What was G+ like for you?

Since a few of us are heading back here after being on Google+ for a while...

Looking back, how has G+ affected you - especially gaming-wise (play, discussion, meeting people, hearing about new stuff, promoting, designing etc)? What did you learn from the experience?


  • edited October 2018
    Speaking for myself only, I did not really find G+ Communities all that conducive to in depth discussion. To me, the algorithm manages to exacerbate noise even when a community doesn’t have a massive amount of users. Since active topics don’t bubble up to the top, they quickly sink under all kinds of stuff unless they have large amount of likes/+1’s. You’d think that the popularity algorithm would help the cream bubble up to the top, but my experience is that far too many content-less posts are extremely popular (like the equivalents of food porn or cat posts). That discourages continued attention and focus on an actual discussion topic.

    Categories should help in theory, but I’m not sure how many users bothered to check various categories. It would have helped if I could set some categories like off-topic to not show on the main stream of the community.

    I’m not really that sad to see it go, except for the fact that a lot of content will be lost. And towards the tail end, some designers that I respect had actually joined, even if they weren't posting, so at least solo rp was in their radar in some shape, so that's a loss (but maybe it already served its purpose in getting them to check things out).

    As an aside, I’m seeing people flock to MeWe, and that is unfortunate imo. As far as I can tell, the community tools are even more useless. I’m encouraged, however, that a lot of people from the old solo community have decided to join either Reddit or Google Groups.
  • G+ groups were superhelpful to me -- but I'm talking about very narrowly focused groups, such as the Dracula Dossier group and the Eternal Lies group.

    Groups for Monsterhearts or Urban Shadows were also useful. And you see the pattern here -- not as hyperfocused as "this single campaign", but more focused than "this company" or "this range of games" -- it's "this single game".

    But, while less strategically helpful, individuals posting everything from "Hello you wonderful people I gamed with at last week's convention" to "Hey, here's a cool thing I made / found online" made the place feel home-y.
  • It was better than every other social media experience - what I mean to say is "it was dreadful."
  • Can't we just call "social media", "mostly gossip"? Not that forums are intrinsically better, or any system for that matter.

    What I mean to say or more truthfully, write is - welcome back! I still love you. I can't speak for everyone else. It is tempting to feel liked by strangers.
  • edited October 2018
    I had lots of fun on G+ talking about games and crowdsourcing ideas and promoting my stuff. (john.aegard.com, everyone!). For a while, I posted a snap from every game session I played in, and that diary is really fun to look back on.

    But the most significant and coolest thing I saw there were the support circles / collections -- people going through a rough time who curated a highly selective space in which to find emotional support. G+ tools made this super easy. I would never even think of trying that on Facebook.
  • G+ was/is my primary feed for news that was tightly focused on gaming. It looks like a lot of my groups have set down stakes on MeWe so I expect that to become my new home for news and community. I still visit here and a few other places, but I don't want to go crawling under every rock to stay informed.
  • Google+ was the most productive way for me to have conversations about Classic Traveller. I am in the Storygames group there, but to the extent that I pay much attention to games other than D&D, RuneQuest, Classic Traveller, and Burning Wheel, here is where I hang out. I like reading about what's going on for several of my Google+ contacts, several of whom are story games types.
  • edited October 2018
    In some ways, it was glorious. After mostly lurking to see what you (Matthijs) were posting during your FB timeouts 2011-2013, my activity and # of contacts exploded 2014-2017. Epidiah’s “get to know each other" posts were central to that.

    I gained a handful of what I would call real friends, or at least internet pals I was on very good terms with. Somewhere around 2015-16, I really felt like part of an online community (yes, I read Corley’s post :) )

    I was interviewed, I interviewed others, I exchanged ideas, wrote more blog posts and short games, was inspired. I made Old Friends with Jason M, and the Itras By: The Menagerie anthology with a crew I met on G+ for a large part.

    I don’t think any of that would have happened if it wasn’t for this scene/community/medium/loose network.
    I think I got better at Englishing, too.

    Negatively, I felt I constantly had to tip-toe around other people’s conflicts, politics and cultural/language rules that seemed to change on a weekly basis.

    My general social media fatigue after moderating the (by Norwegian standards) large Rollespill.info forum spilled over to G+ and the interactions with more and (far) less prickly strangers.

    It also consumed a lot of time I could have spent on other stuff.

    The previous three paragraphs are the reasons I quit last year(?). I haven’t missed it at all. :/
  • It felt like wandering into a party late, trying to find someone to talk to, eventually getting into conversations, then people would wander off and conversations would die.

    Without the alcohol and music.
  • I mean, most of it's blatant self-promotion, or veiled self-promotion.
    It often takes some sort of shared negative experience to create friends.
    It often felt like fake friendship.
  • I loved it. I had a good time. I thought it was more than it was. And I adore self promotion. We need to get over our terror of telling people about the things we make. Demonizing it made RPG.net useless and drove out actual creators.
  • We need to get over our terror of telling people about the things we make. Demonizing it made RPG.net useless and drove out actual creators.
    That's a damn good point.

  • Plus allowed me to find my voice and an audience that wanted to hear it. I've never been more productive in that regard.
  • I loved it... and still love it, because it's not dead yet. Fate is the system I'm using most right now, and there was/is a thriving Fate discussion group on Google+. Also, I got introduced to The Clay That Woke by someone posting on Google+, and for that I will be eternally grateful. Mostly I used it for Fate and for keeping up with a few gaming buddies I see maybe once a year at a local con.

    I'm not a big social media user. It's hard for me to learn how to use new systems; I just don't get them. Perhaps I am getting old. This means there's a big hurdle for me to find a new community.

    I might be talking and thinking about games a little less now, unless I can find a similar community. The people I talk to on Google+ seem to be fragmenting into two camps: "I'm going to MeWe" and "I won't go to MeWe because it's a haven for the alt-right so I'm going to one of a dozen other platforms."
  • Yeah, it's funny. Someone on the RPG Escape Rocket thread posted a link to a RAHOWA (Racial Holy War) group on MeWe. And then, they posted links to FOUR such groups on G+. Yeah, it seems G+ had some dirty laundry it wasn't telling folks about. :-)
  • Yeah, it seems G+ had some dirty laundry it wasn't telling folks about. :-)
    Well, Google is a big corporation, so of course it does!
  • As soon as G+ came along, I realized pretty quickly that it had poached and balkanized much of the rpg discussion of the day. I participated for a while, but then just finding the types of discussions I was looking for took effort - sorting through lots of chaff. I was active for a couple years and then stopped being, and then stopped really knowing or caring what was going on in rpg design.

    G+ was very exciting for a minute, but I quickly grew to dislike it and stopped using it. I'm glad people are here again. I don't think social media is a good platform for discussion. Forums have their own problems, but they might be the best platform we have for actually being humans together on the internet and jointly having conversations that matter to us.
Sign In or Register to comment.