Google+ Community, the primary function I can think of is no other than creating a 'live' community where people of some common interest can come together to share and interact (which I think is the primary role/ function when Google rolled out this feature). Hence, we started creating several community to 'contain' interaction that are directed towards a common strand, e.g. Technology Bites @ SST (for teachers).
In the recent Conference in Chiang Mai, I decided to use it differently. The original intent was to create an environment that would excite the Thai Teachers who would be sitting in my Breakout session. However, as I explored, I notice it comes with some powerful features that be employed for other purposes, as I also discovered several 'features' or characteristics that come with Community.
Actually, like it or not, I think, to stretch the use of a platform and being able to implement it successfully, or at least smoothly, it requires one to think through quite thoroughly and hence put it into action systematically.
Here are some things that I think that makes the platform useful, and relevant for the learning or for running of some programmes:
1. Tagging of posts
I like this feature very much, which is absent from "Events" or the general posting in the main G+ page. Main reason is it allows us to tag the post so that we can subsequently filter the posts by topics. For sure, this is one feature that is absent from Facebook (be it main page, created pages or groups).
2. Comments under each post
Well, this feature is also available in Facebook. So, it's not 'unique'.
But this is very useful when discussion is encouraged, especially related to a specific post.
And of course, these comments are posted up as instant as in Facebook.
3. Photos consolidated within a post
I like this feature. In other words, we can 'contain' a specific event (e.g. a presentation), and at the same time key in relevant comments (e.g. observations, or even questions) to go with the posts and get the readers to comment on this particular posting!
4. Editing feature of the post
Yup, to-date, Facebook allows us to edit the comments we entered in response to a post. However, we are unable to edit the post. So, to 'edit' the post is as good as re-posting the entire post and all the comments that go with the original post would be gone if we decide to replace it with the updated post.
Click HERE to view the Community set up to document the Conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand (24-27 January 2013)