Shared publicly  - 
 
Writing/Publishing Community Evaluation

Over the last week, I've conducted an informal and sooper seekrit evaluation of 16 different writing/publishing communities on Google+. This isn't meant to cover all of the communities focused on writing and publishing, but it's a healthy mix.

I evaluated a one week period, giving ample time post-holiday for moderators and members alike to jump in with their best stuff. My evaluation used the following metrics:

Posts per Day - No value call here. Just simple division to tell you how busy things are.

Moderation Footprint - A terribly inaccurate figure that looks at total posts by moderators/owners compared to members. I wish I had numbers on moderators commenting on posts, removing posts, etc. But I don't. This is what I have, so I'll run with it. In my opinion, higher is better.

Relevance Ratio - If you take out link-litter, introduction/thanks, and self-promotional links, what percentage of posts are trying to engage the GPC in relevant ways? Yes, it's subjective. I'm OK with that. And obviously, higher is better.

Here's what I found:

Diamonds in the rough - None of these communities are large or terribly active. Yet they cultivate highly relevant conversations. Perhaps they shall grow. Regardless, they're doing a great job even though they have a relatively small size.

Future of (online) publishing (http://goo.gl/oDai0) | PPD - < 1 | MF - 50% | RR - 100%
Publishing Professionals (http://goo.gl/Qd6kE) | PPD - < 1 | MF - 100% | RR - 100%
Sef Published (http://goo.gl/kCrJV) | PPD - < 1 | MF - 0% | RR - 100%

Bigger, not necessarily better - Greater activity, but you have to suffer through a fair amount of content that isn't all that relevant. They are probably still worth a look. With more moderator attention, they could get better.

Speculative Fiction Writers (http://goo.gl/Foy5q) | PPD - 8 | MF - 11% | RR - 30%
Writers of Google+ (http://goo.gl/W32FJ) | PPD - 20 | MF -  0% | RR - 25%
Writers' Corner (http://goo.gl/06FBW) | PPD - 33 | MF - 5% | RR - 33%

What were we talking about again? - These GPCs -- large and small --aren't all necessarily bad; I just feel they might be better merged with others or re-defining themselves. I'm still a member, though I've stopped getting notifications. Let me know if they improve, OK?

Book Publicity (http://goo.gl/fmW1K) | PPD - 1 | MF - 29% | RR - 29%
Authors & Marketing (http://goo.gl/uYcZW) | PPD - 1 | MF - 0% | RR - 0%
Authors+ (http://goo.gl/z6zGd) | PPD - 2 | MF - 25% | RR - 8%
eBook Publishing (http://goo.gl/ccV1g) | PPD - 4 | MF - 7% | RR - 14%
Fantasy Writing (http://goo.gl/D3rjJ) | PPD - 15| MF - 6% | RR - 15%
Indie Readers & Writers (http://goo.gl/cB0uc) | PPD - 8% | MF - 0% | RR- 5%
The Art of Writing (http://goo.gl/Wcnpl) | PPD - 6 | MF - 3% | RR - 18%
The Writers Community (http://goo.gl/KOrvG) | PPD - 15 | MF - 2% | RR - 7%
Writing Resources (http://goo.gl/iW4II) | PPD - 10 | MF - 4% | RR - 13%

Not evaluated - I'm unable to be objective about the following communities. Here's why:

Writer's Discussion Group (http://goo.gl/WDxKh)  It's too damned big and I'm relatively active. The moderators are highly involved, but I feel the RR could be raised if they were less permissive of the self-promo and link-litter. However, I can't argue with the size of their community. They win.
Digital Publishing (http://goo.gl/kW68i) I started this community and am an absolute tyrant when it comes to off-topic or irrelevant content. And am therefore unqualified to be objective about it.

So there you have it. My evaluation of most(?) of the writing and publishing focused GPCs. Take from it what you will. And get involved. GPCs are probably here to stay. And make quite an impact.
18
John Ward's profile photoBrand Gamblin's profile photoBrian Glick's profile photoMaria Redondo's profile photo
16 comments
 
Imperfect perhaps, but this kind of work needs to be done. Busy people are not sure which communities to join that aren't going to waste their time. Some folks evaluating GCP's in their niches provides a great service. Well done.
 
Cool stats, +Evo Terra. Thanks for sharing. Now all we need is for somebody to survey the readers communities and post similar stats. Shouldn't be a big job. :-)
 
It's a great metric. Thanks for putting in the time to develop the info.
 
This is great, +Evo Terra. I think you're hitting on some good core concepts here. What do you think about something around level of community engagement - i.e. average plusses and comments per post? 

This is great work. Man, it'd be great to be able to access this data via API....
 
I'd love to get to that info, +Gideon Rosenblatt, given API access. I started trying to piece together applause, amplification and conversation metrics ala  +Avinash Kaushik, but lacked the tools to do so efficiently. But yeah, right on the money!
 
I've been wanting to go this direction all along. It's just difficult getting 8000 people to agree. Doing it as an experiment will allow people to experience the benefits of that type of community.
 
Thanks for the analysis. I just hope making this info public won't overwhelm the "good" communities with new users!
 
+Evo Terra  Excellent. Communities need to have some sort of metric so that those choosing whether to join or not have a better way of evaluating. This is a magnificent first step.
 
+Evo Terra I just stumbled upon this post.  I like your metrics.  
btw, thank you for calling the "Future of online publishing" community a diamond in the rough.
 
It's probably worth it to revisit the poll, +Antoine Carriere. But I'm without the bandwidth. Perhaps another will pick up the charge?
 
btw I think community involvement is an important metric.  # of moderators also.  Adding these 2
Add a comment...