Yesterday, Google finally made Google+ Pages available to the masses. I immediately logged in and started creating pages for all the web properties I own, and I’ll tell you why I decided to spend an afternoon clicking and linking on Google+.
What I love about Google+ Pages is that they become a part of your main Google+ profile. You can click a drop-down menu and go to any the the pages you’ve created to easily, and seamlessly, update the streams. You can see I currently have 20 pages, and that is not enough!
Google cut me off twice. First, when I reached five pages. I had to “re-identify” myself via a Google SMS message or a phone call. I chose the phone call, and a Google automaton called and gave me a long sequence of numbers I had to type into my web browser to continue to add pages to my account.
The second cutoff came when I reached 20 pages. That was a permanent disabling of creation. See that nasty little red note in the upper right corner of the screenshot below? I can’t get rid of it. It just sits there and stares at me like a sequence of angry, red, boils.
Here’s a closer look at the dunning notice that really ticked me off for the rest of the day. On blogger I can create as many blogs as I wish — but in Google+ Pages I can only have 20 pages? What rotterrot! How very Facebook of them!
Updating Google+ Pages is easy. I like the clean interface.
When people add you to circles, and when they +1 your pages and updates, you get a notification in the ugly, proprietary, content-hiding, Google+ toolbar:
Also yesterday, WordPress.com strangely added their version of the Google+ notification counter to their proprietary and ugly black bar that mars our browser by taking up precious view space.
Strangely enough, WordPress.com even admitted their copying of the Google+ notifications meme in a blog post published yesterday:
If you’re a fan of Google+, as we are, a lot of this will be familiar as many parts were inspired by Google’s toolbar, and a bit by Facebook’s new real-time stream.
Now I’ll tell you why I believe Google+ Pages are the replacement for Tumblr and Blogger and even WordPress.com: +Pages are a publication platform that promises enormous reach and ease of use for many publishers seeking a simple and free and professional way to present their opportunities in circles of their choosing and in streams they can infinitely refine and re-define.
Is blogging dead as we know it? It seems to be. We’re set firmly in the Redacted Age where less is never more, but we pretend it is, and so Facebook updates and Twitter streams and Tumblr photoblogs become the new definition of “content creation” where immediacy tries to trump real writing.
+Pages give the old guard a bit of hope in that we can still publish new and important work without having to worry about social network limits on characters or shortened attention spans. We can directly enrich the publication experience with hangouts and large images and as much text as we choose to create. +Pages features will only grow. We’re only just cranking up with Google+ and let’s hope it isn’t another iteration of Google Wave. I fully expect Blogger to be folded into Google+ Pages.
The first thing that will have to change in +Pages publication is the hosting of real domain names for +Pages. You just can’t have an ugly URL like this —
Other problems are lack of RSS, no way to important pre-existing content, lack of local search, export and the freaking silly 20 page limit.
Pluses I see for +Pages include an easier way to publish thick content more quickly. You link it, you can see it. You don’t really have to code. You just click and pinch and you’re set. Branding is easier and more invisible. You have a unified, and sophisticated, publishing platform working for you behind the scenes that is waiting to promote what you write on their own proprietary search engine. Instead of hoping Google will find you, you’re powering the Google results yourself.
I’m not yet planning on moving my traditional websites or blogs to Google+ Pages, but I do think that possibility will become much more tempting in the future as the niche matures and the product features improve and that’s why I’m glad I spent the afternoon yesterday prepping my publication table.