Google+ is not a Wasteland

I want to let you in on a little secret: Google+ is not a social media wasteland. It’s actually alive and well! I know you are shaking your head in disbelief, but really, you have to trust me on this one. And if you don’t believe me, you can ask East Mountain or InkBlot Photo.

I started posting to Google+ almost two years ago when we first started StuckinPlastic. Me2 and I divided up the social media duties and he took on Facebook and I said I would monitor and try to build an audience on Google+. I have to say it’s been slow going for both my own photography as well as our Google+ StuckinPlastic family. (I think most of the people we have met through G+ have moved over to Instagram.) But with the changes that Google has been rolling out over the last few months, this has all changed.

In the past, you were encouraged to organize your follows into something called “circles”. These were confusing and I never did get the hang of them, but I did start following enough interesting people to keep me coming back. This past summer Google+ has introduced the concept of “collections”; a new way to organize your posts into like minded topics. This way people can choose to follow only the posts that interest them.

I find this an easy way to follow collections I’m interested in like toy photography, photo tips and posts from people from other cultures. Really the variety of collections available to follow are limited only by people’s imaginations. I follow tech blogs, secular humanists, religious fundamentalists and a variety of movie and pop culture sites. I have also had an easier time finding interesting macro and landscape photographers to help keep me inspired. I have spent the last few months creating an eclectic stream of  internet ramblings that surpasses anything that Twitter and Facebook can offer me. Now that you can search collections it’s even easier for me to find that kick ass toy photographer from Malaysia I haven’t seen before or those unreal photos from Iceland that make me beyond envious.

If you are interested in reaching beyond the insular toy photography community that is Instagram, I suggest you take a second look at Google+. Not only will they not restrict access based on algorithms like Facebook, but so far it is ad free, unlike Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

If you don’t believe me check out this handy info graph from the GlobalWebIndex. It says that nearly 24% off ALL internet users have been active on Google+ sometime in the past month. That is a lot of potential fans!


It’s been a fun ride on Google+ the last few months. I am gaining followers at a steady rate and I am making a few new friends long the way. The whole experience feels like the early days of social media;  it feels like anything is possible. I will admit that many of my followers are children and lots of comments need to be translated to be understood, but If we want people to take toy photography seriously, we should at least introduce people to it first.

And before you jump on me about how this doesn’t really mesh with my previous posts on metrics or on sincerity in art, remember that hope springs eternal! I still believe that you have to get you work out there for anything to happen. Remember that post I wrote about the power of “Yes”?

~ xxSJC

If you decide to become an active member of Google+. let me know and I will follow your collection. You can follow me at xxSJC’s lego photography

We have closed the registration for this years Best of 2015 Photo Book Challenge. Thank you to everyone who has signed up, you are all in like Flynn and I look forward to exchanging books with you!

Watermarked Photo (2015-10-28-1317)
I use Panda Pop as my banner on my Google+ Collection. It is bold and easy to read.


  1. I used to be a more or less active user on Google+ when it opened. But over time I lost interest and when I started to be interested in photography I almost stopped all activity on G+ to focus solely on Flickr. I still think that technically speaking Google+ is superior to both Facebook and Twitter but I have doubts it’s not a wasteland when you compare to them. I am pretty sure there are millions of people using it everyday. But compared to other social websites there is almost no content. (And I won’t mention the multiple concerns I have with the poll you cited.)

    I had a look at this new collection feature. Not only it’s the feature I dreamed about when I was active on G+ but it’s the feature that I still miss on photo sharing websites such as Flickr and Instagram, primarily to be able to sort between what is and what is not toy photography in my feed. (And there is also the “circles” feature I’d like to see on Instagram and Flickr to make the distinction between the mass of toy photographers and those that I love and don’t want to miss anything.)

    While I think the idea is exciting, I am still not really convinced by G+. Searching for “toy photography” in the collections gives only a few results, most of them have been inactive for a few weeks. And worst of all when searching in the posts I only see people I already follow such as you! I don’t know if it is just me that can’t find how to search through all G+ post, or if now it’s only possible to search through the post of people we follow, or if it’s means there is almost nobody active on G+ in the community.

    Anyway because I’m still excited by G+’s collections I’m considering starting to be active again on it. Nevertheless I have difficulties to maintain activity across different social networks and very few motivation if in the end it’s just a waste of time. So I wonder how do you manage multiple social networks? Do you use/know a particular tool/service to centralize all the feeds you follow and/or uploads your pictures?

  2. Im so glad you gave it a second look! All the points you bring up are complete valid. There are not enough of us there yet to make a big enough difference. I have also only found a few people, all of which I connect with on other platforms. But its a start! This is why I want to bring it to everyones attention, G+ deserves second look. My favorite part is that I am connecting with people outside the typical toy photography community. I am not only reaching photographers, I am reaching a completely new audience, many of which are in other countries. What this could eventually mean I have no idea. But it sure beats the ad infested IG , the pay to play reality of FB or the photographers only mentality of Flickr.

    I also have a hard time being active on multiple platforms. I am barely active on twitter, FB and flickr. I invest my time on G+ and IG. IG being the site that takes up most of my time. I don’t take advantage of any tools to post across multiple platforms. I have always felt that if I am going to post there I should be courteous and participate in whatever community there is.

    Its not a very good solution, but it’s what i do. 😀


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