My Workaround For The Google Apps / Google Plus Conundrum

Unless you are living under the proverbial rock, you are well aware that Google is taking another stab at social networking with Google Plus after what were considered to be abysmal attempts with Wave and Buzz. I’m kind of excited about this as a potential alternative to FaceBook. Above all other things, I just hate FaceBook. LOL. If you are a Google Apps user, as am I, you have also discovered that Google Plus is not yet supported by Google Apps. The reason for this is that Google Apps users are not allowed, at this time at least, to have a Google Profile and profiles are needed to be able to use Google Plus. Considering that I am a paying Google Apps customer, to say that this really chaps my ass would be an understatement.

I have always had a Google Profile and was fortunate enough to receive an invitation to Plus from a friend the day after it was released on a very limited basis. In fact, within one hour of me getting on, the invitation feature was pulled due to the overwhelming response. No problem at least for me (smile). It was a pretty cool day. Not only did I have a coveted Plus account, Google also decided to upgrade the UI on Gmail and Calendars. Life was good until ….

It was maybe 6 months ago that Google was notifying us about some sort of “transition” needed for Google Apps users. At that time, I attempted the transition but was notified that there were certain things about my account that prevented it and that I would be notified later when they were ready. There was mention of a “conflicting account” but a very ambiguous explanation as to what that meant. At any rate, I do have emails with a couple of other companies that use Google apps and was notified the other day that they had transitioned their accounts and were good to go. Hmmm, maybe I should check on the status of mine? The conflict still existed but my dashboard notification told me that they were going to do it for me in a couple of weeks if I did not do it myself so … I started the process.

Groan. What a nightmare! Turns out that many of my services, if not all, were signed up under some sort of “temp” account attached to my Apps account. What does that mean? I still signed into everything using the same email address and password? Still, I pressed ahead and activated the transition routine and was informed that my mail, calendar, YouTube, analytics, and maybe a couple of other accounts had been moved successfully. It also told me that something like 16 services COULD NOT BE MOVED. What!!!?? I panicked and went to Google’s help center. Now, if you have ever tried to navigate Google Help, don’t. I called tech support and a person answered who knew absolutely nothing other than to create a case. Back to the Google Help Center.

I did finally manage to get everything working and that took me many hours. I was particularly unhappy that while I was able to export the subscriptions on my Google Reader, I was unable to export the articles I had collected including my shared articles. I did discover that they are still there under my former “temp” email I.D. and that I can still access those through account switching. Guess what else is still under my “temp” account? That’s right, my Google Profile. It turns out that my Google Reader is now the portal to my Google Plus. I tried what I am about to share with you while I was in email, calendar, and at my iGoogle page but without success. I’m pretty sure that cookies are the problem.Please keep in mind that I already had an existing profile set up under my temp persona and a Plus account set up under that same persona. You may need to set up a standard Gmail account and associate a Reader with that. This is merely what worked for me and you may have other issues/needs and better solutions!

  • Open up your Google Reader account. In the upper right hand you will see your email address. Hit the drop down arrow and choose “switch account” and then select the secondary account that is associated with your profile and your Google Plus account. Look in the upper left corner of this sheet and note the farthest left tab, Mail.

After switching your account, a new tab shows up in the upper left with your name as the tab. This is your Google Plus account.

When you click on this tab, it will create a new tab in your browser. ..

Why does this work? I really don’t know and I really don’t care (smile). I suspect that there is some sort of directdisconnect between my reader and my other accounts. I was surprised a bit to find out that my other programs do operate correctly under my default account and not under the temp account. This includes my Reader. In effect, I have two different accounts open at the same time in the same browser and my understanding is that is not something that you should normally be able to do. Mind you, you should be able to log out of your Apps account and log into a standard Google account but, I don’t want to have to do that.

Now then, there is a larger question. Google has indicated that it will “soon” offer profiles for Apps customers. Of course, they also said that about Buzz and that never happened. I also read about some talk of a “business profile” for Apps users. Here’s the rub. Will I be able to transfer my existing profile and Plus account when that happens or will I have to create entirely new accounts? The profile wouldn’t be that difficult but, if I have spent a ton of time on Google Plus building connections and circles, that’s gonna’ suck. My guess is that it’s going to be the latter which is why I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time on Plus until I am assured otherwise.

Thanks for visting and please visit Craig’s blog for Social Business


P.S. If you attempt to activate the “+1″ button on a website, that will not work. Bummer, dude.

P.P.S. This article is a repost of one I did the other day. It was lost due to problems with updating another site to WordPress 3.2. Don’t ask. LOL. It’s a good thing that I look at computer catastrophes as learning experiences because I sure am getting smart (smile).




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