Last week, Google finally launched brand pages for businesses wanting to market on Google+, the company's latest effort in social networking.
In that time, companies and media outlets rushed to lay claim to their space, hoping to increase audience and brand appeal — or to prevent Web squatters from creating fake brand pages in their name. And in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel made news for launching the first mayoral Google+ page.
Along the way, there have been some initial gripes and raves about the rollout, including:
- Integration into Google's search results
- Lack of having multiple admins
- Inability to allow contests or promotions
Here in the City Room, the Web staff has been dutifully tasked with having to populate and curate our fledgling WBEZ plus page. Like all media outlets —or anyone with a computer and an active digital life — these days, it's one of many social media channels that have to be meticulously maintained. See generally, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr and Foursquare to name a few.
In that spirit we take a look at how the big names in Chicago stacked up (if at all). It should be noted, that as of now, the only way to verify if something is "officially" a page is a checkmark next to the name of the page. The authentication/verification process is still a little murky.
An initial look appears to make Chicago a microcosm for Google+ at large, with many of the city's big names holding off, much like the general public, for the time being.
This could mean that organizations have not figured out the labyrinth-like help guide to set up a page — or just don't care. Indeed, on some of the pages created, many organizations have opted to create a page with little more than a logo and a link to their website.
Here's our quick look at who's-doing-what so far:
- Cubs: Modest page with a handful of photos posted. It is winter after all. (verified)
- White Sox: Like the Cubs, populated only with a handful of photos. (verified)
- Blackhawks: There are currently two Chicago Blackhawks pages. (neither verified)
- Fire: No photos or posts. (not verified)
- Bulls: A handful of photos and links were posted, but the about section is curiously blank (not verified)
- Bears: Where are they?! There are only pages for Bears fans and for merchandise.
- Chicago Tribune: Has started posting multiple stories. (not verified)
- Chicago Sun-Times: Has posted several stories and garnered several followers. (not verified)
- Chicagoist: They've reserved a page, but haven't posted links yet. (not verified)
- RedEyeChicago: Has posted a handful of links and filled out its about section. (not verified)
- Gapers Block: Has a pretty robust following and has posted several links already (not verified)
- ABC7, CBS 2, Fox 32, WGN and CLTV are all M.I.A.
- NBC5: Can probably start broadcasts with "the only Chicago TV station on Google +..." (not verified)
- Steppenwolf Theater: M.I.A.
- Goodman Theatre: M.I.A.
- Chicago Theatre: M.I.A.
- Art Institute: M.I.A.
- Chicago History Museum: Has posted several links and a handful of photos. (not verified)
- Museum of Science and Industry: Reserved their page, posted basic information and has posted no links. (not verified)
- Vienna Beef: M.I.A.
- Gonnella Bread: M.I.A.
- Giordano's: M.I.A.
- Gino's East Pizza: Has posted a modest page, complete with QR code.
- Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea: The Chicago-based purveyors of java have a pretty robust page, much like their coffee.
- Boeing: M.I.A.
- Groupon: There are six Groupon pages currently showing in results, neither are verified, and one seems to have been removed.
- McDonalds: Has reserved their space, but is sharing nothing. (verified)
- Walgreens: Has created a clean corporate page, with several promotional links. (not verified)
- United Airlines: M.I.A.
- CME: Has firmly planted their roots in Google +, which has yet to be seen for the state of Illinois. (not verified)
- Motorola Mobility: Has created an attractive page with split photos, but has shared little about its products and news articles. (Not verified)
- Mayor's office: Some snazzy use of Photoshop slices shows Rahm in front of an "L" train; touts various mayoral appearances. (Not verified! Watch out for @MayorEmanuel!)
- Illinois Government/Governor: M.I.A.
- Cook County: M.I.A.
- University of Illinois at Chicago: Has posted a handful of links and barely filled out its info. (not verified)
- University of Chicago: Has not posted links or added photos, but its law and medical schools seem more enthusiastic! (not verified)
- DePaul University: Oddly enough, has a page for its Career and International centers, but not for the school at large. (neither verified)
- Columbia College Chicago: Has posted several links, photos and filled out their about section. (not verified)
- School of the Art Institute of Chicago: Has posted several links, photos and videos (not verified)
- Roosevelt University: Has posted links and scarcely filled out its about section. (not verified)