Friday, July 17, 2009

[G] Turn the page, travel the world

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Google LatLong: Turn the page, travel the world


Last year we had a post about authors using Google Maps to tell stories, and pondered whether that was foreshadowing other examples to come. Now author John Higham has taken that to the next level by incorporating Google Earth into his book as a way to illustrate his (literal) journey. 360 Degrees Longitude – One Family’s Journey Around The World tells the story of John's year-long trip across the globe with his wife and children, and he's created a KML to serve as an interactive narrative that puts the family's adventures in visual & geographic context. As John explains it, "while we were traveling around the world time and time again I felt awe at the difference between the perception of reading about a place and experiencing it in the flesh. When I wrote the book, I wanted the reader to have as much of a sense of 'being there' as possible. Using Google Earth was the answer."

At the beginning of the book, the readers are directed to the Google Earth layer, which John considers a 'travel companion'. The KML includes photos, videos, and additional tales to accompany each chapter in the book. You can read more about John's use of Google Earth or find the KML file in the Google Earth gallery.


Posted by Elaine Filadelfo, Lat Long Blog Team
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2009/07/turn-page-travel-world.html

[G] Back To Basics: Comparing Days Of The Week

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Google Analytics Blog: Back To Basics: Comparing Days Of The Week

You probably already know that you can quickly compare two date ranges against each other simply by clicking Compare to Past. So, in the screenshot below, clicking Compare to Past will allow me to compare the current period (Mar 16 - Apr 15) with the previous period (May 16 - May 15).


Once I click Apply, I'll see the graph below. The problem, though, is that this graph is not very useful to me as a comparison tool because the days of the week don't line up.


The first day of the current period (March 16) is a Monday, so I'll use the date slider to move the first day of the previous period back to Feb 9, also a Monday. Just click the Timeline tab to see the date slider and drag the previous period (in green) to the left, one day at a time. The date will change in the text box as you drag the slider. Then, click Apply.


Once I've lined up my days, I can compare weekdays to weekdays, and weekends to weekends. For example, I can see that, except for the first Wednesday, I received more traffic on all of the Wednesdays in the previous period.


Next time you use Compare to Past, try using the date slider to adjust your previous time period. It's possible that you'll uncover new insights about your day to day traffic.


Posted by Alden DeSoto, Google Analytics Team
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2009/07/back-to-basics-comparing-days-of-week.html

[G] Tweeting #netneutrality

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Google Public Policy Blog: Tweeting #netneutrality

Posted by Jacob Glick, Canada Policy Counsel

This week the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission wrapped up its hearings on Internet traffic management. Earlier in the proceeding I testified on behalf of the Open Internet Coalition (of which Google is a member) to argue that "innovation without permission" requires a robust, open Internet -- a view echoed by consumer groups, Internet policy advocates, content producers and distributors.

Fittingly, tonnes of people who would normally never follow a regulatory hearing took to the web to listen to the CRTC's live audiocast, follow the live-blog from the National Post, and tweet up a storm with the tags #crtc and #netneutrality (including me, @jacobglick). Journalist Greg O'Brien (@gregobr) tweeted, "Total listeners to the #crtc proceeding Monday: 371. Highest ever group to take in a Commission webcast, they say."

This impromptu online community was an object lesson in precisely the point we made to the Commission about the power of an open Internet to share insights, test arguments, and facilitate meaningful civic engagement -- all in cool, unexpected ways.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2009/07/tweeting-netneutrality.html

[G] Public Template Gallery submissions now open to everyone

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Official Google Docs Blog: Public Template Gallery submissions now open to everyone

Since we launched the public template gallery last year, people who use Google Docs have been asking for a way to share their own templates with all Google Docs users by uploading them to the public gallery.

Today, we've opened up the template gallery to the public and added a "Submit a template" link in the top right corner of the gallery page. If you have a great spreadsheet for planning a family vacation or a tried and tested form for collecting customer feedback, you can now submit your template to the gallery and anyone using Google Docs will be able to try it out.



Templates can be documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and even forms. Other people can preview your templates, and then click "use this template" to create their own copy for personal use. They can also rate your templates to help other users find the most useful templates.

Once you upload a template to the gallery, you can also embed your template (with a thumbnail image) into your own website or blog.

As before, the public template gallery makes it easy to sort and browse the templates by category, usage, rating, and document type. Do you have a document, presentation, spreadsheet or form that you want to add to the public template gallery? To get started, follow these steps:

1. Go to the "Google Docs Template Gallery"
2. Click the "Submit a template" link
3. Select the document you want to add to the template gallery, enter in a description, choose an appropriate category and click "Submit template"

If you're using Google Apps, check out this blog post about sharing templates within your own organization. We look forward to seeing what you create and upload to the gallery. If you have any feedback on the public template gallery, please let us know at http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google+Docs.

Posted by: Valerie Blechar, Software Engineer
URL: http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2009/07/public-template-gallery-submissions-now.html

Thursday, July 16, 2009

[G] Pardon our Dust

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Official Google Docs Blog: Pardon our Dust

We're always looking for ways to make it easier to find what you're looking for in Google Docs, which is why we're taking some time to do a bit of remodeling to the Docs list. Over the next few weeks you'll see a number of small changes, culminating in a brand new shiny interface.

One thing you'll probably notice in the next few days is that the "Shared with..." list in the left hand pane will go away. But don't worry, you can still use Search to do the same thing. Just click on "Search Options" and type the user's name into the "Shared with:" box. If this is a search you'll do over and over again, you can click "Save this search" so it will be easily accessible in "Saved Searches".

Another thing you'll see is the new Sharing Menu. We feel this is a big improvement over the old one; we've moved all the sharing functionality into this one dialog, so now you can completely manage sharing without having to leave the Docs list.

We also added a few search operators, so you can now search with:
  • Exact phase matching, by using quotes: ["match this phrase exactly"]
  • Or: ["tacos" OR "nachos"]
  • Negation: [salsa -dancing]. This will include items with salsa recipes, but not items about dancing
  • Who the doc is shared from or to: [from:bob@gmail.com] or [to:bob@gmail.com]
  • Star or Hidden state: [is:starred] or [is:hidden]
You'll see these changes happen over the next few weeks. They will be followed shortly by the new interface and a number of pretty exciting features we have in the pipe.

In the meantime, please pardon our dust. :-)

Posted by: Vijay Bangaru, Product Manager, Google Docs
URL: http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2009/07/pardon-our-dust.html

[G] New Interface Thursday: Beta Test the Opportunities Tab

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Inside AdWords: New Interface Thursday: Beta Test the Opportunities Tab

How do I get better results from my campaigns? It's a simple question that can often be surprisingly difficult to answer. Where should I focus my efforts? On ad text? Budget? Keywords or bids? Which campaign has the greatest potential for improvement? And what are the expected results?

Today we're introducing the Opportunities tab, a beta feature in the new AdWords interface built to help you answer these questions. The Opportunities tab is a central hub you can use to browse and apply customized optimization ideas to your account. We're designing the new tab both to save you time when optimizing your campaigns and to give you more insight into ways you can capture additional cost-effective traffic.


Initially, the Opportunities tab will focus on budget and keyword ideas for your campaigns and ad groups, but in the coming months we'll be expanding the set of available features. If you've used our Campaign Optimizer tool, you're already familiar with some of the types of customized ideas that will be listed on the new tab. But unlike Campaign Optimizer, the Opportunities tab lets you browse ideas across campaigns and ad groups, helping you find potential areas of improvement and easily prioritize the changes you make to your account.

The Opportunities tab will replace the Tools tab in the new AdWords interface. However, all existing AdWords tools will still be available, and you can find the current Tools page within the new tab.

Today we're releasing the Opportunities tab to a small number of U.S. English advertisers, and we look forward to expanding the feature to additional countries and languages in the coming weeks. If you're a U.S. English advertiser and would like to be considered for the beta, please submit your account information on our beta sign-up page.

Interested in learning more about other features in the new AdWords interface? Attend one of our upcoming free webinars for an in-depth walkthrough. We just added two new dates: July 29th and August 5th. You can sign up at the new interface webinars page.

Posted by Austin Rachlin, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2009/07/new-interface-thursday-beta-test.html

[G] You're invited...

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Google LatLong: You're invited...


This Monday we'll be making a special announcement about Google Earth at the Newseum in Washington DC. The event will last from 11am to 12:30pm and will feature Google speakers, special guests, and product demos.

The Newseum is open to the public and ticket information can be found here. If you can make it, it would be great to see you there.

We're looking forward to it - hope to see you Monday!

Posted by Aaron Stein, Lat Long Blog Team
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2009/07/youre-invited.html

[G] Today's the day: signups open for free Google Message Security for K-12 schools

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Today's the day: signups open for free Google Message Security for K-12 schools

Last week we announced we will begin globally offering email security free to current and new eligible K-12 Google Apps Education users that opt-in by July 2010 – and starting today eligible schools can learn how to opt-in to enable Google Message Security for their domain.

Google Message Security – powered by Postini – provides the capability for administrators to limit messages based on who they are from, where they are going, or the content they contain. Message rules can be applied to groups of users, allowing customization for different user sets (like younger students, older students, and teachers).

To further celebrate our support of K12, we launched the Google Apps Education Community site for educators and students to share and learn more about Google Apps, as well as the Google Apps Education resource center with more than 20 classroom-ready lesson plans – and we're committed to providing even more educational resources in the future, as the Google Apps Education community grows.

If you know of a K-12 school or educator who might benefit from this opportunity, please share this post with them. Many thanks for your ongoing support of Google Apps in education.

Posted by Dana Nguyen, Google Apps Education team


URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2009/07/todays-day-signups-open-for-free-google.html

[G] Shout out to Google Reader

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Google Analytics Blog: Shout out to Google Reader

Every now and then we like to give a shout out to another Google product and today, as avid bloggers, we wanted to mention Google Reader which allows you to subscribe to and follow any blog or website, and then read them all in one place via a table of contents on the left. It's my first stop when I open my browser in the morning, and probably where I spend the most time online. You are your own publishing house and your own news aggregator. There's also some other handy features, such as a task and notes list, as well as a way to browse other users' subscriptions, share certain content with different groups, see a trends graph on what you've been reading the most, and more.

But what we wanted to share is the translate feature. We recently posted about Google Analytics and conversion-related blogs in other languages, including Spanish, German, French, Japanese and even one focused on the UK market. A colleague brought the following to our attention: with Google Reader, you can read all of these blogs by using a translate feature to read them in your own language with the click of a button. So, if you're reading these words right now, and your first language is not English, go into Google Reader and subscribe to this blog and then translate. Here's how you do it: 1. Click and read a subscription. 2. Click the "Feed Settings" drop down. 3. Choose "Translate into my language."

Then Reader will translate the content into the language you have specified under your Google Account "Settings" page. For example, if Spanish was the language in my Settings and I chose to translate the blog, here's how it would look:


Cool, huh? Hope this was helpful for all you avid readers out there who can't get enough of analytics in just one language.

Posted by Jeff Gillis, Google Analytics Team
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2009/07/shout-out-to-google-reader.html

[G] Speeding up: Attracting more advertiser spend

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Inside AdSense: Speeding up: Attracting more advertiser spend

In the final week of our educational series about speeding up your business in a slowdown, you'll hear tips from Christian Ashlock, an AdSense Optimization team manager, about attracting additional advertiser spend. If you have any final suggestions for growing your business, we hope you'll leave them as comments. If you missed a week or want to re-read tips from our team, you can revisit the series at any time at www.google.com/ads/speedingup.

I'm Christian Ashlock, and I manage an AdSense optimization team at Google that works to help publishers get the most out of their AdSense accounts. Once you create a site with great content and great ad inventory, the best way to earn additional revenue is to make sure advertisers can find you. Today, I'll share two tips to help attract advertisers to spend money on your site, and a third tip to help you access a new pool of advertisers you may not currently be reaching.



Tip #1: Define ad placements in AdSense so that AdWords advertisers can find them and bid directly for them.

Ad placements are simply custom channels that you can expose to advertisers to encourage more placement targeting spend on your site. Ad placements are most effective for sites with lots of different topics or with different sections like articles, a blog, and a forum. You can set up ad placements based on specific categories of interest on your site, like fine arts or sports. You can also set up ad placements to cater to advertisers who are more interested in specific ad unit locations, like above the fold placements, or popular ad unit sizes including the 300x250 medium rectangle or 728x90 leaderboard.

Tip #2: Help advertisers find your inventory outside of AdWords.

Google Ad Planner is a media planning tool that advertisers use to find sites for their media buys. With the recently launched Publisher Center in Ad Planner, you can claim your site and provide information that helps advertisers better understand your content, audience and advertising options. You can also share your Analytics data with Ad Planner to ensure that advertisers see the most accurate traffic numbers for your site. All of this will help advertisers who use Ad Planner as a media planning tool understand the value of your site, and may even help new advertisers learn that your site exists!

Tip #3: Tap into a new set of advertisers: search advertisers.

Google has relationships with many advertisers -- some advertise on Google.com, some advertise on our partner sites through the AdSense program, and many do both. You can tap into advertisers who choose to advertise on our search partner sites by using AdSense for search. AdSense for search lets your site's visitors find what they're looking for on your site and across the web. Just like on Google.com, we'll display ads targeted to what your visitor is looking for along with the search results.

Additional Resources:
Thanks for following our educational series for the last five weeks. We hope you've gained a better understanding of the tools and resources you can use to improve your site and your AdSense earnings.

Posted by Talia Brodecki - AdSense Product Marketing
URL: http://adsense.blogspot.com/2009/07/speeding-up-attracting-more-advertiser.html

[G] Building blocks: connecting Google Apps for Education with Blackboard

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Building blocks: connecting Google Apps for Education with Blackboard

We view Google Apps for Education as both a product and a platform. That's why we work hard to open up lots of integration points, letting our tools interact with other systems used by our Education customers.

For example, we've supported work that has integrated Google Apps into
environments such as Moodle. We also share a large number of APIs to allow integration into our user management system, and many of our individual apps like Google Docs and Google Calendar.


Because we care so much about integration, we were excited to discover that Northwestern University has been working to integrate Google Apps Education Edition with Blackboard, one of the predominant providers of educational technology. Northwestern was one of the first schools to deploy Google Apps in 2007; it joined our Higher Education Customer Advisory Board as a founding member later that year.

This week at the BB World conference, Northwestern is unveiling a Blackboard Building Block called "Bboogle" that they have built and are releasing to the community as open source. Building Block includes single sign-on, automated account provisioning, and automated sharing of Google Documents and Calendars through Blackboard course sites.


According to Jonathan Smith, Software Architect at Northwestern, "I initiated our Google integration project because we were approached by a faculty member in anthropology who had been using Google Apps in his classes. In the past we had used wikis in history classes to allow students to work directly with primary source materials, and it occurred to me that Google Apps could support a much higher level of student and faculty collaboration. By integrating the applications into Blackboard we could make that kind of collaborative learning experience available to more of our students than ever before."

These images show the process of creating a link to a Google document....



...and the resulting link in the BlackBoard course site:


We love to see customers and partners innovating and integrating with our products. The power of Google Apps comes not only from Google's applications, but the ability to integrate them with other environments our customers use. Incorporating Google Docs and Sites into systems likeMoodle and Blackboard make it easier for student and professors to collaborate seamlessly.

Thanks to the team at Northwestern for this integration, and for opening it up for others to use. It's still early days, and Northwestern is still polishing the code, but check it out and let us know what you think.


Posted by Gabe Cohen, Product Manager, Google Apps team
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2009/07/building-blocks-connecting-google-apps.html

[G] Plan ahead: Document and share your health wishes with Google Health

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Official Google Blog: Plan ahead: Document and share your health wishes with Google Health

Do you have medical records gathering dust in a pile somewhere? As a doctor and nurse on the Google Health team, we've both had a lot of experience working directly in the healthcare system, with all the bills, insurance forms and other paper documents that come with it. We know from firsthand experience how burdensome all of these documents can be and we would like to reduce the unnecessary use of paper in patient care. As a step in that direction, Google Health recently added a feature which allows patients to upload scanned paper documents to their Google Health profile for safe storage and easy sharing.

One of the most important documents you may want to store and share in Google Health is an "advance directive." An advance directive allows you to determine your end-of-life wishes so that your family and doctor can honor them if you get sick and are unable to communicate. The decision to sign an advance directive is an important and personal one, and Google Health now makes it a little bit easier. Google Health is now working with a leading advance directive provider, Caring Connections, that provides a free, downloadable form customized for all 50 states. To complete your form, download it, print it out, complete it, scan it, and upload it to Google Health. Once you've uploaded the signed form, Google Health makes it easy to share it with your caregiver.

We hope someday we'll move beyond paper, but until then Google Health can help you store your paper medical records electronically, including an advance directive, in one safe place.

Posted by Julie Wilner, R.N., Program Manager, Google Health & Roni Zeiger, M.D., Product Manager, Google Health
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/plan-ahead-document-and-share-your.html

[G] Submit your ideas to change the face of broadband

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Google Public Policy Blog: Submit your ideas to change the face of broadband

Posted by Richard Whitt, Washington Telecom and Media Counsel

(Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog)

Have an idea for how to expand high-speed Internet access across the United States? Here's your chance to have your voice heard.

Under the terms of the recent economic stimulus package, the Federal Communications Commission must deliver to Congress a National Broadband Plan by February 2010. Several weeks ago, we laid out Google's vision for how to make broadband Internet available and affordable for every American — and hundreds of others have already submitted comments of their own.

The FCC has called for "maximum civic engagement" in developing a broadband strategy, and we're hoping to help them to achieve just that.

We've teamed up with the New America Foundation to launch a Google Moderator page where you can submit and vote on ideas for what you think the Commission should include in its National Broadband Plan. Two weeks from now we'll take the most popular and most innovative ideas and submit them to the official record at the FCC on your behalf.

Google and the New America Foundation agree that public participation in this process is critical. Expanding access to broadband has the potential to transform communities across the country, spark economic growth, and restore American competitiveness. Now that the Commission has officially opened this proceeding, and with a new Chairman at the helm, we think it's time to give people the opportunity to learn about the issue and to weigh in with their thoughts. And as the process continues to unfold at the FCC, we'll keep you informed of additional ways to share your views and voice your ideas to the agency.

So do you have any good ideas? Submit them today on Google Moderator — and you just might help change the face of broadband in the United States.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2009/07/submit-your-ideas-to-change-face-of.html

[G] Submit your ideas to change the face of broadband

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Official Google Blog: Submit your ideas to change the face of broadband

Have an idea for how to expand high-speed Internet access across the United States? Here's your chance to have your voice heard.

Under the terms of the recent economic stimulus package, the Federal Communications Commission must deliver to Congress a National Broadband Plan by February 2010. Several weeks ago, we laid out Google's vision for how to make broadband Internet available and affordable for every American — and hundreds of others have already submitted comments of their own.

The FCC has called for "maximum civic engagement" in developing a broadband strategy, and we're hoping to help them to achieve just that.

We've teamed up with the New America Foundation to launch a Google Moderator page where you can submit and vote on ideas for what you think the Commission should include in its National Broadband Plan. Two weeks from now we'll take the most popular and most innovative ideas and submit them to the official record at the FCC on your behalf.

Google and the New America Foundation agree that public participation in this process is critical. Expanding access to broadband has the potential to transform communities across the country, spark economic growth, and restore American competitiveness. Now that the Commission has officially opened this proceeding, and with a new Chairman at the helm, we think it's time to give people the opportunity to learn about the issue and to weigh in with their thoughts. And as the process continues to unfold at the FCC, we'll keep you informed of additional ways to share your views and voice your ideas to the agency.

So do you have any good ideas? Submit them today on Google Moderator — and you just might help change the face of broadband in the United States.

Posted by Richard Whitt, Washington Telecom and Media Counsel
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/submit-your-ideas-to-change-face-of.html

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

[G] Releasing Debug Panel for GWT

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Google Open Source Blog: Releasing Debug Panel for GWT

A few years ago, we released GWT, the Google Web Toolkit, which allows code to be written in Java using your favorite editors and then compiled into JavaScript that runs smoothly on host browsers. Today, we're releasing some additional debug tools to make troubleshooting easier. See the post on the GWT blog for more details!

By Jeff Bailey, Software Engineering Team
URL: http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2009/07/releasing-gwt-debug-panel.html

[G] Following, liking and people searching

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Official Google Reader Blog: Following, liking and people searching

When we first started improving our sharing features, our goal was to make sharing as simple and flexible as the rest of Reader. Today, we're pleased to announce that we've made four improvements to give you more sharing control and help you easily find other people's publicly shared items within Reader.



Find and follow other people

Instead of sharing your items with others and hoping they reciprocate, you can now find people with public shared items and subscribe to their shared items with one click. Use our new people search feature (powered by Google profiles) to look for people who have public shared items. You can browse by name, location, or topic, and start following new people -- all from inside Reader.



People search example



Shhh, just between us friends...

If sharing publicly isn't your cup of tea, we now allow you to share items with a specific group or with multiple groups. If you choose to do this, only people you add to your sharing groups will be able to see and comment on your shared items. If you use Gmail, you will notice that these are the same groups from your Gmail contacts -- so, changes you make to these groups in Reader will change them in Gmail as well.



Sharing settings



Take your 15 minutes of fame

If you want people who visit your Google profile to know what you're interested in on Reader, add a link to your shared items to your Google profile. Once you check the box marked "Add a link to my Google profile," anyone using the search feature within Reader will be able to find and follow your shared items.



To make it even easier for people to find you, you can also give your Reader shared items page a custom URL that uses your Google username, like www.google.com/reader/shared/pink.black. You need to enable this under "Profile URL" on your Google profile first.



Shared items on profile



If you liked it, then you shoulda put a "like" on it

Have you ever wanted to tell an author or publisher that you appreciate an article they wrote? Or maybe you want to let your friend know that you enjoyed the blog post he shared with you. With a quick click of the mouse (or a swipe of the "L" key -- for the keyboard shortcut pros), you can "like" any item in Reader. All "likes" are public, so anyone reading an item you've "liked" in Reader can see that you're a fan. Checking out shared items for people who have "liked" the same items as you is a great way to discover other people with interests similar to your own.



Liking



And one last comment about comments

One small note for this release: the ability to see and add comments to shared items is still restricted only to people you have in a sharing group (i.e. "Friends"). So, although your shared items might be public (and publicly discoverable), only people you have added to a sharing group will be able to comment on them.



Sharing groups



These features are English-only for now, but as always, keep the feedback coming via our help group, Twitter or Get Satisfaction.

URL: http://googlereader.blogspot.com/2009/07/following-liking-and-people-searching.html

[G] You're invited to Website Testing Thursday

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Official Google Website Optimizer Blog: You're invited to Website Testing Thursday

Calling all testing enthusiasts in the Bay Area! In the tradition of Web Analytics Wednesdays, we're starting Website Testing Thursdays. It's an informal gathering where you can have a drink and hang out and learn from other website testers. For the inaugural event, we have a special guest: analytics evangelist, author, and all around good guy, Avinash Kaushik. He'll be there to share his wisdom. Members of the Google Analytics and Website Optimizer teams will be there too.

Details:
Thursday, July 16, 6-8 PM
Junnoon Restaurant
150 University Ave
Palo Alto, CA

RSVP here

Hope to see you there!

Posted by Trevor Claiborne, Website Optimizer team
URL: http://websiteoptimizer.blogspot.com/2009/07/youre-invited-to-website-testing.html

[G] Search with My Location for iPhone 3.0. And All that Jazz

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Search with My Location for iPhone 3.0. And All that Jazz

I recently visited NYC where I met up with my friend Joanne, a jazz singer with a wonderful 1920's throwback style. I wanted to find a jazz club close to my hotel on the west side for us to meet. The problem was that I hadn't lived in Manhattan for 5 years, and my memory for places was failing me.

At Google, we want to make searching the world around you as easy and informative as searching the web. That's why we're introducing Search with My Location for iPhone 3.0. Now if I want to know which jazz clubs are near me, I don't have to specify a location - I just search for "jazz clubs".

As of today, when you visit www.google.com from Safari on your iPhone 3.0, you can choose to turn on My Location by tapping on the link on the homepage. When you tap on the "update" link, your location will be updated and displayed right there on the homepage. Whenever you want to refresh your location, just tap the "update" link. Testing this in New York, my search for "jazz clubs" returned a handful of places within walking distance. I picked one, tapped the phone number, made a reservation, and we were set for the night.

As always, your privacy is one of our top concerns. Google won’t use your location in search unless you explicitly opt in. And you can always disable the feature from Preferences at the bottom of the homepage.

Search with My Location from Safari is available in English in the US and UK. Look for other country and language combinations soon. You can also search with My Location using Google Mobile App, available from the iPhone App Store.

Posted by Joshua Siegel, Product Manager, Google Mobile Team
URL: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2009/07/search-with-my-location-for-iphone-30.html

[G] Introducing a collection of favorite places from around the world

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Official Google Blog: Introducing a collection of favorite places from around the world

We on the Google Maps team are committed to organizing all the local places and businesses that can be found online, from a design shop in New York City, to an architectural bookstore in San Francisco, to a cabaret in London. To show you the range of all this interesting local information, we've teamed up with local experts around the world to share some of their favorite places.

Culinary expert and chef Alice Waters has shared her favorite places for organic and sustainable food in San Francisco and the Bay Area, including places like Blue Bottle Cafe, whose coffee Alice serves at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, and Bi-Rite Creamery, where you can find salted caramel ice cream.

Iwona Blazwick, director of the Whitechapel Gallery in London, has shared her favorite places to experience art in London, from the Tate Modern for contemporary art to Curzon Soho cinema, where you can catch the latest independent film releases.

Vladimir Spivakov, artistic director and principal conductor of the State chamber orchestra Moscow Virtuosi and the National Philharmonic of Russia, has shared his favorite places to hear and appreciate theater and music in Moscow, from the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied, to the historic Maly Theater, the oldest theater in Moscow.

With this project we also hope to send a friendly message to local businesses — people are looking online for local information, and you should be here. Timothy Childs, Founder and Chief Chocolate Officer of TCHO in San Francisco, shares his perspective on using online tools to build and grow:

"TCHO is all about using appropriate technology, to make high quality chocolate and experiences for our customers. As our start-up moves to early growth stage, we are now using tools like Google Maps and the Local Business Center to reach customers and to continue building our business."

It's estimated that 80% of U.S. Internet users use web search to find restaurants, stores and other local businesses, and yet only about half of local businesses currently have a website. By working with local experts to highlight the power of the web, we're encouraging local business owners to build out their online presence. If you're a business owner looking to get online, have a look at the Google Local Business Center.

To browse the full collection of favorite local businesses and places, visit google.com/favoriteplaces or m.google.com/fav from your phone's browser.



Special thanks to all the participants and partners around the world who helped to make this project possible, including United Airlines, NYC & Company, Time Out and Le Figaro.

Posted by Michaela Prescott and Katie Mandel, Product Marketing, Google Maps
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/introducing-collection-of-favorite.html

[G] Introducing a collection of favorite places from around the world

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Google LatLong: Introducing a collection of favorite places from around the world

[Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog]
We on the Google Maps team are committed to organizing all the local places and businesses that can be found online, from a design shop in New York City, to an architectural bookstore in San Francisco, to a cabaret in London. To show you the range of all this interesting local information, we've teamed up with local experts around the world to share some of their favorite places.

Culinary expert and chef Alice Waters has shared her favorite places for organic and sustainable food in San Francisco and the Bay Area, including places like Blue Bottle Cafe, whose coffee Alice serves at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, and Bi-Rite Creamery, where you can find salted caramel ice cream.

Iwona Blazwick, director of the Whitechapel Gallery in London, has shared her favorite places to experience art in London, from the Tate Modern for contemporary art to Curzon Soho cinema, where you can catch the latest independent film releases.

Vladimir Spivakov, artistic director and principal conductor of the State chamber orchestra Moscow Virtuosi and the National Philharmonic of Russia, has shared his favorite places to hear and appreciate theater and music in Moscow, from the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied, to the historic Maly Theater, the oldest theater in Moscow.

With this project we also hope to send a friendly message to local businesses — people are looking online for local information, and you should be here. Timothy Childs, Founder and Chief Chocolate Officer of TCHO in San Francisco, shares his perspective on using online tools to build and grow:

"TCHO is all about using appropriate technology, to make high quality chocolate and experiences for our customers. As our start-up moves to early growth stage, we are now using tools like Google Maps and the Local Business Center to reach customers and to continue building our business."

It's estimated that 80% of U.S. Internet users use web search to find restaurants, stores and other local businesses, and yet only about half of local businesses currently have a website. By working with local experts to highlight the power of the web, we're encouraging local business owners to build out their online presence. If you're a business owner looking to get online, have a look at the Google Local Business Center.

To browse the full collection of favorite local businesses and places, visit google.com/favoriteplaces or m.google.com/fav from your phone's browser.



Special thanks to all the participants and partners around the world who helped to make this project possible, including United Airlines, NYC & Company, Time Out and Le Figaro.

Posted by Michaela Prescott and Katie Mandel, Product Marketing, Google Maps
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2009/07/introducing-collection-of-favorite.html

[G] Browse a collection of experts' favorite places using your phone

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Browse a collection of experts' favorite places using your phone

For years my favorite thing to do with my phone has been looking up local business information. I can't tell you how many times I've used Google Maps for mobile to search for nearby businesses and then get directions. Being able to find businesses from my phone is liberating -- no longer do I need to plan ahead when I go out.

I've discovered many of my favorite places using my mobile phone, and today a number of local experts have shared their favorite places with us all. Their favorite places are all over the world, in cities such as New York City, San Francisco, Tokyo, London, Paris, Madrid, Moscow, and Prague.

For example, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a big fan of Nathan's Famous hot dogs. Can't say I blame him.



And if I ever meet virtuoso cellist Yo-Yo Ma, I know exactly how I'll break the ice. We can talk about a mutual favorite place -- Yank Sing in San Francisco, which serves amazing dim sum.


You can explore our collection of experts' favorite places using most smartphone operating systems: Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Symbian S60, and Windows Mobile.

Just visit m.google.com/fav using your phone's browser. You'll need to install Google Maps for mobile for the website to work correctly.

If you'd rather use your computer for now, visit the desktop website to explore our collection of experts' favorite places. You can send the collection of favorite places to your phone with the "Go Mobile" link on the top right.

Posted by Ryan Pollock, Product Marketing Manager, Google Mobile
URL: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2009/07/browse-collection-of-experts-favorite.html

[G] Working with News Publishers

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Google News Blog: Working with News Publishers

Posted by Josh Cohen, Senior Business Product Manager

We're constantly talking with web publishers, including those in the news industry, about how their content is indexed by search engines. Last week in Europe, a group of newspaper and magazine publishers signed a declaration stating that "Universal access to websites does not necessarily mean access at no cost," and that they "no longer wish to be forced to give away property without having granted permission." We agree, and that's how things stand today.

More than 25,000 news organizations across the globe choose to make their content available in Google News and other web search engines. They do so because they want their work to be found and read -- Google delivers more than a billion consumer visits to newspaper web sites each month. If at any point a web publisher feels as though we're not delivering value to them and wants us to stop indexing their content, they're able to do so quickly and effectively. To read more on this issue, see our post on the European Public Policy blog.
URL: http://googlenewsblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/working-with-news-publishers.html

[G] @googlebooks on Twitter

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Inside Google Books: @googlebooks on Twitter

Posted by Okan Kolak, Research Engineer

As Joseph Addison put it, "reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body". So to help you get your daily exercise, starting today we're offering you a new channel to explore the Google Books index, by posting popular or quirky book quotes on Twitter .

For starters, we've chosen our favorite quotes from Popular Passages identified by our algorithms (as always, you can also find Popular Passages on the Book Overview page). If you click on the links in each tweet, you'll be able to see the quote in context on the page. From time to time, we will tweet about new features and product updates, as well.

Here are some of our first tweets:



One thing to note--if you're outside the US, you may not be able to access the full view of some these books.

To follow our posts, go to twitter.com/googlebooks and click "Follow".
URL: http://booksearch.blogspot.com/2009/07/googlebooks-on-twitter.html

[G] Working with news publishers

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Google Public Policy Blog: Working with news publishers

Posted by Josh Cohen, Senior Business Product Manager

(Cross-posted from the European Public Policy Blog)

Last week, a group of newspaper and magazine publishers signed a declaration stating that "Universal access to websites does not necessarily mean access at no cost," and that they "no longer wish to be forced to give away property without having granted permission."

We agree, and that's how things stand today. The truth is that news publishers, like all other content owners, are in complete control when it comes not only to what content they make available on the web, but also who can access it and at what price. This is the very backbone of the web -- there are many confidential company web sites, university databases, and private files of individuals that cannot be accessed through search engines. If they could, the web would be much less useful.

For more than a decade, search engines have routinely checked for permissions before fetching pages from a web site. Millions of webmasters around the world, including news publishers, use a technical standard known as the Robots Exclusion Protocol (REP) to tell search engines whether or not their sites, or even just a particular web page, can be crawled. Webmasters who do not wish their sites to be indexed can and do use the following two lines to deny permission:

User-agent:
*
Disallow: /

If a webmaster wants to stop us from crawling a specific page, he or she can do so by adding '' to the page. In short, if you don't want to show up in Google search results, it doesn't require more than one or two lines of code. And REP isn't specific to Google; all major search engines honor its commands. We're continuing to talk with the news industry -- and other web publishers -- to develop even more granular ways for them to instruct us on how to use their content. For example, publishers whose material goes into a paid archive after a set period of time can add a simple unavailable_after specification on a page, telling search engines to remove that page from their indexes after a certain date.

Today, more than 25,000 news organizations across the globe make their content available in Google News and other web search engines. They do so because they want their work to be found and read -- Google delivers more than a billion consumer visits to newspaper web sites each month. These visits offer the publishers a business opportunity, the chance to hook a reader with compelling content, to make money with advertisements or to offer online subscriptions. If at any point a web publisher feels as though we're not delivering value to them and wants us to stop indexing their content, they're able to do so quickly and effectively.

Some proposals we've seen from news publishers are well-intentioned, but would fundamentally change -- for the worse -- the way the web works. Our guiding principle is that whatever technical standards we introduce must work for the whole web (big publishers and small), not just for one subset or field. There's a simple reason behind this. The Internet has opened up enormous possibilities for education, learning, and commerce so it's important that search engines makes it easy for those who want to share their content to do so -- while also providing robust controls for those who want to limit access.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2009/07/working-with-news-publishers.html

[G] Password strength and account recovery options

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Google Online Security Blog: Password strength and account recovery options

Posted by Macduff Hughes, Engineering Director

There's been some discussion today about the security of online accounts, so we wanted to share our perspective. These are topics that we take very seriously because we know how important they are to our users. We run our own business on Google Apps, and we're highly invested in providing a high level of security in our products. While we can't discuss individual user or customer cases, we thought we'd try to clear up any confusion by taking some time to explain how account recovery works with various types of Google accounts and by revisiting some tips on how users can help keep their account data secure.

One of the more common requests for assistance that we receive from regular Gmail users is to help them regain access to their accounts after they have misplaced or forgotten their password. We know that it can be frustrating when you can't access your account, and we've worked hard to come up with a system designed to help our users regain access to their accounts as smoothly as possible while taking appropriate precautions to protect their account security. When you select a password as you create an account, we recommend that you also choose a security question and provide a secondary email address. Recently, we also added a field where you can input a mobile phone number to assist with later account recovery. We regularly provide tips about how you can choose good passwords and security questions, and we also share our best ideas for what to do when you can't access your account. It's important to keep your password, security question, and secondary email address up to date. It's not enough to just tell us your email address to try to change your password. The security question helps us identify you, but if you want to initiate a password reset, we'll only send that information to the secondary address or the mobile phone number you provide.

We handle password recovery differently for our Google Apps customers. There is no password recovery process for individual Google Apps users. Instead, users must communicate directly with their domain administrator to initiate password changes on their individual accounts. Earlier this year we added new password security tools for Google Apps that allow administrators to set password length requirements and view password strength indicators to identify sufficiently long passwords that may still not be strong enough. For businesses that desire additional authentication security, since 2006 we have supported SAML Single Sign On, a protocol that allows organizations to use two factor authentication solutions such as certificates, smartcards, biometrics, one time password devices, and other stronger tokens.

If you're a regular Gmail user and you haven't updated your account information in a while, we recommend you do so by visiting your Google Account settings page now.
URL: http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.com/2009/07/password-strength-and-account-recovery.html

[G] Introducing the Google Voice mobile app

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Google Voice Blog: Introducing the Google Voice mobile app

Thanks to some great work by the Google Mobile team, we now have a Google Voice mobile app for Blackberry and Android-powered phones. The mobile application makes using Google Voice with your cell phone simpler by letting you place calls and send SMS messages directly from your Google Voice number. You can call from your phone's address book or enter in numbers directly, and your outbound calls will display your Google Voice number as the caller ID. You can also listen to your voicemail and read transcriptions of your messages. Check out the video below and read more on the Official Google Blog. To get a free Google Voice mobile app for your phone, go to m.google.com/voice



Posted by Craig Walker
Google Voice Group Product Manager
URL: http://googlevoiceblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/introducing-google-voice-mobile-app.html

[G] Google Voice for Android and BlackBerry

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Google Voice for Android and BlackBerry

Today, we're happy to announce Google Voice for mobile which brings voicemail transcriptions, the ability to call and text with your Voice number, and cheap international dialing to your mobile phone. David and I were inspired to build this app when we went skiing for a weekend in Tahoe. Like all good Google Mobile team members, we each had three or four phones with us. Of course, carrying three phones while skiing is pretty tough, so we both decided to take a different phone to the slopes each day to see which one worked best as a 'winter sport device'.

Normally, this would have been a nightmare because our friends wouldn't know which number they could reach us on. But since we use Google Voice, one number rings all of our phones. As we were skiing and sending pics to our friends, we had a thought - it's great that our friends and family only need to use one number to reach us. But it's weird that our outbound calls and messages are shown as coming from the phone's underlying number, rather than from the Google Voice number that they're used to, causing confusion.

So with that, we're excited to release the Google Voice app for Android and Blackberry. You can use the app to make outgoing SMS messages and calls from your Google Voice number. What's more, this app improves the mobile experience of Google Voice in a number of ways.

The Google Voice app integrates seamlessly with your phone's native address book, making it even easier to call or text with your Voice number. Voicemail transcriptions are now available, and the app will highlight individual words during playback just like your favorite karaoke song. It also lets you take advantage of Google Voice's low-priced international call rates, starting at only $0.02/minute.



To try Google Voice for mobile, go to m.google.com/voice on your BlackBerry or search for "Google Voice" on Android Market to download the app. Before you ask, yes, we are working on ways to make this service available to iPhone users. If you don't have an Android-powered device or BlackBerry, you can still use many Google Voice features via our mobile website at google.com/voice. Please note, in either case a Google Voice account is required. Check out more details in our Help Center and feel free to leave feedback and questions in our forum.

QR code
To download the app from Android Market, scan the QR code above

You can read more about Google Voice on the Official Google Blog

Posted by Marcus Foster, Product Manager, and David Singleton, Engineering Manager, Google Mobile
URL: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2009/07/google-voice-for-android-and-blackberry.html