Google+ Business Pages, Because You Can

Been meaning to hit this topic for a few weeks now and finally getting around to it. About a month or so ago, Google opened up Google+ to business pages. Now, you can create a page for your business, or any interest really, with a few quick, easy clicks. I made mine in, oh, about 2 to 3 minutes, tops.

Make sure you have a Gmail account. Got one? Good. Now head on over to http://plus.google.com/pages/create and select the option to create a page. You will then be guided through the process by a set-up wizard. First, classify your type of business and, if you can’t figure it out, you do have an “other” option. It will then ask you for some information, such as the name of the page, the URL for your business, the category of the business and the appropriate audience for your page.

Come up with a tagline and image for the page’s public profile and your page is created. There is a nifty photo editor for your profile pic, so you can get the image just right.

Start filling your page with good content, much like you would with a Facebook business page.

You will be given an option via drop down arrow over on the left side near the profile pic to select whether you are acting as yourself the individual or yourself the business page on Google+, again, much like your Facebook business page. Except I found the entire process easier and far more intuitive than the process of setting up the Facebook page. So there’s that.

There have been some complaints about Google+ business pages and the obvious comparison to Facebook’s offering (hit the link here for a decent point by point). But I don’t think it is a fair comparison at all. Facebook pages, originally fan pages (remember when you would ask someone to “fan” you?) have been around for four+ years. Google’s business pages have been out for a few weeks. One of the complaints – the inability to have more than one page administrator – is apparently in the process of being addressed as you read this. I rather like the slick looks of the Google+ page and its functionality and I see absolutely NO reason at all not to create one for your business or promotional interests. Even if you don’t devote a large segment of your time to it at this stage of your game, you can reserve your spot and start testing the waters. That way, your business base on Google+  is there when you need it and, as I suspect, + pages  will only get better.

So, why not? Because you can, of course. Check out AdvantageAdvocate’s page right here. And here is a G+ page to find all G+ pages, if you’re interested. Add them to a circle to follow updates and interact, just as you would on Facebook.

Lesson Learned: Part II

More lessons: a few months ago, I was brought into a lawsuit alleging defamation based on a blog post I wrote about another attorney’s mishaps during a murder trial. A few weeks ago, after a lot of soul searching, I published another post about the attorney with my thoughts about my own part in it and aspects of the matter that bothered me.

I have a few more thoughts.

Initially, the part that bothered me most was that the attorney, Joseph Rakofsky, was said to have committed his errors, was skewered across the blogosphere and in mainstream publications (I was one of those doing the skewering), filed his lawsuit claiming defamation, and then was subject to even more ridicule for availing himself of legal process. My sense is that Rakofsky engaged in the course of action dictated by our legal system. Won’t the court decide if there is merit to his points? Why should any complain if they are brought into court? Sure it causes aggravation, but if legal harm has been committed, it will be sussed out. So will innocence, or non-liability in the case of a civil matter. End of story.

There is something new that bothers me – the nastiness continues, settling defendants are mocked, and attorneys that have spoken out against the majority  have taken a beating. I really don’t understand this. Freedom of speech, sure, but the ill will across the Internet seems excessive, and the fact that sympathetic attorneys and settling defendants are falling under the knife is even more disturbing. Why is this happening?

Maybe the Internet is a magnification of the behavior often seen on the playground. Do we need new limits or rules of engagement on the Web to keep the level of discourse on the up and up?  Maybe it’s time to self-police.

There is no legal edict against public criticism, other than the limitations imposed by the limits of civil and criminal liability.  But there may be other limits absent in the post-lawsuit discourse, including concern for another person’s livelihood, deference to our legal process, common sense about when to leave well enough alone. Could there be any positive motive behind this? Should we be concerned about the chilling effect on the speech of those who may feel differently? I know of spectators that have opinions different from those expressed by the most vocal, but they aren’t talking. Why? Are they cowards or just protecting their interests and exercising common sense?

At this point, the matter seems more about tearing things down rather than building things up. And I fail to see the point of that. Protecting First Amendment rights by calling people names? Really?