I Need YOUR Help! Taking Suggestions From the Crowd on Community

As you can see, there isn't much of a community here. Sure, you guys comment often, and I appreciate that, but there's no unity. All attempts to force it failed.

For example, there's this embarrassing post. Not only I failed to sustain the discussion question's reach, my first giveaway only had 41 entries. Not 41 people entering, but 41 entries.

But today, I'm not soliciting advice for this blog. Rather, I'm asking about the Google+ community I created, Young Adult Lit and Writing.

Here's the problem.

While there are 320 members, and that member's slowly counting, actual activity is slow and stagnant

Most of it is promotion that often get caught in the spam filter, with little discussion about writing and reading. No one's interested.

The silver lining is that when I considered throwing in the towel and pulling the plug, a few people told me not to. Well, more like two people, one the appointed moderator. One person offered a suggestion to look for a picture (I'll get to it) and another mourned how many communities attracted too much self-promotion.

So now what?

Well, I already have two things to do: find a picture for the community's profile, and consider tightening the rules on promotion.

Beyond that, I don't know.

This is when I ask for help.

Does anyone have any experience building communities like this? Does anyone have any suggestions for increasing interaction? Should I even try?

For the most part, I went into this with the pure motivation of wanting to build a Google+ community from the feature's Day One. At least I didn't have self-promotion in mind, and I avoid considering it my community, but I still need to shift mindset. To what, I'll see.

You now have the mic.

For now, I'm calling an open discussion, sponsored by Problogger's Group Writing Project. Feel free to comment to your content, as long as it's vaguely on topic.

(Well, it's less of a discussion, and more of a loose dialogue. Let's see how this goes. The worst that can happen is that no one comments, and I doubt that will happen.)

What's your experience with community building? Any suggestions on on how to build a Google+ community? 

I don't want this Google+ community to die on me.

To make up for this brief Monday divergence, I'll be putting plenty of effort into next Monday's post. Hopefully.