Take the Google+ Communities 30-Day Challenge

Now that Google+ Communities have been released, I'm seeing a tremendous amount of activity (bad and good). But I'm also seeing ambivalence. The most interesting people I know are holding back posting actively into communities because they don't want to take away from their existing followings. 

Does this sound familiar? We had a way we used to interact on Google+ (through Public posts), and now there's a new way (Google+ Communities). People are nervous to participate in communities because they don't want to abandon all their existing momentum.

Here's what I recommend:

Spend the next 30 days posting the majority of your pictures, video and text into relevant Google+ Communities, and not your Public circle

The Wrong People are Embracing Communities

Although there are some wonderful communities already coming together, I'm seeing lower quality posts in the larger communities. I think this is because the thoughtful, articulate people who have build large followings are sticking to their Public circles, where they're already getting engagement.

And then the spammers are embracing Communities with gusto. They see it as another way to drive traffic to their web pages and projects, so they're trying to hit up as many communities as they can. I'm currently wiping out about 10 posts in the Space community for every post I keep. And I'm probably banning 50+ people a day.

Communities are Going to Thrive Anyway

Google+ has needed a place to talk about the things we love - our common interests - right from the beginning. We've been begging Google+ for it, and they finally delivered it. Some people are unhappy with the implementation, but this is a great start, and will improve as common forum/moderation features are implemented.

But Communities are going to thrive - sooner or later. Instead of there being popular people in general on Google+, there will be thriving Communities with local superstars, who have gained respect and followings because of their service to the Community.

Unless people embrace this new paradigm, they're going to get left behind. I seriously believe this. Public circles will fade, and Communities will take the spotlight.

Embrace Communities 100%

While this is all getting figured out, I highly recommend that everyone embraces this as much as possible. Instead of splitting yourself between Public posts with your existing followings, jump into Communities with both feet. 

Make the vast majority of your posts in relevant Communities.

This will increase the signal to noise ratio, drowning out the spammers, and setting a great example for new members.

Comment, +1 and share other people's posts in the Communities. Take the time to answer questions and be helpful. 

Reach out to your like-minded friends and encourage them to join the same Communities. Then you'll have the best of both worlds. You'll be talking about the stuff you love with the people you already like. 

So, take the 30-day Google+ Community Challenge. Spend the next 30 days posting the vast majority of your material into relevant Communities. Then, if you didn't feel like your Google+ experience didn't improve, go back to whatever you were doing before. 

I'll see you in the Space community (and the Sailing, Vancouver Island, RPG, Android, Photography, Astrophotography, Mountain Biking, Podcasting, SEO, Google+, Web Development, and Video Game communities)
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