I truly do wish Google Plus communities would take off. It would be a fantastic place for like minded individuals to “get together” in the virtual world. Unfortunately, there are a number of factors that have put the nail in the coffin of Google Plus communities, collections and the product as a whole. With over 800,000 “followers” on Google Plus I would enjoy nothing more than for it to become popular and highly successful but it simply will not happen.
The biggest problem with Google Plus communities is the lack of moderation. Google expects moderators to do all the work. Who has the time to sit in a community and moderate each and every post? At one point, my college football community was receiving 200+ posts per day. Many of these were going into the spam filter to be moderated by the owner or other moderators. Owners and moderators of communities simply don’t have the time for this. There needs to be a better system to catch spam with human moderation.
Also, community posts are not ranked in any way. If you want your post to show up at the top of the community you simply have to post it most recently. To put community posts in order based on time posted is absolutely worthless. In almost all of my communities users will spam the system by simply posting the same content over and over to remain at the top of the community. Unlike Reddit which has a voting system there is no system for Google Plus communities.
Now that Google Plus already has a bad name I don’t see any way that the product can get off the ground. Earlier this year I wrote a blog post explaining why collections will never replace Pinterest. Some have said that communities will replace Reddit. Not a chance. The only people actually using Google Plus are unemployed or underemployed marketers that don’t know how to rank websites in Google search. I wish it were different and it was a group of thriving professionals but professionals that actually make money in the real world are not sitting on the Internet discussing the importance of a button changing from a square to a circle.
If you want to enjoy a true community atmosphere I would strongly suggest Reddit. There are also countless message boards for specific subjects. My suggestion is to enjoy real world relationships by not trying to find like minded people on the computer. There are millions of people wanting to discuss like minded topics “in real life” (IRL) so try that on for size.