Saturday, March 21, 2009

[G] What policymakers should know about "cloud computing"

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Google Public Policy Blog: What policymakers should know about "cloud computing"

Posted by Bob Boorstin, Director, Corporate and Policy Communications

Most technology observers see "cloud computing" -- the movement of computer applications and data storage from the desktop to remote servers -- as the next big thing in computing. We held a "Google D.C. Talk " on the topic last September, and write quite a bit about cloud computing on this blog. But for many policymakers, the concept of cloud computing and its implications are still not well understood.

To help clear through the confusion, Jeffrey Rayport and Andrew Heyward of the research firm Marketspace released a paper today based on a series of interviews with dozens of people from business, academia, and government. This paper is called “Envisioning the Cloud: the Next Computing Paradigm" and was commissioned by Google.

The study's authors talk about the economic and social benefits of the cloud computing model, as well as policy guidelines for regulators and lawmakers in Washington who want to help foster the development of cloud computing. They recommend that policymakers look closely at these issues:

  • Full connectivity - Users have to be connected to the Internet for cloud-based services to flourish -- all users, all the time. Government can encourage availability and adoption of cloud computing through tax incentives to technology providers, subsidies to low-income users, and regulation of the wireless spectrum.

  • Open access - Access to the basic infrastructure of cloud computing should not be based on discriminatory pricing or provide an unfair advantage to certain users. Congress can take the lead in clarifying openness rules for the marketplace and the FCC should actively enforce existing laws designed to ensure open access.

  • Security - Cloud computing providers must make a compelling case to users that their data is safe. While competitive market forces will drive service providers to differentiate themselves on security, the government can play a role by aggressively enforcing cyber-crime laws.

  • Privacy - Cloud computing providers must address three specific concerns about privacy: protecting data from unauthorized access by government; restricting its exploitation for commercial purposes; and safeguarding it from the prying eyes of competitors. One goal of privacy legislation should be to shield consumer data from inappropriate government scrutiny and to define what rights companies have to use data about their users for commercial purposes.

It's always tempting to suggest that the next new technology will be disruptive, game-changing, or revolutionary. The Internet certainly was. It remains to be seen whether cloud computing will deliver the same magnitude of changes and benefits (or more), but it unquestionably holds a lot of promise.

Cloud computing can be a great equalizer, putting powerful computing tools that were once available only to large institutions in the hands of individuals and small businesses. It can promote competition, accelerate innovation, enhance productivity, deliver cost savings, strengthen data security and maybe even help our environment.

That is a lot to live up to, but we hope that by continuing this conversation we can separate hype from reality and offer some practical suggestions aimed at getting the most out of what cloud computing has to offer.

[G] Google D.C. Talk tomorrow: The Future of Cloud Computing

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Google Public Policy Blog: Google D.C. Talk tomorrow: The Future of Cloud Computing

Posted by Dorothy Chou, Global Communications and Public Affairs

Recently, there's been a lot of talk about the possibilities of web-based services in "the cloud," a new evolution in computing that gives individual users the power to access and deploy applications and services through the Internet.

Tomorrow morning, we'll be hosting a discussion on the future of cloud computing and technology policy at the Newseum in D.C.

Jeffrey Rayport, principal at the Marketspace consulting group and one of the nation's leading experts on digital strategy and marketing, and Andrew Heyward, former President of CBS News, will present the findings of their new study. They will assess the possibilities, risks and returns of cloud computing; the next steps in moving forward; and potential implications for technology policy.

Bernard Golden (CEO of HyperStratus) will offer commentary and Chris Dorobek (co-anchor of The Daily Debrief on Federal News Radio 1500 AM, managing editor of, and editor in chief of the blog) will moderate the discussion.

Google D.C. Talks presents
"Envisioning the Cloud: The Next Computing Paradigm
and its Implications for Technology Policy"

Friday, March 20, 2008
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM ET
The Newseum
555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Seventh Floor
Washington, D.C. 20001
RSVP Here or e-mail Dorothy Chou at

We hope you can join us tomorrow. All are invited to submit questions in advance via Google Moderator.

[G] Website Optimizer at SES New York next week

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Official Google Website Optimizer Blog: Website Optimizer at SES New York next week

Are you coming to Search Engine Strategies in New York next week? The Website Optimizer team and friends will be there.

There are a lot of great sessions about how to improve your website. Here are some we think you should attend:

Survival of the Fittest 2.0
March 24th, 11:45am to 12:45pm
Bryan Eisenberg, author of Always Be Testing, will be speaking on a panel that discusses how companies survived the last downturn in online marketing, and what lessons can be applied to today's economic environment.

Landing Page Testing and Tuning
March 24th, 11:45am to 12:45pm
Tim Ash will giving a session at the same time on ways to test and tweak your landing pages to turn visitors into customers.

Pay per Conversation
March 24th, 1:45pm to 2:45pm
Sandra Cheng, the Product Manager for Website Optimizer, will be doing a session alongside Bryan Eisenberg. They'll show you how to identify missed conversations and what you can do to improve them and your PPC ROI.

Extreme Makeover: Conversion Edition
March 24th, 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Bryan Eisenberg and Tim Ash will be on a panel examining three companies' websites. They'll do a thorough critique of each site and explain how you can apply the same principles and practices they use on your own site.

Turning Simple Change Into Big Profit
March 25th, 2:15pm to 3:30pm
Kayden Kelly, one of our newest WOTEPs, is speaking about how a few easy changes can dramatically affect your bottom line.

Extreme Makeover: Live Ad Copy & Continuity Clinic!
March 26th, 10:30am to 11:45am
Karl Blanks from Conversion Rate Experts will be on a panel looking at continuity between your online advertising and your landing pages. Continuity is a sure-fire strategy for improving your conversion rate, and this session should be full of great examples.

Google Website Optimizer: Radically Improve your Conversion Rate!
March 26th, 2:15pm to 3:30pm
Finally, I'll be speaking on a panel with Tim Ash, Bryan Eisenberg, and Kayden Kelly. We'll look at some out-of-the-box uses of GWO, and take your questions about website testing. Hope to see you there.

In addition to sessions, we'll also be doing two special events at the Google booth, #1106:
  • Tim Ash will be signing and giving away copies of his book, Landing Page Optimization. The book signing is at our booth on March 24th from 1pm to 2pm.

  • Karl Blanks, one of the Conversion Rate Experts, will be at the Google booth all the way from the UK and giving live site critiques on Wednesday, March 25th from 2pm to 4pm.
Finally, if you're an AdWords user, you'll want to check out Preview the new AdWords interface. The session is on Wednesday, March 25th from 10:45am to 12pm. The team is taking questions in advance, so please send them in.

There's a whole lot going on at SES this year. Hope to see you there!

Posted by Trevor Claiborne, Website Optimizer team

[G] Experience SXSW Through YouTube

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YouTube Blog: Experience SXSW Through YouTube

South by Southwest (SXSW) is an annual music, film and interactive conference and festival in Austin, Texas, and they've just launched a robust YouTube channel that offers a peek into the panels, screenings and music showcases that define the 10-day event.

To celebrate, we're teaming up with these Texans to present highlights from this year's festival on our home page today, including exclusive live music performances filmed just a few days ago at places like the Beauty Bar Backyard and the Mohawk. In these jam-packed clubs, we co-presented several music showcases with the help of indie labels Asthmatic Kitty, K Records, Tomlab, Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguwar and Dead Oceans. Highlights included newcomers Mt. St. Helen's Vietnam Band, Rafter and South Africa's BLK JKS:

For those of you who couldn't make it to Austin this year, we hope YouTube helps you discover a few things that were captured deep in the heart of Texas.

With a Twang,

Michele Flannery

YouTube Music

[G] Helping you fight Phone Spam

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Google Voice Blog: Helping you fight Phone Spam

Among the GrandCentral features that we have carried over to Google Voice, is the ability to tag a caller as spam. This means that future calls from that number will not ring your phones, will not be in your messages when you check voicemails from your phone, but will end up in a Spam folder that you can check whenever you feel like it, similar to your Gmail spam filter. Tagging a caller as spam only affects your account and is not shared with other users.

One of the lesser known features of the Phone Spam filter is that we also collect numbers from reported (and confirmed) Phone spammers to block them for the benefit of all our users (we call it Craig's list internally since Craig came up with that idea). These are not individual pranksters reported by individual users, but automated dialers that call thousands of numbers every day.

Phone Spam is something most of us wish we had never experienced (those of you who have not yet received your "second notice that the factory warranty on your vehicle is expiring", count yourself lucky), but it is unfortunately a growing trend.

The Phone Spam list has also carried over to Google Voice and data shows its growing usefulness: we are blocking tens of thousands of calls on a daily basis, and that number is growing daily. Although we can't promise you won't get reminded about your factory warranty, we'll do what we can to help you avoid it...

Posted by Vincent Paquet

[G] New YouTube App for Windows Mobile and Nokia S60 phones

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Official Google Mobile Blog: New YouTube App for Windows Mobile and Nokia S60 phones

We've been working hard to support more devices and to offer better speed, quality, and robustness in the YouTube app. So we're excited to announce a new version of our mobile YouTube application that's optimized for most Window Mobile and Symbian Series 60 devices. Visit from your phone to download the app.
  • More phones: Supports most Windows Mobile and Nokia S60 devices (a list of supported Nokia S60 devices is available here).
  • Speed: Faster application start-up, searching, and video loading. For even quicker access, add the application icon to your phone's home screen.
  • Video quality: The application automatically detects your device and network capabilities, and selects the highest available stream quality based on those. Videos will look sharper and sound clearer than ever.
  • WiFi: Improved streaming over WiFi to support a wider range of networks.
  • More robust streaming: Improved buffering ensures that videos will play even in weak coverage areas.
  • Easy video viewing: Once installed, no configuration is required outside of the application. We've worked really hard to make video playback "just work".
The application will alert you as more improvements become available, so keep an eye out for updates. In the meantime, visit our Community Help Forums to leave feedback for us.

For more info, check out the YouTube Blog.

Posted by Andreas Tuerk, Product Manager and Stephen Spence, Software Engineer, Mobile Team


[G] Join us at ADSPACE in April

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Inside AdSense: Join us at ADSPACE in April

"If you're going to San Francisco..." (in late April), be sure to attend ADSPACE conference and expo on Wednesday, April 22nd. This first-time event will take place alongside ad:tech San Francisco and will be geared towards helping small to mid-sized publishers improve their AdSense performance. You'll have the opportunity to network with advertisers and other publishers, and you'll also hear advice from those who've been successful with the AdSense program.

Members of the Google AdSense team will be present at ADSPACE, and we're looking forward to meeting you. During the conference, you'll hear from our product management team, and our optimization specialists will be on-hand to answer questions and provide you with personalized tips.

If you register for a conference pass with our Google promotional code ADSPACED, you'll receive a 20% discount on the price. With the ADSPACE conference pass, you'll have access to all ADSPACE sessions and keynotes, an ADSPACE attendee lunch, and the ad:tech San Francisco Exhibit Hall. You can find additional information on the official site, including the complete conference schedule, who’s speaking, and who’s already signed up to exhibit.

We hope to see you in April!

Posted by Arlene Lee - Inside AdSense Team

[G] Go go Google Sites

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Go go Google Sites

Thousands of developers have created gadgets since we first released the gadgets API four years ago, and millions of people use gadgets every week in Google Apps. Gadgets aggregate content from around the web and perform simple tasks like managing a to-do list. For developers, gadgets are easy to create with only basic HTML and JavaScript. Google Apps customers already use gadgets to add dynamic charts to Google Docs, and to embed rich media, retrieve feeds, or add other functionality in Google Sites.

Today, we're announcing three new features in Google Sites that will make gadgets more useful for Google Apps Premier Edition customers:
  • Start Page template: Site owners can now use this page type to allow individual viewers to personalize specific areas of a site. Pages created with this template, like the one below, allow individuals to add and organize their own gadgets to customize the page. The site owner chooses "Start Page" in the page type menu, and then adds content that they want everyone to see to the top of the page. Each viewer can then customize the page to see their own personal gadgets.

This screenshot shows a corporate intranet for a fictitious produce company, Organic City. Everyone who visits the site will see the welcome message, important links, and company news gadgets. Joe, a farm manager, also sees three personal gadgets that he's added: last year's harvest data, the breakdown of the company's dairy products, and an organization chart. Joe gets not only general company information but also information that is important just to him every time he visits the intranet.
  • Private gadgets: Until now, all gadgets had to be public, which meant anyone who knew the URL could view the source code. Now domain admins can upload gadgets to Google Apps, and only members of their domain will be able to see and add these gadgets to their Sites. You can find these gadgets in a directory with your company's domain name in the gadgets directory.

  • End-to-end security: We've also added support for gadgets to match the security of the site itself. If a Google Site is encrypted, then your gadget data will be encrypted from the source code to the browser.
Developers can learn more about writing gadgets on Google Code. Domain administrators should visit the Help Center to find more information about setting up a private directory for their company.

Go gadgets!

Posted by Barnaby James, Software Engineer, Google Enterprise Team

[G] Improved help forum for Google Friend Connect

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Social Web Blog: Improved help forum for Google Friend Connect

When you have questions about using Google Friend Connect, the first place to look is our Help Center. Here you can learn more about topics such as setting up your site, adding social gadgets, and the difference between a friend and a member.

For the questions that aren't answered in our Help Center, many of you have been using our Help Forum. We've been looking for ways to improve the usefulness of this forum, and we're excited to announce that we've now moved it to a new platform to provide more features!

With the new Google Friend Connect Help Forum, it is now easier to find and answer questions. Similar to the Help Center, questions in the Help Forum can be placed into one of two categories -- for site owners or for site visitors.

To identify our most active Help Forum participants, we have added a system of levels, with especially helpful forum members designated as "Top Contributors." For a personal touch, add a picture next to your name in the profiles. You can also subscribe to the forum (or to individual discussions) by RSS feed, post a question and receive your answer by email, and even vote on the best responses to particular questions.

If you have any questions or would like to help out by posting answers to other peoples' questions, visit the new Google Friend Connect Help Forum.

Posted by Karl Gusner, Google Friend Connect Team

Thursday, March 19, 2009

[G] Google Analytics at SES NY

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Google Analytics Blog: Web Analytics Tips & Tricks: Google Analytics at SES NY

SES New York is next week and Google Analytics will be there. You can come by the booth to meet members of the team and learn more about the latest features.

Here are a couple of sessions that you might enjoy:

Pay Per Conversation
Tuesday, March 24th, 1:45pm to 2:45pm
Sandra Cheng, Product Manager for Google Website Optimizer, and Bryan Eisenberg, will discuss a different approach to looking at your website's visitors. Every click is a potential customer trying to engage you; will you continue the dialogue or have them bounce off your landing page just moments after they arrive? This session will show you how to identify missed conversations and what you can do to improve them and your PPC ROI.
More info

Google Workshop: Maximizing Your Website's ROI
Wednesday, March 25th, 4:00pm to 5:15pm
Alex Torres, Product Marketing Manager for Google Enterprise, will talk about some of the many tools Google offers site owners can use to improve their website's return on investment. He'll also be giving a more in-depth look at Google Site Search.

If you also use AdWords, there's one more session you may want to attend: Preview the new AdWords interface, on Wednesday, March 25th from 10:45am to 12pm. They're taking questions in advance, so please send them in. Enjoy.

Posted by Sebastian Tonkin, Google Analytics Team

[G] Watching Video on Windows Mobile and Nokia S60 Phones

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YouTube Blog: Watching Video on Windows Mobile and Nokia S60 Phones

Our goal is to provide you with a great YouTube experience wherever you want to watch videos -- whether it's on your computer, on your television, or on your mobile phone. While YouTube has been available for many mobile phones for over a year, today we're taking a big step forward with a new version of our mobile YouTube application. It's optimized for most Windows Mobile and Symbian Series 60 devices (a list of supported Nokia S60 devices is available here). In addition to providing YouTube on more phones than ever before, it's also much faster -- up to 90% faster starting up, searching, and video loading -- and gives you better video quality that's automatically optimized to your WiFi or 3G network.

To download the app, visit from your device. More cool features and app improvements are on the way, and the app will alert you as updates become available and allow you to upgrade with a single click.


David Stewart

Product Marketing

The YouTube Team

[G] Mapping the Madness returns

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Google LatLong: Mapping the Madness returns

Today, the wonderful chaos that is March Madness returns, and with it, comes a brand new college basketball KML like the one I built last year. To celebrate this annual moment of basketball bliss, I've added the locations of this year's 13 tournament venues, in addition to the locations of the 65 tournament teams' campuses.

Why, you might ask, did I decide to burn the midnight oil again to map these locations? Because I'm a a die-hard college hoops nut, plain and simple. Plus, I love learning facts like the ones below. As you're watching the games over the next few weeks, take a minute during a break in the action to do some March Madness geo-browsing and see if you can find these spots in Google Earth:
  • A tournament venue with an airplane silhouette on top of it
  • The tournament team based in Moon Township, PA
  • The two tournament teams that play in arenas that have their school logos on the roofs
I've also included these placemarks on a My Map - check it out:

Enjoy, and let the Madness begin!

Posted by Adam Hughes, Google Earth Senior Strategist and College Hoops Fan

[G] Subscriptions now available in beta

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Official Google Checkout Blog: Subscriptions now available in beta

One of our most requested features is a way to sell subscriptions through Google Checkout, and we're pleased to announce that this functionality is now available on our Beta Features page. Merchants will now have the ability to sell products and services that require recurring billing using our API.

So if you're already comfortable building your own carts using Checkout, you're ready to implement Subscriptions by consulting the documentation. Each billing recurrence is a new order, so everything you've learned about processing orders still applies. You can let us create these billing recurrences for you with Google-Handled Subscriptions, or if you'd like more control, you can create these recurrences yourself with Merchant-Handled Subscriptions.

Please try this feature out, and let us know what you think. If you're a member of our Developer's Forum, you can ask questions and leave feedback here. You can also suggest other new Checkout features here.

Posted by Andrew Cunningham, Software Engineer

[G] New in Labs: Undo Send

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Official Gmail Blog: New in Labs: Undo Send

Posted by Michael Leggett, User Experience Designer

Sometimes I regret sending a message the morning after. Other times I send a message and then immediately notice a mistake. I forget to attach a file or email the birthday girl that I can't make her surprise party. I can rush to close my browser or unplug the Internet — but Gmail almost always wins that race.

An email to the wrong Larry pushed me over the edge. I could undo just about any other action in Gmail — why couldn’t I undo send? Many people agreed, including Yuzo Fujishima, an engineer in the Tokyo office. My theory (which others shared) was that even just five seconds would be enough time to catch most of those regrettable emails.

And now you can do just that. Turn on Undo Send in Gmail Labs under Settings, and you’ll see a new “Undo” link on every sent mail confirmation. Click “Undo,” and we’ll grab the message before it’s sent and take you right back to compose.

This feature can't pull back an email that's already gone; it just holds your message for five seconds so you have a chance to hit the panic button. And don't worry – if you close Gmail or your browser crashes in those few seconds, we'll still send your message.

I've had Undo Send turned on for a while and it's saved me several times. Let us know if it saves you too.

[G] Meet the AdWords team at SES New York

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Inside AdWords: Meet the AdWords team at SES New York

If you're planning on attending Search Engine Strategies in New York next week, we hope that you'll come see us. Members of the AdWords team and other Googlers will be speaking at a handful of sessions, so please stop by and say hi.

Here are a few sessions that we think you'd enjoy:

Preview the new AdWords interface
Wednesday, March 25th, 10:45am to 12pm
You may have read that we're testing a new AdWords interface. In this session we'll be doing an in-depth preview of the new interface. If you have questions or feedback about the new interface, please send them to us ahead of time.
Speaking: Ariel Bardin and Angela Lai, AdWords product and engineering leads

Pay Per Conversation
Tuesday, March 24th, 1:45pm to 2:45pm
Many marketers agree that the current state of the economy is having an impact on their marketing plans. That's why every dollar and click matters. Every click is a potential customer trying to engage you; will you continue the dialogue or have them bounce off your landing page just moments after they arrive? This session will show you how to identify missed conversations and what you can do to improve them and your PPC ROI.
Speaking: Sandra Cheng, Product Manager for Google Website Optimizer

The State of Search - A Maturing Marketplace or Poised for More Growth?
Wednesday, March 25th, 12pm to 1pm
As ROI and performance become increasingly important, will search gain a larger share of advertising revenues? This panel takes a hard look at the current value proposition of search and what the future holds for the North American search marketplace.
Speaking: Jon Diorio, Group Product Manager, AdWords & Monetization Products

Advanced Keyword Research
Thursday, March 26th, 10:30am-11:45am
How many keywords do you need in your paid search account? What keywords are your customers searching for? How do customers find products after they reach your site? This advanced session will demonstrate how to target the right terms in your paid and organic search marketing, and you'll learn where these keywords should be used.
Speaking: Frederick Vallaeys, AdWords Evangelist, Google

Ads in a Quality Score World
Thursday, 3/26 2:15pm - 3:30pm
More and more, ranking well in paid search listings is less and less about how much you pay and more about the "quality" of your ad campaign. But what goes into making up your quality score? In this panel, we'll take a closer look at quality factors and give tips on increasing the perceived relevancy of your campaigns.
Speaking: Frederick Vallaeys, AdWords Evangelist, Google

We're looking forward to spending some time in the Big Apple; hope to see you there.

Posted by Amanda Kelly, Inside AdWords crew

[G] YouTube Previews in Gmail Labs

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YouTube Blog: YouTube Previews in Gmail Labs

Links to YouTube videos get emailed around all the time. Now, if you use Gmail and turn on YouTube previews from the Gmail Labs tab under Settings, you won't even have to leave your inbox to watch your videos -- instead, they'll show up right inside your messages, like this:

We've also added previews for Picasa, Flickr, and Yelp. Check out the Gmail blog for more info, give these new experimental features a try, and let us know what you think.

Stanley Chen



[G] Google and WPP Marketing Research Awards: Improving industry understanding and practices in online marketing

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Official Google Research Blog: Google and WPP Marketing Research Awards: Improving industry understanding and practices in online marketing

Posted by Jeff Walz, University Relations and Anne Bray, Head of Agency, WPP

Google and the WPP Group have teamed up to create a new research program with the goal of improving industry understanding of digital marketing. Eleven research awards have been given to universities through the Google and WPP Marketing Research Awards Program, announced by both companies in the fall of 2008. The academic studies will harness WPP client data to explore how online media influences consumer behavior, attitudes, and decision making. The research provides an opportunity for very innovative thinking in an area that is at the crossroads of marketing, computer science, economics, and various mathematical disciplines.

More than 120 entries were received by the deadline for proposals. The awards represent the first round of grants in the three-year program towards which WPP and Google will commit up to $4.6 million in an effort to support research around digital marketing. Hal Varian, Google's Chief Economist, participated on the decision committee.

The winning projects offer convincing designs for exploring how online and offline marketing influence consumer attitudes, decisions, and purchase behavior. As marketing continues to become more digital and more measurable, the results of these studies will also advance our understanding of how advertising investment should be allocated among media channels.

The researchers and affiliated academic institutions participating in this first round of awarded projects are:

• “Effect of Online Exposure on Offline Buying: How Online Exposure
Aids or Hurts Offline Buying by Increasing the Impact of Offline
Attributes”; Amitav Chakravarti, New York University, Stern School of
Business, Department of Marketing

• “The Interaction Between Digital Marketing Tactics and Sales
Performance Online and Offline”; Elie Ofek, Associate Professor
Marketing, Harvard Business School and Zsolt Katona, Associate
Professor of Marketing, UC Berkeley, Haas School of Business

• ”Are Brand Attitudes Contagious? Consumer Response to Organic
Search Trends”; Donna L. Hoffman, Professor, A. Gary Anderson
Graduate School of Management, University of California Riverside and
Thomas P. Novak, A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management,
University of California Riverside

• “Does internet advertising help established brands or niche ("long
tail") brands more? Catherine Tucker, Assistant Professor of
Marketing, MIT Sloan School of Marketing and Avi Goldfarb, Associate
Professor of Marketing, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management
University of Toronto

• “Marketing on the Map: Visual Search and Consumer Decision Making”;
Nicolas Lurie, Assistant Professor of Marketing, College of
Management, Georgia Institute of Technology, College of Management and
Sam Ransbotham, Assistant Professor of Information Systems, Carroll
School of Management, Boston College

• “Methods for multivariate metric analysis; identifying change
drivers”; Trevor J. Hastie, Professor, Department of Statistics,
Stanford University

• “Unpuzzling the Synergy of Display and Search Advertising: Insights
from Data Mining of Chinese Internet Users”; Hairong Li, Department of
Advertising, Public Relations, and Retailing, Michigan State
University and Shuguang Zhao, Media Survey Lab, Tsinghua University

• “Optimal Allocation of Offline and Online Media Budget”; Sunil
Gupta, Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School;
Anita Elberse, Associate Professor, Harvard Business School; and
Kenneth C. Wilbur, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Marshall School
of Business, University of Southern California

• “Targeting Ads to Match Individual Cognitive Styles: A Market
Test”; Glen Urban, Professor, MIT Sloan School of Management

• “How do consumers determine what is relevant? A psychometric and
neuroscientific study of online search and advertising effectiveness”;
Antoine Bechara, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Department
of Psychology/Brain & Creativity Institute, University of Southern
California and Martin Reimann, Fellow, Department of Psychology/Brain
& Creativity, University of Southern California

• “A Comprehensive Model of the Effects of Brand-Generated and
Consumer-Generated Communications on Brand Perceptions, Sales and
Share”; Douglas Bowman and Manish Tripathi, Professors of Marketing,
Goizueta Business School, Emory University.

You can find more information about the Google and WPP Marketing Research Awards Program on the website.

[G] March is for hoops

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Official Google Blog: March is for hoops

As a big college hoops fan, I'm pretty excited that it's finally March. Sadly, my beloved Stanford Cardinal didn't make it to the tourney, but as a proud Arizona native, I still root for my hometown Arizona State Sun Devils. I always go a little crazy -- you might even say mad -- this time of year. I fill out my bracket, wear a lot of red and gold, and get into arguments with friends of mine from the UofA. I'm a little obsessed.

If you're like me, then I have some good news for you. We have several products that can help you follow the tournament.
  • Live scores when you search for your favorite team
  • An iGoogle gadget for following the action
  • Breaking news on all the tournament excitement on Google News
  • Local search to find a spot to watch the game 
To get you started, we put together some helpful tips about using Google to keep up with the Madness. Best of luck to you and your team! Unless, of course, they're playing ASU. ;-)

Posted by Nundu Janakiram, Associate Product Manager

[G] Picasa previews in Gmail Labs

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Google Photos Blog: Picasa previews in Gmail Labs

Posted by Stanley Chen, Gmail engineer

Links to Picasa Web Albums and photos get emailed around all the time. Now, if you use Gmail and turn on Picasa previews from the Gmail Labs tab under Settings, you won't even have to leave your inbox to preview your photos -- instead, they'll show up right inside your messages, like this:

Recipients will see image previews whether you use the "Share" button in Picasa Web Albums, or simply include a Picasa Web Albums link in your email.

Check out the Gmail blog for more info, then give this new experimental feature a try, and let us know what you think.

[G] Unlocking information, streamlining IT

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Unlocking information, streamlining IT

Editor's Note: We are pleased to welcome Michael Cohn, CEO of Cloud Sherpas, as a guest blogger. Cloud Sherpas recently helped TechCFO, a Google Apps customer, build 3 types of Google Sites - a knowledge base, a customer workspace for collaboration, and a company intranet. For this project, Cloud Sherpas developed the Google Sites Bulk File Uploader and worked out a transition plan to meet TechCFO's collaboration needs, while planning for mail migration down the road. Along with TechCFO's Neal Miller, Michael will speak at a webinar – "How Google Apps Can Unlock Information, Increase Innovation, and Streamline IT, " next Thursday, March 26.

As a Google Apps Authorized Reseller and enterprise deployment partner, most of Cloud Sherpas' work focuses on helping clients migrate legacy enterprise messaging environments – Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange, Novell GroupWise, and others – to Google Apps. These migrations can take a long time depending upon the number of users, amount of data to be migrated and complexity of the legacy systems.

When Neal Miller, a Partner at TechCFO, came to one of our Google Apps demos, he had a more pressing problem to address: how to help the firm's partners located across the country more easily share their expertise as CFOs to benefit all of their clients. This problem was concerning to them since the company's prime asset is the partners' financial knowledge – unlocking its potential would pay dividends to TechCFO. TechCFO's solution at the time was to upload documents to the public folders in their hosted Exchange server – but it was really difficult to search for information. The partners needed something that was simpler to search, simpler to access and provided better performance. Google Sites provided us with the tool to address their needs. Additionally, we developed the Google Sites Bulk File Uploader to help manage the migration of 100's of documents into a unique nested Google Site format.

Google Sites has proven to be a tool that TechCFO can use for multiple purposes. Since the firm needs to share information and collaborate on financial strategy and planning with its clients, we also created Sites they could easily use with people outside their firewall. Each client Site provides a secure "workspace" that is only shared with that client since they may post financial models or legal documents to it. We also built TechCFO a company intranet to share HR information, announcements of new team members and other company news.

Working with TechCFO opened my eyes to another way that companies interested in Google Apps can get started – through Google's collaboration apps. Using Google Sites, TechCFO saved thousands of dollars over other collaboration options – and the firm will save even more when it moves over other applications such as Gmail and Google Calendar. Google Apps has opened up a mountain of possibilities – though sometimes you need the help of a Sherpa to get you to the top.

I invite you to join us on an online seminar exploring "How Google Apps Can Unlock Information, Increase Innovation, and Streamline IT, " where Neal and I will be on hand to show you examples of what we built, and how we did so. We'll also be happy to answer your questions online.

How Google Apps Can Unlock Information, Increase Innovation, and Streamline IT
Thursday, March 26, 2009
1:00 PM ET / 10:00 AM PT / 5:00 PM GMT

Register here.

Michael Cohn, CEO of Cloud Sherpas

Cloud Sherpas ( is a cloud computing systems integrator and application developer. As a leading Google Enterprise partner, Cloud Sherpas helps organizations leverage Google Apps and Google App Engine to dramatically reduce IT expenses. The company delivers deployment, change management, support and development services to commercial, enterprise and educational institutions seeking to adopt cloud computing. Cloud Sherpas is a Google Apps Authorized Reseller and enterprise deployment partner. The company also supports cloud computing solutions from EMC/Decho, TriCipher and other best-in-breed vendors.

Posted by Serena Satyasai, Google Apps Team

[G] Street View cures the homesick blues

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Google LatLong: Street View cures the homesick blues

I moved from Amsterdam to London last year and even though I've enjoyed getting to know London, I can't help feeling a bit homesick sometimes. Which is why I'm really excited that today we're launching Street View for both the Netherlands and the United Kingdom;  now I can take a trip down memory lane and explore my new home, even if it's raining. Starting today you'll be able to view 360ยบ street level imagery for Amsterdam, London, Rotterdam, Manchester, Liverpool and several other cities in these countries -- 25 cities in all!

Now whenever I feel like going back to the Netherlands I can use Street View to admire the beautiful canals in Amsterdam:

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...or visit my old university in Rotterdam:
...or even take a look at the bike I left behind:

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Street View will also help me further explore London and other cities in the United Kingdom. I can now better plan my visits to Portobello market in London (so that I don't get lost like last time)...

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....try to find the exact spot of a famous zebra crossing: my friends abroad some of London's most famous landmarks (spin around for another view):

....or take a look at historic Oxford: 

The great thing about this is that with Google Maps on my mobile I can check Street View when I'm out and about and see exactly what the restaurant I'm supposed to be meeting my friends at looks like.

I'm not the only one who's very excited about Street View's arrival in the Netherlands and the UK; there are quite a few websites which are already (yes, already - it's that easy) using Street View in creative ways. With some help from our friends at I can use Street View to find the best watering holes in London, and the Tate museum helps me get a better sense of British culture by showing how the world has changed since the likes of J.W. Turner were painting back in the 18th century. Other partners such as the Mayor of London show the highlights of the city, VisitBritain shows me where to go in the United Kingdom, and the Dutch tourist organisation VVV shows me what's what in Holland.

And if somehow this just isn't enough, there is even more! After launching Street View in France, Spain and Italy last year we're also excited to announce that we're adding more cities to Street View in these countries, which means that Google Maps will be even more useful when you next plan a vacation to the south of FranceZaragoza or the Amalfi coast.

If you want to view street level imagery for all these new locations - go to Google Maps and drag the Pegman icon to one of the (many) new cities in Europe. Have fun exploring!

Posted by Kenzo Fong Hing, Product Marketing Manager

[G] A taste of what's to come

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Google LatLong: A taste of what's to come

On September 6th 2008, satellite imagery company GeoEye successfully launched the world's most advanced commercial imaging satellite, GeoEye-1, into orbit. After nearly 4 months of in-orbit checkouts they officially announced the start of GeoEye-1 commercial operations in February. Since then they have been building their archive with beautiful images of our planet, such as this one of the pyramids near Cairo, Egypt:

In the coming months you will start seeing stunning GeoEye-1 imagery blended into our database and viewable through Google Earth, Maps, and Google Maps for Mobile, but until then you can visit to download a KML preview of full resolution GeoEye-1 imagery to get a taste of what's to come. As exciting as these images are, remember: there will be even more coming soon!

Posted by Dylan Lorimer, Strategic Partner Manager; and Jacob Schonberg, Associate Product Manager

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

[G] New in Labs: YouTube, Picasa, Flickr and Yelp previews

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Official Gmail Blog: New in Labs: YouTube, Picasa, Flickr and Yelp previews

Posted by Vishal Kasera, Software Engineer

My email is full of links: my friends send around Youtube videos to try and get a laugh, we share Picasa and Flickr albums with photos from last weekend's camping trip, and we email around the Yelp reviews of restaurants we're considering going to next Friday night.

The truth is, I'm pretty lazy. That's why I like YouTube previews in Gmail chat -- why open a new tab when I can watch the video my friend sent me right there? Gmail currently automatically detects package tracking information, addresses, and event information and shows quick links to delivery status, maps and directions, and Google Calendar. So why couldn't Gmail automatically detect links in emails and show videos, photos, and ratings right inside these messages as well?

We built some new Gmail Labs features that do just that. For our first set, we picked stuff that often shows up in email: YouTube videos, Picasa and Flickr links, and Yelp reviews. Turn on Picasa previews from the Labs tab under Settings, and rather than having to click on a Picasa album link to see the photos it contains, you can see photos right in the message itself:

Same for Flickr:

Enable Youtube previews, and you can watch YouTube videos from inside your email:

And whenever you receive a Yelp link in an email, Yelp previews show you ratings, phone numbers, and other listing information right there:

Give them a try and send us your thoughts. If you work on a product that would lend itself to a great preview in Gmail, we'd love to hear from you too.

[G] Custom views give you more control of your spreadsheets

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Official Google Docs Blog: Custom views give you more control of your spreadsheets

A few weeks ago we enhanced mobile access to spreadsheets by adding the ability to add, edit, sort, and filter rows. Today, I'm happy to announce that this same list view is now available when you're working on spreadsheets from desktop and notebook computers. You can find list view under the View menu.
List view provides a simplified interface to your spreadsheet. Here's an example of a spreadsheet that could be used by employees that are staffing a trade show booth:

Notice that you can quickly sort and filter data in list view without changing the underlying spreadsheet. Each sort and filter view has a unique web address (URL), making it easy to return to a particular view to inspect and analyze your data. You can share list view URLs with your colleagues, provided they have permission to access the spreadsheet. Below, I've filtered the spreadsheet to see who requested "Large" t-shirts on "Tuesday":

List view can also be embedded in a web page, either in read-only or editable mode. Here I've embedded a view of the example spreadsheet right into this blog post:

Here are a few more ways to use list view:
  • Imagine that you collected 100 names and t-shirt sizes using a Google Docs form. You might share a list view of the form responses, allowing people to fix errors (such as someone entering the wrong size) without worrying about a novice user accidentally messing up other parts of the spreadsheet.
  • Rather than embedding a published snapshot of a spreadsheet in your Google Sites page, you can now embed a read-only list view of the spreadsheet, which allows users to easily sort, filter and page through the data.
List view also loads very quickly in your browser, making it especially useful when you just want to quickly give others basic editing access rather than the full functionality normally available. And if you're using list view and need full spreadsheet functionality, just follow the "Go to spreadsheet view" link.

Posted by: Eric Bogs, User Interface Software Engineer

[G] New YouTube Insight Feature: Do People Like Your Videos?

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YouTube Blog: New YouTube Insight Feature: Do People Like Your Videos?

YouTube Insight, our video analytics tool, is full of useful information about your video views. You can find out which state or country your views come from, the websites that send you the most traffic, or the parts of your video that keep your viewers' attention. But while views are an important indicator of popularity, they are not the full picture: you know people are watching your video, but do they really like it?

Since the beginning of YouTube, many of you have been looking at the community's feedback to answer this question -- reading comments, looking at ratings, and checking favorites. Today, we hope to make it easier for you to find out who likes your videos (and who doesn't) by launching our newest YouTube Insight feature: a "Community" tab that allows you to see how YouTube users engage with your content over time and depending on their geographic location. You can see total numbers related to ratings, comments, and favorites (or all of them combined), as well as the average number of actions the community takes per view of your video. For example, if it looks like your rating is 3/5 stars, but the average Japanese viewer is giving you 2, while the French tend to give you 5, you'll now know where your real fans are located.

We think this new feature will be useful to many of you, whether you are an advertiser trying to figure out what users think of your new product (not just whether they started to watch the commercial), or a professor curious whether your Plato lecture is starting conversations among users in Greece.

We hope this feature will answer the question du jour: is he (or she) just not that into you?

Tracy Chan and Kenny Stoltz

Product Managers


[G] Chrome Experiments: not your mother's JavaScript

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Google Chrome Blog: Chrome Experiments: not your mother's JavaScript

I like JavaScript. It's flexible, lightweight, and it's open source. Anybody can crawl into it, look around, and shape the code into something of their own. When Google Chrome first launched with V8, its superfast JavaScript engine, it got me thinking about ways to visualize speed within the browser. So I contacted a bunch of JavaScripters from around the world and invited them to do something creative and unusual. REAS, Mr. Doob, Ryan Alexander, Josh Nimoy, and Toxi, among others, answered the call.

These artists did a lot of tweaking and tinkering to push the boundaries of JavaScript design, and to illustrate what's possible with this new generation of JavaScript engines. Today, we're launching Chrome Experiments -- a set of games and visualizations that let you see the kinds of things that JavaScript is making possible. You can view, share, and rate what they've built. Check out this video to preview some of them:

These nineteen examples are just the beginning. We're going to keep adding to them, and we'd also like to see what you can do, too. If you've made something fun and interesting with JavaScript you can submit it at

Posted by Aaron Koblin, Google Creative Lab

[G] New templates for coupon display ads, as used by Razorfish

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Inside AdWords: New templates for coupon display ads, as used by Razorfish

We now have two new display ad templates available which allow you to easily create online coupons to run on sites across the Google content network. You can probably guess why coupon-based promotions might be especially effective these days, and display ads allow you to add in eye-catching ad copy, coupon codes, and customized color schemes that wouldn't be possible with simple text ads.

Razorfish, a top digital advertising agency, has begun to use templates for coupon-based promotions for a major national retailer in the U.S. Danny Huynh, Associate Search Director at Razorfish, has this to say about the tool: "We see the display ad builder as a great creative sandbox, allowing us to us to quickly test and iterate with new ad formats and capabilities that simple text ads can't offer. The coupon templates in particular are allowing us to bring the messages from our customers' offline circulars, to the online world, at scale with Google's content network. We're planning to test display ad builder templates on an ongoing basis."

Each of our new templates has a prominent slot for featuring a price or a discount, e.g., "20% off," and has extra room for coupon codes. As with any of our other templates, you can easily edit your ads on an ongoing basis to change the discount level, prices and any other customizable aspect. Just remember that any edits will need to reviewed by an AdWords specialist, and may take 2-4 business days to take effect. Here's an example of the new templates, which come in several sizes:

To access these new templates, log in to your AdWords account and choose the "Display ad builder" ad format option within any ad group. Then, choose the "Retail" category to find the coupon templates. This video can also show you how to access the feature.

Posted by Christian Yee, Inside AdWords crew

[G] Chrome Experiments are here

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Official Google Blog: Chrome Experiments are here

When Google Chrome launched last September, it included a powerful JavaScript engine, V8, which was built to make the next generation of web applications perform faster in the browser. In the past few months, we've reached out to more than a dozen developers and designers to experiment with V8 and to find new and fun uses for JavaScript. We worked with REAS, Mr. Doob, Ryan Alexander, Josh Nimoy, Mark Mahoney, and Toxi, among others.

The results of their experimentation have been great, with each project turning the browser window into an interactive application, a game, or even a piece of art. Whether you're a casual web surfer or an advanced JavaScript developer, we think you'll appreciate what they've achieved.

Here's a preview of what they have built:

Take a look for yourself at Chrome Experiments. Although you don't need Google Chrome to view the site, some of the experiments may run slower, or incorrectly, in older browsers. To download Google Chrome, click here.

Naturally, we're looking for more experiments. We will update the site regularly and promote the best projects as Featured Experiments. So, if you have an idea for a web browser experiment, please build it, make it sparkle, and submit it.

We'll be highlighting more experiments and holding sessions on Google Chrome at Google I/O on May 27 - 28 in San Francisco.

Posted by Aaron Koblin, Google Creative Lab

[G] Why the next generation Internet Protocol matters

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Google Public Policy Blog: Why the next generation Internet Protocol matters

Posted by Erik Kline, IPv6 Software Geek and Derek Slater, Policy Analyst

Just as a unique number is associated with your telephone line, your computer is assigned an Internet Protocol (IP) address when you connect to the Internet. Unfortunately, under the current Internet protocol, IPv4, the Internet is projected to run out of IP addresses in 2011. While technologies such as Network Address Translation (NAT) can provide temporary workarounds, they undermine the Internet's open architecture and "innovation without permission" ethos, allowing network intermediaries to exert undue control over new applications.

Effective adoption of the next generation protocol -- IPv6 -- will provide a real, sustainable solution. By expanding the number of IP addresses -- enough for three billion addresses for every person on the planet -- IPv6 will clear the way for the next generation of VoIP, video conferencing, mobile applications, "smart" appliances (Internet-enabled heating systems, cars, refrigerators, and other devices) and other novel applications.

In a report prepared for the National Institute of Standards & Technology in 2005, RTI International estimated annual benefits in excess of $10 billion.

Unfortunately, IPv6 presents a classic chicken-and-egg problem. The benefits of any one network operator, device vendor, application and content provider, or Internet user adopting IPv6 are limited if there is not a critical mass of other adopters. As a result, adoption lags.

The best way to kickstart IPv6 support is to adopt it, and governments are uniquely positioned here. Governments can take advantage of their roles as network operator, content provider, and consumer of Internet services to spur rapid, effective adoption of IPv6. Governments are owners of large IP-based networks, and they can transition both their externally- and internally-facing services to IPv6. They can also choose to only purchase Internet services from entities that commit to deploying native IPv6. In addition, governments can also consider subsidizing or otherwise financially supporting IPv6, such as by conditioning funding for broadband deployment on the use of IPv6 and by funding research around innovative IPv6-based applications

The private sector also has a critical role to play, of course. Here at Google we're hosting a conference this week to support IPv6 implementation. We began offering Web Search over IPv6 on in March 2008, and we recently announced our Google over IPv6 initiative, which provides users seamless access to most Google services over IPv6 simply by going to websites like At this week's conference, participants will share IPv6 implementation experience, advice, and associated research, and hopefully take one more step towards sustaining a healthy, open Internet.