Google+ Communities this December, and they have potential to be a key element for the service. While they can provide great value for members, the current format for moderators can be challenging to say the least. I’ve listed out my ideal “wish list” for Google+ Communities that will help Moderators cultivate conversation by saving time and stopping spam.
Allow Notification Links To Include Admin Tools
One of the biggest issues that admins face when running a community is the overwhelming amount of spam. It is a constant barrage of throwaway accounts that are posting non-related content. Google does a serviceable job parsing out much of the spam, but many posts still need to be zapped. An annoying feature as a community moderator is that the moderation tools don’t exit on the post page itself. Here’s what I mean:
A new post was shared with the community and a notification has been received:
I’ll click to view the content and see the post that may or may not be suitable for the community:
Upon clicking on the post, the admin is taken to the post within the community but the admin tools are not included on this page:
In order to remove a post, they have to travel back to the main community page and remove from that location. Having the ability to remove a post or report/ban a user from the post itself would be a big timesaver.
Ban Posts From Specific Sites
As mentioned above, as a moderator, you’ll find a LOT of spam. Large networks of spammers also work to push a common site/client. No matter how many times you’ll ban a user, a new profile will pop up that is pushing the same spammy domain.
If moderators could ban a domain all-together, we’d burn a whole lot less calories trying to deal with these hucksters.
Create A Rules Section For Communities
One thing that Reddit did right with sub-reddit is allow for each community to have different rules in place:
This helps users know what the community likes and can give them tips on how to become successful. Right now that simply doesn’t exist. In order to do this, you’d have to use the main description (which is already quite small.)
Bypass Shortened Links
*Disclaimer* I am NOT a fan of shortened links in social to begin with. I dislike custom shorters that don’t give a me clue of where i’ll be taken and rarely click if I don’t see the full URL.
Google+ has a big issue with shortened links. Unlike Facebook who will display the destination URL, Google+ will display the shortened link instead of the destination. This forces mods to check all shortened links to make sure they are credible and not full of malware or spam. Displaying the destination URL would be better for Mods, Community members and everyone on Google+
Notify Users of Similar Posts In Community
Many times there is a piece of great content that comes out in a specific niche that is ultra share-able. The problem that occurs many times however is that multiple community members end up sharing the content as they missed the initial share. Having a double check system (like when setting up a community) would help to cut back on duplicate posts & repetition.
Not “Report” All Banned Users
I’m not being nitpicky here, I promise. When a moderator bans a member from the community, moderators are offered three things.
- Remove post
- Remove, report and ban
- Ban user
The issue is that of the people banned, only about 50% should be actually reported as spammers. The other 50% simply aren’t following community rules or do’t get what the community is about.
I’d like to just remove post/ban as they shouldn’t be investigated as a spammer — they just aren’t fit for this community. To do this now and admin must “ban the user” then go back and “remove post.” Seeing that this is a two step process, many mods likely just report everyone to save a step (while diluting the ‘report’ signal).
Overall Communities are a great part of Google+, but need to cater to moderators to help them cultivate great content. What would YOU change about Google+ Communities? Leave your response in the comments below.