In this T-Time show, Mark Tillison is hanging out with Donna Beckett sharing tips and advice on Google Plus communities vs collections.
Takeouts from this video:
What is the difference between a Google+ Collection and a Google+ Community?
2:49 A Collection belongs to you, the user. You, the user create the Collection and decide what it is, what goes in it and you’re the only person that can post to it. A Community is similar but has multiple members who can each post to that community within different categories of posts. The community is controlled by a moderator or moderators.
If you want to ask questions, network, connect with other users with similar interests and discover new content about a subject, a Community is a much better place to do so than a Collection.
However, remember that in most cases, you are able to share a post from a Community into a Collection of your own, should you so wish.
Summary: Collections are great for organising your own posts and broadcasting. Communities are much better for Listening.
About the UK Connect Community
6:27 Donna shares the background of setting up the UK Connect Community, why she chose to make it “invite only” (you have to ask to join or be invited – it’s not open membership) and what’s involved day to day in moderating and managing a community.
You can also create Private Google+ Communities with just you in them for bookmarking content for later reading (similar to the “read it later” technique we explain here) and private communities for a specific project or to share with a limited group of colleagues or family, for example.
Tips and Advice for Setting up a Google+ Community
14:53 Make it invitation only – it helps to keep out the trolls and spammers. It makes it easy to weed out the undesirables before they cause trouble and upset the membership, leaving only those who want to engage, participate in debate and share good, helpful content.
In the UK Connect Community, posts are still public (this is an option in the Community settings) so even though posting is only available to members, other Google+ users can still see those posts and can +1 and reshare those posts outside the Community to other Communities, Collections or even other platforms, they can’t comment on the original post.
Alternatively, you may want to create a Private Community for a Project or a Family Group, for example. Posts in Private Communities are not visible to anyone who is not a member of the Community.
Tips on Managing a Google+ Community
14:55 You can appoint moderators, but a community really needs moderating daily. If your Community gets overrun by spam and trolls, your active membership – those quality members that you’ll want to keep – will disappear quickly and be very difficult to get back.
Set the Community to “notify” so that you, as a moderator, get notified of every post so that you can work through them.
Google+ has built-in moderation, so you’ll need to keep on top of those to release those incorrectly marked as spam and confirm those which are really spam – it doesn’t take too long, but the automation is a real help.
“The best place to be is in the comment streams rather than posting constantly”. Inviting others to the conversation who you know may have some valuable experience or insight to contribute is valuable networking activity, as it is in real life and on other social platforms.
Quality is so much more important than quantity. Don’t focus as much on how many members, but more on how much engagement there is.
Don’t just post links in Communities without first investing in building relationships there – you’ll just earn yourself a bad reputation and annoy the membership – stand by to experience the wrath of the moderator and most likely get yourself banned from the Community.
Google+ Community Horror Stories
29:23 Sometimes, you’ll need to arbitrate between members having a disagreement. Within a well-run Community, this is rare and usually comes down to some common sense, but does occasionally happen.
There is often debate around an issue and members can disagree, but most users can articulate and support a point of view without needing to resort to abuse and argument.
31:51 Social Media is a tool, a wonderful tool that helps you network with other people and can be used as the stepping stone to meeting in real life, where that’s practical – organise a HIRL (Hangout in Real Life) to strengthen those relationships you made online.
Do you use Google Plus communities or collections? Let us know your experiences in the comments.