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Wow, the "Building a Company" community I opened last week has 3,000 members already. Yeah, that pales to the huge numbers in +Trey Ratcliff's photo community, but that's already quite something. 

I also love that Google+ has noise controls for communities. You might not realize this, but silently in the background Google has been blocking lots of messages from posting on communities. You see one of those messages here in the post below.

We'd love to have you join our community for all entrepreneurs: https://plus.google.com/communities/111285810442781953487
 
Good morning from the administrator!

Sorry I've been over in Europe so haven't had much time to put into this, but now I'm back and am very happy to see 3,073 members this morning. Pretty cool!

What's nice is that Google+ has been blocking noisy posts. A ton of them. A few that were good got blocked too, I approved those. But I see there's a need for some general ground rules:

1. Google+ and I will block posts that have very little value other than a link to your community or to your website. Translation: advertising isn't allowed here. Participate here, build up some social capital, before trying that kind of stuff.

2. English only sorry. While translations are getting better it puts a tax on those of us who are participating here. For now we'll make this an English-only community. 

3. All "high-noise, low signal" posts are in danger of getting pulled from here. I'm going to bias toward not wasting time. So posts that just say "hi," while well meaning, aren't going to get posted.

Anyway, there are a few other things that I'll protect the community from, really am looking forward to participating here. At some point I'll probably make a few others here moderators too because I can't keep up with the flow if it gets crazier than this.

Speaking of which, anyone here use the Net Promoter Score? At Rackspace we use this like a religion and I know many other companies do too. Maybe I'll start a new section called "measuring greatness." What do you think? What does this community need?
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28 comments
 
+Robert Scoble I was just going to write a post asking if communities may breathe new life back into Google Plus. It looks like the answer may be yes. 
 
I was thinking that one of the advantages you pointed out about Facebook is its superior listing capability.  I was thinking with the communities system now in place, you could have three startup circles of 500 to cover your 1500 startups.  Then you could send a message to each of those circles inviting them to a community.  That would create an awesome community.  And it would have a similar offering perhaps even a better experience than the Facebook lists. 
 
+Euro Maestro sorry, I can't do the lists over here. First of all the companies haven't taken Google+ seriously yet. Second of all I just won't split these things up into separate lists. That said, it's good to see Google working on noise controls.
 
The blocking seems a little over aggressive to me.  I started a local photography community for Saint Louis, and about 1/3 the messages posted by new members seem to be getting caught by this.  And these are introduction messages from the members without links to other sites.  
 
+Robert Scoble I understand, it was just an idea.  I was thinking communities though is close to offering some of the advantages of Facebook list though.  Do you think it is comparable or are Facebook lists still better ? The lists on Facebook are dynamic which is great. 
 
+Tim Johnson I'd rather it be aggressive than not. If these things get marked as noisy they will self destruct.
 
+Robert Scoble Good point, I am only dealing with a ~40 member community (although we're growing,) with a narrow focus, so I don't see what you are seeing.
 
Yes, very different.  I meant in terms of providing quality content that is targeted and on topic, a moderated community might do a better job in eliminating noise than even a well curated list.  
 
Do I get this right - there is no setting to say "approve all posts" but I have to hope for google making that decision?

I am all for automating but I would love to set up additional groups f.e. as an equivilent for the Berlin startup Jobs group on fb - but I want a "submit what you like but only Berlin content should be able to make it through". Editing afterwards is not going to help nor is approving members (most spamming members are actually just jumping in and out).
 
+Nicole Simon Nice to see you again.  I took a photo at LeWeb of you interviewing.  I'll share it with you privately. 
 
+Nicole Simon nope, there is no "approve all." Google clearly wants admins to be careful here and not destroy their communities.
 
I'm interested to see how this community project goes. I still think it has a chance to breathe some new life into google plus. I totally agree with you +Robert Scoble that it still not taken seriously but I am still hoping for that to change in the future. 
 
I thought the idea of communities was great, and promptly joined several.

I've now left them all as I seemed to get random communities posts just showing up in my main stream. I don't want to see communities posts in my main stream, and a can't see a way to stop that without leaving them. I've also no idea why it choose only very few and mostly inane posts to show in my stream.
 
There may be cases where approving would 'destroy' a community but at the same time, there is reason for it to 'build' one in the first place. Facebook for example allows you to give 'always approve automatically of this person' and just manage the rest.

Quite honestly, if I have to spend time to wade through tons of bad apples afterwards instead of being able just to let the good apples through from the get go, I'll stick with systems that allow for this to happen. We all know that people like to send but do not like to read instructions / orientations while at the same time complaining about noise. 

And that spammers don't care no matter what. I would be happy to filter in content into Google Plus and make it more of a destination. I applaud when we have the different options and of them to adapt filter control, I just never get it when they remove the control as in "the machine will know and do it for you and that will be the only way". +sigh+

Can I make a page out of that? Yes of course, but that will not engage the community to give me the information nor streamline the posting process. As for notification: What I really like about facebook is the sidebar which allows me to drill down in specific areas and thus boiling down the number of notifications. I don't know what it is, but this works way more naturally. Even with bigger groups, notification still stays on top of things. 
 
The noise controls look promising but need work - they are too easily bypassed. I joined, then hurriedly left, three communities simply because the noise levels were too high. I don't want to spend time flagging spam, I want to discover content.
 
+Phil Haigh that just means the moderator is doing a poor job of choosing what kind of content should get through to the community. 
 
+Robert Scoble Give moderation permissions to few more of this community so that content quality can be improved and will save your time.
 
Why are so many people engaging so much in G+ communities now and so less in FB groups? What makes G+ communities superior to FB groups?
 
+Andreas Krause I think it's because Google+ had a default behavior: that we here are used to talking with strangers about things we're passionate about. Over on Facebook? The default behavior is talking to your friends and family.
 
I was wondering why some of the posts I received notifications on had been blocked before I could get to them. Yay Google+ spam filters!
 
I have seen no spammy posts on my communities I have joined - its been remarkably respectful and high signal to noise ratio.. 

I love communities - and agree its becoming a killer feature of plus
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