Join this community to post or comment

Spring Creek

» Tips & Tricks  - 
Growing a Community 

It may help to discuss specifics of growing a community beyond the basics of providing great content.  Here are some of my recent thoughts. I hope people will add to this... 

My efforts to attract outside of the G+ universe have been very marginal.   Posting a link on our website ( traffic ~600/day) and naming it FORUM  had added very people, but does increase awareness.  My impression is it is not easy to get the general public to join G+.    I suspect the public may read the tips we post on our G+ Community/Forum and just leave.   To compare, there is also a facebook link next to the G+ "Forum" link and our facebook followers are not growing much faster, so the adoption rate may be slow across the board.

Creating a post on facebook linking to tips on our G+ Community also works poorly.  

I really think the best way is to share the best of the posts from your Community into other somewhat related Communities and add a short non-bold tag that it was shared from your Community.   If they are interested, they will follow the link.  

I am still looking for the magic bullet to grow a community after posting quality information in the community and creating a wide range of categories to interest most people. My current idea is to emphasize an element of my Community ( named Ponds & Lakes)  and share that with much broader communities such as Gardening or Nature.   Emphasizing an aspect such as our promoting the idea of people helping nature by using native plants in ponds, ditches etc could be a way to draw interest from a much broader audience.  In this case that would be people who enjoy nature and wish to support it via native plants and animals.   I believe you really have to explore your niche and expand it to a broader audience appeal to grow your specialized community.  

I recently expanded the topic categories in the community again to spark interest from a broader audience.  I have no way to directly measure this impact.  It is just a good practice.  

Yesterday I started a new practice of posting a helpful tip along with a link to my community onto select Youtube videos.  The thinking is the people who post all have at least a default G+ profile so the threshold to join a G+ community may be lower/easier.   We shall see if we get a result there.

Any other productive ideas out there? 

for convenience here is the community in question

Show less
Add a comment...
Spring Creek's profile photoDr. Prerna Singla's profile photo
agree with u +Spring Creek ... i have recently started with a few like these in mine too... :)
Add a comment...

Angela Michelle Pandolph

» Tips & Tricks  - 
Hey All!
Lots of posts in my community get flagged as spam, but only very few actually are.  I would prefer all posts get published and if I see spam, then I'll remove rather than having to approve pages of posts.  Is this possible?
John R. Ellis's profile photoJames Clair Lewis's profile photo
I might do that, +John R. Ellis , although it's never more than 12 Posts a day that I have to UNflag

Yeah, busy Community...
Add a comment...

Adam Dalezman

» Tips & Tricks  - 
Hey All, I am building a Google+ communities for work and need to limit who can post. Does anyone know how I can limit posting abilities to just moderators and owners?
Adam Dalezman's profile photoEli “Elictrix” Osadchenko™'s profile photo
To limit who posts there you must make the community private and invite only the people you want to for your buissness
Add a comment...

John R. Ellis

» Tips & Tricks  - 
Post no longer visible in Community - where did it go?

This is a frequently asked question, so I'll outline the major reasons a post can disappear from a community.  If you think of any additional ways, make a comment and I'll edit that in to keep it complete.

GPC:  Google Plus Community (assume a public one)
O/M:  Owners and/or Moderators of a GPC
Members:  Members of a GPC
OP:  The Original Poster or the Original Post itself
Post Tab:  Tab on a Profile or Page showing all posts.  AKA "wall".
Ban:  Member is banned from a Community
Block:  One person blocks the profile of another person
Settings:  The G+ Settings for an individual Profile or Page
Remove:  When an O/M removes a post from Community
Delete:  When a post is deleted from the post tab of a page or profile
Relevance Score:  A number created by G+ which categorizes the relevance of one person's post to another person's profile

In a normal situation, a member Shares an Original Post to a Community.  It is posted to their own profile Post Tab, and the community aggregates that post and displays it in the Community for the members to see.  Sometimes it is never seen there, and sometimes it appears then disappears.  Here are some of the reasons that can cause a post to never appear, or to disappear.  For the purposes of troubleshooting, we need to assume (or ask) the OP to toggle their own G+ Settings to be sure and SHOW COMMUNITY POSTS on their post tab.  This can be done just temporarily if desired.

1)  The OP contains offensive material or a blacklisted link.  G+ may delete this post at any time - it will not show in the community and will also be missing from the post tab of the OP, but the OP denies deleting the post.  They may get a warning message from G+, or not.

2)  The post is thought to be Spam by G+.  It will go into the Spam filter where O/M can see it there.  The OP will see it as posted in the Community.  Members will not see the post, and the OP won't see it if if they check while in Incognito Mode.  This can happen retroactively (after plusses and comments too), if the OP later posts it in several communities, or "enough" members flag it as Spam.  The post is visible on the OP post tab, is listed as "in" the Community, and members can comment on it there if they see it there.  O/M can leave it stagnating in the filter, approve it and it will show in the Community, or Remove it (see #3 below).

3)  O/M removed the post.  Members can't see it in the community any longer, but it remains on the OP post tab with a line through the Community name.  Members can see it and comment on it there.  Any photos from the post in the Community Photo section will be removed from there.  There is NO indication or trail as to which O or M removed the post.  Nice ones will comment on why it was removed, but there is no requirement for this.

4)  OP deletes the post.  It will be gone from community and Post tab of the OP.  Any picture on it will be removed from the Photo section.  Keep in mind that ONLY G+ or the OP can delete a post - O/M can't do that.

5)  An O/M removes a category containing the post while editing the Community.  The post is still technically in the community, but it is invisible.  It can be found with community search.  Pictures from it will be visible in the Photo section.  It will appear on the OP post tab as still posted in the community, but the category will be ( ).  People can still comment on it via search or the OP post tab.  Some of us who do this frequently and deliberately call it "Sweeping" a category of posts.  I don't know if there is any official name for this tactic.

6)  Relevance score is low.  You may not see every post every visit if the score is low.  To increase the score, plus and comment on the post.

7)  Glitch.  Glitches are common and entire blocks of posts will just disappear for awhile from communities and from your own post tab.  Be patient - they tend to come back magically in a day or two.  Sometimes you can find them in Search, comment on them, and they reappear quicker.  If the OP can't find the post on their own Post tab, and #1 does not apply, a glitch is the most likely cause.

8) Blocking.  The OP may block a member, who can then no longer see the post in the community, or any posts on the OP post tab.  O/M can still see it even if they get blocked, but can't comment on it.

9)  Deleted Profile.  All posts in a community from a given profile disappear when a profile is deleted.  No one can see them, and you get an error when you check the profile name.

Can anyone think of other reasons a post might disappear?

10)  Although perhaps 0) would be better label - contributed by +Christian Nalletamby - the Non Post.  When you create a post to share, but you fail to actually click the Share button before moving on to other matters, so you never actually post it.  This can happen with comments too.  ;-)

#community   #disappearing   #posts     #FAQs  
Version Stardate 2014.324.18:10CST
Ruslan G's profile photoEric Smith's profile photoBalog Jolan's profile photocarol goh's profile photo
+John R. Ellis yes I agree with you dear friend...
now a days I see many changes in Google... 
Add a comment...

Ethan Randall

» Tips & Tricks  - 
Tip II: Actives and Mods
Please +1 if this helped.

An important part to communities are actives and mods. The owner of the community usually plays both rolls, but it is advisable to find other people that can fulfill these rolls too. How can you do this? First lets talk about mods.

Mods, short for moderators, are people that may be active, but their main purpose is to monitor the community. They make sure the posts on the community follow the rules, along with comments and general discussion. They have the permission to kick or ban people from the community if you grant it to them. If your mods, assuming you already have some, do not do this, you may need new moderators. Moderators are usually ranked up from noticed actives. What's an active?

Actives, a word I just made up, are people that interact with the community a lot. They may frequently leave comments on other peoples' posts, or just make many posts themselves. Before you start thinking you know some actives, there are a few kinds... There are the normal actives, the trolls, and the spammers. Basically, trolls can be actives, but they don't offer positive feedback, instead their comments are usually insults or just don't make any sense. Spammers are also actives, but they just annoy the heck out of everyone. I think we all know what spamming is.

As your community grows you will start to find these people. You don't need to start out with mods either. If you have spare time on your hands, a community of 1,000 people shouldn't be hard to handle yourself. Not many people are actives. Look for the people that contribute and give to the community. If you trust these people after long enough, give them a try as a moderator. If they are still helping as a moderator, you should be all set. I recommend about one mod per 1,000 members, up to about 10 mods, depending on the community. Don't be scared to swap mods from time to time. Not all mods actually help.
Ethan Randall's profile photoMarsha Sortino's profile photo
Thanks Ethan for a well written explanation. I appreciate that. 
Add a comment...

Richard Fischer

» Tips & Tricks  - 
As a mod I would like to highlight some of my sentences in Bold when I post. I have tried using the feature that looks like it would allow that but, it does not work for me. Can someone please tell me how to do it? Thanks.
Mike Maxwell's profile photoal m's profile photo
al m
I find to get the bold to work every time, no matter the length of the sentence, all you have to do is make sure there are no extra spaces in the sentence between words etc...and then delete your period at the end of the sentence, retype the period, and then star.
Add a comment...

Alecto Holmes

» Tips & Tricks  - 
An interesting method of communication for communities where the mods have to keep in contact- a mod community. Moderators use it to tell each other about bans, warning, events, or whatever else you have to say.
Joost Schuur's profile photoJohn R. Ellis's profile photo
+Joost Schuur It crossed my mind once to try forwarding Spam to a Community where people could see it and the sources so they could ban them in advance and such, but figured that would get me labelled a Spammer pretty quickly, and no one would care to check links to spam, so I nixed the whole concept.  Spam accounts and spam are created faster than I could provide any useful service, anyways.  Despite a few getting through in this and other larger communities every day, the G+ filters do a pretty good job, IMHO.
Add a comment...


» Tips & Tricks  - 
Here it is, my promised list of tips and tricks for how to KEEP members in a community. You don't want your numbers to go down. It's not a good feeling.

I'll try to keep this simple so I don't get grilled by people like last time. =_= If you're wondering I deleted that one.

You may already know all of these tips, but if you don't, I hope you'll find these useful.

----------------------------------------------------------------- - MAKING PEOPLE WELCOME!!!

Making people feel wanted and welcome is one of the primary aspects of keeping members in a community. If people feel like they have a purpose in your community, they will continue to post and be involved. This encourages the community to actually behave like a community, and may cause some lurkers in your member list to come out of the "shadows." It can also encourage people viewing your community from outside to join. The following points are ways to get people to feel wanted or accepted in a community.


Click that button! It let's people know that people are actually seeing their posts, and also shows them that people like what their posting! On my communities I try to plus one every legitimate thing that's posted. This makes people feel like their work is being seen. Furthermore, since you are a moderator/owner, you are an authority figure on your community (provided your community is large and important enough). Plus one-ing people's posts will make them feel like the people at the top are taking interest in their content.


Commenting takes the "Plus-One-ing" concept to a whole new level! Although it is impossible to comment on any and everything that's posted, try to comment as often as you can to make people have a reason to share. Feedback is one of the main reasons why people join a community in the first place, and if you give it to them, they'll come back again and again. When you comment, make sure it's constructive, and maybe even give them your input or opinion. Overall, keep it positive, make sure it's relevant, and most importantly, make sure it is helpful and encouraging in a way that will push them to keep sharing.


Believe it or not, people who join your community may make great friends for you! After all you most likely built your community over a topic you are interested in, and if someone joined, chances are that they are interested in it, too. Get to know your members, follow and become friends with them. You'll encourage them to come back, and you'll have more people to talk to! It's a win-win! Why wouldn't you do it?


New members may need some time to get used to the rules of your community, so if they don't get it right the first time, don't grill them and warn/ban them from minute one! That will make them leave, or at least consider leaving, which doesn't benefit anyone. Give people a chance, don't stress over what they did wrong. Instead, focus on what they did right, and tell them what they did right in a comment. Also tell them what they should change, but in a friendly, constructive, non-grilling way that shows them how to do things correctly while not hurting their feelings. Understand that they are NEW, and give them a chance to acclimate. =_=


Posting things yourself is a great way to build the kind of content you want in your community. Post interesting, engaging things that people will want to comment on, plus one, and reshare. This will do two main things, A; Give people an example of the correct things and ways to post, and B; Make people want to come back to see what else you post.


Build a great team of proffessional, hard-working moderators/co-owners to help you in completing this list of tasks, as well as basic maintenance. More people working these points will get a lot more done and will always make your community have at least a few people actively participating. Make sure when you pick a moderator, they're someone you can trust. They should have the following qualities: Care about the topic; Professional; Can moderate often, Has a good personality, Can follow these points and the rules, and so on... I recommend picking people you know in real life, because you know what you can trust them to do.

I hope these tips can help you! Hopefully at least some of these are new. Share if you want. I incorporate these into the communities I moderate, and it works rather well.

Hope you like this one...
Thanks for reading.

Zip Zap Insights's profile photoMichelle “Genderbend” M.'s profile photonerfinstructabler's profile photo
+Zip Zap Insights

No problem! Thanks for your nice comment!
Add a comment...

Mike Noyes

» Tips & Tricks  - 
This post may make you rethink your moderation strategies.

via +Ade Oshineye
“Not only do authors of negatively-evaluated content contribute more, but also their future posts are of lower quality, and are perceived by the community as such,”
A classic theory of behavioural psychology predicts that punishment should improve behaviour. But the first study of onl…
View original post
Michelle “Genderbend” M.'s profile photoBenjamin Olivier's profile photoMike Noyes's profile photogreensoulsufi's profile photo
i have gecko
Add a comment...

Alan Dayley

» Tips & Tricks  - 
Sadly, I have taken to using the Ban Button more often lately. I used to make comments and attempt to converse with posters who were not blatantly spamming. No engagement, the hallmark of spamming broadcasters.

I don't have time for no engagement.
Evo Terra's profile photoAlan Dayley's profile photo
+Evo Terra Oh, I'm too naive, still. Or too hopeful.

Thanks for being an example of duty!
Add a comment...

John R. Ellis

» Tips & Tricks  - 
Resharing this to Community Moderators Community, and pinning it for awhile, to make a point to G+ and the Coders who came up with this concept.  Apparently it was not a bad April Fools Joke after all.
Google+ Views Count

A nice article about the new Views count.  Which is pretty much totally useless in its current configuration and basis.  All you have to do to game this count is post meaningless drivel in large communities - I've already seen examples of this.  You can have zero followers and no interaction and still get millions of views that way.  Or pin a post to the top of big communities - again it will generate a million views in short order.

IMHO, the views should be unique views, and should be divided by some time, like per month or per week.

#views   #viewcount   #metrics  
H/T:  +Mark Traphagen 
What do the new view count numbers on Google+ profiles & pages mean, and how should you use them?
38 comments on original post
John R. Ellis's profile photoMike Noyes's profile photoCommunity OHMS's profile photo
+John R. Ellis Interesting. I'd like to see this experiment run in one of the top communities on +CircleCount.
Add a comment...

John Skeats

» Tips & Tricks  - 
We often see questions here about dealing with communities that have been orphaned. This post explains the options. 
What Can Be Done for Communities Without Owners?

Google+ communities are said to have been "orphaned" if they have no Owners. That can happen if the last Owner's account is permanently suspended, if or the last Owner closes his or her account.

Unfortunately, there is no way for anyone to be promoted to Owner if there are no other owners of a community. That means it is also impossible for anyone else to be promoted to be a moderator. As a result, the only good long-term solution is to create a new community and encourage current members to move to the new community. The ease of doing that depends on whether the orphaned community has any moderators.

Orphaned communities with moderators
The existing moderators can, of course, continue to moderate posts in the community. The smoothest way to make the transition to a new community, however, is for a moderator of the orphaned community to switch the community to require moderator approval to join (if that is not already required), and to add a pinned post in the orphaned community addressing the following points:
* Explaining that the community is being shut down.
* Inviting people to join the new community and and asking them to leave the old one.
* Notifying them that no new posts will be accepted in the old community.

Changing the community's photo can also help convey the message that the orphaned community is being shut down.

From that point on, all moderators should refuse requests to join the community. The moderators should also remove any new posts with a comment inviting the authors to the new community and asking them to share their posts in the new community instead.

When the moderators feel that no more members will leave voluntarily, the moderators should remove the remaining members and finally leave the community themselves. Google will delete the community at some point after all of the members have left. 

Orphaned communities without moderators
The options are very limited for an orphaned community without moderators. No one can be promoted to become a moderator, so no one can perform the tasks mentioned above.

Moderator-less communities rapidly become filled with spam because there is no one to control the spammers. That is an especially serious problem if moderator approval is not required to join the community because new spammers will join every day. (As an aside, watching how quickly things get out of control will give you an idea of how much moderators really do!)

Your only realistic option as a member of such a community is to find or start another community on the same topic, and to leave the orphaned community. If all serious members do that, there will come a time when there would be no one left but spammers spamming each other.
21 comments on original post
John Skeats's profile photoMicah Orloff's profile photoattilasebo's profile photo
+Corinne Sheltren check this out.
Add a comment...

D. Posse

» Tips & Tricks  - 
Hi all, how can I add contact to my community... I feel a bit lost :(
D. Posse's profile photoJohn R. Ellis's profile photo
+D. Posse If you are Owner, there should be an Invite Button inside the About box, as well as on the various membership pages, no matter what type of community it is.  There is another one inside the gear icon.
Add a comment...

Rajesh Narayanan

» Tips & Tricks  - 
Interesting update
Report spam posts better
When you report any post, you can specify it is a spam or what's wrong with this post with categories.

The last category "I don't like this post" - has an option to "ask the poster to remove the post"

#googleplustips   #googleplusupdate  
Rajesh Narayanan's profile photoJohn Skeats's profile photo
+Rajesh Narayanan Google is aware that their community recommendation system is not perfect.
Add a comment...

Ethan Randall

» Tips & Tricks  - 
Tip I: Sharp as a Lego
Please +1 if this helped.

When starting your community, or even now, you will want to make sure any graphics you use follow two rules:

1. Unless you are doing pixel art (and even then) the images you use should be a very high quality, and look sharp. This way they look very nice at any size. Google requirements are at least 250 by 250 pixels. The ones I upload are more like 2,000 by 2,000. Give the feel that people spent time on your community instead of just copying over a sub-quality creeper face.

2. The images should look like they they belong where they are, like a Lego in a cute little Lego car. If you want to make the most adorable little black Lego Ferrari, you probably wouldn't use a pink Lego in there somewhere. That would just make it look funny. Try to show that your community's quality is shared throughout.

"Awesome, but how do I make these quality images?"
You don't need to spend a single cent. There are a few free programs you can use, and they work pretty well. Standard Microsoft paint actually is not bad when it comes to pixel art, but I'm guessing you want something a bit more professional, right? Try '' or ''. Both of those programs should still be free, and allow you to make the images you have been daydreaming about for the last five minutes.

Good luck!
Add a comment...

Mark Mitchell

» Tips & Tricks  - 
I've just learned that my All-things-Google+ tech teacher Zane Miller will teach a live session tonight on how to use state-of-the-art Google tools to create live-streaming promotional events, group meetings, one-on-one live consultations, and online videos -- all for free.

Zane's training will start at 6:30 p.m. U.S. Central Standard Time

The good news is if you miss it, you'll be able to catch the replay
on that page too.

Google lets you keep the online events you create private and
closed if you wish. Or you can make them public to the world,
as Google knows especially how to do, in its particular
Google-searchable way, with Google's help and blessings. All free
for you.

If you've ever wondered how to get your art, craft, writing,
service, teaching or impassioned message out there, to a
chosen few or the universe-at-large, you'll find the answers
clobbering you over the head in Zane's class tonight.
Select Page. Learn the Secrets Today… Got questions? Click here to comment and ask questions during the presentation · Join the Live Class · Created and Designed by Zane Miller | The Online Video Nerd.
Peter van Rens's profile photoMark Mitchell's profile photo
Ha -- maybe his slow-talking is what I respond to in his two-hour plus walk-thrus of somewhat difficult, convoluted subjects like Google+ and Hangouts. Thanks for checking it out, Peter.
Add a comment...

Alan Dayley

» Tips & Tricks  - 
A tip to fellow moderators from the point of view of a community member:

When a spammer makes a post in a community, a little red number box will appear on the community icon in my "All communities" list. Even if you subsequently delete the offending post, the little red number is still there. I know this is the case because when I visit the community in an attempt to check the new post, the new post is not there.

So, I end up visiting communities that indicate a new post but don't actually have a new post. Annoying.

My tip: Don't just delete spammer posts. Please block them. Hopefully that will cut down on the false new-post counts in the future.

(The real fix is for +Google+ to decrement the new post count if a post is deleted before it is read.)
Doug Essinger-Hileman's profile photoAlan Dayley's profile photo
+Doug Essinger-Hileman no worries. 
Add a comment...

Mike Noyes

» Tips & Tricks  - 
Reporting suspicious profiles just became easier. This may have implications for community guidelines and moderator community member management.

via +Mark Traphagen 
New options to report impersonation
In the past, you could not report fake profiles as impersonation unless you were the one affected
Not sure when this changed, but I just saw some additional options.
Go to the profile. Choose report/block.
Update:  Impersonation guidelines from Google help
15 comments on original post
Rey Ley's profile photoRussell Gould's profile photoJohn R. Ellis's profile photoEunsahn Citta Gartland's profile photo
+John R. Ellis Thanks for resharing.
Add a comment...

Hakan Gül

» Tips & Tricks  - 
New tool to be released for community owners.

Thanks +martin shervington

Programmable notifications system for Google+ communities, and beyond! (VIDEO is about 4 mins)
Imagine a way to tailor messages on Google+ 'to the right people, at the right time...'

Well, this is exactly what we have created!

The quick video will show you a demo of a programmable desktop notification, and 'badging system' to follow soon  - meaning you can e.g. attribute different 'levels of competence' to people in a community, and deliver unique content to specifically them.

It is about you, and your community.
But here is the thing: you will be able to decide how you and your community want to use it (within reason, of course)!
You will decide on the images, the call to action, and where people will 'land' next, as well as 'when' they see it.
It may be a featured article, a 'member of the week', a link to a quiz/test on knowledge, directing people to a YouTube video of the day, a free course at the right level for that person, special 'bonus content', pretty much anything.

Sound good?! We hope so.

As you can see from the video, we have an AWESOME working prototype, but need your help over the coming months...

Would you like your 'Google+ community'  to be considered for Beta testing? (you'll need to be the owner/moderator)
If so, please let us know now by filling in the  in the Google form below:
You can also leave feedback on the concept and request additional features.

We are not going to rush a release, so please be patient. Most probably middle of summer 2014.
We want to get it working 100% right for my own communities first and will make sure it is super awesome for you all.

Background and thanks.
Myself and +Ehsan Ahmadi Gharacheh have been working on this for about 9 months now. And I'd like to say a big thank you for all his hard work.
Thank to +Linda Dee and +George Sepich for being the midwives at many of the births of Plusto's characters Don't know Plusto? He is the little robot fella.
Thank you once more to +David Stickney for all his help on the videos.
And thanks to earlier testers; things have really moved on now!
Btw, we called it commoogle as we believe in the power of the Google+ community. Now we have a system that may well help us take things even further...

Thank for your interest and we look forward to hearing what you think!
Are you commoogling? (almost!)

#commoogle   #chromeextensions   #plusto  
63 comments on original post
John R. Ellis's profile photoEdwin Ferdian's profile photoScott K. Wilder's profile photoNyanko Kitten's profile photo
+Hakan Gül the questionable part is that I would understand. Seemed fairly obvious. It turns out that I did.

Add a comment...

Bill Verboom

» Tips & Tricks  - 
Community shortcuts I'm sure this question has been asked a zillion times before but what is the easiest way to share a community with clients?

For example a local business creates a Q&A G+ community and wants to share that with a customer in their store. IE: Visit me on G+ #jakesartsupplies . (Btw there is no Jakes Art Supplies & I am not spamming your group!)

What methods do you use to best promote your community outside the G+ kingdom? Besides the usual email blast, website link etc.

Many thanks in advance & Happy Pie Day!
Add a comment...