It was announced earlier this year that Google is finally shutting down it´s Google+ service. And while this is probably not a susprise to most people i´d like to take a moment to look back at my time with Google+ as it was where i decided to launch a OpenRC Project community group which is to date closing in on 10k members.
3D printing & Google+
When i got into open source 3D printing back in 2011 the 3D printing group on Google+ was THE place for discussions and inspiration. Most of my 3D printing heroes was hanging out in the G+ 3D printing group and were all accessible aswell as engaging in discussions regularly. Ideas were buzzing and new projects where launched all the time. I liked the idea of Google+ and had actually deleted my Facebook account to go all in on Google+ with a plan to convince all my friends to come along with me. Of course that never happend and i returned to Facebook a few years after. For a while though all the cool kids were hanging out at Google+ but after some time slowly started to move to other platforms, Facebook being one of them.
OpenRC on Google+
In 2012 i designed a 3D printable RC Truggy which was released early 2013. While it got lot´s of attention i soon realised i needed a place to gather the growing little community around this project and of course, Google+ was the place to do it. Just like that The OpenRC Project was born.
In the beginning i created a few G+ accounts, asked questions which i then answered myself. After a while others started to ask questions and posting pictures, ideas, mods, answering other users questions etc. After the first few hundred members both the OpenRC project itself aswell as the community really took off! Anyone that have launched a community without having any kind of following on social media knows it can be quite the challenge but i enjoyed every minute of it that´s for sure!
I really would like to extend a huge thank you to all the members engaging in the OpenRC Project on Google+ making it what it is today but especially the ones helping out in the beginning, without them i don´t think that it would have been what it is today. The Google+ group have really been the corner stone of the entire community for so long and is now closing on 10k members which is amazing.
There was a period where i deleted some 1000 fake members but other than that the OpenRC community mostly stayed clear of all the spam that infected other groups on the platform. And while it´s slowly seeing less and less activity it is still very much alive and i highly suggest you browse thru it before it´s gone forever as there alot of great stuff in there for anyone interested in 3D printing and RC.
Eventually i returned to Facebook
Most people probably see Google+ as a big failure on Google´s part and yes, for the most part i have to agree. But at the time i truly belived in the platform and today i still think it could have been great with a different approach from Google. But anyhow, the OpenRC community worked really well for many, many years. After a while it became quite obvious the the majority of my friends wasn´t gonna join me on G+ and i returned to Facebook. I still pop in on G+ from time to time to check on the group though. Now the OpenRC Facebook group have taken over the role as the main place to discuss and collect information alongside this website.
So thank you Google+ for all the memories, it was nice knowing you and i hope you get to rest in peace.
If you are unfamiliar with the OpenRC project i suggest you check out this article over at Hackaday.com about the OpenRC Project.
You can read more about Google shutting down G+ here.