Marina Boykis

» Feedback / Requests  - 
Hi everyone, I hosted a Hangout on Air last night, but the video didn't record properly. I spoke in addition to one other person, but for most of the video it just showed my face. Anyone know how to fix that for future hangouts? thanks!
John Skeats's profile photo
Hi +Marina Boykis. This community is for discussion about being a community moderator. You would do much better asking questions about Hangouts in the Hangouts Help Forum (!forum/hangouts) because that is where you will find the Hangouts experts.
Add a comment...

Trey Ratcliff

» Feedback / Requests  - 
Question (false-assumption??) - When I "Pin" a post within a category, don't you think it should also be at the top of that category when I click into it?
Trey Ratcliff's profile photoAbbasdesertrose's profile photoStephen Ng's profile photo
+Trey Ratcliff // Pro-tip -- don't post porn if your mom is your #1 fan.
Add a comment...

Thomas Scholz

» Feedback / Requests  - 
Request: Do not allow duplicated posts

This morning our community was hit by this guy:

He posted one copy of his spam into each category. And it wasn’t even detected as spam, our timeline was filled with that crap.

That could have been prevented easily: When a post is an exact copy of an existing post from the same member in the same community, discard it and move the original to the moderation queue.
Stephen Ng's profile photoYash Trivedi's profile photo
Ban, remove, block. Le Triforce for G-Mods.
Add a comment...

Evan Hei

» Feedback / Requests  - 
About a year ago +Brian Glick and some other folks expressed interest in how I was using private G+C’s to teach web-enhanced college courses.  I apologize for not replying sooner.

In the interim I have continued using them to great success, if I may say so myself.  I also gave a paper at a sociology conference about my usage.

Someone asked about my prior experience.  I started using the internet in 1992, and started teaching college courses the next year, collecting papers via floppy disks.

From 1997 I was teaching full-time at Kobe University in Japan.  Eventually I started using Blogger to collate posts from students.  There was not much way to hierarchize the posts (other than by time) but the seminars had few students and few enough posts that it hardly mattered.

The students and I had a strong need for such service:  to pool the work of glossing the readings.  That is, I was assigning them to read challenging texts in English (a foreign language to them) in print.  When each student had to look up each key word they didn’t know, none of them got much reading done.  So I would divvy up each assignment:  each student would post a glossary for his or her assigned, ten pages of the assignment, and depend on classmates for the rest.  This system was not ideal, but it served a real purpose for collaboration.

After I returned to the U.S. in 2009, I taught one course using Blackboard.  The university where I taught it had paid $20,000 for a plug-in to allow usage of profile photos, only to have the university nix any usage of the feature.  The authorities were concerned lest any students or professors help organized crime organizations to find, via their profile photos (or lack of identifiable profile photos), students who were in witness protection programs.  

Blackboard was atrocious—by far the worst machine of any sort that I’d ever been compelled to use—and my students agreed, but we got through the semester.  There were some advantages:  1) it was secure, 2) I had expert help, and 3) it was easy to set up breakout discussions.

The next semester instead I used Facebook.  After I had committed to using it, I realized that by insisting students make and use a second Facebook account, I was compelling them to violate FB’s terms.  If any of them got thrown off FB and complained, I could’ve got in big trouble at work.  But the risk of another kind of complaint--resulting from my having compelled them to use their main FB accounts--seemed greater.  I could not go back to Blogger because the class was too large.  The safe path would’ve been to go back to no-internet-component, or else find a new platform, but I did not have time, so I forged ahead.  Luckily (thanks to the students not complaining about it, and thanks to FB, in practice, tolerating their dual accounts), I got away with it.  It seemed there was no need for breakout discussions because threads developed as mini-discussions.

The interesting thing about the semester was that I did not have to do anything to get the students to talk to each other online.  They did.  A lot.  Freely.  

One disadvantage was that a couple of the students felt FB was too informal a place to have school.

Afterwards my supervisor pointed out that the students are supposed to write essays, so reluctantly I moved towards essays.  Meanwhile instead of FB, I switched to using Google+ Circles.

In all my teaching, I generally find the mutiny-factor tends to be high, because students don’t understand at first what I am asking of them, and they resist the different expectations:  using social media since 2009 in the U.S. (as opposed to Japan, which is much more hierarchical and where I had excellent, dutiful students) enhances the potential for mutiny, obviously, and my first semester teaching how to write essays was the most mutinous semesters of my career thus far.

Previously I had avoided teaching how to write an essay in Humanities courses, on the grounds that teaching students to read, think, and converse thoughtfully in writing was a tall enough order for one semester of Humanities.  But then I agreed to require students to write four essays, each responding to a prompt, using its terms.  None of the students on the first essay used any of the terms of the prompt, so I told them they all had to re-do the first essay, this time using the terms of the prompt.  They flat-out mutineed.  It was quite a challenge.  But we got through it!

With Google+ Circles, students found it deeply confusing because it was enough like Facebook to throw them off.  They could not grasp that though on FB “friending” creates a mutual relationship, Circles are not at all mutual.

It was not easy for me either.  I was able to tell them to get into breakout groups, and if students participated I could see it, but I could not see whether slack students had configured any Circles at all.  If some students posts were invisible to other students, meanwhile I had no way to know.

Privacy was a major drawback.  Students constantly were posting publicly instead of only to the Circle.  Worse, occasionally when providing feedback that I needed to go only to the student, accidentally I posted it to the whole class Circle.

The next semester I started using only email for private feedback, but then, students were not in the habit of checking their Inboxes.

So as soon as G+Cs became available I started using them.  The best features are how the Community-icon works to identify the locus of each online Community, and how we all easily can see a grid showing profile photos of the whole class.

Getting students into the Communities is a challenge, but getting easier each semester.  One of the baffling flaws is that when students search for me and then for their class’s Community, they search “everything,” but don’t find anything.  Why not?  Because somehow at G+, “everything” does not mean . . . anything.  One must actually select “People and Places” to find me, and must select “Communities” to search and find a Community.  Apparently Communities, People and Places are not part of “Everything” at Google+.

Then one of the major flaws is Search, which does not work consistently within Communities.  If I did not know better, I would certainly say that Google is a company great at lots of things, but not search.

As I get better and can trust students more, I keep adding functionality.  For example, I put the schedule of assignments onto a Calendar, give students the iCal address, and have them add it to their accounts.  (This step is the only extant, sticking point for students:  a bunch can’t find the button even though I tell them where it is.  Must include screen shot . . . but then, I’m not sure it’ll look the same on different machines after some time, anyway.)

The main feature I wish I had was a breakout-group feature, or a member-in-good-status feature.  Because I think the most powerful visual usage of the whole package is the grid showing who is in the class, I want it to show only the students actively participating.  But as it stands, my only options are to keep inactive students in there, or else evict them, which I think would harsh and discouraging, and if they are potentially passing the course it might also be unethical.

I realize that if I require students to join separate Communities, I can use them as breakout groups, but so far I have not tried it.  I have enough on my plate monitoring each class’ Community.  If breakout groups are separate, I would have too many Communities.

Ah, that reminds me of another approach I developed for lack of hierarchization functionality.  A relevant problem first arose with Circles:  because my students were all connected to me, they also saw my past students, and some friends of mine who were alumni, which was weird for the alumni.  With Communities, there was no way to “put away” my old Communities to focus only on the active ones (for current courses):  so I simply use a different identity each semester.

Unfortunately, this makes it very difficult for me to search anything from a prior semester, or even view prior semesters.  But oh well.

I am mainly focused on how to make the classroom and the online Community feed into each other.  One of my main approaches has been to say that as long as I can see online that students are doing their book-learning, we can use classroom time for other things, like listening to music and talking about it.

This semester I have one course in particular that right from the start is going great.  Last night I realized that a few of them were struggling to conceptualize some of the key approaches of the course.  So I decided to use class time, including breakout groups, to see if in collaboration they could get further.

They didn’t, but the takeaway was that they all realized they all tend to focus on  answers and solutions, when actually the course is expressly concerned with questions and problems.  They are starting to get it.  There is no way I would have been able to time this lesson properly without the web-component, and no way for the group to get to know itself this way without the classroom.

Anyway before the start of this semester I got a contract to write a seminar syllabus in collaboration with someone.  I managed to convince him to try my approach.  He was skeptical.  But it works for him too!  Rave review.

The syllabus, as he puts it, is intricate.  It requires students to stay actively posting.  At least once a week they need to do a Substantial Blog Post (SBP) featuring quotations, explanations, open-ended questions, and pursuit of the course’s Aims.  Every two weeks they must respond to some classmates.

At the start of the semester, instead of merely a Syllabus (already long enough) plus a Schedule, they have two more core documents.  One is the Startup Instructions, which has all the instructions for G+ and the course’s policies for netizenship and netiquette.  The other is the SBP Guide.

There is one more novel aspect of my course.  Basically, students who meet all the requirements can earn at least a B just by submitting them all, and if they show they respond to criticism and turn in all the work, they get an A.  

The point is, because the standards are mostly objective, and the Syllabus spells out the weighting, they can grade themselves.  Because they can grade themselves, I respond to them as a guide rather than as a grader, at least until Midterm.  

At the end of the course, I use Survey Monkey to get students first to evaluate the course and their instructor, and then to evaluate their own performance including a grade.  I explain to them there is no penalty for under-grading themselves but there might well be a penalty if they choose a grade two letters higher than the numbers (based on work submitted) indicate.  They have to count up their submissions.  There would be penalty for major errors in self-reportage.

When I have to give students final grades, I look first at their self-eval, then at my feedback I gave them at Midterm and other times.  (One catch is that the Midterm feedback is private, so I send it by email.  To save me a step, I require students to post in their Final Self-Eval, via Survey Monkey, the Midterm feedback I gave them.  Many do not bother.  I’m not sure why, but I’m sure some don’t know how to find their Inbox.)

On the day of the Final Exam, I present to the class first the aggregate data of their self-evals (e.g., including a graph showing the distribution of their self-grades), plus I go over each student’s [name-munged] responses.  Then each student sits for an Exit Interview with me.

I ask them how they feel about the course, then ask them how they feel about their performance in it.  Then if I agree with their self-grade, I tell them so, and thank them.  

If I figure their grade should be higher or lower than their self-grade, I attempt to reach consensus with them and almost always do.

My courses are intensely time-consuming for me, but I’m actually interested to see students’ questions, and enjoy coaching them.  

Evan Hei's profile photoNathan Davis's profile photo
I appreciate the feedback, guys!  +Nathan Davis, what is a moderator page?  

Anyway my goal is not to track non-participating students:  my goal is for participating students to see a visual grouping including only profile-photos of participating students. 
Add a comment...

Destry Wion

» Feedback / Requests  - 
Better G+ UI, with Keep

I haven't used Google Keep much until lately, but if you haven't looked at that app, it's a pretty slick note-taking and editing UI in Google's suite of tools. Yesterday I was wondering  why I couldn't easily access Keep from the Apps icon. I.e., why isn't it under there?  (Lame.). Today I'm realizing that it's a tool under Google Drive. If you look at the full URL of Keep, you see this, but yet you can't find Keep from the Drive environment. (More lameness.) Keep even has it's own icon, with makes the Drive thing even more confusing.

But, I'm also realizing how nice it would be if G+ adopted the Keep editing model, which  provides two wonderful options for viewing and editing posts, and which are infinitely more usable and stable (read: no little scrolling boxes) than G+'s own UI, including in communities.

+Google+ Developers, if you're listening, the math here is very easy: integrate Keep into G+ (and toolbar in general) and use the Keep model for displaying and editing G+ posts (tack on the little community features/functions, of course). You would have a winner.
Jared Morgan's profile photoStan Bush's profile photo
I use Keep for certain things. I also use Tasks.  I login to Chrome with GApps and sync across devices. I use Google Drive and sync there too.  I use Google Shortcuts from the Chrome store and added Keep to those that are displayed. I use the Google Keep Standalone App on my Samsung 4. Maybe it's not available on Nexus...not sure. 
Add a comment...

Dena Danielle Piña

» Feedback / Requests  - 
Seeking moderators for this new community that is still under construction. Please take a look at it and give me some feedback and let me know if you'd be interested in signing on to help with tbe project.

Thats sooooooo true, thats why I have a decided to do something new for dating. I have created or in process of creating "my knight" an online dating community that will background check every profile by speaking with a few if tbe persons exes, family members, landlord or neighbors, criminal and credit check, and verify identity so that women or even men can feel secure that when they are meeting " John Smith" that he really does exist and that he is a safe choice. This will be a site designed for victims of domestic abuse as and will genegenerate an income for a charitable organization that will assist victims in ending the cycle of abuse and helping them through that final stage when they are at risk for choosing a new abuser instead of a new lover. Most victims of abuse go straight into another abusive relationship causing harm to them physically, mentally, and emotionally while costing local governments $$ on 911 calls, public service officers, medical bills, court fees etc. Wouldnt it just be more practical to stand by these victims and illuminate a path that will be safer for them and others involved? Sorry, got carried away there. Please feel free to check out the community and give me any feedback possible thx 
My Knight
Safe Dating after Domestic Violence and or Abuse
View community
Jason Telford's profile photoStephen Ng's profile photo
+Stephen Ng random I know but you just reminded me of the HMS Pinafore .

"His nose should pant
and his lip should curl,
His cheeks should flame
and his brow should furl,
His bosom should heave
and his heart should glow,
And his fist be ever ready
for a knock-down blow."
Add a comment...

Jim Munro

» Feedback / Requests  - 
We often encounter linkdrops in comments.

We can report spam AND/OR delete the comment. 

It would make it easier and faster to keep our community tidy if we were also offered the option to "remove, report and ban" for rogue comments.
Rich Koning's profile photoBrian Glick's profile photo
Not even with Google any longer and Mr. Wizard +Brian Glick still comes to the rescue :)
Add a comment...

Darlene Blair

» Feedback / Requests  - 
I would like to make a suggestion. I would like for google to add more topics. It looks like we only have 25. If they could double it, that would be very helpful.
Rich Koning's profile photoJennifer Grove's profile photoJohn Deharde's profile photo
Just checked.  I'm still stuck with 20.  No option to add more.
Add a comment...

Sean S

» Feedback / Requests  - 
Clean up duplicate posts
Sometimes there are duplicate posts from multiple users.
In addition to being able to delete these posts, I'd like to be able manually select these posts and group them.  The oldest post gets displayed and the duplicates gets collapsed and can be expanded by users who wants these posts.
Sean S's profile photoPeter van Rens's profile photo
Sean S
I know you can't do anything about it.  Just throwing out an idea/feature request for discussion. 
Is this category for feedback/request for this community or is it to give feedback for a Google+ Community features?  I may have misunderstood the purpose of this category.
Add a comment...

Damian Hoskin

» Feedback / Requests  - 
Am I link littering or spamming my own community?

I moderate a local business network community that is now owned by my business page. I have seen some community owners add links and their business contact information into the communities about section. I am NOT talking about link littering or spamming through my posts (that is definitely silly).  

I am wondering if adding a bunch of additional information about my business to the about section is viewed as spammy.

I am looking for feed back on this practice. Is it a standard practice? Do you use it? Have you had any positive results from doing it?

I look forward to hearing some thoughts.
Stephen Ng's profile photoDamian Hoskin's profile photo
Well however you want to handle your group is your business +Damian Hoskin. Some methods are better suited for some groups than others.
Add a comment...

Josh Levitt

» Feedback / Requests  - 
Hello everybody. I joined this community I as would like to gain further knowledge on best practices on how to moderate my community. I am interesting in enhancing engagement. Can anyone give me some advice?  I currently have 76 members and there only seems to be two people posting articles. The community is based on customer service. Thanks for your help.
Larry Beekman's profile photoJosh Levitt's profile photoHELP FOR THE HURTING's profile photo
Thanks +Larry Beekman I will try that, the personal touch seems to be affective.
Add a comment...

Robert Miller

» Feedback / Requests  - 
Would it be possible to make items pinnable within their category rather than always to the All Posts? It would be handy to have category specific content pinned within that category, but not outside of it because it may not be relevant to the community as a whole.
John R. Ellis's profile photoAndrew Davis's profile photo
Categories is just one more function that makes it stand out from facebook. Quick and easy to filter the entire home stream into one topic.  
Great idea to pin top of each category 
Add a comment...
+Danielle Buckley Google+ made all posts to a community visible to moderators a while ago. I think it is time to consider allowing moderators to comment on all posts to their communities regardless of community member having the moderator blocked, muted, ignored, or the post comments disabled.
Seth Burgess's profile photoMike Noyes's profile photo
Thanks +Mike Noyes - added to my circles!  Should we pester some moderators to create a note to this effect (pinned post or About this community), or is just putting it in the right category sufficient?
Add a comment...
Hi, I am fairly new to G+ and I began my journey through starting a community, then I had asked a friend to be the owner temporary until my sons' school projects are over so now I am a moderator.  I would like any ideas on how to improve the community I'm involved in.  I think it stinks that you can't change a community from private to public.  Thank you and have a nice day.  
Binod Sewa's profile photoPeter van Rens's profile photo
Add a comment...

Anthea Kawakib Poole

» Feedback / Requests  - 
omg, just missed the feedback thread. Or did someone mention this: 
it would be awesome in Public communities to have a category only members could see and participate in. 
John R. Ellis's profile photoAnthea Kawakib Poole's profile photo
+John R. Ellis ok I have to say I'm giggling at the idea of Google having a coding nightmare! I'm sure I have no idea!
But having a second Private community just so the members of the first Public com munity can have a private thread seems illogical to me.
I'd be more than happy to illuminate this idea (and the reason behind it) further to a Google rep though. 
Add a comment...

Mike Brzozowski

» Feedback / Requests  - 
What confuses or annoys you about Communities?
I'm a user experience researcher at Google looking to compile a list. If you could fix one thing about Communities, what would it be? Also think about your Communities' members: what do you think would help them to get more out of your Communities?

+1 each others' comments if you agree with them. And thanks for your suggestions!
Jacek N. Kozioł's profile photoChris B's profile photoMelinda jon's profile photoAriely maya's profile photo
Thank you all for your great feedback and ideas! I've shared them with the Communities team and they're hard at work making improvements--some of which you'll hopefully see soon!

Closing this thread now...but if you'd like to give more feedback we encourage you to:
- Use the Send Feedback link in the menu (you can also trigger it by pressing @ on desktop, or shaking your phone on a mobile app)
- Sign up for Google user studies--we're looking for participants all around the world. More details at

Edgar Brown

» Feedback / Requests  - 
Bug in +mention parsing

I am not sure how to report this #bug  as it inactivates the Feedback link with it...

Has anyone else noticed this? It has happened to me non-stop for the last few days. In any post view (including sidebars), and in both Chrome and Safari in my Mac under OS X 10.9.1

The following sequence seems to elicit it consistently:

- Comment on a post (my own post in this case)
- Do a +mention of someone in the comments.
- Write some text
- Do a +mention of someone NOT in the comments (not in your circles, perhaps?)

The second +mention will:
- not be filled-in properly
- Leave a fixed bit of text, that follows the page around
- Break most of the interface (including the 'feedback' menu option)
- move the cursor to the beginning of the comment...

Reloading the page is the only way I have found to get it all back to a working condition. In some related cases, the little piece of text follows you around as you use G+

On an unrelated, but similar, vein. Under the G+ iOS app, autocorrect (keyboard-based dictionary and word completion) and +mention parsing interact badly. Causing some of these same problems, but limited to the comment itself and not to the whole app.

+Saurabh Sharma  +Google+ can someone direct this to the right place? As I said, the 'feedback' link breaks under this bug.
John R. Ellis's profile photoMelianna LLea's profile photo
+John R. Ellis 
Well the problem with the + 's is serious.  I am surprised they  haven't figured out something yet. But maybe it is Google+ doing it on purposes but we don't know why... (!) - I have stopped using my account just because of that problem.
Add a comment...

Kristina Mikkelson Casanova

» Feedback / Requests  - 
I own quite a few communities but do have a difficult time getting them to to grow   .
Rudy PeDegree's profile photo
+John R. Ellis Any other pro tips? (to make my community more appealing)
Add a comment...

Thomas Scholz

» Feedback / Requests  - 
How to report a sock puppet ring?

Today I came across a ring of sock puppet profiles  (search for appmaker.merq.XcApN,,, and All very common names. Imagine a Smith shares only posts from people named Jones, Taylor, Williams and Brown (and vice versa) … all overly positive “reviews” of the same product.

I have reported the profiles – they are spamming many communities for some time and right now. 

But that’s not enough. This spammer will probably just create new profiles if some are closed. On, where I am a moderator too, we would now investigate voting behavior and IP cross references. This isn’t possible here for normal moderators – and it shouldn’t – but someone from the higher powers should do that to prevent this person from creating more profiles.

There is the black box Feedback in the sidebar, but I am not sure if someone actually reads that and if it reaches the people who can do something about this issue.

My request: Provide a real tool to report sock puppet rings, and tell us if it was worth the effort once you have investigated the reported profiles.
Mike Noyes's profile photoJennifer Grove's profile photo
Add a comment...

Jennifer Grove

» Feedback / Requests  - 
Hi, I'm new. 

I started a Group here about a month ago. It's private and very small and I want it to stay that way. But I don't want it to stay small because it's a crappy place to be. Here's my prob:

As was mentioned before on someone else's post here, when I get a request for membership, I try to go to the person's page and check out what they're about, but 2 out of 2 times, I couldn't see anything substantial. How can I make a good decision without information? I made a comment on one of the posts of the first person asking them to send me a note telling me a bit about themselves, but got no reply. Later I realized that I had private messages turned off, so no wonder. But I accepted her anyway. She turned out great. 

But the next one wasn't so great. His page was locked up tight and I couldn't see anything. So, I talked about it with the other member and decided to accept him. I did and it seemed to be okay. But then he didn't participate. After several days, I sent him a very polite note asking if there was anything I could do to make the Group experience more satisfying for him because non-participation can feel like lurking and that has a chilling effect. I really emphasized that I wanted to serve him better. But this morning I woke up and he was just gone. 

How can I handle this better? 
Jennifer Grove's profile photoMike Rigsby's profile photo
I need to do that. 
Add a comment...