Huge new Google+ Feature: Google Communities! The Photo Community
Come see The Photo Community (Google+ should activate it at some point here…) – Come join as soon as you can!
What are communities? They are very similar to regular Google+ accounts, except they are not tied to a person — they are tied to a passion or an idea. This will allow threaded conversations to begin and live independently in the world of Google+.
Think of a piazza in Italy where the whole community comes to hang out, eat gelato, watch artists, have coffee, and talk about the world as it goes by. To me, this is what a Google+ community is.
Besides making The Photo Community, I am also going to make a private community just for people involved in the Stuck In Customs (my website). That will be a private one — invite only. This will replace the Sorry 1990’s Forums that currently run on the website. I’m so sick of that old style of forums… aren’t you? I assume everyone will be able to make public and private Google+ Communities soon.
You’ll notice that The Photo Community has categories on the left. This is a cool thing that allows conversations to be established within certain buckets. Here are a few of the categories I set up, with more to come:
General Discussion – a place for everything… it’s sort of a catch-all for everyone just to hang out.
Critique Me! - Do you have a photo that you would like critiqued? Just post it in a new thread here, and you’ll get it analyzed. I can’t promise it will all be rosy, but we would prefer it if the feedback is civil and constructive!
Gear Talk – If you have a particular penchant for the hardware side of things, this is a great place to have these discussions and ask questions.
Newbie Photo Zone – Are you just getting into photography and have a question? This will be a great area for you… don’t be shy!
Google+ Communities can also have moderators, which will be very helpful. I’m going to start setting those up today to take the burden off of me as an individual. As a rule, we’ll try to make sure the community is a positive happy place… Back to that Italian piazza example above, these will be the kind old-lady-shop-owners that come kick the cretins out of the piazza.
Features to come?
Here’s a few features I’d like to see in upcoming iterations. Google has a tradition of quickly iterating on design to improve the user experience.
– Allow commenters to embed photos in a thread — this is especially handy for photographers, and I think it would also be handy over on the food-related groups!
– Allow moderators to have a “sticky” or community-news post that doesn’t get pushed down the stream.
– Any other ideas you have? Put them in the comments!
Daily Photo – The Rising Setting Sun
I’ve tried to detect pattens for when you see these streaming bits of sun at sunrise and sunset. At first, I thought it was just related to moisture and particulate in the air. Then I thought it was related to clouds five+ miles away that are naturally broken up with gaps between them of several hundred meters. Now I think it’s a combination of the two. Maybe this explains why it is so rare.
Now that I live in the mountains, I never see the horizon any more. It doesn’t bother me so much, but it is harder to get these kind of shots. Those of you that also live with no horizon know what I mean!