With yesterday's announcement that Google will be breaking out Hangouts and Photos from what is now called "The Stream" there are all sorts of unanswered questions, all the more so for us because no one at Google is really talking about the fate of communities. Even before this announcement, I had some serious concerns about the lack of good systems for managing a community of this size and our lack of meaningful access to our member database.
I have tried to broach with several heartfelt messages to Google employees including the previous head of Google+, the Chief Architect, the Google+ Communities Manager, and the manager of the Google+ small business community that is operated by Google staff - I did not receive responses to any of these messages.
i had several concerns - first was the "limits to growth" of a community like this - it is basically just a flat bulletin board system - obviously with more than 60,000 members people might not be able to post as much as they want. More significantly though, there are some elements of an online community that is missing here - the most important of which is what you might call "discovery" - a way for members to find, meet and communicate with other like-minded members.
Normally this is done through the member database or directory, but I consider the one here on Google+ all but useless. You can look people up by their name, but if you know their name why would you need the directory? - you could just go directly to the profile. i have tried just about everything to get our member data, but Google seems to have it on complete lockdown - it is not a part of "Google Takeouts" and there seems to be no way to extract even the most basic information about our members here - by all means, take a look for yourself and let me know if you have any ideas; http://goo.gl/c4j9Xv
I have also developed a member website I have mentioned a few times here that does have a pretty solid feature set, and in particular solves the "discovery" and lookup issue, or at least it would if everyone joined I have mentioned it several times but I never found a partner or co-founder to work with me on this application, and being just one person with limited resources I haven't given it nearly the attention it deserves - plus I never really found a business model for it, and I do have to eat. Still, it isn't a bad place to start - it is basically an open source PHP/mySQL script that was originally a dating application - in some ways, ideal for our needs. By all means, feel free to register, but don't expect anything to exciting content-wise on the inside, and let me know if you have any ideas on how it can be used and managed: http://world-startups.com/
As I said, I have no idea what Google is going to do with communities, and I am not even 100 percent certain that Google+ will be around for that much longer. It is time to put our cards on the table and ask our members here for their ideas. How can we better meet and stay connected with our members here?
Any and all ideas are welcome.
I didn't get quite the response I had hoped for here so I am going to uppin this post, but we will keep trying
Sometimes you just have to love technology. After a house move a months back, I couldn't find my HTC One, a phone I had recently wiped and was using as a camera while I tried out a new Cyanogenmod. Thinking it had been misplaced in the move or simply still in a moving box in the shed, I gave up looking for it since I had another phone. When I recently came back to Android I opened up my Google Drive Photos and lo and behold, there's this guy, complete with selfies and pictures of his home, kids, and what I can only assume is his wife. Judging by the company name on his shirt (the moving company I used) it's not hard to see how he wound up with his new phone. But apparently he had not realized it was on auto backup.
The moving company found him and immediately fired him (and I have removed their logo from this picture) but the thief has neglected to return the phone. So say hello to him now.
#Android #GoogleDrive #AutoBackup
Stephanie is a small business finance expert - something we all probably need to learn more about, and is also a regular participant in Google+ hangouts, so maybe she can help us with our moribund community hangout program.
In any event, we are delighted to have her back and want to thank her for offering to help again.
Stephanie lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband Herve, who she met while living in France, and her three children who are 12, 10 and 5 - so she has her hands full in her words "schlepping her kids all over" He hobbies include cooking, tennis, "reading like a fiend" and the "name that tunes" game. She also appreciates fine aux truffles and champagne. Please welcome Stephanie who joins our team of amazing moderators. We really appreciate her volunteering to help.
I'm excited to meet all those who've gotten active lately, and to see those of you I already know. Of course, if you've got questions, don't hesitate to ping me, I'm happy to help if I can!
- Entrepreneur Strategy & AccelerationBusiness Strategy, 2012 - present
- Michigan State University
- San Diego State University
- Entrepreneurial Collaboration
- Small Business Development
- Startup Venture Acceleration
- Open Source Development
- Collaborative Technologies
- International Business & Trade
- New Economy / Self-Employed
- California Economy and Politics
- Action Planning AssociatesOwner, 2011 - presentProfessional service that uses the latest generation of project management and scheduling applications along with collaborative brainstorming to help startups, small business and entrepreneurs accomplish their objectives much more rapidly. Please request a capabilities statement or schedule a Google+ hangout with me if you would like more information There is no charge for any initial consultation.
- World-Startups.comFounder, 2011 - 2014This is an community platform designed to enhance collaboration among early stage startups and entrepreneurs. While still under development, it is fully operational and provides a sophisticated matching service that can link entrepreneurs seeking partners and co-founders, as well as match them with the needs of larger organizations. Please see link on this profile for registration or contact me if you would like more information.
- Content Creation ServicesOwner, 2011 - 2014Professional service that helps business with their content management, content marketing and content automation needs. I can supply customized content to your blog or website on a regular basis at low cost and with little involvement on your part. Ongoing market research is provided as part of this service and it is ideal as an adjunct to the regular content creation activities of you or your organization. Technical writing and documentation services are also available. Please request a capabilities statement or schedule a Google+ hangout with me f you would like more information There is no charge for any initial consultation.
- California Trade NetworkCo-Founder, 2000 - 2014This is a business portal for exporters and internationally oriented entrepreneurs in the state of California. While this project went dormant for several years, it is currently being relaunched with a new partner at a time of renewed interest.
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