A small group of soon-to-be-former members of Newsvine have gathered on Google+ as a means of staying in contact with each other and continuing to share and discuss items of interest. After a little exploring, we have found that Google+ offers the same types of features available on Newsvine and much, much more. As a public service to the Newsvine community, the group has agreed among themselves to set up something similar and provide access to everyone on Newsvine.
A Google+ community named Dyingvine Refugees has been set up as a clearinghouse to make information available to Newsvine expatriates. Please, do not post comments in this community unless the information would be of interest to the entire community. Dyingvine Refugees is open membership, no approval required. On the left side of the page is a Join button. Clicking on the button will open a login screen. More details on that below. Here is a link to the Dyingvine Refugees community:
An open forum community, named Squawker Box, has been created for sharing and discussing anything. Anyone can join, no approval needed, no one is blocked. Squawker Box is intended as a place to explore the new digs and maintain contact with other Viners. Keep in mind that Squawker Box is self moderated. Please, mind your manners, there be dragons here. The link to the Squawker Box community:
A few Newsvine Nations have been recreated as communities on Google+ as a test of what is possible. If there is interest in keeping those nations going, links to the communities can be found on Dyingvine Refugees. Any Newsvine expatriate can recreate a Newsvine Nation as a community or create an entirely new community and post a link onto the Dyingvine Refugees page. As a courtesy, please, obtain permission from either the founder or Admins of the Newsvine Nation before creating the Google+ community.
Joining any of these Google+ communities does require a Google account. Real names are not a requirement, Newsvine handles can be used to create an account. However, it may require some trial and error to find a combination that will be accepted. User names are restricted to use of letters, numbers, and a period. Special characters are not allowed.
Creating the Google account also creates an email account and Google will offer suggestions for email names by clicking on any red warnings that appear. Logging onto Google uses the gmail email address and password, be sure to record this information.
Joining a community will automatically create a Google+ profile page. Avatars can be used as an identifier as on Newsvine, so it is possible to keep a Newsvine avatar. The Home page provides tracking, similar to the Newsvine Tracker (yes, it looks completely different). On the left of the page is a pop out menu that provides navigation and access to features, profile settings and account settings.
Security and privacy settings for the Google account, which includes Google+, are available on the My Account page. Clicking on the avatar circle on the upper right of the page provides access to My Account. There are two tools on the My Account page that are recommended, Security Checkup and Privacy Checkup. Both checkup tools walk through the various settings that are available. The settings can be changed individually at any time but the security tools provide an easy means to go through the list. The security tool asks for a phone number to link to the account but that is not a requirement. I have left that blank and skipped it. The recovery email should be different than the gmail account that is created. The recovery email address is used to obtain lost passwords and provide security warnings for suspicious activity.
The Privacy Tool sets what is shown on the Google+ profile page. For now, I would recommend checking ‘Don’t feature my publicly shared photos…’; the unchecked default gives Google permission to use photos for their product marketing. The next Privacy page is to personalize the Google experience. For now I would recommend disabling everything; the settings can be altered later as desired. The final Privacy page is about personalizing advertising. I did not bother to change that. Advertising on Google is not nearly as annoying as on Newsvine.
After setting security and privacy for the account, the other settings for sharing and notifications are found in Google+. Google+ security is based on friend’s lists, called Circles. On the left side of the Google+ home page is a popout menu. Clicking on Settings, near the bottom of the list, opens a page to set notifications and sharing. For now, it is suggested that sharing and notifications be set for Extended Circles (not Public). The notifications default to a high volume of information being shared. I suggest leaving these at default for now to see what is provided. These settings can be changed anytime.
Clicking on Profile in the Google+ menu opens the profile page. The profile page allows editing avatars, screen names, and visibility. The Google+ menu includes Help at the very bottom of the list. The Help Center is the goto source of information on functions and settings.
Finally a brief word from our sponsor. Google+ is a generic social media platform that allows users to create topical communities, similar to Newsvine. However, no one from Google is going to hold hands or change diapers. The user communities are responsible for moderating their own behavior.
Google provides a wide variety of tools, services, and features; far more than what is available on Newsvine. There is a Google News agglomerator that can be tailored to individual interests and allows posting to communities and friend’s lists. Google Photo provides a means to organize photos, create collections, and share with communities and friend’s lists. There is too much information to include here. Some links to a portion of what is available has been seeded onto the Squawker Box page.
Newsvine is a social media platform that has been targeted toward a specific interest. That targeted special interest dictates what is available on Newsvine. Google+ is a social media platform that provides the same functions as on Newsvine; all social media basically works the same way. However, Google+ is a generic platform that attempts to accommodate a broad range of user interests. The users bring their own interests to Google+ and either create or join communities with similar interests. Google+ is not as limiting as Newsvine.
Recreating Newsvine on Google+ is certainly possible, the same types of functions are available. What has been set up is loosely based on the Newsvine model. But there is no obligation to remain limited to the Newsvine model. The community on Newsvine, as a group, has more value remaining together as a group.. The idea is to provide people a safe place to go and maintain contact while deciding if some other venue might be attractive. The community that has been set up is as temporary or as permanent as those who join wish it to be. There are no obligations to join or stay.
Keep in mind that what is being offered is not a competition. There are no restrictions on what can be posted. For those wishing to promote and discuss other venues, that is quite possible. As an example, it is possible to use Google+ Events and Google Hangouts to schedule a video conference event, send invites to the Google+ communities, share the computer screen in Google Hangouts, demonstrate how to use another site, and interactively ask and answer questions during the conference. There is no need to download and install anything or create another account elsewhere. Accomplishing that only requires a few clicks because everyone is together on Google+ and access to all the Google services are integrated into a single account.
Our small group of soon-to-be-former members of Newsvine explored Google+, smelled the new paint and carpet, saw a possibility, and decided to share. Our little group is not getting anything out of this except the chance to remain in contact with others of the Newsvine community. The only thing that is being offered is an opportunity to move forward as a group.
ADDITIONAL EDIT -- Based on a few comments, addition information has been added.
I am not aware of all the venues being considered. As an example, it is possible to create a Newstalkers interest community or a Minds.com interest community and post links to those interest groups onto dyingvine refugees. Google+ provides some powerful tools that allows exploring other possibilities. The idea is not to save Newsvine. The idea is to overcome the limitations of Newsvine.
ADDITIONAL ADDITIONAL EDIT -- A question was raised about security and privacy. Google+ has placed those controls at the user level, not at the administrator level. The user controls how visible they are. Google+ includes an ignore function, very much like ignore on Newsvine. Google+ provides an additional level for blocking. A block will make a user invisible to whomever is blocked. The details of ignoring and blocking are provided in Google+ help.