notifications on or off for some of all of these collections, whether you follow the person/page or not.
Again, this is a nuanced kind of following. Inspiration
But let's move on to collecting, because you'll likely want to make your own. Again, if you don't nuance how you share by using collections, people can't nuance how they follow you
. With collections, you can build up multiple audiences, both for brand and profiles.
collection, in which you can find a couple posts dedicated to that page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/0hySX
(by placing these in a specific collection, people can unfollow just this one while still follow me, or do the reverse and follow this one but not follow me or any of my other collections).
- Make a to-read list: make a private collection only visible to you. Share your favorite posts from others into it. Weeks later, when the posts are really far down your profile, you can access them quickly from the collections tab in your profile.
- Make a family album that only people in your family circle can see. Sharing into that collection means sharing only to them, and also gives them easy access to all other posts in that collection.
- Make a spammy post collection. Hang on to followers. As a convenience, post all your cat .gif, food posts and super-diamond-engagement circle share posts into a collection so that people don't unfollow you but instead unfollow just that group of posts. Please do so now. It is a convenience.
- Make a songlist by sharing your SoundCloud songs.
- Make collections to target audiences. Communities have categories for patrons to more easily navigatenavigate and interact on the basis of topics. We do this as well using hashtags. Now, pages and profiles themselves can allow for more topic based interaction.
- Make a collection of all your reshares to highlight others, easily accessible from the collection tab on your profile. Ways of Viewing Collections
Think of collections this way. Labels are to Gmail emails what circles are to Google+ profiles. Each email and each profile can be in multiple labels or circles, respectively. We aren't talking multiple copies.
Collections, on the other hand, are to posts what albums are to images. Images on Google+ can't be in more than one album, and post can only (currently) be in one collection. To put something in a collection, it has to be a post. A collection is an album of posts.
Think of it as a personal hashtag. If you hashtag a post, clicking on that hashtag will take you to all posts by all people using that tag. However, collections are like a hashtag that, when you click on it, only takes you to that "tag" by that one person.
This allows you to aggregate, collect, organize, categorize your posts.
There are many many other ways to use the feature. It is a major change in how we interact. #collections