Google has added a new feature to Google+, something it calls “Communities”. Does it ring any bell? For us, it does. It reminds us of something from the past. Yes, we are talking about Orkut, which, at its peak, was something similar to what facebook is now. Communities was a much used feature on Orkut, Google’s old social networking site. Now it has made its way to Google+. So how is the new “Communities”? Well, here is out take.
What are Communities?
A community is a group of people who basically share a common interest. They could be interested in food, photography, cars or something else, to be exact anything. People can create and join these communities and share their ideas among other members of the community. Now, some might point out Groups on facebook and say Google has copied the concept. Well, not really. Like we said earlier, Communities was a much used feature on Orkut, even before facebook started Groups. So, technically Google hasn’t copied anything from facebook. They just used a feature which they had developed earlier. And it is good that they did.
So what can I do with Communities?
Easiest thing someone can do with Communities is to join them. Since its launch on Google+, people have created communities for most of the know topics. Well there are lot of them alright. You can search and join anyone of them. Well not all, some do have restrictions like you need to be invited to join a community or wait for the moderator to approve your request. These are some common things found on all networking sites.After joining a community you can start sharing with the members of community.
Now what if there are no communities for a certain topic of interest? Well, you can create one. This is one of the things that we love about Google, they try to make everything really easy, and that seems to be the case with creating communities on Google+. Just click on create community, you are given a option if you want the community to be public or private, select one, then just enter the name of the community, then choose who can join and click on “Create Community”. There, you created a new Community. We belive this is one of the reasons why people have created so many communities in such a short time.
Now what is new in Communities?
Well, nothing much. But Google has added few which are much needed. One of these is the option categorize posts. If you have created a new community, you are given the option to create categories. Members of the community can post in any of these categories and also view posts from categories they like. Another feature we liked was the ability to switch off notifications from a particular community. This is really useful if you have joined a community which has lots of active members. Every post from a member gets added to your notifications. Some guy logged in to find 100+ notifications waiting for him to see. A big thank you to the guy who came up with that.
So how are people responding to it?
Well, if you go to communities, you will find that there are communities for almost everything ranging from cup cakes to cars to space theory discussions. People have been creating communities like crazy and still are. There are people complaining about invitations to join communities.It looks like every one want to be the first to create a new community and there are people who are joining these. Then there are others who are creating communities which are named after them. We are not joking:
To tell the truth, Communities has got a good response from Google+ users. The overwhelming response has annoyed a few, but every new addition to a popular networking site always does that. You can check out what people are saying about communities by searching for #communities on Google+.
So how is Communities?
Communities is something that was needed on Google+. With communities, Google has made it easier to connect to people with similar ideas and also to share. But it does have its drawbacks. For example, whatever you post on a community, makes its way onto your profile and if you try to delete it from your profile, it gets removed from the community too. Another thing that many complained was that if you share something with people or circles, you cannot share the same with a community. Other problems include, not being able to move posts between categories and too many communities on a single topic. Communities on Google+ is not perfect, but is welcome addition. Before we end here is something from Google: