Google Plus Groups

Google Plus CommunitiesLike many folks, I spend a lot of time on Facebook (probably more than is good for me, actually). And like many authors and other small business owners, I’ve become frustrated with Facebook’s pay-to-inform-your-followers setup and have thought about moving house to another social network – say, Google Plus.

But I also spend a lot of time in Facebook groups. (Sometimes it seems like posting in a Facebook group is the only way to be sure people will see your post, doesn’t it? But I digress.) Wouldn’t it be neat if Google Plus had a similar feature?

It does! It’s called Google Communities. If you go to your Google Plus home page and click on the Home button at the top left, you’ll get a drop-down menu that includes a link to Communities. Click that and it will take you to a page that lists all the communities you’re already in. G+ also helpfully suggests even more communities for you to join. You can click through and take a look at any community that strikes your fancy before you join.

G+1CommunitiesReady to commit? Click the red “Join community” button on the top right. (Just like at Facebook, you may have to be vetted by a moderator before you’re allowed in.) Once you’re in, posts from that community will show up on your home page. And you can always get to the community by clicking the link on your Communities page.

G+2 Google Plus CommunitiesLet’s say you’d like to set up your own community. At the top of your Communities page, you’ll see a cheerful blue button that says, “Create community.”  I think I’ll start one for Indies Unlimited. And since the seriously cool name “Literary Agents Hate Kittens” is already taken, I’ll just call mine “Indies Unlimited.”

G+3 Google Plus CommunitiesI’m going to click in the Public box and type in the name of my new community. The drop-down about permissions has two options: “anyone can join” and “anyone can ask to join.” I’m going to let all and sundry into my group, because I think you all are swell. (You can’t take a public G+ group private later – but you can change the moderation setting.) Click “Create community” and away we go.

G+4 Google Plus CommunitiesOn the next screen, you can add a photo, tagline, and some information about your group. I’m going to steal the banner from the IU website and use that as my photo. When you’re finished, click Done.

Next, you get a pop-up that allows you to invite other G+ users to your group. You don’t need to preface names of your friends with a plus sign – just start typing the name and G+ will give you a list of possibilities, with the people already in your circles at the top. Add a message at the top, if you like, and send it off.

G+5

That’s all there is to it. Here’s our new IU group at Google Plus. Feel free to stop by!

G+6 Google Plus Communities

Author: Lynne Cantwell

Lynne Cantwell grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan. She worked as a broadcast journalist for many years; she has written for CNN, the late lamented Mutual/NBC Radio News, and a bunch of radio and TV news outlets you have probably never heard of, including a defunct wire service called Zapnews. But she began as a fantasy writer (in the second grade), and is back at it today. She currently lives near Washington, DC. Learn more about Lynne at her blog and at her Amazon author page.

22 thoughts on “Google Plus Groups”

  1. I tried to click on your screen shots. 🙁 I will try to find you on G-plus. Just started using it a year ago, and probably posted 3 times. Google Plus scares me, like when the wind blows really hard at night. I will try to understand it, though. *Eye of the Tiger music*

  2. Holy Smokes! Lynn. Finally, a tech thingie on IU I can follow and figure out. I love it. I’m gonna do it. I’m excited. I am sick to death of my FB page. What’s the use of having 500 or 600 followers if they don’t get your message? Golly–Google Community might just end up leaving FB in the dust.
    JackieWeger

  3. Interesting, Lynne. I have avoided getting involved in Google + but I’m a big believer in groups. I never worried about the FB change in “visibility” because I never counted on that anyway. I guess my big question would be if these Google groups have the same features of notifying everybody of posts? Do they show memebership numbers?

    1. I’m getting notifications of new posts in the group, but I’m not sure whether that’s just because I’m the moderator. Has anyone else gotten notices of new posts today?

      Groups do show membership numbers, as well as all member photos, in the navigation bar on the left. In my last photo above, you can see my pic in the bottom left corner. That’s where all the members’ pics show up.

      1. On the left hand side of one of my groups there is a box that said ‘notifications off.’ I clicked on it and now it says, notifications on. I’m assuming that will take care of it. 🙂

  4. An extremely timely post, Lynne. Just this morning I read a post by a friend of mine – another indie author – saying he’d been banned from FB for 30 days [for promoting his work on FB groups]. He believes this is just another way FB is trying to push people into paid advertising.

    I know this indie author and I know he wouldn’t be ‘obnoxious’ in any way, so his theory about the ban makes sense to me.

    Perhaps this, plus the fact that Google has communities too, will herald in a mass migration from FB to Google+. I’ll certainly be checking the IU community out. 🙂

    1. See ya there, Meeks. 🙂

      I’ve seen comments from a number of FB friends who have been put in “Facebook jail” for some period of time for one infraction or another. Usually it has to do with adding too many friends too fast, though. This is the first I’ve heard of someone being put in Facebook jail for posting in too many groups — although my experience is by no means definitive. Anyone?

      1. That surprises me, too. Especially since I just posted about 100 group promotions on FB today. I’m thinking something else. But who knows? They have gotten squirley. I think it was making that movie about FB

  5. I’ve found Google+ the best place to hang out with writers. I’ve learnt heaps there. Twitter is good for attracting people to my blog. Facebook? Still not seeing any benefits for writers, even with a author page. Catch you on G+…..

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