Thursday, February 1, 2007

By Bloggers For Bloggers

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By Bloggers For Bloggers

Blogger Widget ScreenshotReader has always been about sharing your favorite items. One of the more fun things you can do with them is put them on your blog. That way your readers can see what you've been finding interesting, even if you don't have the time to do full posts.

Until now, putting your shared items in your blog required some technical chops, since you needed to copy and paste some code into your template. We'd always wanted to make this easier, so we worked with our friends on the Blogger team. As a result, the entire process now only takes a few clicks for Blogger users*.

Add to Blogger imageAll you have to do is click the "Add to Blogger" button on the put a clip on your site page in Reader (found in Settings). Now anytime you share something, your blog's readers will know about it too. It's more fun than a blogroll and always up to date.

* Just to be clear, this only works if you've upgraded to the new version of Blogger. We switched the Reader blog to it a few weeks ago, and it's been working out great (no more waiting for publishing to finish).


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Getting embedded in Google Reader.

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Getting embedded in Google Reader.

We have another small update to Reader regarding video. Reader should now show videos from YouTube and Google Video (and a few other sites) that you have embedded in your blog posts and articles. Some advice on how not to go about filming a feature announcement is included below. (Shot at Sundance Film Festival, too late for awards submission.)

We didn't want this to be just a Google thing, however, so we also currently support videos from other sites like MySpace, Jumpcut, Grouper, IFILM, Metacafe, Revver, Vimeo, vSocial, and games from Monsters and Critics. If your favorite site isn't listed, please tell us in the Reader group and we'll look into adding support, if possible.

Update on 2/7/2007: We now also support Odeo, Yahoo! Video, Brightcove, Dailymotion, and MSN Soapbox embedded players.


Monday, January 29, 2007

Google Notifier tips and tidbits

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Official Google Mac Blog: Google Notifier tips and tidbits

Posted by David Phillip Oster, Mac Software Engineer

Google Notifier is a program I wrote that lets you know when there is new Gmail ready to be read in your inbox and when you have upcoming Google Calendar events. The basic features of Notifier are pretty obvious, but there are a few bits of trivia that Notifier users might be interested in. That's the purpose of this post.

Notifier is a descendant of Gmail Notifier, Greg Miller's Gmail-only program. (And I want to thank him for getting me started here at Google.)

Notifier basic interface philosophy

To understand the basic interface strategy of Notifier, let's compare it with the way Dashboard works. Dashboard is designed to show you an instrument panel of information, like a car's dashboard, when you want to see it. Dashboard flies in when you want it, and flies out when you're done. In a sense, you are interrupting your normal collection of applications to see its information. Google Notifier is intended to be the opposite: you've given it permission to interrupt you, to get your attention about something nearby in time. If you want to see the full details of your calendar, you can open Google Calendar in a browser. If you want a quick overview of what's important now, Notifier is the way to go.

Based on Calendar GData

The first version of Notifier only let you know about Gmail. After that version came out, the Google Calendar team launched a new, publicly available data feed called GData for Calendar. This seemed like a great opportunity to add Calendar features to Notifier, so I revised Notifier so that it also lets you know about your upcoming Calendar events.

Notifier gets attention your way

When it's time to get your attention, Notifier plays a sound and shows a dark, translucent window in the upper right corner of your screen. That window fades out after a few seconds, or you can click on it to get rid of it right away. I've picked a sound and a window style I like, but because this a Macintosh, you can make it work the way you want: you can pick your own alert sound in Notifier's Preferences dialog, and you can completely change the way Notifier gets your attention by using the free third-party product Growl, with the Growl+Notifier adapter. (Note: these are not Google products, and I've got no say in how they behave.)

Easter egg

As a reward for reading this far, here's a hidden feature you might like. Pull down the Notifier menu (either Calendar or Gmail), hold down Command and Option, and click Preferences on the menu. You'll see a hidden settings editor. Enter MaxMessagesOnMainMenu in the Key field (upper and lower case must be entered as shown) and 20 in the Value field, then click Set. Quit Notifier and start it up again. Now, when you pull down the Notifier menus, you'll see all your Gmails and all your Calendar events listed in single menus, without any "View More" sub-menus.

If you want to get the sub-menus back, get the hidden settings editor back again, enter MaxMessagesOnMainMenu for the Key, and 4 for the Value, then click Set. Quit Notifier and start it again, and your sub-menus will be back, good as new.


[G] Introducing the Developer Knowledge Base

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Inside Google Desktop: Introducing the Developer Knowledge Base

The good folks over at have launched a Developer Knowledge Base, where most of the Google developer products are represented, including Google Desktop Gadgets. There's a series of Getting Started articles, which combined with the improved documentation and new tutorial makes it easier than ever to learn how to create gadgets. And there's a growing collection of How To's and Gadget Best Practices that can help elevate your skills.

This is just the beginning, so please post any suggestions, feedback or article ideas to our Developer Forum.


Docs & Spreadsheets integrates with Gmail

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Official Google Docs & Spreadsheets Blog: Docs & Spreadsheets integrates with Gmail

We know many Google Docs & Spreadsheets fans are also Gmail users. We've heard from scores of you since we launched Docs & Spreadsheets, and the most common request is for more integration between the two products. It comes as no surprise -- everyone gets heaps of docs in their email. Until recently, if you received a document attached to an email message and wanted to import it into D&S, it was a convoluted process -- download the attachment to your desktop, then upload it to D&S.; No more. Now the Gmail team has launched a one-click import feature that you'll really appreciate.

Whenever those of you who use Gmail receive a spreadsheet or a document in an email, you will see a new link next to the "Download" link that says "Open as a Google document." Click on that and the attachment will automatically be imported into Docs & Spreadsheets and added to your personal document list where you can make changes, invite collaborators and search for it later. We hope you like it.

As always, we'll be monitoring discussion group and support email for your feedback.