Hi +Rob Gordon
. Though I do understand your concerns regarding the future of communities, I don't believe you have to worry. This is only a layman's opinion, of course, but just like you seem to see some writing on the wall for the discontinuation of communities, I see the same to the contrary.
G+ has always been an interest centred platform rather than a people centred one like Facebook. Communities are an important part of it. Collections are now another. Google seems to keep following that course even if communities haven't been updated much in the recent past. That doesn't mean they're not working on it.
That said, Google is notorious for changing their minds. Best example: G+ under +Vic Gundotra
was supposed to become the hub all of Google was supposed to revolve around. G+ under the new lead of +Bradley Horowitz
seems to be exactly the opposite. Apps are being split off by the dozens, a general decentralisation is taking place. A 180° turn. So, nothing is certain at G+ and I can see how that can unsettle those who put loads of time and energy into the platform, may it be for private or business reasons. Still, I maintain what I said before. I think communities are there to stay. I'd also wish for some improvements though, especially with the mobile app.
On a different note. Why do you waste time on attention seekers like +Peter van Rens
? You are an old social platform pro and should know that feeding the trolls has never done anybody any good. ;-)