Monday, October 21, 2013

Why I killed The Crime Analyst's Blog Google+ Page

In August I moved The Crime Analyst's Blog from Blogger over to a Google+ Page. I blogged over there for August and September. I have been using Blogger for the blog since I started it in 2009. I wanted a change and decided to experiment with using Google+ as a blogging platform.

Part of the reason I decided to use a Google+ Page for this instead of my Google+ profile was that while there are scheduling tools out there that will let you schedule posts for Google+, they only work with Pages and not profiles.

This lead to me having a somewhat fragmented presence on Google+. I would have to post in two places as well as deal with separate groups of followers. This got a bit tedious after a bit so I decided to consolidate my Google+ presence by killing The Crime Analyst's Blog Page and pointing everything over to my personal Google+ profile.

I also decided to move my long form blogging back over to Blogger and then use Google+ to tie that with shorter form link sharing and commenting.

This gets me down to these outlets:

The Crime Analyst's Blog for my professional blogging

ScottDickson.net for my personal blog

Twitter and Google+ to tie them all together and for shorter posts.

Clear as mud right?

While I am at it, let me share a couple of things I've learned in the two months I blogged exclusively on Google+.

One, Google+ has some real potential. In the two months I blogged on Google+ exclusively, my followers jumped from about 500 to about 6,500. I was talking with my teen daughter about it recently and she said that means I'm "Internet famous".

But seriously, that's a heck of a lot of followers in a short period of time. Yes, it helps to put in a lot of effort and some good content but still, 6,000 additional followers in two months?!

If Google is serious about promoting Pages for business, they have to make it easier to switch between a personal profile and a Page in their iOS app. Right now to switch you have to log out, then log back in. Really, Google? You can't do better than this?

While they are at it, how about introducing a way to schedule posts on personal profiles or at least open up an API so Buffer or some other developer can do it? Tools like Buffer or Hootsuite are important for people who manage professional social media outlets.

I also think the ability to format posts could be improved. Right now you can bold, underline or strikeout text in a Google+ post. But you can't do things that you can do on other blogging platforms such as block quotes, headlines, etc. Google+ adding support for a full range of HTML formatting using Markdown would be epic!

I want to thank you for your patience with all the blog changes in the past couple of months. I think I'm about done for now, I promise.

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