Evaluating Google+ for Business

Google+ for BusinessA mixed group of local business people and geeks gathered in Kaka’ako last night to discuss Google+, Google’s recent entry into the social networking space. “Think Tank: Google+ For Business”  was held at The Green House at 687 Auahi Street, a recently expanded coworking space and workshop.

The session was led by Lori Lum (@chunlum) and Damian Davila (@idaconcpts) of Anthology Marketing Group, a communication company with offices in Seattle, Honolulu and Guam.

The session covered the differences between personal and business profiles on Google+, setting up a business page with photos and links, website widgets, +1 buttons, possible implications for search and SEO, and Google Direct Connect.

John Garcia (@johngarcia), co-owner and CTO of The Green House, helped lead the group through the process of setting up an example Google+ business page. Local blogger and media maker Doc Rock (@docrock) shared his thoughts on engaging customers on social media and dealing with privacy concerns. I shared my thoughts on Google+ as well, and showed new tools like Daniel Treadwell’s Google+Blog plugin for WordPress.

Google Plus for Business Google Plus for Business

From the discussion, it was clear that Google+ was still young and in flux, stymied by limitations like single-user administration, liabilities like “brand jacking,” and rapid changes in how it would be integrated into other Google properties like YouTube. But the consensus was that businesses should explore Google+ now, and set up a presence sooner rather than later.

Last night’s “think tank” event was the first of many envisioned for The Green House. Garcia noted that the Auahi Street location — next door to Interisland Terminal’s R&D and CHAI Studio — is where The Green House will stay. Although the original plan was to take over a warehouse on Cooke Street, the “pop up” version that sprung up during Nonstop Kakaako uncovered an available, already functional space, and illustrated the benefits of being closer to complementary groups.

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Ryan Ozawa

Ryan Kawailani Ozawa has immersed himself in new technologies and online communities since the days before the web. From running a dial-up BBS in the early '90s to exploring today’s dynamic world of "Web 2.0" and social media, he has long embraced and evangelized the ways in which technology can bring people together.