Update (April 2019): Google shut down its Google+ community. If you’re looking for an alternative, check out Reddit.
What’s the deal with Google+ anyway? Is it awesome? Is it a flop? Are communities and groups out there using it and growing? Will it some day become equal to or even greater than the monster social network known as Facebook?
It’s hard to say, and impossible to predict the future, but one thing that’s for certain is that there’s no shortage of opportunities to find some pretty interesting stuff on Google+, especially if you’ve ever browsed through the many Communities located there.
You can get to the Communities area of Google+ by hovering your mouse over the “Home” button in the upper left corner so that the left sidebar menu drops down, then click on the green Communities icon. This area lists all of the most popular Communities on Google+, covering all sorts of categories such as humor, sci-fi, tech, food, photography and much more. You can also search for specific Communities if you already know which one you’re looking for.
To help you get started with Google+ Communities, I’ve decided to compile ten of the most intriguing or interesting Communities out there. These are ones that have at least over 10,000 users, and receive frequent updates every single day. Of course, these updates need to be unique or fun, and something worth coming back for every day. Turns out that’s a tall order on Google+ these days, but in the Communities section, it isn’t really as rare as you might think.
Finding Cool Stuff in Google+ Communities
Once you start surfing through some of these Communities, it quickly becomes apparent that this is where most of the action is on Google+ these days. There are some pretty interesting quotes, posts, pictures, videos and a few conversations, which you might not find on your regular feed. Communities still seem to be lacking the longer, detailed conversations and debates you find over on Facebook, but I still think that’s going to come with time.
Long Exposure Photography
The first example wasn’t hard to find at all — it’s a Community called Long Exposure Photography [no longer available], where you can find examples of photographers playing around with using long exposure settings when taking their photos.
I have a few friends and family members that are photographers and have explained to me the sort of cool tricks and photo anomalies you can create with long exposure times, but to see what some of the artists in this Community have done is absolutely amazing. I have no photography background at all, and it’s still easy to appreciate the artistic value of these stunning photographs.
One of my favorite Communities for obvious reasons is Makers, Hackers, Artists & Engineers. This is a place where you’ll find some of the coolest creations, not unlike some of the cool projects you find here on MakeUseOf like building your own Arduino or creating a security camera network out of old smartphones.
The projects posted in this Community are usually links to articles or how-to videos detailing the project. It’s an awesome place to find DIY gadget ideas if you’re into that sort of thing.
Humor and Comedy
Ready for a good laugh? Well if you’re on Google+ then head over to the Funny Community, because it’s truly a riot. It’s filled with hilarious pictures, videos, quotes and more. Sure, there are occasional people posting really bad jokes — but by far the good outweigh the bad.
And for those of you that only like to stick to a technology themed comedy diet, there’s another comedy Community for you called Funny Technology.
There are funny computer prompts, comics, funny tech quotes and a lot more in this space – and it’s updated frequently! If you can’t have enough, our Geeky Fun posts will give you your fill.
If you’re looking for some social commentary with a bit more depth than comedy Communities offer, take walk through a Community known as Thinker. This place is filled with countless posts, quotes, oddities and facts that will make you want to explore the story in more depth, and you might even learn something new.
Unfortunately, as is the case with any online “intellectual” community, there are a few folks that sneak in who post nothing at all thought-provoking, but for the most part the information, news and links you’ll find are enough to keep your lunch hour very interesting every day.
Another great Community is called Tech & Coffee (because what two things go together better than tech and coffee, am I right?)
This page focus primarily on technology news, but like on almost any social community, you’ve got the posts, pictures and quotes as well — all related to technology. Or coffee.
Of course, what could be more thought-provoking than a community filled with really good, famous quotes? Well, that’s exactly what you’ll find at the Community known as Famous Quotes.
Some people are just quote fanatics. They need to either read one or post one to their social accounts every day. Well, with over 92,000 members, there’s no shortage of awesome quotes at this Community. Go there for your quote inspiration every day, and you won’t be disappointed.
The Google+ Communities I find myself coming back to every day are the really offbeat ones. For example, Places to See Before you Die never disappoints. It’s filled with imagery from all across the world of exotic, strange and wonderful places that you really will want to visit once you see the pictures.
Another quirky Community is one called Open to Debate. This is a place where some of the posts border on cheap attempts to generate controversy and discussion, but in the process of browsing them, you’ll find some pretty interesting hot-button topics as well.
They do tend to generate some discussion; not quite as many replies as you’d see on other popular social networks, but at least a few exchanges that prove that these topics are enough to get people engaged.
The last one definitely worth mentioning is a Community called Fun and Interesting.
Not exactly the most creative title, but here you’ll find crazy videos, unusual and amazing images and quotes, descriptions of really cool gadgets, and all kinds of other things that’ll blow your mind — or at the very least, make you smile.
Which Are Your Favorite?
Have you explored any interesting Google+ Communities lately? What are your favorites? Are you a member of any of the Communities highlighted here? Share your own experiences and feedback in the comments section below!