@newsfromtengrrl for 2011-08-01

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Companies Are Breaking the Rules on Google+

Break the Rules...Who Knows Where It Will Lead?This afternoon, Jeff Naslund posted a list of news companies that have added a presence on Google+. Everyone is getting on board. From NPR to Al Jazeera, everyone has created a Google+ profile.

Now setting up a profile for a company had occurred to me before I saw this list of news companies. I confess that as soon as the red invite envelope showed up on my Google+ page, I sent invites to myself for the two clients I do social networking for, ReadWriteThink and Bedford Bits.

Before I set up either profile, however, I found an article that said I shouldn’t proceed. The LA Times reported that Google asks businesses to stay out of Google+ – for now. The article explains that Google+ is for individuals only. Businesses, schools, clubs, non-profits, and everyone will use a business version of Google+ that will connect to Google products like Analytics and AdWords. The original post on the Google+ blog is coming up 404 as I write, but Christian Oestlien, who wrote the post, also recorded a video explaining the request for businesses to stay out of Google+:

So following the instructions, I filled out Google’s online form for beta testers. I was particularly persuaded by the last note in the LA Times article. Oestlien stated, “We just ask for your patience while we build it. In the meantime, we are discouraging businesses from using regular profiles to connect with Google+ users. Our policy team will actively work with profile owners to shut down non-user profiles” (emphasis mine).

I resolved to wait. After all, one interview suggested that the business profiles may be available in just a few weeks, though the video suggests, less optimistically, “later” this year.

This afternoon, however, I found that dozens of companies have ignored Google’s request and set up profiles anyway. Even companies like PC Magazine that reported the request for businesses to stay out of Google+ have set up a profile on Google+ anyway. Is Google likely to delete companies like NPR, Al Jazeera, and PC Magazine? Probably not. If non-user profiles are shut down, I suspect they’ll be small businesses and non-profits that don’t have the clout or ability to fight back.

This all looks like another case where following the rules and doing as you were asked means you’re left out. What’s the best wisdom here for smaller groups and companies that don’t have the firepower of those bigger companies? Do we add ourselves and risk deletion? Will the power of companies adding themselves overcome Google’s policy? I wish I knew the answers.


[Photo: Break the Rules…Who Knows Where It Will Lead? by BrentDPayne, on Flickr]