Yesterday, Richard Byrne invited me to a Google Community called “EdTech“. I thought, why not? Richard’s a pretty sharp guy. If he thinks it’s worth the while to invite me, who am I to question that?
Then, I had a second thought. What the heck is a Google Community? Never heard of it!
It turns out it’s a brand new feature to Google Plus.
The concept of communities of learners has been around for a long time. In fact, I’m a member of a number of Google Groups and forums provided by other services already. It’s a place to have conversations and interactions filtered to a particular topic. A meeting of the minds, if you will.
You get the distinct feeling that this is a special implementation of Groups to live within Google Plus. Communities may be public or private – this one is public – and yesterday was filled with people getting and accepting invitations.
Figuring this was the best way to go, I turned on the feature that sends me a notification when there’s a new post in the community. As it turns out, that was a really dumb thing to do. Yesterday, the community was full of people thanking others who invited them to join the conversation. Perhaps I’ll turn it on again later.
Within the community, posts can be further categorized by type for an even finer control over where your content resides.
I really like the concept of communities for posting. Part of the frustration with Google Plus right now is that everything just appears in one large stream. Breaking off the conversation into these communities should ease the noise and make it much easier to focus on a particular topic.
If you’re a Google Plus user, you’ve got to do some exploring. Just click on the Communities button in the left side of the screen and see what’s available. You’ll find that, for right now, the numbers in the communities are growing by the minute.
At present, the invitations to join communities keep on coming. Moments after I accepted Richard’s invite, Steve Dembo had invited me to join the Discovery Educators Network and Mark Lijour invited me to Mageia. The biggest community that I’ve joined so far has to be the Ubuntu one. These communities are exploding. The key will be whether or not members contribute to the conversations and the sharing. There’s even a hook to a Hangout in the community itself. This could be a very powerful way to start instant meetings with like minds.
See you in a community!