I’ve been with this Blogging community for a long time and have contributed numerous posts to this community. I have viewed, added comment, shared and plussed many articles. This community has driven around 60% of my Google+ traffic over the time that I’ve been with Google+. I felt it was time to show my appreciation and cast a bit of light on this community and its characteristics.
The group as of today (17th November 2015) has 89,185 users. This is not a bad number. That number would fit a good stadium.
As you can probably imagine, there are likely countless inactive users, it goes with the territory. I have made a rough handed segmentation based entirely on my own mad thoughts about how the community might be composed based on the length of time I’ve been with the community and the visual and rough trends that I see. You are welcome to challenge this perception in the comments.
Community Group Users – by means of Jacksonised Hyper-Generalisation
- Passive Lurkers: Join up but never contribute, read, plus, comment or share. These are the types of Google+ user that have joined with their Blank Page or happen to be a Johnny No-Face.
- Fly-by-Nighters & Early-Quitters: Join up for a short period with limited (but not entirely without merit) contact then go silent like the grave never to return.
- Spam-Monkeys & Link-Droppers: Join with the clear intent of being entirely self-serving with their dodgy goods and services. Fortunately the moderators do a good job of sweeping them away from what I’ve seen.
- Low rent negative commentators or Borderline Trolls: The epitome of jerk. People you’d happily punch in the balls or lack therein. Fortunately I’ve seen very few signs of these.
Middle of the road Members
- Former contributor to mid-term passives: Have contributed in the past but are now more passive either because they don’t need the attention, aren’t all that bothered or just are time poor. They may shower with love on the rare to occasional but aren’t up to full operating speed.
- Semi-regulars: These users pop up in fits and starts and then disappear again for undefined periods. They tend to run short to medium campaigns then pull up their capes and disappear to the Batcave.
- Holiday-timers: Only seem to produce high levels of interaction during seasonal periods indicating that they are students of some form or happen to be constrained by their job’s calendar.
- Consistent contributors: They are weighted more to pushing their content or sharing others.
- Consistent observers: They are weighted more to checking out what interests them, once hooked by the title, they are likely to view your content.
- Consistent plussers: There are those who will + your shared work but may not necessarily have viewed the link you wanted them to follow.
- Consistent sharers: Those who share other’s work consistently. Sharing is not such a common activity so this category rubber bands those people who share more occasionally than rarely.
- Consistent commentators: Whilst these guys and gals don’t comment all the time, they sooner or later make an appearance, and you’ll be glad of their words.
- Serial Commentators: Perhaps the least common are the serial commentators. These are dependable individuals who make an effort.
- Serial Sharers: These individuals are also a rarity. Serial sharers normally exist with busy communities of their own and large numbers in their circle so are the types of people who like to feed their followers with content to appease their thirst for knowledge.
- Those that don’t specifically fit into any generalised box. The non-descript.
Distinct Community Contributors?
I don’t foresee that there are any specific long term contributors. This community is different in that way. Rather than serial contributors I tend to see a trend of those middle of the road type 1 users or “Former contributor to mid-term passives”. They ride with the community for so long then bow out leaving a clearing in the forest for somebody else. Handing-over quality is a characteristic that I like about the community because you can get pretty bored with the usual faces over time and I’ve been in other communities where some contributors get too big for their boots.
Common Themes in blog diversity
There are some blog themes that come up quite often in the group. I might classify some of these as common “magazine themes”. They are the type of content you might open the front page of a magazine for.
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation, marketing and business. A highly subscribed term of phrase for those bloggers who want to make money but also an area that is heavily crowded even at the sub-sub-niche level. This is why SEO practitioners, scientists and pan handlers spread their net wider with marketing and business leaving the audience with a variegated cornucopia of content (a mixed bag for the dim-witted).
Tech. Everybody loves tech and this seems to surface quite regularly. A rather important aspect to tech is the choices presented, often there are a number of rivals in any given sector. We are all built into this cycle of constructive discontent by being guilted into the next iteration of a product so it stands to reason that each new generation needs a review and comparison.
Fashion. But not just English speaking fashion, oh no! I am a secret fan of the fashion blogs even though they don’t tie in well with the niche I’m in. Mostly because I get to have a look at some intriguingly dressed women. What’s not to love? Google translate, do your worst! Sandals with socks need not apply.
Relationships. Relationship blogs creep up a lot. I’m not entirely convinced on how they make money (but that’s most likely me being ignorant) other than pushing people towards dating sites but they do chart from time to time. Relationships are a significant element of a person’s life unless they choose to be alone so it stands to reason that there should be some blogs about them.
Fitness & Diet. Fitness has been a massive boom area online, mostly because it is very easy to develop a service/product mix and integrate tangible real world results quickly into blog format with, and this is important, videos. Fitness produces a lot of products varying from mechanical to pill based giving the marketer a wide range of scope. This coupled with the fact that obesity and personal image has become such a popular diversion spells a recipe for those energetic sales hungry individuals to care and share (but mostly share).
Miscellaneous. There are more topics in between but they don’t feature as prominently. That’s not to say that certain topics are any less important or less noteworthy, just to say that those varied niches don’t figure as commonly into the more traditional “magazine themes”.
Variety of Blogging Platforms
Predominantly I see both WordPress (.org and .com flavours) and Blogger platforms. I haven’t seen much in the way of Weebly or Drupal but there are the odd sites there to represent them. Of course there are platforms that rest outside of this and fortunately the sinister ones like the Empowerment network are very scarce and never gain a foothold.
Money bloggers versus Personal bloggers
There is a skew towards money bloggers or at least those aspiring to make money but I’m happy to see that some personal bloggers share their content as well. It is satisfying to know that not everyone is always chasing the green (insert your national denomination’s colour here) in their online pursuits.
Amateurs versus Semi-Professionals & Professionals
I would hazard that the balance of Amateurs versus Semi-Pros & Pros would be in the range of 7:1. For every 7 Amateurs there is 1 established blogger. Amateurs doesn’t necessarily mean newcomers with new blogs, more those who have not had sufficient impact or are still Income-Zero.
Method and variety of posts
The distinct and prime flavour of the posting is to involve images, images and images. Did I mention images? Images. Yes, images. The prime posting flavour also includes a link to a website, provided either with a shortlink or the full page URL. Because of the way Google+ works, it is preferable to place the full URL rather than a shortlink because it looks a bit sexier on the preview. If the link is shortened by Bitly or WordPress, the site shows a different origin in the preview pane of the post.
Those lazier posters sling the URL in the text element of the G+ post with no explanation and it’s lazy, don’t do it!
Rarely, a question is asked with no links. I like seeing those in the community and from time to time find myself being the first to answer. I’m often not sure why people hold off on helping out, it costs nothing in the end. So you risk looking stupid but normally with a few right answers people either leave happy or a bit less confused than when they started. Of course, on the rare occasion you will get a full “derp” question in which case, feel free to steer the answer barge clear.
Now that Google+ provides a survey post type, a few of these have appeared. These are quite enjoyable as long as I agree with the questions asked (and such a thing is always subjective to the participator). It’s always interesting to see the sway of public opinion!
Is this a good community to join?
The answer to that is you have nothing to lose. If you have a blog that needs a bit of exposure, this isn’t a terrible place to head.
There is a but…
Not everything works and you are putting your content in front of fellow bloggers. There is potential you’ll get copied if your ideas are of merit so watch out. Besides those issues you’ll have to work hard to impress but the added traffic is beneficial and there is potential to connect with a helpful community. A lot of the time it depends on what you ask and how you interact.
Had some experience with this community? Don’t agree with my views? Feedback welcome.