Google has lost its way. Or maybe it never had a way.
Google+ requires a Google Profile. These are only available to people who have a regular Google account (Gmail). Profiles are NOT available to people who have Google Apps accounts.
My primary email domain, and my preferred account is my email at plein.org. This domain’s email is hosted at Google Apps. But I can’t use that account for Google Plus.
Imagine that you like to read your email via the web interface in the evening after work (Google prefers this method as well). Imagine that you would like to use Google+ and catch up on your circles of friends and acquaintances.
Well, that means you log in and out of each one throughout your evening trying to get to both. It’s annoying, and sometimes you forget if you are in one account or the other.
Nobody was at the helm in Google’s Product Management when they worked this one out folks.
So I’ve been struggling with this. I want to give Google+ a try, and my personal email is tied to Google Apps. It’s been a painful day or two.
But wait, it gets worse
I have two Google Voice accounts. My primary one I use is tied to my non-Google Apps gmail account. Hours after I set that up, I got an invite on my plein.org email address, so I set that one up as a second one, and was lucky enough to be able to set up a contiguous phone number.
Fast forward to this week. Google has been transitioning in more applications into Google Apps. They recently transitioned in Google Voice.
By enabling Google Voice in Google Apps, they wiped out my plein.org Google Voice account, including call history, contacts, and my phone number.
Of course, how does one get support from google? You don’t. You go to their forums, you find other solutions, and maybe, if you are lucky, someone from Google fixes it for you, but they never tell you they did it, they just silently do it. But mostly you ride it out, like when I couldn’t change my Google Profile picture. Every time I removed it, they put it back. I’d change it, and they’d change it back. After several weeks of complaining on their forums, it mysteriously fixed itself.
Google doesn’t really properly product manage anything they roll out. They just act, and do a little QA, and launch it. End users are just eyeballs reading advertising to them, and they really don’t care about people or how people use their tools or if they are inconvenienced by Google’s screw ups. If they launch a new product,and more eyeballs use it, then their accountants are happy. If people stop using it (buzz) they kill it.
Looks like it’s time for me to archive all of my mail off Plein.org and take this sucker “private cloud”, i.e. back to the server in my house.