+Jaana Nystrom

Welcome to my Circleverse!

Google+ is my passion: I want to help others to get the most out of it.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Circles and Communities: Communication on Google+

I use my circles and the following of profiles feature for:

A. Getting interesting content in my Home stream, no matter if the ones I follow have circled me or not, unless they only post to "circles".  I don't expect anyone to circle me back.

B. I have a lot of Finns (nearly a thousand) in one large circle which I also use for posting in Finnish.  On my Finnish page +Gplussa .  I have bite-sized circles of several thousand Finns for circle sharing purposes so that newcomers may find people to interact with, in their own language.

C.  Communities have replaced Circles in many ways:  Starting a community and engaging with people around a certain topic does not count towards the 5000 limit.  I own a Finnish "Suomi" community with 20 categories about all sorts of things and an English language "Google+ Helper" community which is all about Google+, with categories of helpful posts for Goobies and old hands alike.

Community posts in my Home stream enrich my Google+ experience and helps me focus on topics I wish to see and learn about. The subscription circles are a good way to get notifications from those profiles or pages you wish to hear from the most.

How do you communicate?
Do you post in Public or to your Circles only, or a mix of the two?


Communities and circles are two different things

When you post something in a Public community, those posts can be seen by all the members in that community and also by anyone who checks the community, or searches for something on Google+ or Google and you post comes up in the search.  Only community members can comment or share community posts, the non-members can only give Plusones to the posts.

If you have chosen to show the community posts on your profile, anyone looking at your profile will see those Public community posts.

How ever if people in your circles are not members of the community, they don't see those posts in their home stream. Only if they look at your profile or the community itself.

If the members have Community notifications on they will get an alert every time someone posts in a community, no matter what relationship they have with the members of the said community.
If they have chosen to receive posts from that community in their Home stream, they will see some of the community posts if they are members. Circles don't come into this at all.

To get your Community properly indexed in Google+ search, you need to have three areas filled out thoughtfully:

1. Title
2. Tag line
3. Description (In the About section)

Those are indexed for G+ search, so the most important thing you can do in all three is include the main phrase that describes what your community is about.  Try to use an image that also tells at first glance what the topic is.

Update for Communities: Display them on your profile!

Inviting people to your Community

When you invite people to a community from under the Gear icon, you get a post draft with "Add names, circles or email addresses" in the share box.

There is no invitation list as such.  Sending a invitation creates a notification but only the people allowing you to notify them get the invites.

Sending those can be spammy, so I would rather "Share" the community on your own stream unless you are absolutely sure that the recipients wish to be invited.

Google may limit the number of invitations if people or pages report them as spam.

Deleting a Private community

Community owner seems to lose all the posts they have posted in the private community when the community is deleted.

Moderator / member: You can still see the posts you made on your profile and delete them, but only you can see the post, not even members of the deleted community.

When you delete a community, all the posts shared there stay on the OP's profile if the "Show community posts on profile" has been ticked (unless Owner), same if the post was deleted from the community.

However the post does not say in which community it was posted in, it just displays the green community logo top right. You can still open your own post from the URL, owner or member.

If someone else tries to click on the post URL:

"This post could not be found.
This URL may be incorrect, the post may have been deleted, or the post may not have been shared with this accountundefined."

When you are deleting a private community, save the posts you wish to keep.  Only the owner can delete a community.

The posts from members cannot be reshared, even after "Enable reshares".
Nor can the link be shared with anyone, one gets the same error message as above.

How to create a private community

Do you have to respond to all the interactions, all the time?

I'd say it all depends on the line you take on different social media platforms.
And on the amount of people following you.

Why do you Tweet or post on FB or Google+?
Which platform do you prefer and why?

I shared a link to +Peter G McDermott article and the post received very interesting comments, take a look:

The shares of this post have good intros too:  I do like this one from +Armida Evony:

I believe the reason people follow other people on G+ is to find engagement, courtesy and interesting content, not necessarily in that order. Obviously there are exceptions, if someone is a high level Google executive they can post the most boring pictures in the universe with one line of text, and will get a zillion plusses. Why? No idea. Maybe because they think he will increase their Google Influence score or something? Good luck with that. 

In my opinion, engaging with your followers and treating everybody with equal courtesy (except obvious trolls who should be consistently blocked), is just as important as posting interesting stuff. And if you drop the ball and start ignoring people that you used to engage with, they will wander off. Rightly so.

My Twitter is mostly for sharing information.  That's a choice I've made.
I reply to questions but not to retweets on mentions.  It's like thanking everyone separately for giving your post a +1: That I don't do either.

I do like to connect and engage on Google+ as there are no 140 character limits:
Sometimes replying to a question or a comment on Twitter becomes ridiculous and very bad language! :-)

Facebook...  Well:  My friends are not into the same topics as I am.
Scuba, nature / flower photography or Google+.
The best response I get from a FB post is when I post a photo of myself - say what?

As a shy Finn that's not what I want to do often...

Google+ is my favourite way and place of engaging. It's my window to the world.

What do you think:
Are your experiences or strategies different from mine?

Don't ruin the Internet!

I read a great article from +Chris Jenkins and had to pinch this bit:
Do you want to have an audience of a million people who ignore everything you say that isn’t about how to get an audience of a million people? 

If you said yes, congratulations! You’re a Social Media “Expert”! If instead, you actually want an audience that’s interested in you, your product, or your service, then you need to avoid these people and their “systems” like the plague. Real fans come from you putting a real message out there, not participating in mass forward and link share schemes, and real fans are actually interested in what you’re sharing.

The difference between real fans and contrived social media follows is why I can have as many plusses, likes, comments, and shares on a post as someone with twenty times my audience size; the people who follow me are, for the most part, actually interested in what I have to say.
Do read the whole article:  Social Media “Experts”: Please stop ruining social media

More good reading:

Become a great Google+ Community member by +Paul Maplesden

15 people ruining social media by +Marc Ensign

What I Learned On The Way To 3 Million Google+ Circles by +Mike Elgan

Online audiences of value are earned, not gotten by +David Kutcher

Shared circles and circle tips on Google+ by +Jaana Nyström

How to attract an audience on Google+ by +Gplus Expertise 

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