Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Google Account Goo

I love Google. I hate Google.

Not long ago Google changed Google Apps, the wonderful suite of cloud services that makes it possible for a small organization to have robust group services, like email and contacts, for free. The change was to include all of Google's other nifty services, like Analytics and YouTube, to the list of things you could do with your Google Apps domain. Fantastic!

Not so fast. Quite a while ago we realized that you couldn't transfer an Analytics account (or profile, or anything) from one person to another. So, if as a web designer you created an Analytics profile for a client's web site, you couldn't then transfer the profile over to a client-controlled account later. That sucked. So, the answer was to create a Google Account for the company and start the Analytics profile there from the get-go. If you had a designer flake out on you and delete your profile from their account, along with all your data, well that sucked for you.

Now we have essentially the same problem with the Google accounts created for companies so that they could use Google Analytics, and other services like YouTube. You would think that once Google Apps moved those other fine services they'd figure out some way to allow an organization to merge their old Google personal account with their Google Apps domain, wouldn't you? I mean, who wants to loose all their data when bringing everything under one roof?

Not only that, but --and this was a painful discovery-- if you delete your organization's old account thinking you can free up the user name for your Google Apps account, you're going to be disappointed. Google retires usernames from deleted accounts so they can never be used again. That's a special bummer for organizations that got usernames that match their domain names or brand names.

Google, with all their genius, can't seem to figure out how to get user accounts to do kung fu, or even a half-hearted high kick. Google accounts are a data prison from which you can never escape.

No comments: