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Community Posts Need to Go into the Members' General Streams

Okay, it's been a wild and crazy first day with the new Communities functionality, and I'm totally overwhelmed. I'm stamping out SPAM as fast as I can, and it's coming in by the torrent. But then, I was lucky enough to set up a community that already has nearly 9000 members. I could have worse problems.

But I already think I see a flaw in the implementation. People are madly setting up communities and joining them, but 99.9% are going to disappear. Not because they're bad, but because people have no ongoing connection to the Community. Unless you check out the Communities tab from time to time, you'll have no idea what's going on in those sections.

What we have right now is exactly the same as the Saved Searches or Sparks. How often do you check your Saved Searches?

I'm seeing people double post, into their stream and then again into the Community. But that just increases the noise. I don't think that's the goal.

So here's my suggestion:

Community Posts Need to Go into the Member Streams

If we're all spending time watching our streams, we'll never see the Community posts. People know that, so they'll never make Community posts, so the Communities will die on the vine.

But if the posts made to the Communities are inserted into the streams of the people who joined the Communities, then people will be more confident that their posts will be seen.

This might be overwhelming to the streams, of course. If you joined the Space Community, and got all these posts in your stream, you'd probably want to leave the Community. And that's probably a good thing. It encourages me as a moderator to crack down on the SPAM and off topic posts to make it a good experience for everyone involved.

Alternatively, Moderators could choose which posts break out

Instead of releasing the full Community feed back into the Member streams, the Community moderators could click boxes beside posts they feel are good enough to get out into the main streams of the Members. Then the Members would be incentivized to post higher quality. 

Obviously some people will be self serving and use this as a way to SPAM their members, but I suspect that'll be self regulating as people leave the Communities that abuse this ability.

Alternatively, Member votes decide which posts break out

Thanks to a suggestion from +Sabin Iacob, Google should also look into some kind of Member voting system, like Reddit or Digg, where high quality posts are promoted by the Members. Good posts can spill out into the main streams of the Members, and bad posts sink down into obscurity.

Does this make any sense?
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167 comments
 
It's for sure a good place to start and on the right track, short of scratching the whole thing and implementing an alternative involving sub-circles. 

It makes more sense that people that sign up would be under consideration to have their posts shared to the community.  But you still have a problem that their posts will be mixed across various topics that the mods have to skim through. 

You want the person to post to their stream while also suggesting their content for republication to a larger audience perhaps. 

But this is going to turn into a content wall and subjective drama will ensue. 
 
I agree, I think one, maybe two top posts from each community you are a member of should show in your stream. These posts should change depending on how active the community is.
 
Community Setting: Show all posts in my feed / show only my circled people posts (however you word that) in my feed / show nothing in my feed 

If it isn't choosable by individual members, I don't see this working well. If the moderator chooses what you don't want, you are hosed. If you can choose it yourself, you are happy.
 
It would be nice to be able to check a topic from the community to get released into a stream.  That way you could still have community only content, and have more of a 'public' face to the community that gets shared.
 
I agree on all your points and I have found a few more quirks and eccentricities that I need to study a bit more before I can decide if the slight advantage gained by owner/moderator is worth the overall hassle to everyone else.

Film at 11
 
See google groups for why this never worked.
 
Definitely, the second option.
 
But you can turn on the notifications for a community, so you'd get notified whenever there is a post there. I don't really like the idea of having all posts in a community appear in my stream, but your idea of a moderator able to flag posts as "worthy" sounds like a good idea to me... might work with the notifications also if they added levels there instead of just on/off. You could have notifications for all posts, important posts or none, at least to start... 
 
Yes makes sense! And moderators could go with perhaps most popular posts and filter out the other posts? Is that the reason to have a moderator ?
The posts inserted into the streams that joined the community is occurring, it needs smarter filter and some options to view or save.
It will get sorted out and we will all learn from it as a collective....
Agree with your sentiments here +Fraser Cain
 
Um, I'd rather not have community posts dropped into my stream.  I liken the communities to channels of intense content on a given subject.  By keeping my communities out of my stream it gives me a reason to check the community tab:  I want content of this flavour or I want content of that flavour.  I can go to the community tab and see which of the ones I've joined I'm in the mood for right now.  I can haz cat lolz or in depth discussions of neuro-physiology or what have you and keep them separate.
 
And there is an other problem. These communities are meant for discussions, but, for example, with over 9000 members in the space community, the posts run down the stream too fast. It's not possible to find an old post. The only solution is to bookmark the URL of an interesting posting.
 
kinda, but how many of the communities will end up with thousands of members joining a day? or are you saying only the mega-ones like yours count?

Also, I don't agree the way to fix it is having posts from a community appear in the 'all' stream, I like that communities are the 'specialist' place for a topic so I can post a lot there without boring my more general followers.

Perhaps a way to solve the double post thing is to allow posts to be shared to stream and public/circles, seems ridiculous that this is not possible.

As for notifications, I'd suggest they replace the red 'new' on the commutes tab with a red number showing how many notifications are awaiting you there. perhaps also some sort of 'subscribe' option on posts in communities so you can selectively receive notifications on posts made there.

I like the idea moderators can 'break out' but a simple share to public can do this. What I would like is a way to 'pin' posts to the top for a set time, rewarding the better posters and putting the best content at the top.

Another feature I'd like is a little space to introduce the community, explain any rules or expectations etc.

just sharing some of my thoughts so far.
 
I think that's a good idea. We could even have the same sliders to choose how much of each community makes it into the stream.
 
You can have 9000 members discussing things in comments using sharded threads.  But you need a good range of anchors to start discussions.  It can't be a free for all post list.  Especially with the layout that requires so much scrolling. 
 
Nope, don't want that kind of torrent in my general stream. I'm glad Google+ puts the power of choice in my hands to exert the effort to make an extra click or two if I really want to see what is going on in my communities or saved searches. I realize that may be frustrating to the eager entrepreneurial marketers and  homesteaders who staked their early claims in yesterday's land-rush hoping to someday monetize but so it goes.
Google+ does not allow you to share a post to both your own circles and a community, it is either/or - an odd rule . That's why I had to make two separate posts about the lunar gravity maps, one to your general interest section of the community and one to my public "circle", sorry about that . . .
 
+Fraser Cain They never could control the spam. With each level of complexity it either alienated users or caused the system to work inefficiently. After a while most of the groups just gave up and found it easier to switch to a different forum.
Most of the comments said "goodbye, and I won't miss you".
Is this any different? Not sure...I guess we'll have to wait and see. So far I'm not seeing a major change in this.
 
I'm admittedly overwhelmed by all of this.  There is no way I could handle more in my stream.
 
+Ralf MacGrady I'll bet you won't check them, and just go back to your main stream.

+Rupert Wood No, I think this is a problem for the more obscure communities. People are going to join them, and then forget they're even there. Without some connection to the community, they'll disconnect from them.

Your Pin to top idea is great, that would go a long way.
 
Maybe communities should have a member limit? Even if it's like 500 or 1k? 
 
For the record, I proposed a method for solving these issues using circles a long time ago. 

https://plus.google.com/109667384864782087641/posts/cfoMavLcTg7
https://plus.google.com/109667384864782087641/posts/J991dP8y7AF

The forum model is fail (whereas circles are concerned), and it's copying Facebook Groups.  I heavily used Facebook Groups.  I didn't use Google Groups all that much, but I used Wave a lot. 

Forums require moderation.  It's a huge failure, wrong model.  It's not what you want to hear, but communities was probably a mistake.  Not everything is going to just work and be awesome.
 
As a photographer, I need the option to post to both a community and my main stream at the same time.  I can select either circles/people (including public) from the dropdown when sharing a post, or a community, but I'm blocked from doing both.  But if I share a post or image separately to each audience, it shows up twice on my own profile, so I'm spamming myself.
 
but the forgetting stuff is going to happen with the over subscribers anyway, same as it does on Facebook.

It's up to the moderators to keep the content flowing. If a person chooses to be notified of new posts in a smaller community having te number of these show over the tab, rather than in the main notifications is something that will help smaller communities. when they click thru to the main community page they can see the amount of action and most recent active there. Am sure that is enough to keep people coming back to the community tab and visiting their communities.
 
Terrible idea on both parts. Why bother having Communities if the posts go into your main stream? We might as well just use hashtags and be done with it. I suppose if you have 10 people circled and are in a couple of communities that are quiet your idea works. Otherwise the noise is blistering instantly. Who wants that? How on earth is it a good thing if you leave a community because of this? Why should the user be at the mercy of the moderators, effectively, in deciding how many communities they will be in because of controls put upon the user.

Let the user determine for themselves how much they feel like doing in regards to going back and forth between main streams and communities. 

If moderators get to cherry pick what we get to see then that is the death of communities. No one in their right mind is going to stand for it. 
 
+Vic Gundotra Don't be afraid to change how circles work.  It's your biggest advantage distinguishing G+ from Facebook.  You've come this far.  Don't fall prey to the dark side. 

Innovate.  Don't just add forums.  

I think there's way more potential wheres the circles are concerned, and it's under-utilized.  (eg. Why can't we convert a comment thread into a temporary community/circle to pickup a new thread?)
 
+Alex Lapidus But why should you do that? Why post something twice? Post some stuff to the photography section and other stuff to your personal feed. Posting twice just increases the noise.
 
+Vic Gundotra Oh yeah? I'm still hanging tight waiting for Drive for Linux.

+Fraser Cain fantastic ideas both of them. Maybe a volume slider like circles have could be added to manage the number of posts from a given community that show up in your stream?
 
While I can understand why many people would like that Community to Stream functionality... I would not. My stream is a busy place as it is and I'd probably become quickly frustrated with Communities if I was being bombarded by them in my home screen.
 
Needs a "Today in (your community)" option.
The ability to send a condensed summery of the days (or weeks) activity in a community. It would appear as a link on the right like some of the other stuff that is over there.
The format of the update would be choose-able by the community member. (Moderator posts only - Member and Moderator posts only)
 
"Other stuff?"  My point is that communities don't work for posting photos -- I need to keep my profile clean, which is my "brand" here, and I would never double post or post different images.  Communities are great for conversation, but I don't want that on my profile page at all, ever, so now I'm in the position of never posting to a community, though I can comment on other people's posts.
 
I think you're right Fraser about surfacing the community post into the main stream. I would like to see the communities you join created into their own circles (1 circle per community that is), that way we get the ability to adjust the level at which community posts surface for ourselves - no moderator intervention required.
 
Changes to circles could have been slowly introduced to perform the same function and it wouldn't have been a big huge issue that sparked a bunch of gripes.  The system needs flexibility, not control and restrictions.

The only restrictions should be against abuse/spam.
 
I don't want my community posts going anywhere. Keep them separate. Communities are separate entities and I don't want them mixed into one giant stream of nonsense. What would be the point in that? Personally I would be fine living in the communities I follow. Up until now google plus has just been noise. Communities let us communicate with like minds. I like it. 
 
+Gabriel Perren I think that's great. Give the Members a slider so they can tone down the Community posts to their liking. Fantastic. Win win win.
 
+Dave Kuszmar Then you could leave the Communities. It would encourage the Communities to improve the quality if they want to get more Members.
 
+Andy McCavish That might get too complicated, just a single slider would probably do the trick.
 
The only way this is going to be solved is if you can allow people to describe the content their posting in a structured way in the input field, not where the content is going.  

The content can be fed to multiple destinations through mapping based on the description of the content, and those descriptions can be weighted. 

Otherwise, you're going to have a bunch of content nazi's and drama.  And it probably sounds extreme, but technically it's limiting speech to some degree based on quality of content whereas not everyone is on equal footing. 

People should be able to circle my "science" quark but not see my "political" quark.  Or, organize how they see both content in differenet ways.   You don't need to be telling people how they're going to best like to do this. 
 
Did they just stick a Pause button on the Community page or was that there all along? ..... wait, it's gone now. Nevamind. 
 
And frankly, Google machine learning should already be smart enough from indexing content to already know how best to describe (tag) my post.  Or to at least provide suggestions that I can tweak before submitting. 

(Btw that tweak is human-machine learning/training input which is free for you and can be used for other things).
 
Google should be suggesting to me a list of communities that might be interested in my post, to be considered for publication.  I then authorize who I submit it to for approval, etc. 

This could turn into a research submission idea functionality.  It's the same idea. 

And to the larger question, couldn't people submit research papers to Google+ scientific communities for peer review? 
 
+Jonathan Langdale I'm sure that Google could gather a tremendous amount of data by watching which posts the Communities promote.
 
+Fraser Cain My guess is the most data is to be gained from:

1. Comments and responses (who is a republican and who is a democrat), time of day, concurrency
2. How people describe their post, this could feed a Siri type of deal for discovery purposes 
 
It would be a great achievement for Google, they already have tons of employees who write research papers.  I'm always impressed. 

They should be taking in ideas from laymen more, an evolve things.  Help people learn how to submit ideas for review.

That feeds into education. 
 
I don't know. I feel that Communities are not best served by being entirely in the member feeds. I do like the idea of moderator being able to sparingly highlight something and push it to a feed.

I see Communities as a place where you specifically GO and see compelling content. It's a closed group similar to LinkedIn groups. Not every comment or post need be public. In fact, some are better served by being behind closed doors. 
 
+Vic Gundotra Your surprises worry me.
@all This is just another attempt at creating interest in a SM network that has an image crisis. Google doesn't really care about you. What they want is to separate people and sell the data.
 
+Greg Poulos There will be closed groups and open groups. The posts themselves won't be visible to the public in the private groups, but they should still be visible in the Member streams.
 
+1 for reading communities like Google Reader

As for moderation, one moderator (or a handful of them) inevitably leads to people either getting drunk with power (like your average forum mod) or being overwhelmed by the deluge of spam and generic idiots / trolls. Everyone having mod rights leads to mob mentality / groupthink / "bury brigades" / monoculture.

The best solution (one tried and tested for years in other places) is for a number of random people who are active and with good standing in a community (signal to noise ratio high, small number of posts moderated down, etc.) getting moderation rights for a limited time (and / or a limited number of posts).
 
I think Fraser has nailed some of the biggest problems with the current implementation, with some good ideas for solutions. The idea of being able to put communities into circles has a lot of advantages:

1) It is the same as everything else. It is the underlying paradigm of Google+. I don't have to teach you how they're different.

2) I get volume controls for free. The Google volume algorithm would pick the best for me, and perhaps +Fraser Cain's idea about allowing  for "moderator's picks" to be part of this algorithm would help.

3) If you don't want it to show up in your stream - you don't have to have it there! Don't put it in a circle or put it in a no-volume circle and go visit it. No problem.

4) For small communities (say, ones that I setup for my family, or with my clients), I can make sure I get notified of them or can see them as part of my routine use of Google+ - I don't need to take extra effort to see what is going on. 

There are lots of other tweaks I can think of. Perhaps Communities should have to be tied to pages, so the "hot pick" would come from the Page/Community. Perhaps this would also solve the problem of static posts, which can be very useful for some communities. Perhaps they should be more first-class creatures like people and pages are, so you can +mention them, see them verified, etc. Perhaps the ability to watch a post (without commenting) would help improve engagement.

Very looking forward to what +Vic Gundotra and the team have in store.
 
+Vic Gundotra Open engagement beyond an ambiguous "surprises" would be refreshing.

I'm trying to figure out what all the secrecy has been for...  A comment platform?  Communities is Facebook Groups, no?  You could have just said, "We're going to add Google+ Communities, it's going to be XYZ, what do you think?" awhile ago and gotten some sort of consensus from the awesome people using G+, or at least make it look like you tried to if it's impossible. 
 
+Sabin Iacob Yeah, several people have asked why I haven't added any moderators yet. For your exact reason. Great moderators are discovered over years of public moderate behavior. It's one of the most important decisions you can possibly make for a community.

I also agree that Reddit, Digg, etc has solved this problem. Members vote to push worthy stories up. In fact, I would prefer that over some kind of manual intervention. 
 
Allow users to handle the community stream just like circles. Using the already implemented filter bar is the way to go. So if i want to talk to the craft beer community, i turn down the space community and vise versa. Sorry if this was already suggested.
 
There should be no moderators.  It could be self-organizing and much more dynamic.  Making the value depend on the moderators seems like a mistake. 

Hell at least crowd source it.  That's been around for a while.
 
I actually WANT the content to be filtered into its own section. I liked Sparks and clicked it regularly. I'll also click Communities often probably once I join more (waiting for it to all settle a bit, like you said there are way too many similar ones popping up and it's just getting messy right now). I don't need or want more in my stream, I have plenty as it is and miss so much. The point of Communities is to do one of the things I wanted Circles to do, filter content specifically to one topic. Unfortunately, people in specific circles don't always post just on one topic, nor should they. So checking a "video games" circle may still get you clutter about non-related stuff. But Communities should be exclusively whatever topic you click.

If it all gets thrown into my stream, I'll probably miss it as well. It's a full-time job checking every post in the stream, and there are way too many posts to ever see it all. So all that will do is clutter my stream more and make me miss more from people. I may not always want to see posts on a certain topic. In addition, everyone in my circles, I chose to follow. But Communities are full of many, many people (like you said, yours is 9,000) - I'm sure they're great people, but do I necessarily want all their content in my stream? No. I definitely don't want 9,000 more people suddenly posting multiple posts each day! All I would ever see are space posts! On top of that, people may join Communities just to troll. Sure, the moderator would hopefully take care of that, but it's likely some will slip through or still go crazy even before they get booted. I don't need to see posts in my stream from trolls.

I think Communities are fine being separate and NEED to stay separate. For now, the little "NEW" tag helps remind you to check it. Once the feature isn't new anymore and that tag fades, maybe people will forget to check. So maybe then they can have a little red notification box display similar to regular notifications, but on the Communities icon specifically for those updates. It doesn't have to have the specific number (that'd be pretty high probably all the time if people are actively posting in all the Communities you've joined), but maybe just a generic little red flag, or just have it say NEW like it does now, but to indicate new posts (not a new feature).

If Communities appear in my stream, I would probably actually leave almost all of them. Sure, I keep people I don't want to miss in specific circles, but I like to peruse the home stream for those I don't engage with as much. Community posts would just clutter that stream. I might as well just add Communities people to specific circles in that case, defeating the purpose of Communities altogether.

Currently if you don't want to miss out, you can have email/phone notifications. That's a way to make sure you remember to check. I think many would prefer a weekly email summarizing all their Communities, though, not one email each post. But to have Communities post to the stream, then what's the purpose of having Communities anyways? Isn't that just basically posting to the stream, but now you're taking extra steps to do so? So in a sense, people would still not be checking their Communities, just the stream. I think that would actually kill them off faster.
 
+Adam Sweet I post about politics, religion, science, lots of stuff.  There's been very few trolls as far as I've seen, but that's just me.  

I've had good engagement with the other side of the arguments, typically.  It's not been that bad for me.
 
I was thinking how adding communities offered a great way to meet new G+ contacts - over 135 million G+ users and we were starting to travel in the same circles.  Even this initial version of communities offered a much needed chance to mix up the circles a bit and connect people by common interests that weren't previously visible. 

I'd love to see some visualizations of the evolving connections in our 135-million-mind neural net.  :) 
 
+Steve McIlroy But I think that's exactly what should happen. Communities should settle down, otherwise people will leave them. Right now people are incentivized to post and post and post, and SPAM the communities.

But if they were encouraged to focus on quality, I think we'd have a better situation.
 
If you post to your own stream, you don't necessarily know who might read your post beyond people those who have you circled.  People should be posting about what is interesting not posting because there is an audience.   

You post something that is interesting for other people, to save a little time, or for your own use to remember what you're thinking.  If you get some engagement and feedback & learn something more, then all the better. 

People shouldn't really be thinking how many people will see their post.  They should just have a decent expectation that if it's interesting, someone might talk to you about it and have a discussion that leads to other ideas. 
 
+Adam Sweet Right, I didn't mean to say I posted to your community.  There's too much spam in communities now.  I can imagine how much you'd be getting, I wouldn't even bother because I don't know that you're moderating the stream as to who is in the community. 

I was referring to my past experience making public posts about atheism and theists. 
 
People spam the stream too. You can hope people care about quality, but that will never be the case 100% of the time. And even then, quality is subjective. I may find cat pictures to be hilarious while the next person thinks it's trash.

I also don't want to go through tons of crap to figure out which to delete and whatnot. I don't want to weed out people, I want to weed IN people. Communities let me participate at will in specific forums. My stream is for people I've already vetted and WANT to interact with for sure on a daily basis. I don't want those different people crossing over. And no matter how much effort is put into filtering content and filtering people, it's gonna happen regardless.
 
+Steve McIlroy That subjective.  But that's is also what circles [should be] for.  Content specific circling would allow you to un-circle someone spammy on Obama but keep them circled for their awesome cosmology posts. 

This was the point of circles initially as far as public/private, and friends/work/public, etc.  It simply needs to be taken a step further and applied to content for the same two people. 
 
Circles + blocks are already two means of control.  Moderation is yet another, which may mean moderators deciding what content is seen on a subject, which seems like network television to me. 

Is a moderator going to be unbiased?  Oh gee, I just got into an argument with the moderator, now my network of friends in this community won't see my posts anymore until they circle me and see me outside the community?  

So are those friends going to monitor community A and my stream now?  In two separate places?

Why fracture the engagement even more than it already is with event threads, youtube threads, and various re-share threads?
 
What if moderators of high member highly moderated content approved communities post ads as posts? They can make some money...

Is the community going to revolt when they don't like the rules? Are they going to form their own democracies to see who controls the information flow?  Does that seem unfair that someone is arbitrarily potentially getting an advantage in having initially be given ownership of a subject which snowballed? 

Are those people going to reform a new community? community wars? Why tie this to a moderator? 
 
Well circles served two purposes: ideally, what Communities do now - content-specific posts you care about, and then also for YOU to post to specific people, based on interest or privacy. The latter works perfectly. The former not so much, 'cause like I mentioned, almost no one posts exclusively about one topic. So even if you take a guy who posts about politics and science out of the politics circle but keep him in the science circle, you're gonna get his political posts still in your science circle. That's why circles for content are more of a guideline. You know you'll get a majority of the content there but it may still be cluttered. So maybe whoever posts should be filtering their posts to specific circles, but then they can't share publicly. They have to share specifically to the science circle. And so strangers looking for great people with science posts may never see his posts and will pass him up. Or maybe you'd like to share his post publicly but he shared it limited. So in theory, it sounds fine, in practice, not so much.

That's where Communities now takes over and helps keep posts focused. I would expect ONLY science posts in a science Community. Anything else and you should be warned and/or kicked out. If it doesn't fit the topic, it belongs as a regular post in the stream.
 
+Jonathan Langdale Bingo. As I said earlier, allowing the moderators any latitude in deciding what goes into my stream is absurd and will kill communities very quickly.
 
+Steve McIlroy I understand how the community is a topic and it should be focused, but as far as people not taking about their new baby when making a new post, that's another matter.  What are you going to do, block them so you don't see their good comment on another post?

Why not just say what the content is when creating it and direct it from there? It seems more simple than anything else. 
 
It's like saying you like orange juice and coffee. You usually drink coffee at your local cafe because you forget the place sells orange juice too. So then fearing orange juice sales are falling, they start putting orange juice in your coffee to help you remember and so you never forget to drink your orange juice, too. That's not the best way of handling things, right? They're two separate things for a reason, and combining them just doesn't make sense if they serve different purposes. It's not a matter of changing how they get delivered to you, but how to remind you about both.
 
The relationship in a community should be way more dynamic.  It's not necessary that everyone see everyone else's post.  Although, you still want to see the comments if it's public. 

You could quickly hack this with a solution using a community block that just silences the posts for that person in that community (each member would have a community block list).  But eh...  you'd really want to distinguish this from a block block that would prevent seeing their comments. 
 
What it comes down to is if checking Communities on the left side of G+ is too burdensome to do along with checking out your regular stream then maybe you should bypass Communities altogether. This talk of a quasi-merge and moderators making posting decisions is all just missing the forest for the trees.
 
As for "surprises" and "open engagement" on Google+ features, Google always welcomes feedback and they listen to it, too (you can send feedback about anything anytime). So they do embrace that. If they only made decisions based on the millions of different opinions from people, though, no one would ever be satisfied and they'd never launch anything. You have to "surprise" your users with features, which are usually being tested out by focus groups anyways before the public announcement, then see how people react and evolve as necessary. Ideally Google makes changes and surprises based on feedback already though. I often find my gripes are addressed in later updates. I think they do a great job listening to their users. The fact that Googlers are commenting on this post is an indication of that. They're out there, listening, paying attention :)
 
+Steve McIlroy I know.  They're really good at feedback, the best actually (far better than Facebook and Twitter for feedback and engagement).  I've spoken to +Yonatan Zunger a bit.  

I was specifically targeting +Vic Gundotra because I remember hearing that there was a surprise related to white space, which never materialized   Not sure what that even meant at the time. 

I still don't understand what all the secrecy about G+ is getting them.  We all know it's integrating across the board.  And Communities needed to be secret?  It's Facebook Groups, we all know it.

There could been something something far more innovative and different even if it was an experiment.  What was done is obviously a great job for the execution.  But let's just say what it is, it's Facebook Groups + Circles.

I hate Facebook.  But I'm not going to kiss ass because I love Google. 
 
No,if i understood right,the third point is no solution, since voting will be done again in the communities tab not in the stream.Dismisses the point of staying in the stream.
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well if google are listening, can I just say that I want the ability to find things I want to see, not to be offered what you think I might want to see. In other words, I want to be able to browse categories and sub categories of content ...here and on youtube. 
 
nice 'hovver' notifications too...
 
I like the member voting criterion.
 
Yep, I have the hover notice, nice feature!
 
+Fraser Cain I was describing more or less the Slashdot approach (it's one of the oldest social networks in existence, with over 15 years); Reddit uses regular moderators AFAIK; Digg failed partly because of the way moderation worked (along with other bad decisions), search for "bury brigades" (basically the moderation was bimodal and everyone had the right to do it, along the lines of like / dislike in YouTube, and apparently groups of users banded together to "bury" stories they didn't like).

The problem with moderators is not that there aren't decent people who want to help, it's that they burn out, and the only ones who remain and have the amounts of energy needed are the ones who thrive on wielding the banhammer...
 
Just left the Photo Community as their postings have begun to inundate my stream, no doubt I'll have to leave your Space Community soon too +Fraser Cain once that hose starts spewing, sorry . . .
 
yup, refreshed and have the 'Hovver' notifications too now! Tho only posts to communtities I'm seeing in my stream are the ones I post myself. I hope this isn't going to happen as it will likely swamp streams and be pretty unpopular!
 
+Bruce Goren I wouldn't blame you. I'm hoping they give me better tools to control it, because right now it's totally binary. Allow or remove.
 
For the record, they're now saying that 100% of the users should have Hover counters.
 
+Fraser Cain weird behavior, postings from your Space Community have appeared, then disappeared from my general stream several times as I surf about in G+, leave the site, and return. I think the Googlers may be tweaking on this even now or perhaps the browser is simply caching things oddly.
 
I don't understand the fuss. Fix the Community posting Share box to include my circles and 'Public'. Then I can decide where, beyond the community the post goes, or not. If I don't mark it Public or share it with one or more of my circles, it stays in the community stream.

This doesn't sound like rocket science.
 
New feature -- Suggested Communities just popped up on top of the right hand column!
 
I'm just backing out a bit and waiting for the dust to settle.  I hope that the situation does straighten out before burning out great moderators and curators like +Fraser Cain .
 
+Fraser Cain  I've increased your volume in my stream because it seems that you get it.  (referring to your appearance on Google Plus Week: Google Plus Week!) The number crunchers and their ceaseless anxiety really unnerve me.
 
I keep forgetting how far left the Google flag flies. 

I know that letting people make their own decisions instead of implementing complex rules and appointing community censors could be a start down a slippery slope, but why don't we try it anyway -- let the poster decide where the post will show up.
 
+Fraser Cain I definitely do NOT like the idea of community posts showing up in my stream. I believe the whole point of the Community system being separate is like the Games stream being separate - to cut back on the noise in the main stream.

However if I had to choose I like the last option and I can see this working with maybe individual +1 thresholds being set by each member. So only posts that reach a certain amount of +1's show in their stream. Kinda the way the circle volume slider works. Maybe this is what +Vic Gundotra is alluding to, guess we'll eventually find out.
 
Looks to me now that Google is throttling things such that just two recent posts from a Community remain floating at the top of your general stream. If you go away and come back you find a different pair of posts, but always at the top and previous posts disappear. Anyone else experiencing this? I'm guessing Google is testing multiple ideas simultaneously on samples of us, to see what is tolerated, also, my "suggested communities" recent  "new feature' has now disappeared!
 
Fraser, Between this post and that great video about the space live hangout, I hope Google is paying you lots of money. :)
 
I think part of the success of Google+ is that a lot of community is not motivated so much about money all the time. 

You can tell a lot of people just have a genuine interest in engagement, science, learning, etc. 
 
+Jonathan Langdale Correct. Someof us may disagree on what Google should do with this issue, but its born of a desire to make this place we care about better. 
 
I highly respect Google and Yonathan, and the engineers.   I'm only critical because I want to see them do better.  I see a lot more potential.

The G+ UI/UX has gotten better.  But honestly, it's the people that make G+ good. 

A better UX would do wonders.  My honest opinion is that Facebook's UI is somewhat better than G+.  But Facebook has the wrong people. 

I used Facebook Groups a lot.  It's not as open as G+ for some reason.  It think it's just the mentality. 

Part of the reason is Circles though.  That is leverage over Facebook.  Communities is ruining Circles a bit.  They're afraid to touch circles because they think people don't get it and wont' leave Facebook?
 
+Bruce Goren, I'm getting the two most recent community posts at the top of my All stream as you mentioned, but also a few selected community posts in the rest of the stream. I'm not sure how they're being selected, though.
 
+Marc Thibault - And that is the shocking thing about these changes. They did give us that power through circle management... and then they took it away for Communities. 
 
+Allen Firstenberg That's it precisely. 

You can do what you need to do with Circles only, with improvements.  I think they're afraid to touch circles. 

Or this was just a hack bolt-on forum?   Maybe their solutions to using circles was too complex. 
 
Why spent all that time on circle management, to then abandon it and not improve it? 
 
I can even see using many of the aspects of the Communities as they went with them. I might disagree with some, but I could see them going with it... but I think they could have integrated it with circles and not ended up with two totally different solutions.
 
+Allen Firstenberg This fundamentally comes down to one thing and one thing only.

1.  We need to tag content with a descriptor (quark, call it what you want, tag).  We need to stop saying where the content goes and just say what it is. 

G+ is already copying everything else (Facebook Groups), why are they being so obtuse by refusing to do this?  They could learn so much about the user by comparing the tagging to the content. 

I'm not a PhD but seriously... I did take the Stanford AI and ML AI online classes.  It seems like a no brainer.

They must have a good reason, or this is just silly. 
 
Part of the reason, I think, is that tagging isn't really a natural act. It only works moderately well for people who are dedicated. Ad-hoc tagging has issues (do I tag it "cat" or "cats" or...)
 
+Joe Pairman I'm getting a few posts from the Space Community sprinkled through my stream. I don't know about up at the top, since I start by scrolling down to where I left off and work my way up...and I haven't made it all the way up to the top. I do wonder how the posts that show in the stream are chosen.
 
+Allen Firstenberg But we're already tagging the post as to which community or circles it goes, it's the same thing?

Am I wrong?

You can knowledge and semantically map that, or just give people a structured list. 

Actually ML should be able to predict how to describe it for you or the communities, quarks it would be set as.  All you do it confirm it, and that gets learned by Google for free using your brain.
 
+Fraser Cain As far as posts being voted up or down, we've already got the +1 system. You'd think that could be put to use in some positive way.

Also, I think different types and sizes of Communities should behave differently. I might like a small, private community to show right up in my stream. A large public community, not so much.
 
Imagine going to a ripple page but the circles are not post chains, but rather quark/topic bubbles. 

Clicking through the sparks/quark/bubbles is selecting the communities, circles within circles aggregated and overlapping. 
 
+Helen Read I have been noticing the same about the post sprinkling in my Home stream. No detectible rhyme or reason.
 
I've been on Usenet since 1993, and in the olden days before it got too popular, some of the newsgroups really were communities. I made friends on the newsgroups that I still see in real life once a year (we travel to meet IRL), and a few very good friends that I email with all the time. But the unmoderated ones eventually got killed by the onslaught of the trolls. Not sure how exactly the giant public Communities are going to avoid that fate. Well, I guess the Moderators can block and ban people here, unlike on Usenet where nobody is in charge.
 
+Vladimir Vigdorovich +Helen Read They changed it recently to show the community posts for people you have circled, which sorta compounds the problem of not being able to circle only part of a person, that subject you follow about them. 

As it stands, if you circle someone for science and they post to basket weaving community you see it just like you see all posts regardless of how you have them circled. 
 
+Helen Read When you go to circle someone, instead of circling the whole person, you see sub-circles, I call them quarks like how quarks make up particles.  If I post on science and politics, you only drag in my science quark and don't see my politics quarks. 

Then when I post about science I send it to my science quark list. 

It would be like making me a community and only circling one of my topics. 

I've posted about this:
plus.google.com/s/langdale%20quarks
 
+Jonathan Langdale Thanks for the explanation. I assumed as much.

To answer this post, though ... I think that the main problem is that user control will be lost if you simply unleash a Community stream into a user's Home. Therefore, I think sliders are a must and must come first.
 
Once this is setup, you'd be able to circle a community of people that have setup the same quark. 

Groups could be curated and shared, etc.  Linked in a variety of ways. 
 
+Jonathan Langdale Venn diagrams. I want to see posts from people that are in the intersection of my Circles and my Communities. If I have you circled, and you post to a Community that I am in, I see your post. But I don't want to see the union of my Circles and Communities -- if you are in my Circles, something you post to some Community I don't care about should not show up in my stream. You can still share other things with me directly if you've got me in your circles.

Also with the Venn diagrams, subcircles and subcommunities would be kind of cool.
 
+Jonathan Langdale +Helen Read 
Things should be kept as simple as possible, imo. The reason that Circles work is because they are highly relatable to normal people. And even they (Circles) can get complicated in a hurry (especially if you consider multi-circle membership).

 I would guess that what you guys are suggesting would cross the simplicity threshold and cause mass confusion among regular users.
 
+Vladimir Vigdorovich +Helen Read Yes, I agree that is probably how it's being perceived.   But I can't agree that it's anymore confusion or of a complex threshold than the confusion with communities.  

Circles is pretty straight forward.  A circle inside a circle is easy.  My 6 year old can figure that out. 

It's geometric and visual. 
 
+Jonathan Langdale You are right that communities are making things much more complex. But having quarks (tags) on top of that would make matters even worse. That would be another layer of complexity to overcome. Again, the power of concepts here is relatability—circles are easy, communities are not too bad either.

Also, it would mess with the editability of the post (would you be able to retag things once posted? would users have to choose the tags when they circle you? what if you decide to add another tag at some later time? etc.).
 
I agree, posts in communities should show up in the stream of those who are part of the community.  I definitely don't think communities should be off, separated from the rest of G+.  They won't survive.  Another option would be for the user to choose if they want posts in their communities to show up in their stream.  

And I also wish that my saved searches would do the same - i.e., if someone posts with a certain hashtag I have saved, I want that in my stream.  If they are a goon/spammer I'll just block them, report them, & move on with life, but most who will post with the htags I search aren't like that.  
 
Fraser, I'd recommend you commission a whole slew of moderators and start putting the hammer down on the spammers & off topic posts!  It's gotten insane.  
 
I think that policing Communities will always be a challenge. Especially if they are really large and if many members don't post.

This makes me think that having Communities separated from the rest of Profile space, while not ideal (for the reasons that Fraser menitioned) is still better than blasting Home streams. This is the status quo (well, almost).
 
I'm out for dinner, I'll get back to Spam fighting shortly.
tim hem
 
Owners/Mods being able to sticky posts to the top of a stream would be a bit of a god send too - come to think of it that would be really helpful generally
 
I didn't have time to comment on this yesterday and now I really feel the need for threaded comments. How am I supposed to comment on one of the first comments and make sense?
 
Try this style +Erik Andersson; call out the poster and quote the essence from the original -- " I didn't have time to comment on this yesterday. . ."
And there ya go!
 
+Fraser Cain actually this is already happening. I don't know the algorithm but already one post from a community I joined appeared on my all circles stream. 
 
+Nicholas Vealoroso That's what I was really hoping to see. Now we're getting a sense of the true scale of G+. It's kind of exciting.
 
+Nicholas Vealoroso I think what we are seeing with the Communities is a resounding refutation of all the complaints from people that "I tried Google+ but nobody uses it so I left"
 
I also have seen a community post in my all circles stream, but it was rare.  Maybe there is a "volume" nob somewhere?  Or maybe it was a fluke.  I still think user control is the key - let me decide what I want in my stream, something like what they do with the volume sliders for circles.  Again I'd like to see the same thing as an option for saved searches.
 
only community posts I'm seeing so far in my stream are ones I've either plussed or commented on. it might me nice if there was an option to subscribe to a community or a communities particular category. but if they start coming thru unfiltered into my stream I'll be leaving the busier communities.
 
Not going to lie, if others are like me they probably won't be visiting the stream very often from now on. When I'm on a pc my time will be shifting to community. Time will tell if that sticks. 
 
I can pretty much guarantee that in 2 years time, the most popular form of social media content creation is going to involve a process of the author confirming auto generated tags about their content and where best it might go based on how it's described. 

You're not going to decide where it goes.  You're going to influence where the content, post, update, goes based on how you describe content.  This will then be compared to a machine learned predictive model that learns to become more and more accurate. 

This is going to happen regardless.  I will turn out to be correct even if my suggestion doesn't seem worthwhile or too complicated.  It's going to happen anyway. 
 
+Fraser Cain You may have noticed this already - but when you look at your Home stream, you'll now see some posts from the communities you've joined. :) Hope this is something like what you were hoping for!
 
+Brian Glick Yup, that's exactly what I was hoping to see. Now I feel silly ranting about it when you clearly had the feature in the works. 

Now we need some kind of spam control, prioritizing, moderation tools, It's kind of crazy in the Community right now with hundreds of spam attempts every day.
 
+Brian Glick - Are you guys able to explain exactly which posts from the communities will show up in the stream?
 
+Brian Glick I'd really prefer they didn't appear on my profile under 'posts' there should be a seperate tab for them if you ask me! As for random posts from communities I've joined appearing in my stream, when will we have some noise control on this? Until there is I'm staying away from the busy communities and have already #RageQuit  one!
 
+Fraser Cain Cool. Yeah, large communities can be a little challenging to moderate. We're definitely thinking about how to improve things.

+Allen Firstenberg You'll see a few posts from the communities you've joined in your stream; we pick it based on a number of different signals - quality, freshness, etc. We're always tweaking the algorithms to improve things, too. How's it working for you?

+Rupert Wood Thanks for the feedback. We're listening to all of it. Right now you shouldn't be getting very much in your main stream, but personally, I definitely want some controls on it too.
 
+Brian Glick First you tell people, come join Google, we have +Circles that let you control what people see and how you see stuff. 

Then they see communities and think what?  Circles is one thing and Communities is another, that begs the question... it's a simple question.

Do I post to the community or my circles?  Can you tell me what the answer to this is?    

I feel like I might be overreacting, but I'm confused if this isn't a huge glaring issue at the same time.

Abandon people that have come to form circles and follow you?  Post to a community and expect that they go there?
 
What does Facebook user thinking of joining G+ (like my girlfriend who almost left Facebook last night) think? 
 
+Jonathan Langdale Different audiences for different posts. :) Personally, for me, I never post about my love of The Walking Dead because I know most of my friends and family don't care about it. But now I can go crazy posting in the Walking Dead community.

But if I'm sharing something broad that I think a lot of people who follow me will like - say, I just moved across the country! - then I'll share that with circles. Or if I'm just saying a photo with my friends of an awesome meal I just had had.
 
+Brian Covey You're saying that the difference audiences get different posts?  So I edit my post to make it different?  How do I know what applies to the community and to people that have circled me and follow posts I send to my mainstream on the same subject?  This seems like a cop out. 

Then what is the point of people having you circled?  Why not just cancel circles and have everyone make communities? 

This is because circles was flawed and limited in the first case.  If you could circle me and just my walking dead sub-circle then you'd get what you wanted by me having send that post to my walking dead public sub-circle.

So you're arguing that communities attempts to fix a flaw in circles, which is what I'm saying too. 
 
+Jonathan Langdale I think you're missing my point. I can't create a community to share photos of my meal with my friends - because I've got, say, 200 friends, and one of my 200 friends has their own set of 250 friends, and it's not the same set of people at all. We can't all be in the same community, because we're not all perfect friends with one another.

But - if a community and I all share something in common - we're all members of the Glick family, or we're all fans of The Walking Dead, or we're all part of the same class in college - then a community could work well.
 
Dude, making a Walking Dead community is not only a great idea, and a great example, but it probably already exists? 

That's not the point though.  I think you're missing it.  It seems like circles are being excluded, replaced, or you think circles are just for family now. 

My question still seems unanswered, or, I'm missing something, which is possible. 

My girlfriend who also likes Walking Dead may not be in those communities but I may want her to see my post about the Walking Dead because we talk about it and watch it together.  I've been planning to post about the Walking Dead actually in a way not entirely related to just the show, but also to evolution and other issues.. 

This is a flaw with circles, communities, and public posts as I see it. 
 
I'm definitely seeing more community posts in my stream this afternoon.  
 
+Brian Glick - That is a little difficult for me to say right now. Of the communities I've subscribed to, I have only seen posts from one of them in my stream, probably at a slightly lower rate than I would have liked for that group, but I can't really argue.

Others, with far fewer members and posts haven't shown up in my stream. Some of these are the ones I'm more likely to want to appear in my stream than the heavy volume one.

Mostly I ask because I have plans and ideas how to use communities for work, but I don't want to set them up and get coworkers using them until I have a better grasp about what my workflow with them can be like. If not everything will appear in the stream, they won't be useful for my purposes.

(And now I'll let you get back to your show... {: Thanks!)
 
Sliders are a must! And until they're here, I had to quit the Linux community.. :-( Let's hope they come quick! :-)
 
+Brian Glick The few posts from my Communities that are sprinkled into my stream don't get me to engage with the Community, and you have to look pretty closely to even notice that the post came from the Community. I'd kind of like to have a button in the sprinkled post that makes it more obvious where the post came from, and if clicked would take me directly to the Community.

Another thing -- anytime I leave the Home page to go to Communities, or Photos or whatever, hitting the browser's back button takes me to the top of the stream, and I have to scroll way down to try to find where I left off. Same problem if I close my browser and come back later or switch to the G+ app on my Nexus 7 -- finding where I left off in a busy stream can be quite the challenge. I'd really like to have the stream remember my place, to that when I open it I'm pretty much where I left off. Ideally this should happen across devices.
 
That's one of the things in this life I would so love to add to the list of things I,ve gotten the privalageto see with my own eyes. It's one thing to swee God's beauty on television, but to see it in real life is unbeatable. Gonna keep looking towards the sky because I don't want to miss a thing that God has to show me there. 
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