Google Communities - Quick review
Google Communities have been around for a few months now, and I have many more positive than negative experiences.Let's start off with the negatives
Within a few days after Communities launched, my inbox was filled with invites to random groups I have no interest in. Most of them were obvious attempts to lure me into their group so that they can spam me. Thankfully, the influx of new community invites has quietened down but I'm still left with all these spam-based communities I need to sort through when I search for some to join. For that reason, I prefer private communities. Having said that, there are great open communities out there, but you will need to do some searching for now until they can rise to the top through 'natural selection'. These same issues present themselves on other 'group based' platforms like LinkedIn groups, Twitter and Facebook... and like these, Google Communities have the usual features like blocking and moderating to clean up the group. My advice is don't just join a community by their name, look at what's been posted, user interaction, and how they moderate spam.The Positives
When you find a good community you find a group of people passionate about the topic you are interested in. The community is engaging, helpful, and often quirky in just the right way (That may just be a Google+ thing).
Communities solve the issue of topic-based circles. When I started out on Google+ I created topic-based circles and sorted people accordingly, quickly realizing that people wouldn't stick to what I boxed them into. My tech circle sometimes spoke about politics, cats or Carly Rae Jepsen. Sure, I could add them into multiple circles but the management was far to onerous. Now I create cohort, location and relationship-based circles instead, and use communities to find topic-based content.
It solves the 'circle everyone' problem. Previously if I wanted to interact and stay up to speed with what someone was doing, I would need to add them to a circle. Pretty soon I was adding thousands of people (similar to Facebook and Twitter) in the hope that they would turn out to be interesting. My intent was to clean out my circles of the people I don't really connect with later on. Communities allows me to connect and engage with people I don't have in my circles, allowing me to establish a genuine connection before circling them.
Want to learn more about communities? Here's their page: http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/communities/
Or view the video below: #communities #review