UPDATED: Google FAIL. My take on Google + project and other social disasters from Google.

So, I heard all the buzz -pun fully intended- about Google's new social platform site Google + https://plus.google.com. First of all, where's my invite?! Second, why on earth am I getting a 404 error when I attempt to follow the project by clicking on the "Keep me posted" button?!  Seriously, if Google can't serve up the "Keep me posted" page, why on earth do I think they'll invest in this new toy, erm, social site? We all saw what happened with Google Buzz (yawn) and now this odd attempt at launching a new site. I am also surprised at the lack of news and information about the site. It fails to connect with me at this point. Curious what the experience will be, that is if I can ever secure a login. ;)

So, instead of experiencing the new Google + site, I only see this (#FAIL):

[caption id="attachment_1003" align="aligncenter" width="550" caption="Keep me posted ?!"][/caption]

I am seriously a skeptic when it comes to Google and social. It's just not in their DNA. Afterall, remember, this is a company that spends countless hours on shaving off milliseconds from server load times. Think about that for a second... that's engineering, NOT social social user interaction or design folks.

Don't even get me started on the concept of Google and "community."  That just doesn't exist. And therein lies the core of the problem. Google can't engineer its way out of this social conundrum.

This is yet another lame attempt by the search engine to grab a space in the social realm, because it knows the web is shrinking. They could hope to expand their reach, but it's too late for that. In 3 years, Google will be a tumbleweed of a brand, unless they can place their bots inside the social realm, which is quickly carving up the web as we know it. And that... is a whole other blog post!! More to come...

Disclaimer: I have not yet had the opportunity to evaluate Google + https://plus.google.com. I will try out the Google + tour link. Not sure my opinion would change much, but I could be swayed if I saw something innovative from Google; not getting my hopes up though.

Love to know your thoughts, reactions, debates and arguments on this topic. If you were Google, what would you do? Jarvis, anyone?

UPDATE: Remarkably, I now have access to the "Keep me posted" form (screenshot below). So, I've now completed that step and am waiting for the official invite to arrive.

After completing the form, you'll be presented with the option to learn more and take the tour I referenced above.


Around 12 midnight, I downloaded the Android Google+ app to give it a shot. And lucky me, my login worked and I now have access to Google + which is really different. Google + looks terrific on my Dell Streak 5" tablet running Android 2.2.

I am still poking around and learning all the features (it's not a simple 1-2 layer deep app). There are numerous features and deep integration with Google products, which is a welcome change.

So, now I must confess, I was too hasty with my initial opinion and this blog post. Kudos to Scott Monty who first got me thinking I was being unfair, and he was right.

I just posted this on Google + here

"Just added a Google +1 button to my WordPress blog to show my support!

I have to admit, I was too hasty with my initial blog post (apologies for that). I will be sharing my updated views which are very supportive and positive... nice job Google!!

So many features, so little time!"

I will do a follow up post with more information. In the meanwhile, be sure to read Louis Gray's blog post which covers many of the features

40 must-have Google Chrome Browser Power Extensions

Earlier today, I was inspired by Tris Hussey to provide a comprehensive list of Google Chrome "power extensions."  So, here is my exhaustive list of forty "must have" Extensions for the Google Chrome browser.  But first, to get started you'll need to download the Dev version of Chrome (it works great on my new Windows 7 PC laptop).  Mac users can get the mac Dev version here.   Google Chrome is by far the best performing browser ever released to the web.  It will liberate you from the frustration so common with other browsers.

There are hundreds of Google's extensions, so if you're looking for something not on my list, then go here and search for it!  Please do let me know if have any feedback to share.  Feel free to recommend different extensions, or perhaps you know of a better version, than I have listed here:

AdBlock Aviary Screen Capture Better Gmail

Facebook for Google Chrome


FriendFeed OpenID AutoFill

Docs PDF/PowerPoint Viewer (by Google) FlashBlock Fittr Flickr Google Apps Shortcuts

Google Tasks

Google Voice Notifier (by Google)

Ok, phew you installed all these great extensions!  Ok, now go tweak the "Options" for each extension here --> chrome://extensions/ You can also disable or uninstall extensions.  (I had to disable the "Cool Iris" one as it was crashing too much).

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Official Google Mobile Blog: New Google News for mobile

New Google News for mobile

Thursday, November 19, 2009 11:50 AM

At Google, we are committed to giving you a consistent user experience across products and devices, and we really value the feedback you've given us about Google News for mobile. Today we're excited to announce a completely new Google News offering for iPhone, Android, and Palm Pre users. (We already offer a mobile-optimized version of Google News for other phones, such as Blackberry, Windows Mobile, and S60, and more improvements will be coming to those in the near future)

This new version provides the same richness and personalization on your phone as Google News provides on desktop. Our new homepage displays more stories, sources, and images while keeping a familiar look and feel. Also, you can now reach your favorite sections, discover new ones, find articles and play videos in fewer clicks. If you are an existing Google News reader on desktop, you will find that all of your personalizations are honored in this mobile version too.

Google News for mobile is now available in 29 languages and 70 editions.

So pick up your mobile phone and point your browser to http://news.google.com to catch up on news anytime and anywhere. Feel free to check out more information or leave feedback in our Help Center.

Ankit "Chunky" Gupta and Alok Goel, Mobile News Team

Posted via web from Susan Beebe's posterous

Google Chrome OS - Demo video from today's webcast + my "live" tweets

Here's the demo of the Google Chrome OS that was shown today during Google's webcast- Open Source project announcement

My tweets from today's webcast re Google Chrome OS: - live meeting / briefing - as of today code will be fully OPEN SOURCE

- launched 14 months ago - Goal modern browser to handle RIA (Rich Internet Applications)

- over 40 million users (currently)

- Browser core focus: Speed, Simplicity and Security.

- over 20 updates (seemless transparent process). Pushing HTML 5

- 3 more items 2009: Chrome for Mac and Linux will be ready;  Extensions - making easier to write

- The source code for @Google's Chromium OS is live: http://src.chromium.org "full release not expected for year" ~ @dannysullivan

- HMTL 5: Games, graphics, video, theads, notifications, real time communications and local storage

- 100s of millions of users are living in the browser / cloud. Trend is clear, everything in future will be in web tier.

- watching cold reboot - only 7 seconds! 3 seconds to log into apps

- will have "Application Tabs" - permanent sticky tabs - always ON mode

- will introduce "Panels" - application feature set - very nice

- "All View Mode" - simple UI - see all open tabs in 1 view

- does not have a proprietary app framework - any web will work in Chrome OS. MS launched "killer" Chrome app :) LOL

- pimping Droid camera - plugging into Chrome OS machine - detects camera, etc. Hello @arrington @stevegillmor @dannysullivan:)

- Matt Papkipos, Engineering Director - Runs Chrome OS Engineering team. Code open + design documents

- Boot sequence: Firmware / BIOS (Solid State storage) > Standard Kernel > Services > Start Apps > Browser (simplified boot!)

- RT @jeroendemiranda: @susanbeebe great comment stream of yours, thanks! << Thanks!! :) Great stuff Google Chrome OS Team is demo'ing today!

- cryptographic signature keys to ensure chrome loads up securely / device recognition

- cryptographic signature keys guard against Malware on boot - reimages / self-healing OS

- saves cached data - no data loss on failure - wow....nice!

- Security model for the "internet age" - The OS does NOT trust any app; all apps are web apps - better security profile

- "Security Sandboxing" - new technique to secure web apps (Chroot, Namespaces, toolchain, stack protection) FileSys locked

- File System - locked; ReadOnly root partition; user data encryption; user data synced to the cloud - fabulous design

- Data Safety is a core value of Google - THANK YOU ... I hate bad guys too

- RT @atul: Official Google Blog: Releasing the Chromium OS open source project tip @techmeme http://tr.im/Fjhm

- User data is cached - only as an accelerator function, not stored locally - in cloud; if device stolen, data secure!

- supports only solid state hard drives HDD; limited wifi components; key aspects of OS device design

- you will have to BUY an OS device - at Christmas 2010

- RT @sarahintampa: Whaaaa? You cannot download and install Chrome on any machine. You will have to buy a new netbook. << Same reaction I had

- calling all Devs - grab a netbook and your screwdriver and you can get a Chrome OS instance running LOL

- YouTube demo video - is this produced by @CommonCraft? really good

- Application Store? Working hard at helping people 'discover' apps.

- Device Goal = "to be a delightful experience for you on the web" [think Netbook, not full blown laptop]

- Yes, everything that works on Chrome will work in the OS, includes codex. Hardware acceleration - working on this

- Demo video from today’s webcast | Susan Beebe's Blog http://bit.ly/12fQ0N

- RT @Scobleizer @gruber the questions at the Chrome OS are lame. Agreed

- RT @mattcutts: I'm still live-blogging the #ChromeOS open-source launch on my blog: http://bit.ly/1obfC2 << COOL

Also, Google Chrome OS will be fully dependent on an internet connection.  So your Chrome OS device (think netbook) will be a useless brick without internet access!   No Wi-Fi = no fun!

Be sure to see these blogs that also captured today's Google Chrome OS webcast. These guys really did a great job of covering today's Google announcements.

1. Matt Cutt's blog post here 2. Danny Sullivan here 3. TechCrunch here 4. ReadWriteWeb here 5. Engadget here 6. Techmeme coverage here

Of course, do read Google's Official Blog announcement - Releasing the Chromium OS open source project

Google Wave Overview - Do you know what a #GoogleWave, Wavelet and a Blip are? Go Learn now... #fb

Google Wave Entities

A wave is a threaded conversation, consisting of one or more participants (which may include both human participants and robots). The wave is a dynamic entity which contains state and stores historical information. A wave is a living thing, with participants communicating and modifying the wave in real time. A wave serves as a container for one or more wavelets defined below.

A wavelet is a threaded conversation that is spawned from a wave (including the initial conversation). Wavelets serve as the container for one or more messages, known as blips. The wavelet is the basic unit of access control for data in the wave. All participants on a wavelet have full read/write access to all of the content within the wavelet. As well, all events that occur within the Google Wave APIs operate on wavelet level or lower.

When you spawn a wavelet from within a wave, you do not inherit any access permissions from the parent wavelet. During the lifetime of a wave, you may spawn private conversations, which become separate wavelets, but are bundled together within the same "wave." Since events occur at the wavelet level or below, the context of an event is restricted to a single wavelet. A wavelet may be created and managed with a robot as its only participant. This allows the robot to use the wavelet effectively as a private data document. These data documents are never rendered/revealed to the user and may contain structured or unstructured data about the wavelet.

A blip is the basic unit of conversation and consists of a single messages which appears on a wavelet. Blips may either be drafts or published (by clicking "Done" within the Wave client). Blips manage their content through their document, defined below. Blips may also contain other blips as children, forming a blip hierarchy. Each wavelet always consists of at least one root blip.

A document is the content attached to a blip. This document consists of XML which can be retrieved, modified or added by the API. Generally, you manage the document through convenience methods rather than through direct manipulation of the XML data structure.

Posted via web from Susan Beebe's posterous

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Sources: Google OS lives (and it's coming to a netbook near you) - Ars Technica

via arstechnica.com

Two separate sources—one inside the company and one outside it—have confirmed to Ars tonight that Google plans to launch an operating system built in some fashion around its new web browser, Chrome. One source says that the new OS will be launched soon, perhaps as early as tomorrow.

Tentatively called "Google Chrome OS," the project appears targeted at netbooks, the tiny portable computers typically used only for such light tasks as web browsing and e-mail. Chrome, of course, isn't an operating system, but a quick-booting OS built around a single application like Chrome would be a natural fit for a netbook.

With such an OS, Google could obviously make it extra easy for users to access the full range of Google cloud applications through the browser—Google Docs, Gmail, Google Maps, etc. Beyond the bare outlines, we have little solid information at this point, though the idea of a Google OS isn't some novelty; in fact, it's been aired publicly for years.
Speculation that Chrome itself could be used as a standalone operating system has been floating around ever since Chrome's launch, but those ideas are based on some fundamental misconceptions about how multiprocess browsing works. The fact that Chrome uses multiple processes does not make it an operating system itself. Ars has contacted Google for official comment on Google Chrome OS, but has yet to receive a response.
Read the entire story on the website of the folks who broke this story: arstechnica.com

Posted via web from susanbeebe's posterous

Social Web Blog: Introducing the ClackPoint gadget

Google - Social Web Blog: Introducing the ClackPoint gadget

[Google Friend Connect users ....] Now that you've added Google Friend Connect to your site and are using some of the great gadgets to develop your community, have you wanted more direct communication with and between community members? Well, ClackPoint gives you exactly this by mixing text chat, conference calling and a dash of document sharing, and presenting it as a gadget for Friend Connect.

The ClackPoint gadget doesn't just let your users chat live in a text-based chat room, it also lets them dial in and talk either directly from their computer or, if they prefer, by phone. Status icons in the gadget mean that users can see who is dialed in and who is talking, and can poke or mute themselves or each other.

In addition to supporting live text and audio chat, ClackPoint also provides collaboration features, including a shared notepad allowing multiple users to edit simultaneously, and slide sharing for those times when your community needs to present and discuss written information.

We think that integrating online collaboration with Friend Connect makes a lot of sense. Friend Connect is already a great way to extend a website with social features to build a community, and the heart of any community is how it communicates and interacts with itself and others. Bringing live text, voice and document sharing into a website keeps users on that site and strengthens the community built around it.

Developing a gadget for Friend Connect was a great experience. Friend Connect's use of OpenSocial meant we could target multiple social networks with one code base, greatly accelerating our development.

via googlesocialweb.blogspot.com

Wow, this is awesome!

Posted via web from susanbeebe's posterous

The Mindjet Blog » Visualize Google Search Results in a Mind Map

The Mindjet Blog » Visualize Google Search Results in a Mind Map.

Visualize Google Search Results in a Mind Map

Technorati Tag(s): , , , , — May 13, 2009 @ 7:20 am

The Google Wonder Wheel

Yesterday, our CEO sent me an article from Lifehacker that announced a new Google experiment, the Google Wonder Wheel. The experiment didn’t actually work on my desktop but the video on YouTube demonstrated the capabilities. It’s just like a mind map that allows you to drill down into deeper search results. The future is getting cooler, right?

Using the wonder wheel made me wonder about MindManager. I realized that we can already do this type of visual searching inside MindManager 8 already. Let me show you how it’s done.

Use Google Search Results Inside of MindManager

While the Google Wheel simply lets you search visually, MindManager lets you use your search results in your work! Here are a few ways that you could leverage this feature today:

  • Build a better business plan
  • Update your strategy for our tough economic climate
  • Track your competition
  • Research for a report
  • Prepare a presentation
  • And more…

Here’s a look at how fast and easy you could start using search results in your map. Start with any map that you’re working on.

Select the topic that you want to search and then use the Google Search map part to perform your search. You can also specify how many results you would like to appear within the map.

MindManager performs the Google Search and returns the results in your map.

Next to each of the results is a summary text note which describes the web page and a hyperlink to the web page. When you click on any of the hyperlinks, you can open up the page inside of MindManager where you can simply cut and paste relevant content into the map that you are working on.

Once you have the search results in your map, there are all sorts of ways that you can leverage them. Here are a few ideas:

  • Drag, drop and reorganize the results into your map
  • Copy and paste content from within the pages into your map
  • Update the text notes with your own comments
  • Use icons and tags to categorize the results
  • Filter the results to display subsets based on your criteria
  • Transform the links into tasks, assigning resources, due dates and % complete

What do you think about the Google Wonder Wheel and mapping out your search results?

About the Author: Michael Deutch is Mindjet’s Chief Evangelist, content contributor for the Mindjet Blog and the Mindjet Connections newsletter. Get more from Michael on Twitter.

Source: http://blog.mindjet.com/2009/05/visualize-google-search-results-in-a-mind-map/trackback/