Do you need to learn or expand a skill, but aren’t interested in forking over the big bucks for training? Try joining a Google+ community.
Message boards and forums have long been on their way out. With Google+ communities, you can find like-minded individuals in your areas of interest that range from newbies to pros.
I am not a graphic designer or illustrator by trade, but I am interested in learning more about it as I often find myself needing to use software like Adobe Illustrator. And, while I have taken a few online courses through Lynda.com, my practical knowledge of Adobe Illustrator is limited.
What to do? What to do?
While touring around Google+, I was hearing a lot of buzz about the Communities feature. What a treasure trove I found!
I began joining several communities of interest to me. These included Social Media Marketing, Android and Adobe Illustrator Club. You find these communities to be categorized into several different topics, much like you would a message board or web forum. Beyond that, Google+ communities are leaps ahead of the old way of getting self help. Posting features like video, text, links, pictures and events make your experience on communities vastly superior to other “help” sites.
As I mentioned, the community is categorized by topics. You can interact in community discussions; view and share inspirational artwork; watch or make tutorials; grab a couple of freebies or see if there is an online or local event to attend. You can even search the community for a specific subject you are interested in learning more about. The search feature is powered by non other than the all-powerful Google, so you know its good. These categories are different for every community and are created by the community administrator.
Google+ communities have greatly increased my knowledge base and resources I need to do my job and support my hobbies and interests. You can even grow your personal and professional network as you make new acquaintances. This happened to me.
The Personal Touch
I had a question about Adobe Illustrator that needed answering. A fellow community member went out of his way to host a Google+ Hangout on Air to help me out. You can catch it here:
And that is another thing! The ability to connect “face-to-face” with another professional or enthusiast across the country and share your screen for demonstrations makes it all the better. I want to give a shout out to Bill Murphy who helped me and hosted this Google+ Hangout. You can find him by visiting his website www.billmurphy.ca. If you are into Adobe Illustrator or need someone to create stunning illustrations for you, he is well worth your time.
So whatever your interest may be, there is probably a Google+ Community for that. Go check it out. plus.google.com/communities
Google+ isn’t just for Google employees anymore.