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John R. Ellis
owner

» Tips & Tricks  - 
 
New "feature", and Group/Community hierarchy comparison

1) As of June 1, 2016, you can no longer tell a Personal Profile from a Business Page by looking at the button displayed to Circle them. It used to be that Profiles said "Add" and Pages said "Follow". Now, they all say "Follow", and you have to go a level deeper to see if they are Profiles or Pages. Your circles will come up first for Profiles, and your Pages/Following choice will be presented first for Pages. This makes it more time consuming to check requests if your community does not allow Pages. And makes all prior advice about the meaning of Add vs Follow obsolete.

2) I recently joined FB to see how their Communities (called Groups) work differently than on G+, and now I better understand some of the question in this community about Ownership and Mods powers, and risk of hijacking. In G+ there are only 3 categories: Owners, Moderators, and Members. In Facebook, there are 4: Creators, Administrators, Moderators, and Members. In G+, all Owners are equal and can remove other Owners, and Mods can remove Mods. In FB, the Creator is special and can't be removed by Admins. In FB, Admins CAN remove other Admins, but Mods can NOT remove other Mods. Thus, sometimes here a community "Creator" is surprised when another Owner boots them and hijacks the community from them, or when Mods remove other mods and destroy a Community. G+ is not FB; trust no one. ;-)


#OwnersAndModerators   #AddVsFollow  
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Sara d's profile photoNathan Weaver's profile photo
7 comments
 
Google+: Trust. No. One.
I like the new motto, actually.
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Community OHMS

» Tips & Tricks  - 
 
Mostly geared to individuals, but can be applied to Undesirable Behaviour in Communities too.
 
Dealing with Undesirable Behavior on Google+

There are lots of great people on Google+, but a service as wonderful as Google+ also inevitably has individuals who behave in undesirable ways, as well. This post discusses how to deal with the latter. There is also a section about how to avoid undesirable content and behavior.

The first question you should ask yourself when you see something you dislike or are uncomfortable with is whether it violates the rules in Google’s User Content and Conduct Policy (http://www.google.com/+/policy/content.html). It is important to be familiar with that policy both to avoid getting into trouble yourself and to determine the best course of action when you encounter undesirable behavior.

Dealing with behavior that violates Google's rules
The best course of action when you see something that you believe violates Google’s User Content and Conduct Policy is to do all of the following:

* Do not interact with the profile or page in any way. People who act in abusive ways thrive on getting negative reactions from people. Don't feed that need by responding to their posts or comments.

* Report the posts or comments that you believe violate Google's policies. The following Help Center article describes how to report violations: https://support.google.com/plus/answer/6320425?hl=en. When you follow those instructions, your reports will be sent directly to the Google+ Abuse Team for them to verify whether a violation took place and determine the appropriate action. This is the only way to bring the right people's attention to violations. 

* Report the profile if you believe the profile itself (not just posts and comments made by the profile or page) violates the policies. The instructions for doing this are included in the Help Center article referenced above. Again, this is the only way to bring the right people's attention to violations. 

* If you see something you believe to be illegal, report it to the appropriate legal authorities.

* Do not reshare the offending content or links to the content. Doing so -- even if you are trying to get action taken against the content -- can violate Google policies and possibly be illegal. Encouraging others to report violators can also be considered to be a form of harassment even if the violations are real. 

* Block the profile or page -- and leave it blocked. Blocking a profile or page has the following effects:
-- It removes you from the circles of the profile or page you block. 
-- It removes the profile or page from your circles.  
-- It prevents the profile or page from seeing your posts and comments again.
-- It prevents the profile or page from interacting with your posts again. 
-- It demonstrates to the Google+ Abuse Team that you are really serious about the report you are submitting. 

You can find instructions for blocking someone in the following Help Center article: 
https://support.google.com/plus/answer/6320399?hl=en

Dealing with behavior you dislike or are uncomfortable with
If you dislike or are uncomfortable with someone's behavior but the behavior does not violate Google’s User Content and Conduct Policy, that is really between you and the other person -- but there are actions you can take if you find their behavior completely unacceptable. It is up to you to determine when they have crossed that line. If you decide they have, do the following:

* Stop interacting with the profile or page entirely. As mentioned above, people who act in abusive ways thrive on getting negative reactions from people. Don't feed that need by responding to their posts or comments.

* Do not report the posts, comments, or profiles. Reporting is for violations of Google's rules not for things you don't like. Save reporting for situations where there are actual violations involved. 

* Block the profile or page -- and leave it blocked. Blocking a profile or page has the following effects:
-- It removes you from the circles of the profile or page you block. 
-- It removes the profile or page from your circles.  
-- It prevents the profile or page from seeing your posts and comments again.
-- It prevents the profile or page from interacting with your posts again. 

You can find instructions for blocking someone in the following Help Center article: https://support.google.com/plus/answer/6320399?hl=en

Avoiding undesirable content and behavior
We run into undesirable content and behavior on Google+ (as well as in life in general) in two ways: Sometimes it is simply presented to us seemingly randomly, and sometimes it is a result of people intentionally pursuing us. 

In Google+ terms, having undesirable content seem to be randomly presented to you usually means that the content is appearing in your Home stream for reasons which you don't understand. The fact is that nothing appears in your Home stream randomly. Google presents everything you see there to you for a reason. The following post discusses how to prevent undesirable content from appearing in your Home stream: https://plus.google.com/+JohnSkeats/posts/JBwMWmwiad4 

People who appear to be intentionally pursuing you might, of course, actually be doing that, but they might also simply be unintentionally overly aggressive in their efforts to interact with you. If you believe there is a possibility that the behavior might be unintentional, it is best to gently let the person you know that you don't appreciate it. Doing that removes any doubts about whether such behavior from that point on is intentional. Behavior that is clearly intentional and ongoing constitutes harassment and is a violation of Google’s User Content and Conduct Policy, so following the instructions for dealing with violations above is appropriate. 
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John Skeats's profile photo
 
Thanks for resharing, +Community OHMS. 
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Anime & Manga

» Tips & Tricks  - 
 
Keep your eyes open, found ten or so pornography posts by different accounts, seems someone is starting a campaign. None of the amounts had anything special about them.
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Char G's profile photoBrielle Bullard's profile photo
9 comments
 
It's literally the same spammers as it's always been, too. They share these fake porn "videos" (photos) that are linked to like, a Weebly site, that then redirects you through Blogspot or Twitter or some other crap and then you end up at some totally unrelated blog (one of the ones I remembered was some random b.s. article about colleges). I'm removing no less than 30-40 such posts a day from my community. Thankfully the majority seem to make it into the spam filter (not surprising when they're all getting simultaneously posted 4 at a time), but the ones that don't... ugh. They've just gotten more explicit, too.

I have a particularly strong hatred for one such post that comes by every few days, featuring a photo of what is essentially child pornography. I report this one differently, using the "content involving minors" report feature but I don't how differently that's treated or if there's anything they can really do given the nature.

It bugs me that it's literally the same "people" (same "campaign," technically) spamming all of the porn this time as it was a few months ago spamming provocative photos of girls ripped from pornography sites. As the world turns...
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John R. Ellis
owner

» Tips & Tricks  - 
 

Summary of the information from a half dozen posts on this topic in this G+ Owners and Moderators Community.
 
Bang Girls!

Dealing with the Bang Girls or Exclamation Point Girls (EPGs) has become a FAQ on G+ lately, and the bane of Public Community Moderators.  Here are a few things to consider:

1)  They are created by the dozens daily, and die within hours to days after hatching
2)  They join larger Open-to-Join Public communities, attempting to show up first in the membership list
3)  They don't post or spam - they hope people will circle them and check out their click bait posts on their Post Tab before they die
4)  They don't ask to join Public communities set up that way
5)  It is generally faster to Remove them than Ban or report them, if you want to keep your membership list cleaner with real members.

The best solution (if practical for you) is to change your Public Community to "Ask To Join" status.  You can then blanket Bulk Approve ALL requests you do get, without even reviewing them if you don't want to, and that will eliminate these and a LOT of other actual Spammers, without affecting your community membership growth rate significantly.  Any real person who wants to join will click Ask to Join just as easily as Join button.  However, be aware that changing to AtJ WILL prevent members from formally Inviting their circles to the community, and Notifications will default to ON for members who are approved.  Ask to Join also reduces the drive by posts and comments from trolls, a bit.  Nuke any Spam posts that do appear, and your Moderation work will diminish markedly.  Because you can't stop the notifications and emails from G+ about requests to join, you may want to set up a folder in GMail to filter out all those request emails, and ignore it.


#EPGs     #BangGirls    #Spambots  
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John R. Ellis's profile photoHakan Gül's profile photo
42 comments
 
+John R. Ellis yes agree. The profiles all seem to be old, without profile photos. 
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Nathan Bailey

» Tips & Tricks  - 
 
To be a good community owner.
Be kind to everyone (even people who brake your community rules if you have any). 
Lesson to your moderators, they are what is keep your community form collapsing (or fill up with a lot of spam/porn/anything you don't want).
Take credibility for your moderators mistakes and try to solve them (if needed. For example a moderator in your community remove someone's post for no reason, and the people who owns that post gets mad. Take the blame for yourself and solve the issue with that person) Obviously there's exceptions to this like when a moderator on your community is abusing his or her powers, then just demote them. 
If you need to leave google+ for a while make sure there's a suitable person who can lead while you're gone. The troubles for most communities come when owners have to leave for a extended period of time and leave no one to run the community. 
what do you think +John R. Ellis  is this good? 
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Nathan Bailey's profile photo
5 comments
 
+John R. Ellis However I do own a community with over (and growing) 130,000 members :). By the way, if you ever need moderation help i'll willing to volunteer my time. 
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Josh Levitt

» Tips & Tricks  - 
 
Just a nice tip for any mods or owners, which I find is a nice touch at the end of the month. Purely just acknowledgment.
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Linda Buquet's profile photoSusan Rastella's profile photo
9 comments
 
That's a great idea, thank you.
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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 https://plus.google.com/communities/106122096790923657121


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Spring Creek's profile photoDr. Prerna Singla's profile photo
14 comments
 
agree with u +Spring Creek ... i have recently started with a few like these in mine too... :)
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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?
Thanks!
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John R. Ellis's profile photoJames Clair Lewis's profile photo
11 comments
 
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...
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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?
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John R. Ellis's profile photoAdam Dalezman's profile photo
3 comments
 
Thanks! Can I restrict the Business Page to only be visible by people in our domain like I can with a Community?
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Landaree Levee

» Tips & Tricks  - 
 
This new Spaces thing may be one of the best thing Google has (inadvertently?) implemented for community moderators in quite some time. Already fully functional for desktop (browser access, Chrome extension) & mobile (Android app), it can be used for both organized discussion of individual community issues without mixing conversations, and easily searchable & documentable repository of moderation cases; the inviting options are still somewhat crude but it already is possible (if clunkily) to limit participants, effectively making it a private space.

I look forward to them smoothing out the rough edges notifications not yet active, at least for me, text-type shared contents not editable post-publishing (and could use at least G+ like formatting), maybe the possibility to start a new conversation without sharing anything in particular (link, picture or write-once text)...
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Landaree Levee's profile photoLeslie P's profile photo
17 comments
 
+Landaree Levee Thanks. We've been fine with our Mods Community, but I always want to make sure I'm not missing something! Ready to jump on the next new trend - but only if there's some compelling reason.

Just haven't seen a compelling reason for hangouts and/or G+ community users to use Spaces. I'm sure Google is targeting the billions of people who don' use either hangouts or G+, for them Spaces is probably a cool thing
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Steven Akn1

» Tips & Tricks  - 
 
Did you know if you click on a post you can then scroll through posts left and right looking at each post and comments individually.
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George “Jolo” Lavall's profile photoJoão Carlos's profile photo
4 comments
 
Must be an iphone thing, because it sure doesn't work on Android app
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Rajesh Narayanan

» Tips & Tricks  - 
 
"Search for posts within a Community" available in the new interface. Almost all the features except polls are available now.
 
G+ Web Preview Update Mar 16
We're starting to roll out two more features and loads of bug fixes to our G+ preview on the Web today including:

* 220 bug fixes
* 3 accessibility issues addressed
* Search for posts within a Community
* Ability to re-order multiple images in a post using drag & drop

As always, please send us your ideas/issues using our Send Feedback menu item as that's the best way to ensure we'll see them.
Thanks~
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Bill Kraski's profile photoRajesh Narayanan's profile photo
2 comments
 
Yes
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Mod. Man. Service

» Tips & Tricks  - 
 
A Post to give to people who messed up their Audience and don't know why no one can see their posts but Community Moderators.
 
Audience

Now and then someone posts to the Helper Communities about people not being able to see their posts or comment on their posts, and we can't reply to them, because they have monkeyed with their Audience setting, so that people can't see their posts or reply to them.

Here is the Classic G+ link explaining some aspects of it:
https://support.google.com/plus/answer/6020454?p=restricted_profile&hl=en&rd=1

If people see "Restricted" on your profile when you didn't specifically block them, the Audience setting is most likely to blame.  Go to Settings, Audience tab, and reset your audience to Anyone. [see screenshot below].  If you Age Restrict - then people who don't have known ages (even though they are adults), won't be able to see your posts or comment on them.

Give people who have messed up their Audience (usually trying to block someone) a link to this post to try and get them straightened out.  I may tag such people in the comments with their G+ ID (if I can) when they post to my communities with a Restricted Profile.  


#FAQs   #Audience   #Restricted  
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John Skeats
moderator

» Tips & Tricks  - 
 
Hack to Perform Community Searches from the New Google+

Moderators and Owners are especially heavy users of community search, so the lack of community search in the New Google+ hits Moderators and Owners especially hard. This hack isn't an ideal solution, but it is a simple way to perform community searches from the new Google+ -- but it works!
 
Google+ Tip: Hack to Search Communities in the New Google+

The new Google+ does not yet have all of the features of the classic Google+. One which has frustrated many people is the lack of the ability to perform searches within communities. The following is a quick-and-dirty way to perform community searches from the new Google+. It isn't pretty, but it works. 

While you are in the community you want to search, add "/s/<search_argument>" (without the quotation marks, of course) to the URL where <search_argument> is a single word or multiple words delimited by "%20", and then hit Enter. For example, adding "/s/apple%20orange" searches a community for all posts with "apple" and "orange" in them. The full URL if you wanted to perform that search in the Google+ Help community then would be https://plus.google.com/communities/115758385206378551362/s/apple%20orange.

Performing a search that way takes you into the classic Google+ Search page, but hitting the browser's back key returns you to the new Google+. 
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John Skeats's profile photoStephen Ng's profile photo
9 comments
 
Don't like Skittles? LOL.
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Mike Noyes

» Tips & Tricks  - 
 
+John Skeats talks about community moderator responsibility for community member content.
 
Are Community Owners Responsible for the Content in Their Communities?

The short answer is yes.

Owners obviously cannot prevent users from posting content that violates the User Content and Conduct Policy (http://www.google.com/+/policy/content.html), but there is an implication of tacit approval if inappropriate content is not removed promptly. That doesn't mean that owners or moderators have to catch every post as it appears in the community, but it also means that they cannot leave the content visible for many hours because they only check in once a day or whatever. Communities -- especially large public communities -- require diligent moderation. Community owners are responsible for making sure that happens.
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Bruce Achterberg's profile photoJohn Skeats's profile photo
8 comments
 
+Bruce Achterberg I agree that I should have made it more clear that it was a statement of opinion. 
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Dr. Prerna Singla

» Tips & Tricks  - 
 
hi ... this is what I found about posts getting spammed.. I found this info quite useful, so i m sharing with you all .. :) 

http://www.pctechauthority.com/tech-editorials/a-comprehensive-guide-to-social-media-etiquette-google-plus.html

(my apologies if i posted in the wrong category)
A comprehensive guide to Google Plus etiquette for new network users. Follow this guide to increase visibility and avoid potential pitfalls.
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Pat Le Cat's profile photo
 
Toot trivial to be of any real value or help :-/
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John Skeats
moderator

» Tips & Tricks  - 
 
We often see questions here about dealing with communities that have been orphaned. This post explains the options. 
John Skeats originally shared:
 
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.
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Registration One for Training's profile photoBruce Achterberg's profile photo
9 comments
 
+Peter van Rens They don't have to. You make a rule that the community must always have an owner, like the Flying Dutchman must always have a captain.

If there are no owner and moderators, they should use some metric to identify the most likely best new owner, and make them owner. Then at least someone can contact them. 

Alternatively they could let people request ownership.

Better than leaving the community in limbo. 
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D. Posse

» Tips & Tricks  - 
 
Hi all, how can I add contact to my community... I feel a bit lost :(
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D. Posse's profile photoJohn R. Ellis's profile photo
5 comments
 
+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.
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