Friday, June 12, 2009

[G] Tip: Check and reply from multiple email addresses in Gmail

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Official Gmail Blog: Tip: Check and reply from multiple email addresses in Gmail

Posted by Joyce Sohn, Product Marketing Manager

It's that time of year when students are graduating, and in many cases getting yet another email address to check — an alumni account — as a graduation present.

Whether you have an alumni address, a work account, or your own domain that you like to use, rather than logging in and out of multiple accounts, you can set yourself up so all your mail ends up in your Gmail inbox. And you can send mail from any of the other addresses you own right from Gmail as well.

There are two steps to make this happen:

1. Set up mail forwarding or fetching

Many email providers offer free auto-forwarding to other accounts. Log into your non-Gmail account and set your Gmail address as the forwarding target. If your other account doesn't offer forwarding but supports POP3 access, you can use Mail Fetcher in Gmail to automatically check your other account for new mail and download it to Gmail.

2. Set up custom "From:"

Gmail's custom "From:" feature lets you send mail with one of your other email addresses listed as the sender in place of your Gmail address. There's a good step-by-step for how to set this up in the Help Center, but the basics are adding the address you want to use and then verifying that it belongs to you. Once you have your custom "From:" set up, you can pick which address you want to reply from in the "From:" address drop down while composing messages.

P.S. If you're a recent grad and want more tips on how to use Google during this transition period, check out the Google for Students Blog, where we'll be posting more tips like this weekly for the next couple months.

[G] Uncovering discoveries

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Google LatLong: Uncovering discoveries

What do cows, coral, craters, and now chameleons have in common? They all have been part of scientific discoveries made possible with Google Earth (if you guessed the letter 'c', we'll still give you credit). Last year we blogged about some of the discoveries we'd heard about, and now we're adding another one to the file. Two British reptile experts were able to find new species of chameleons and butterflies by scouting their research locations in Google Earth. By looking for mountains taller than 1,500 meters in southern Malawi, they were able to determine patterns in the imagery that indicated where they'd find a rainforest with the right conditions for their research. Over the past year at the site near Mount Mulanje, they've found more than 10 new species. You can read more about their research and see pictures of some of the critters here.

If you have your own story of how Google Earth or Google Maps helped you discover something - whether a new species or just a great picnic spot - let us know!

Posted by Elaine Filadelfo, Lat Long Blog Team

[G] New Video: Segment Your AdWords Data

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Google Analytics Blog: Web Analytics Tips & Tricks: New Video: Segment Your AdWords Data

If you use AdWords, you're probably familiar with the AdWords reports in the Google Analytics Traffic Sources section. Using these reports, you can compare AdWords campaigns and ad groups against each other and track individual keyword performance. But wouldn't it be useful to instantly compare - in every single one of your reports - the performance of AdWords traffic against the performance of all site traffic? Even better, what if you could compare a specific subset of AdWords traffic to AdWords traffic as a whole and compare both of these segments to all site traffic?

You can do all this and more using Advanced Segments. The latest Google Analytics in 60 Seconds video shows how to create a segment that includes only AdWords traffic and then how to refine that segment to include only a specific set of keywords. We illustrate how to isolate brand related keywords in the video, but with a little experimentation, you can create the AdWords segments that are most relevant to your business. Then you could compare how frequently visitors from each segment use the search box on your site (Site Search Overview report), how many new visits versus returning visits came from each segment (New vs. Returning report), and how many visits from each segment came from New York (Map Overlay report).

You only have to define your segments once and they'll be available to any user who has access to the profile. This means you can define segments for others in your organization to use. Also, segments can be used with historical data as well as current data. So, if you want to go back and see how an AdWords segment performed one year ago, you can.

Leave a comment and share your favorite AdWords segments.

Posted by Alden DeSoto, Google Analytics Team

[G] Discovering cities with the Transit Layer

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Google LatLong: Discovering cities with the Transit Layer

Earlier this year, we announced the launch of the Transit Layer, a feature that makes it easier for citizens and tourists around the globe to access public transportation line information in their cities. We’re continuously expanding the coverage of Transit Layer, and have added support for transit systems in China, Japan and Russia, which are some of the most complex and remarkable metro lines in the world. The Transit Layer is not only useful to plan a visit, but also to see a city's history, structure of transportation systems, and daily life. Let’s take a look at the Transit Layers for Shanghai, Tokyo and Moscow.

Shanghai (China):

China has launched subway layers for 10 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Beijing's first subway line has been in operation since 1969 and Shanghai's subway system opened in 1995. Now, Shanghai has 8 metro lines, 162 stations and 225 km of tracks, making it the longest network in China, exceeding even the Hong Kong MTR. To get a sense of how widely used the subway system is, take a look at this image of the queues that can form during rush hour.

Tokyo (Japan):

Subways are the most popular and convenient transportation method in Tokyo; most of downtown Tokyo is easily accessible via subways.

The Tokyo Metro Ginza line (drawn in orange) was first opened in 1927. There were many trams at that time, but they have since been replaced by subways because of the increase in automobile usage and lack of capacity and speed. Thirteen lines are in operation today and they carry more than 2.9 billion passengers per year, making this the world's largest subway system.

One of the interesting things about the Transit Layer is that you can see the layout of the transit system. In Tokyo, for instance, you might wonder why the subways take a circuitous path around the central area and avoid it. This is because the area contains the Imperial Palace, which used to be the Edo Castle where the Shogun lived during the pre-modern era. Also, many of the subways are located under historically significant roads. Though Tokyo is filled with modern architecture, it has not been built from scratch, but rather it has been built on top of the old city.

Moscow (Russia):

The Moscow Metro is the world's second largest metro system (in terms of passenger rides) and quite possibly the most beautiful. If you ever come to Moscow, you should definitely visit the Metro (but it's best to avoid it during the rush hour if you have the choice!). Meanwhile, you can check out the Metro on the transit layer for Moscow, together with the bus, tram, trolleybus and monorail lines. We have also launched the detailed transit layer for St. Petersburg recently. All in all, we now provide Transit Layer coverage for 90 cities in 26 countries, including many of the worlds largest transit networks.

Posted by Issei Suzuki, Peng Chen and Vladimir Rychev, Software Engineers

[G] Voting for iGoogle photo themes now open

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Official Google Blog: Voting for iGoogle photo themes now open

A few weeks ago we launched the Google Photography Prize, a global student competition for students to create themes for iGoogle. Our goal was to find talented student photographers and give them unprecedented online and offline exposure. It may seem a little brave to unleash student art on our homepage, but we've been hugely impressed the number and quality of entries we received.

From among the thousands of entries from around the world, we've just announced the shortlist of 36 finalists. Now they're up for your vote - the most popular six you choose will make it to the finals. The 6 finalists will be exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in London and have the chance to win the first prize of £5,000 ($7,500), plus an invitation to spend the day with the internationally renowned photographer Martin Parr.

On the voting page you can also add your favourite as a theme to your iGoogle homepage. Millions of people have already chosen to adorn their iGoogle page with images, with everything from seascapes to original art. Now you can have some fantastic photography from some of the best up-and-coming photographic talent out there right on your homepage.

So take a look, enjoy the photographs, and please vote — the deadline is June 17th. And if you are in London this month, come see the exhibit of the winners at the Saatchi Gallery, starting the 24th and running for a week.

Posted by Posted by Louise Rigby, Consumer Marketing Team

[G] Street View: Exploring Europe's streets with new privacy safeguards

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Google Public Policy Blog: Street View: Exploring Europe's streets with new privacy safeguards

Posted by Peter Fleischer, Global Privacy Counsel

(Cross-posted from the European Public Policy Blog)

In 2007 we began to look at bringing the highly innovative and very popular Street View to Europe, and I highlighted the new technological challenges this would present given different privacy laws and cultural norms. We pre-empted many of the different requirements and concerns and proactively introduced privacy enhancing technologies, namely industry-leading face and license plate blurring, and made it easy to flag inappropriate images for removal. We began a dialogue with the Article 29 Working Party, which brings together representatives from all 27 European Data Protection Authorities. In turn, they have asked us to make a few additional modifications to address local specificities to ensure Street View better aligns to local interpretations of privacy requirements across the whole of Europe.

First, they have asked us to continue to provide advance notice to the public about the project before we start driving in a new country. We already got a head start on this request earlier this year, when we worked closely with the press to announce details of when and where we would be driving in new countries such as Ireland, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic, and Switzerland. As you can probably imagine, it can be tricky at times to say exactly where our cars will be and when; we're affected by lots of things outside our control such as the weather and lighting conditions, we also rely on the local knowledge of our drivers to decide which places it is best to drive when, taking into account traffic conditions and other local factors. Nonetheless, we are committed to working within the Article 29 Working Party's guidelines on this issue.

Second, the Article 29 Working Party has asked that we set a time limit on how long we keep the unblurred copies of panoramas from Street View, in a way that appropriately balances the use of this data for legitimate purposes with the need to deal with any potential concerns from individuals who might feature incidentally on the Street View imagery. To explain the issue here, although the images you see on Street View have faces and car license plates blurred out, we have to collect an original 'unblurred' copy of that image first. We then apply our highly sophisticated blurring technology and we make sure that only the blurred copy is ever made public.

The Article 29 Working Party have, however, asked us to take some additional steps to ensure that we don't keep the original 'unblurred' copy for longer than we need to. This is a challenge, but again one we're committed to meeting not just in Europe but globally. One of the technical challenges at stake with Street View--or any service that uses image detector software --is that the software sometimes makes mistakes, labeling part of the image as containing a face or a license plate when in fact it doesn't. While we like to think we've gotten pretty good at this stuff, we still have lots of these 'false positives'.

Some of these can be pretty funny like the blurred horse shown above, but this also affects the quality of Google Maps and so in turn affects our users - for example, it'd be pretty annoying if you couldn't find the phone number of that little deli across town where you think you might have left your purse, because our software mistook the phone number for a license plate. That's why we're constantly working on ways to improve our technology, and we are constantly training it to detect more of the relevant stuff, while reducing the number of 'false positives' it creates. To do this, though, we need access to the original unblurred copies of the images. Nevertheless, we've communicated to the Article 29 Working Party that we will meet their request that long term we only keep the blurred copy of Street View panoramas, and we will work with them and our engineers to determine the shortest retention period that also allows for legitimate use under EU laws.

It's important for companies operating services across Europe to be able to follow harmonised data protection guidance, and we're grateful to the Article 29 Working Party for their advice and collaboration on Street View. It is this coordinated approach that will best enable the expansion of consumer-facing services and innovative technology across the region. Street View has proven to be extremely popular in the countries in which it has launched and with these additional privacy safeguards we plan to bring it to even more countries in the European Union, allowing people to explore their home towns, tourist attractions or cities on the other side of the world. We are already receiving many requests to come drive new areas so that imagery can be used to showcase a town, promote tourism and improve travel planning and we are of course always happy to consider these. Read about our latest addition to Street View - tourists and Mickey Mouse fans can now virtually explore the Disneyland parks in Paris.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

[G] Snack time with the new iGoogle for Android and iPhone

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Official Google Blog: Snack time with the new iGoogle for Android and iPhone

(cross-posted with the Google Mobile Blog)

We like iGoogle because it lets us "snack" on interesting information all day long. We can read a little bit of news here and there, glance at finance portfolios, take a look at the weather forecast, and then do a Google search. It doesn't require a big commitment of time and energy — it's simply there for us whenever we need it. This kind of availability is even more important on a phone, where it can take a long time to surf. That's why iGoogle is so convenient on mobile devices. When you're waiting in line, you can check iGoogle on your phone for a quick "info snack" — even in areas with mediocre network coverage.

But speed isn't everything. Many of you have told us that you wanted to use more of your iGoogle gadgets on your phone. You wanted to see your tabs, too. We read your blog comments and forum posts and put your requests at the top of our to-do list.

Today, we're excited to roll out an improved beta version of iGoogle for the iPhone and Android-powered devices. This new version is faster and easier to use. It supports tabs as well as more of your favorite gadgets, including those built by third-party developers. Note that not all gadgets — like those with Flash — will work in mobile browsers.

One of our favorite new features is the in-line display of articles for feed-based gadgets. That means you can read article summaries without leaving the page. You can also rearrange gadget order or keep your favorite gadgets open for your next visit. None of these changes will mess up the layout of gadgets on your desktop computer, so feel free to play around and tune your mobile experience. 

The new version of iGoogle for mobile is available in 38 languages. To try it out, go to in your mobile browser and tap "Try the new Mobile iGoogle". Bookmark the page or make it your home page so you can return to it quickly. Finally, please fill out our survey by clicking on the "Tell us what you think" link at the top of the new home page. We'll continue to use your feedback to make iGoogle even better.

Posted by Dan Zivkovic and Zhen Wang, Software Engineers, Google mobile team

[G] Snack time with the new iGoogle for Android and iPhone

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Snack time with the new iGoogle for Android and iPhone

We like iGoogle because it lets us "snack" on interesting information all day long. We can read a little bit of news here and there, glance at finance portfolios, take a look at the weather forecast, and then do a Google search. It doesn't require a big commitment of time and energy — it's simply there for us whenever we need it. This kind of availability is even more important on a phone, where it can take a long time to surf. That's why iGoogle is so convenient on mobile devices. When you're waiting in line, you can check iGoogle on your phone for a quick "info snack" — even in areas with mediocre network coverage.

But speed isn't everything. Many of you have told us that you wanted to use more of your iGoogle gadgets on your phone. You wanted to see your tabs, too. We read your blog comments and forum posts and put your requests at the top of our to-do list.

Today, we're excited to roll out an improved beta version of iGoogle for the iPhone and Android-powered devices. This new version is faster and easier to use. It supports tabs as well as more of your favorite gadgets, including those built by third-party developers. Note that not all gadgets — like those with Flash — will work in mobile browsers.

One of our favorite new features is the in-line display of articles for feed-based gadgets. That means you can read article summaries without leaving the page. You can also rearrange gadget order or keep your favorite gadgets open for your next visit. None of these changes will mess up the layout of gadgets on your desktop computer, so feel free to play around and tune your mobile experience.

The new version of iGoogle for mobile is available in 38 languages. To try it out, go to in your mobile browser and tap "Try the new Mobile iGoogle!" Bookmark the page or make it your home page so you can return to it quickly. Finally, please fill out our survey by clicking on the "Tell us what you think" link at the top of the new home page. We'll continue to use your feedback to make iGoogle even better.

Posted by Dan Zivkovic and Zhen Wang, software engineers, Google mobile team

[G] Searching for clues on Iran's presidential election

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Google Public Policy Blog: Searching for clues on Iran's presidential election

Posted by Pablo Chavez, Managing Policy Counsel

Iranians head to the polls tomorrow to vote in their 10th post-revolution presidential election, and some observers are studying online behavior for clues on how to predict a contest that looks too close to call.

In an article in Foreign Policy, Scott Hartley asks, "Who's winning Iran's Google war?" With more than one third of Iranians now online, search data offers unique insight into what voters might be thinking. Armed with English and Farsi results from Google Insights for Search, Hartley infers that challenger Mir-Hossein Mousavi's appeal is highest among urban elites in Tehran and Shiraz, while incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dominates the less-cosmopolitan cities of Qom, Karaj, and Mashhad. Hartley also points to a fascinating map of the Persian blogosphere developed by Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, which outlines the diversity of political viewpoints across 400,000 blogs.

How will it ultimately play out? We'll have to wait and see. But as Internet penetration increases around the world, search data and other online behavior may continue to emerge as key research tools in future elections.

[G] Display your public Latitude location on your Google Profile

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Display your public Latitude location on your Google Profile

Last month, we launched the new Google public location badge, which lets you publish your Latitude location to your blog or website. Starting today, you can choose to display your badge location on your Google profile. Your Google profile can include online photos, links to your blog or other online profiles, and ways for people to contact you. It also gives you greater control over what people find when they search for your name on Google. Don't have a Google profile? Go to to get started.

To add your location to your Google profile, you first need to enable the Google public location badge. Please keep in mind that your location will be shared publicly with anyone who visits your public profile page, for as long as the badge is enabled. Once you've enabled the Latitude badge, go to the Edit profile page and check the box next to 'Display my Latitude location.' Your Google profile will now display your most recent location if it was updated in the last 24 hours. Note that only your location, not the badge itself, will appear on your profile.

The badge is currently only available in the US, but will be available in more countries soon.

Posted by Peter Harbison, Product Marketing Manager

[G] Like puzzles? Get ready for the Day in the Cloud Challenge on June 24th

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Official Gmail Blog: Like puzzles? Get ready for the Day in the Cloud Challenge on June 24th

Posted by Corey Anderson, Software Engineer (and puzzle creator)

Flying 500 miles per hour at a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet, it always seemed odd that I could use approved electronic devices, but I couldn't get online to chat or send an email. Luckily, the Wright brothers have been catching up with the cloud, and airlines like Virgin America have rolled out in-flight WiFi across their fleet.

To celebrate, we've teamed up with Virgin America to provide complimentary WiFi on all flights on June 24th, and we're co-hosting a timed online scavenger hunt called the Day in the Cloud Challenge. Whether you're going to be in the air or on the ground on that day, you're invited to participate in the challenge and can sign up at

If you use Gmail, there's a good chance you already have a leg up because some of the questions will involve your knowledge of Gmail (plus, you'll need a Google Account to play). To give you a little practice, we've just revealed some practice questions.

Curious how some people are getting ready for the challenge? Check out this video:


[G] Share YouTube Videos on Facebook, Twitter and Google Reader

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YouTube Blog: Share YouTube Videos on Facebook, Twitter and Google Reader

As we learned in kindergarten, sharing is good. We want you to be able to do more of it with your videos. With a simple one-time log-in on our upload page, you can now have your YouTube account automatically update your Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and Google Reader shared items when you upload a video.

If you change your mind, you can shut it off at any time. And of course, for those videos that you'd rather not share, mark them as private and they won't be sent to any other site. We hope this makes it easier to share your good times with your friends.


Brian Glick

Product Manager

The YouTube Team

[G] How to Get Ready for the New Interface

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Inside AdWords: How to Get Ready for the New Interface

By now you probably know that we've been working on a new interface for AdWords to help you save time managing your account and get even better results from your campaigns.

We've built a number of new features that make managing your campaigns faster and easier: more graphs to track your performance over time, integrated reports that provide ready access to detailed search and content network data, and faster editing to help you make changes quickly.

You've probably received an email from us letting you know that your account will be converted to the new interface in the coming weeks. Today we have two release updates to share with you: we've recently made the new interface available to everyone who uses AdWords Standard Edition, and we've begun the migration process with a small number of accounts.

In our email, we stated that you would have at least 30 days before we update your account. This 30 day period is a minimum; in fact, most advertisers will have more than 30 days before their accounts are upgraded. We're taking a gradual and deliberate approach to ensure a smooth transition, and we won't upgrade your account until we're confident that the new interface meets your advertising needs.

So, how should you prepare for the transition to the new interface? First, the single most important resource to help you get up to speed is the new interface microsite. Here you can find short videos explaining the benefits of the new interface, a before and after guide, and even a short quiz you can take to make sure you're ready for the changes.

Next, if you haven't explored the new interface yet, now is a good time; try it by signing in to your AdWords account. If you notice any issues that make it difficult to manage your campaigns in the new interface, please let us know right away by submitting feedback.

If you've already sent us feedback on the new interface, thank you! We're listening closely to your comments and are working to fix the problems you've reported. Examples of top issues we're working on are wide pages that require too much scrolling, and slow load times for some types of browsers and Internet connections.

We've already made a number of changes in response to your feedback, and this week we've released updates to the new interface that address many of the top issues we've heard. And we're not done yet; we'll continue to make ongoing improvements to the new interface over time.

For those of you who joined the beta test early, we hope you like how the new AdWords interface has improved. And for those of you just getting started, we hope you're already noticing a few of the ways the new interface can help you get more out of your AdWords campaigns.

Posted by Austin Rachlin, Inside AdWords crew

[G] Track Yahoo! Search Marketing Campaigns and More with Urchin 6.6

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Google Analytics Blog: Web Analytics Tips & Tricks: Track Yahoo! Search Marketing Campaigns and More with Urchin 6.6

On Monday June 8, we released Urchin 6.6, a significant upgrade to our "run-it-yourself" web analytics package. This release brings some serious enterprise-level heft to the table, and also advances Urchin's marketing-analysis capabilities in a big way.

New Search Marketing Reports and Tools

Chief among Urchin's new report-side features is the Performance Comparison report. Finally you can compare the performance of your Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing (YSM) campaigns side-by-side... Yes, this means you can tap into the Yahoo! API and import your YSM campaigns automatically!

With Urchin 6.6, you can easily compare campaigns, keywords, etc., from different search engines.

There's more. Here's a breakdown of the new CPC-management tools and reports in Urchin 6.6:

  • YSM integration: Download your YSM campaign data via the Yahoo API.
  • Deep links into AdWords: Provide your login credentials and Urchin lets you jump directly from CPC reports to related management screens in your AdWords account.
  • Budget Alerts: If your AdWords campaigns are in danger of exhausting available funds, Urchin will tell you.
  • Keyword Generation Tool: Add keywords to your AdWords campaigns directly from Urchin.
  • Copy Campaign Tool: Duplicate existing CPC campaigns (for example, YSM campaigns) as new AdWords campaigns.
  • Tag Manager: Automates your keyword destination-URL building, a big timesaver.
  • New reports: Time on Site, Performance Comparison, CPC Structure, and more!

Urchin's new Keyword Generator Tool helps you identify promising keywords and add them to your AdWords campaign, all within Urchin!

It doesn't stop here. We've also taken a close look at how Urchin plays with other other systems in your organization. Which brings us to...

New Enterprise/IT Capabilities

Urchin has long been appreciated by web-hosting companies and enterprises for robust performance and integration flexibility. Urchin 6.6 adds key features that make it even better.

  • LDAP integration: Use your existing corporate authentication with Urchin, including LDAP, MSAD, etc.
  • Data API: Pull your Urchin report data into a CRM tool or any other system. (See the Urchin Data API documentation.)
  • Rollup Report: A new Urchin "home" page shows each user a list of all profiles to which they have access, with summary metrics for each profile.
  • Process Control: Kill a running Urchin log-processing job gracefully, without corrupting the database.
  • Urchin 5 to Urchin 6 Migration Utility: Haven't upgraded from Urchin 5 yet? Our new data-migration utility is much faster and less prone to errors.

Urchin's new process control functions allow you to cancel jobs without worry.

Urchin 6.6 is available now as a full-featured 30-day demo from our download servers and licenses can be purchased from any of our Authorized Consultants for US$2995. Check it out!

Posted by Scott Crosby, Urchin Team

[G] Get creative with the Google Chrome icon

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Official Google Blog: Get creative with the Google Chrome icon

Two years ago, we invited people around the world to participate in a video project imagining how Gmail messages travel around the world. The response was overwhelming, with 971 video submissions in total — many of which were really, absurdly cool.

Today, we are announcing a new global project. Your task? Film yourself building the Google Chrome icon in a creative way, with whatever materials, as big, small, or crazy as you want. We will feature the best submissions.

A handful of Googlers and a couple of our friends created some sample videos for inspiration. Check them out:

Learn more and submit your video by July 22. For more information on this project, visit the Google Chrome blog. We can't wait to see the clever ways that you build the Google Chrome icon.

Posted by Jason Toff, Google Chrome team

[G] Join the Google Chrome icon project

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Google Chrome Blog: Join the Google Chrome icon project

A few weeks ago, a few of us on the Google Chrome team decided to experiment with creating the Google Chrome icon out of different objects. We started off simple, using things like spoons and balloons, and eventually progressed to more elaborate creations, using stop-animation and other video effects. We even created a cake!

We know from past experience that users are the ones who come up with the coolest stuff. So with that, we now turn the challenge to YOU to make a video showing the formation of the Google Chrome icon in a big, unusual or creative way.

Imagine a bird's eye view of a parking lot with carefully arranged cars, coordinated outfits in a stadium's bleachers, a 10,000 M&M mural, etc. We are excited to see what you come up with and we'll showcase the best submissions!

Here are the details:
  • You have until July 22 to submit your video
  • Users from all over the world are invited to participate
  • The best entries will be featured on Google & YouTube
To start you thinking, here's a quick video of our team's experiments. It also includes two great ideas from FlippyCat and Anna the Red:

To learn more and submit your video, visit

Posted by Jason Toff, Google Chrome team

[G] Serena Software on switching from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Serena Software on switching from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps

Editor's Note: We're pleased to welcome Ron Brister, Senior Manager of Global IT Operations, and Arron Privatsky, System Administrator, of Serena Software as our guest bloggers today. Serena Software, a leading provider of software to accelerate application development, helps IT departments keep pace with the demands of the businesses they support. Serena’s tools automate software development processes and help business users create powerful mashups – without requiring any coding. Serena is a privately owned company with 29 offices in 14 countries and 800 employees. Founded more than 25 years ago, Serena has more than 15,000 customers including 96 of the Fortune 100.

Serena Software recently selected Google Apps Premier Edition for its messaging and collaboration needs, saving more than $750,000 and countless IT hours. Members of Serena Software will be on hand next Thursday, June 18, to talk about that experience in a live webcast.
Register here.

My name is Ron Brister, and I’m Senior Manager of Global IT Operations at Serena Software. I'm here with Arron Privatsky, System Administrator for Serena. Serena is a leading provider of software to accelerate application development. Because we are software experts, it’s no surprise that we are always looking for the best solutions.

For us, it was becoming increasingly clear that our messaging infrastructure was lacking. Inbox storage space was a constant complaint. Server maintenance was extremely time-consuming, and backups were inconsistent. Then we found that – calculating additional licenses of Microsoft Exchange, client access licenses for users, disaster recovery software, and additional disk storage space to increase mailbox quotas to 1.5GB – staying with our existing provider would have cost us upwards of $1 million. That was a nearly impossible number to justify with executives.

We thought about replacing our on-premise solution, but to tell the truth, we were skeptical. I, personally, had been a Microsoft admin for 15 years, and Microsoft technologies were ingrained in my thought processes. But Google Apps provided many pluses: Gmail, Google’s Postini messaging security software and 25 GB of mailbox space, as well as greater uptime and 24/7 phone support.

Apps also offered reliable mobile access and included other Google productivity and collaboration applications, such as Google Docs for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations – all at $50 per user per year. The cost savings would amount to a whopping $750,000 per year. All this added up to the ability to save the company money and to transition to a more advanced, flexible infrastructure.

Once we selected Google Apps, we decided on a “Big Bang” migration. Employees would switch over on their own, migrating their old emails to Gmail if they chose to, or simply starting with a clean inbox. We did not support local email clients, opting to support only the Gmail web interface through Mozilla Firefox to best accommodate the company's mixed Linux, Mac and PC environment.

We also enlisted four small groups of early adopters who would try the Google solution first, and then assist IT and support their peers during the full-scale migration. We used a lot of Google’s existing support documents to help us during the migration.

The overall move to Google Apps took all of six hours. We waited for the phones to ring, but all we heard was silence – in fact, we sat there playing meebo for quite a while – and still, nothing happened. We cut the cord all in one stroke to avoid the hassle of living in two environments at once. We made the switch globally, all in one day – and, due to the advantages of this cloud computing solution, we’ve never looked back.

I expect that what I am saying is probably setting off a lot of questions in your head. We welcome you to join us for a live webcast to learn more:

Thursday, June 18, 2009
1:00 p.m. EDT / 10:00 a.m PDT / 5:00 p.m. GMT

We'll give you more details and take questions on our recent switch to Google Apps. We hope that you'll join us.

Posted by Serena Satyasai, Google Apps team

Get timely updates on new features in Google Apps by subscribing to our RSS feed or email alerts.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

[G] Upcoming Seminars for Success

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Official Google Website Optimizer Blog: Upcoming Seminars for Success

We have two upcoming Seminars for Success for Google Website Optimizer. If you're looking for a day of in-person training to help you get started in your testing, you should try to attend. The curriculum includes:
  • An overview of testing and Website Optimizer
  • How to identify problematic pages and estimate sample sizes
  • Loads of testing best practices drawn from real tests and case studies
  • Hands-on lab experience in setting up, configuring, & launching both A/B and Multivariate tests
  • How to interpret the data and run follow up experiments
The two dates are fast approaching so you'll want to sign up right away.
And if you're looking to increase your expertise in other Google products, take a look at Seminars for Success for AdWords and Google Analytics.

Posted by Trevor Claiborne, Website Optimizer team

[G] Seminars for Success updated for the new interface

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Inside AdWords: Seminars for Success updated for the new interface

Starting today, all AdWords Seminars for Success will be taught using the new AdWords interface. So, if you've been wanting some in-person instruction on how to best use the new AdWords interface or how to generally grow your campaigns, check out the seminars we're hosting in the next couple months:

AdWords 101: Beginner and AdWords 201: Intermediate
  • June 15-16: San Diego, CA
AdWords 301: Advanced Account Optimization and AdWords 302: Advanced Conversion Optimization
  • June 24-25: Boston, MA
  • July 16-17: Minneapolis, MN
  • August 4-5: Denver, CO
Analytics: Introduction and Analytics: Advanced
  • June 17-18: Dallas, TX
  • June 25-26: Washington D.C.
  • July 7-8: Edmonton, Canada
  • July 7-8: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Website Optimizer
  • June 19: Dallas, TX
  • February 11: San Jose, CA
  • July 9: Sao Paulo, Brazil
If you sign up for seminars at least seven days in advance, you'll receive a $50 AdWords credit (view the terms and conditions).

For more information about Seminars for Success, including registration details, course outlines, and past attendees' comments, please visit

Posted by Amanda Kelly, Inside AdWords crew

[G] Back from Google I/O

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Social Web Blog: Back from Google I/O

We're back from attending Google I/O in San Francisco, and it was great meeting those of you who were there. For those who couldn't make it (or if you were there and missed something), videos of each session are now posted online along with the slides from the presentations.

A few sessions I particularly enjoyed were:
A summary of all the sessions in the social track can be found on the Google Code Blog. Go check these out, relive any you liked, and leave a comment with your thoughts.

Posted by Mendel Chuang, Product Marketing Manager, Google Friend Connect

[G] Measuring the impact of the Internet on the economy

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Google Public Policy Blog: Measuring the impact of the Internet on the economy

Posted by Rob Tai, Policy Analyst

With news of bankruptcies and bailouts dominating the headlines recently, it's easy to lose sight of one of the bright spots in our economy: the Internet. In an incredibly short amount of time the Internet has emerged as a key driver of economic growth, creating millions of American jobs that generate hundreds of billions of dollars in economic activity.

This afternoon a new study commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau put some real numbers on this very point. According to Harvard Business School professors John Deighton and John Quelch, the Internet is responsible for 3.1 million American jobs and $300 billion in economic activity spread throughout the United States. As Professors Deighton and Quelch put it, the web "has created unprecedented opportunities for growth among small businesses and individual entrepreneurs."

As the report makes clear, it's difficult to overstate the social and economic benefits of the Internet on the United States. Unlike any other platform in history, it has empowered entrepreneurs to start new businesses and connect with customers around the world, and has provided users with access to unprecedented amounts of information.

We think it's important for policymakers to understand the social and economic benefits of the Internet. That's why I was happy to see IAB also announce this afternoon the launch of the Long Tail Alliance, a group of small independent online businesses working to educate policymakers about the benefits of online advertising and to advocate against burdensome restrictions that would damage the Internet economy. In conjunction with the release of the new study, a group of Long Tail Alliance members representing 25 Congressional districts and 13 states took a maiden voyage to Washington to tell Congress their story. Check out some of what they have to say at "I Am the Long Tail."

As the Internet economy continues to grow, we hope Members of Congress turn to groups like the Long Tail Alliance, the Google Small Business Network, and others to better understand the tremendous economic and social benefits of the web and its impact on small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country.

[G] AdWords system maintenance on June 13th

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Inside AdWords: AdWords system maintenance on June 13th

On Saturday, June 13th, 2009, the AdWords system will be unavailable from approximately 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. PST due to system maintenance. While you won't be able to sign in to your accounts during this time, your campaigns will continue to run as usual. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Posted by Dan Friedman, Inside AdWords crew

[G] Local Business Information and Store Locations

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Official Google Base Blog: Local Business Information and Store Locations

Usually, I do my shopping online - I can browse from the comfort of my home or office and compare across multiple stores before I purchase. Occasionally, however, when I'm heading out on a trip or I have to buy a last-minute birthday present, I don't have time to wait for a product to ship. To help users with this problem, we've begun experimenting with exposing store locations in Google Product Search, and we'd like to invite you to participate. We think this will help users find nearby store locations, and help merchants get foot traffic into their stores.

To participate in this experiment, all you need to do is submit your store locations to the Google Local Business Center, which allows business owners to control the content of their business listings as they appear in Google Search and Google Maps.

Submitting your store locations to the Google Local Business Center is easy. First, go to Then:
  • If you're able to verify ownership of your store locations by receiving a phone call or a postcard at each location, please add and verify your stores individually by using the "Add new business" option.
  • If you have 10 or more stores, or if you're unable to individually verify all of your locations, you can bulk upload your listings as unverified data by choosing the "Upload a data file" option. Then, fill out this form to help us associate your Local Business Center data with your Google Base account.
Regardless of which method you use to submit your data, use the same email address you use to log in to Google Product Search.

As a bonus, the Google Local Business Center just released the Local Business Center dashboard, a completely free feature that allows business owners to view a range of information about how Google users find their business listings on Google - from the number of clicks your listing received to the zip codes from which users are driving when they request directions to your store. Currently, this dashboard is only available to business owners who can verify each store location via phone or postcard.

Posted by Paul Lee, Business Product Manager, Google Product Search

[G] Zemanta helps you "blog smarter"

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Blogger Buzz: Zemanta helps you "blog smarter"

Blog better using ZemantaImage by chucks via Flickr
We're always looking for tools to make blogging easier, and a number of us on the Blogger team have become big fans of Zemanta. Zemanta is a browser plug-in for Firefox and IE, and is available as a bookmarklet for Chrome and Safari. (More details here, you can download your version of Zemanta here.)

Here's how it works: while you write your blog post in Blogger, Zemanta opens up a sidebar next to the Blogger post editor. After you've written a few sentences, Zemanta analyzes the words in your post and suggests images and video that are relevant to your post; with one click, it inserts them into your post. (The Zemanta screenshot from Flickr in this post was inserted with just that one click.)

In addition, Zemanta looks for words/phrases it's familiar with, and makes it easy to link those words to URLs it knows about. The phrases appear immediately below the post editor in Blogger, and by clicking on them you automatically create the links Zemanta recommends. No more highlighting text, clicking "Link", pasting the URL - just click the words you want linked, and Zemanta handles the creation of the link - to webpages, maps, videos or pictures.

Blogger Labels are easier to use with Zemanta, too: Zemanta automatically suggests labels for your based on the text of your post, and creates the labels for you if you like. Finally, "Latest Update" gives you a list of blog posts from other blogs writing about similar topics. It's a great way to discover sites talking about similar topics, and if you'd like to point your readers to those articles for further reading, clicking on them in the sidebar inserts them as "Related reading" links at the bottom of your post (see below).

If you have a few minutes, the following video review by Blogger user Plug in SEO does a good job covering how Zemanta helps save you time while enhancing your blog posts. The blog post accompanying the reivew is also worth a read.

We'll keep our eyes open for other tools that make your blog better. Stay tuned!

Related articles by Zemanta

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

[G] Google Apps deployment just got easier

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Google Apps deployment just got easier

For many businesses, switching to a new email and calendar platform can seem like a daunting task. What about the technical issues? What about getting users on board? Well, for businesses that want to quickly take advantage of all the benefits and innovations of Google Apps, we have great news.

Today, we're announcing the launch of our new
Google Apps Deployment for Enterprise site, which we built using Google Sites. On the site, we've gathered several resources to help businesses make the move to Google Apps faster and easier. Businesses with many employees and complex IT environments, in particular, will find these time-saving resources useful in managing the transition to Google Apps.

The site's resources are grouped into two categories: deployment planning and user adoption. The planning resources help IT administrators, project planners, and others become familiar with all the Google Apps features and tools available, determine a deployment strategy, and track deployment activities.

We also describe our Google Guides Program, a peer-to-peer technical support methodology, which can make your deployment easier. Whether you choose to handle deployment entirely in-house or enlist the aid of a Google Solutions Provider, we think you'll find these planning resources essential for understanding the deployment process and ensuring a successful outcome.

At Google, we believe that better communication leads to better results, so we've also designed a host of user adoption resources to make it easier for businesses to communicate to their users. For example, our communications and quick-start templates can be quickly customized based on both the platform from which users are migrating (Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes) and the features being enabled, and our eLearning videos can help users get up to speed at their own pace.

Here's a look at our current set of resources:

But this is just the beginning. We'll continue to add new resources to the site and enhance the material that's already there. We developed many of the site's resources by working closely with some of our Enterprise customers, and we want to continue in that spirit of cooperation. We'd especially like to hear about your best practices and new approaches to making a Google Apps deployment faster and easier.

So check out our new deployment site and send your feedback and ideas to

Posted by Matt Ceglia, Technical Writer, Google Enterprise

Get timely updates on new features in Google Apps by subscribing to our RSS feed or email alerts.

[G] Experience our largest developer gathering online

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Official Google Blog: Experience our largest developer gathering online

Google I/O has come and gone, and we've been working to get all of the content online so those of you who couldn't be there could experience some of the excitement. At the conference, we shared our thoughts on the future of the web along with some exciting announcements including a developer preview of Google Wave, our new collaboration and communication tool, and Google Web Elements, which makes adding a bit of Google to your website or blog as simple as copy and paste. In addition, I/O featured 80+ sessions of technical insight, and over 140 companies joined our developer sandbox at the conference to showcase the web applications they've been building using Google developer products. 

All of these sessions, along with interviews and screencasts from many of the sandbox developers, are now available for you to watch online. Also, to get a real feel for the happenings on the conference floor at Moscone Center in San Francisco, check out our interactive map to watch session videos embedded in their actual conference rooms, or browse our photo gallery.

You can stay tuned for further updates on all of our developer products at the Google Code Blog and We had a great time getting to meet all of developers building amazing apps using Google technology and want to thank the 140 other companies that participated. See you next year!

Posted by Azhar Hashem, Google Developer Products and Mike Marchak, Google Code Team

[G] The Iterative Web App - Faster Address Auto-complete and Keyboard Shortcuts

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Official Google Mobile Blog: The Iterative Web App - Faster Address Auto-complete and Keyboard Shortcuts

On April 7th, we announced a new version of Gmail for mobile for iPhone and Android-powered devices. Among the improvements was a complete redesign of the web application's underlying code which allows us to more rapidly develop and release new features that users have been asking for, as explained in our first post. We'd like to introduce The Iterative Webapp, a series where we will continue to release features for Gmail for mobile. Today: Faster address auto-completion and keyboard shortcuts. --Shyam Sheth, Product Manager, Google Mobile.

At Google we're always looking for a way to do things faster. Today, we're announcing two improvements that will speed up your Gmail for mobile experience.

The first improvement is faster address auto-completion. This means that as you begin typing the first few letters of your friend or colleague's name or email address, Gmail for mobile will quickly display possible contacts. We sped up this process by reusing previously fetched matches in subsequent searches.

The second improvement is that we've enabled keyboard shortcuts for Android-powered devices with a physical keyboard. Now you can use all those familiar Gmail keyboard shortcuts to quickly move through your inbox. For example, if you're reading an email you can press 'u' to return to the inbox or 'n' to move to the next conversation.

To try out Gmail for mobile, visit in your mobile browser. This version of Gmail for mobile supports iPhone/iPod Touch OS 2.2.1 or above, as well as all Android-powered devices, and is available for US English only. To make it easy to access your Gmail account, try creating a home screen link.

Posted by Matthew Bolohan and Andrew Grieve, Software Engineers, Google Mobile

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

[G] U-M expresses support for the Google Book Search settlement

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Google Public Policy Blog: U-M expresses support for the Google Book Search settlement

Posted by Derek Slater, Policy Analyst

As I mentioned last week, the University of Michigan recently announced an expansion of its partnership with Google, making millions of books from its library collection accessible to readers, researchers, and book lovers across the United States.

This weekend Paul Courant, Dean of Libraries at the University of Michigan, penned an op-ed in the Ann Arbor News explaining that the approval of the Google Book Search settlement agreement will result in "ubiquitous online access to a collection unparalleled in size and scope, preservation of the scholarly and cultural record embodied in the collections of great research libraries, new lines of research, and greatly expanded access to the world's printed work for persons with print disabilities." Check it out when you have a chance.

[G] Google Fusion Tables

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Official Google Research Blog: Google Fusion Tables

Posted by Alon Halevy, Google Research and Rebecca Shapley, User Experience

Database systems are notorious for being hard to use. It is even more difficult to integrate data from multiple sources and collaborate on large data sets with people outside your organization. Without an easy way to offer all the collaborators access to the same server, data sets get copied, emailed and ftp'd--resulting in multiple versions that get out of sync very quickly.

Today we're introducing Google Fusion Tables on Labs, an experimental system for data management in the cloud. It draws on the expertise of folks within Google Research who have been studying collaboration, data integration, and user requirements from a variety of domains. Fusion Tables is not a traditional database system focusing on complicated SQL queries and transaction processing. Instead, the focus is on fusing data management and collaboration: merging multiple data sources, discussion of the data, querying, visualization, and Web publishing. We plan to iteratively add new features to the systems as we get feedback from users.

In the version we're launching today, you can upload tabular data sets (right now, we're supporting up to 100 MB per data set, 250 MB of data per user) and share them with your collaborators or with the world. You can choose to share all of your data with your collaborators, or keep parts of it hidden. You can even share different portions of your data with different collaborators.

When you edit the data in place, your collaborators always get the latest version. The attribution feature means your data will get credit for its contribution to any data set built with it. And yes, you can export your data back out of the cloud as CSV files.

Want to understand your data better? You can filter and aggregate the data, and you can visualize it on Google Maps or with other visualizations from the Google Visualization API. In this example, an intensity map of the world shows countries that won more than 10 gold medals in the Summer Olympics. You can then embed these visualizations in other properties on the Web (e.g., blogs and discussion groups) by simply pasting some HTML code we provide you.

The power of data is truly harnessed when you combine data from multiple sources. For example, consider combining data about access to fresh water in various countries with data about malaria rates in those countries, or as shown here, showing three sources of GDP data side by side. Fusion Tables enables you to fuse multiple sets of data when they are about the same entities. In database speak, we call this a join on a primary key but the data originates from multiple independent sources. This is just the start, more join capabilities will come soon.

But Fusion Tables doesn't require you and your collaborators to stop there. What if you don't agree on all of the values? Or need to understand the assumptions behind the data better? Fusion Tables enables you to discuss data at different granularity levels -- you can discuss individual rows or columns or even individual cells. If a collaborator with edit permission changes data during the discussion, viewers will see the change as part of the discussion trail.

We hope you find Fusion Tables useful. As usual with first releases, we realize there is much missing, and we look forward to hearing your feedback.