Saturday, July 2, 2011

[G] Who’s New in Google Summer of Code: Part 5

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Google Open Source Blog: Who’s New in Google Summer of Code: Part 5

This is our fifth post in our summer series featuring new organizations participating in their first Google Summer of Code. The organization administrators explain their project in more detail and discuss the tasks the students are working on this summer.
The Hedgewars Project started out with a solo developer trying to offer an alternative cross-platform strategy experience just for fun. People soon noticed the potential of the game and a community of players and developers quickly gathered, providing the pleasant graphical appearance and interesting playing concepts available today. Currently Hedgewars is on all major platforms and is evolving into a professional quality game; for this reason we are constantly looking for great ideas and active contributors.

With the Google Summer of Code we were given the opportunity to attract new contributors. We have two important features being developed by our students, one involving a refactoring and expansion of the current artificial intelligence, the other regarding a port to the Android platform. We are excited for the involvement of the whole community in selecting the best ideas and in offering their help to the new developers. This is our first Google Summer of Code and we are committed to excelling so that in future programs we can continue offering new features to our game and contributing to open source software.

By Vittorio Giovara, Hedgewars Organization Administrator


DokuWiki is a popular, simple to use Wiki software written in PHP. It has very low system requirements and is running in various environments, from single user personal wikis to large enterprise installations. The project is in its 7th year now and this is our first year of participating in Google Summer of Code.

One of the main success factors of DokuWiki is its extendability through its powerful plugin system. More than 700 different plugins are already available. To make finding, installing and managing plugins easier, creating an improved plugin manager is one of our two Google Summer of Code projects. The second project aims to add one important feature still missing from DokuWiki: keeping revisions for media files like images and videos.

By Andreas Gohr, DokuWiki Organization Administrator


SETI Institute's mission is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe. Project setiQuest was started as a result of Jill Tarter's 2009 TED Prize wish "to empower Earthlings everywhere to become active participants in the ultimate search for cosmic company." SETI Institute has open sourced our entire software that searches for evidence of extra-terrestrial technology. There are four parts of this project:
  • Through open sourcing the software used for detecting signals of extra-terrestrial technology, give everyone the ability to include their ideas about improving our search.
  • Incorporate new algorithms, regardless of their source, in the search.
  • Develop apps that even non-technical people (citizen scientists) can use to participate in the search.
  • Create an environment to act on feedback from citizen scientists.
A year ago, Google Summer of Code participation was a dream for us. This year the dream became a reality with 59 students applying for our 2 slots. More important than the number was the quality of applications we received. Most applicants had put in a great amount of effort into their applications and then put in even more work to modify their proposals after discussions with our team. It was difficult to choose just two students but we are thrilled to have Khurram and Aditya working with us this summer. Khurram is creating a whole new build environment for this software, and porting the software to run on multiple Linux distributions. Aditya is open sourcing many of the algorithms that we have prototyped but not quite implemented in the open source software.

We look forward to seeing what the students will accomplish this summer. We are thrilled to have many of the students who applied through the Google Summer of Code program choose to work with us as volunteers outside of the program as well.

By Avinash Agrawal and Jon Richards, Organization Administrators for SetiQuest


This is VTK’s first year as a Google Summer of Code mentoring organization, and we are very pleased to be here. During the application period we received a large number of very high-quality proposals, and I would like to thank all of the students who applied. As it is our first year we were limited to two slots, which made choosing our students even more difficult. After much deliberation we made our decisions and I am very happy to welcome David Lonie and Tharindu De Silva as our first Google Summer of Code students!

David is working on chemistry visualization in VTK, and Tharindu is working on implementing select algorithms from IEEE VisWeek in VTK. I have seen great results from both students, and they are already taking shape after only a few weeks of active development.

This is a very exciting year for the VTK community with our Google Summer of Code participation, modularization of our source tree and refresh of the build system. There are also lots of great new features going into VTK such as new charts, improved interaction and much more.

By Marcus Hanwell, VTK Organization Administrator and former Google Summer of Code student
These are just four of the 50 new organizations participating in Google Summer of Code this year. For a complete list of the 175 organizations participating in the Google Summer of Code visit our program site. Please check back next Friday when we highlight additional organizations.

By Stephanie Taylor, Open Source Programs


Friday, July 1, 2011

[G] Let’s get ready for some GOOOOOAAAALLLLLLLLLSSSS!

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YouTube Blog: Let’s get ready for some GOOOOOAAAALLLLLLLLLSSSS!

Last month we promised you access to the Copa America, and tonight it all kicks off.

Today, South America’s biggest international tournament, the Copa America, begins live on YouTube. Tonight’s opening game starts at 5:45pm PT / 9:45pm ART and pits Argentina against Bolivia. Here’s a full schedule of the first round of the tournament:

The Copa America will be broadcast in HD on YouTube in 50 countries at If you’re on the move, you can follow the matches on your mobile phone at Commentary of the matches will be broadcast in both English or Spanish depending on what country you’re tuning in from.

We hope you enjoy the beautiful game.

Ricardo Blanco, YouTube Latin America, recently watched “Copa America Live on YouTube.”


[G] This week's Trends: cool covers, summer tunes, and little metal fans

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YouTube Blog: This week's Trends: cool covers, summer tunes, and little metal fans

Each weekday, we at YouTube Trends take a look at the most interesting videos and cultural phenomena on YouTube as they develop. We want take a moment to highlight some of what we've come across this week:

Check back every day for the latest about what's trending on YouTube at:

Kevin Allocca, YouTube Trends Manager, recently watched "Major League Savings."


[G] Keep thinking Auto

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Inside AdWords: Keep thinking Auto

Last week we brought together top marketing executives, industry visionaries, and agency leaders to discuss vehicle shoppers' recent return to the auto marketplace at Google’s Think Auto 2011: Green Light, Go! event.

Speaking to a room full of excited marketers, Guy Kawasaki, author of Enchantment; John Ross, CEO of Shopper Sciences; and Google’s Lorraine Twohill, VP of Global Marketing, gave their thoughts on how to reach the "constantly connected" auto consumer and how this affords greater opportunities to deliver relevant and engaging brand experiences.

In order to share these innovative perspectives with as many people as possible, the event was live streamed on YouTube. If you missed the live stream, you can watch the recorded session on the Google Business channel here. Additionally, be sure to visit our Think Auto site, where you can view presentations and videos from the event.

Posted by the Google Auto Team

[G] “Mobile”-ize your business with Google Sites

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Inside AdWords: “Mobile”-ize your business with Google Sites

A poor mobile web experience can negatively shape a consumer’s opinion of your brand or your company altogether. In a recent study, we found that 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site that they had trouble accessing from their phone, and 40% go to a competitor’s. By the end of this year, more than half of all Americans will own a smartphone. Your customers are mobile—are you?

Today, we’re excited to announce a brand new tool to help your business get “mobile”-ized: Google Sites mobile landing pages. With Google Sites mobile landing pages, you can build yourself a professional mobile landing page in minutes for free—and without any coding experience.

Why use Google Sites mobile landing pages?
  • It’s easy. Creating a Google Site is as easy as editing a document, which means there's no markup language for you to learn—just get started.
  • It’s free. Google Sites is one of many free products offered by Google.
  • It’s measurable. One-click Google Analytics integration allows you to monitor your site's traffic.
  • It’s fast. Create your mobile landing page in minutes by starting from one of five pre-loaded templates. You can also start from scratch with the custom template.

Watch the video below to see how “small” businessman, Bob, transformed his business using Google Sites:

Visit to get started today!

Posted by Dan Friedman, Inside AdWords crew

[G] Animal Planet leverages rich media and video advertising across platforms to engage viewers for River Monsters premiere

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Inside AdWords: Animal Planet leverages rich media and video advertising across platforms to engage viewers for River Monsters premiere

Mobile, video and rich media advertising are changing the way that businesses capture user attention by bringing together the power of sight, sound, and motion to engage audiences like never before. For example, to build awareness for the new season of their popular River Monsters series, Animal Planet, the "Surprisingly Human" TV network, launched an integrated media campaign across platforms to bring the show to life with the broadest audience possible - driving more than 900k YouTube video views in the weeks leading up to the premiere.

The River Monsters campaign ran across both the YouTube and AdMob networks, delivering users a sneak peak of the upcoming season whether they were on their desktop computers or their mobile phones. Rich media display ads on YouTube enabled the star of the show to pop out of the YouTube Channel to introduce new creatures to potential viewers, while video advertising offered a glimpse at upcoming episodes of the new season.

On the YouTube desktop website, users were able to interact with the River Monsters whether they were searching for their favorite video, watching partner content, or browsing the homepage. Ads led visitors to a custom mimicry gadget on the Animal Planet Brand Channel, where the host of the show jumped out of the ad to highlight the most exciting portions of the featured video.

In-Stream Ads on YouTube are also available in the YouTube Android app, enabling Animal Planet to extend this engagement opportunity to mobile users. Including Interactive Video Ads on the AdMob network further expanded the mobile campaign, giving users the opportunity to watch a preview of the River Monsters show, share the video through social media, learn more on the show’s mobile website, and watch additional videos - all from within the mobile ad.

To stir up even more excitement on the day of the premiere, a Rich Media Masthead on the YouTube homepage revealed clips from the upcoming episode and reminded users to tune in.

The River Monsters campaign was hugely successful:

  • YouTube advertising generated more than 930,000 video views on the River Monster clips
  • Nearly 2,000 users subscribed to the River Monsters Brand Channel
  • Mobile In-Stream Overlay Ads received more than 3 million impressions, with 84% of mobile users completing the video
  • Interactive Video Ads on AdMob generated another 6 million impressions, with 75,000 users engaging with one of the interactive elements in the ad creative

The combination of compelling rich media and video advertising on both desktop and mobile created an engaging experience that increased social buzz around the show and led to a premiere that exceeded expectations.

Posted by Vicky Homan, Product Marketing Manager, Mobile Ads


[G] +1 around the world

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Inside AdWords: +1 around the world

A few months ago we released the +1 button on English search ads and organic search results on More recently, we’ve made the +1 button available to sites across the web, making it easier for people who love your site to help their friends and other users find your content in Google search.

Today, +1s will start appearing on ads and organic search results for Google pages globally. We'll be starting with sites like,, and, and then expanding quickly to most other Google search sites soon after.

We’ve also partnered with a few more sites in Europe, Japan, India, Australia and New Zealand where you’ll start seeing +1 buttons in the coming days.

You can also add the +1 button to your international websites by going to the +1 button tool on Google Webmaster Central where it's already available in 44 languages.

We expect that personal annotations will help users know when your ads and organic search results are relevant to them, increasing the chances that they'll end up on your site.
Think of +1 buttons as an enhancement that can help already successful search campaigns perform even better, now, at a global level.

Posted by Dan Friedman, Inside AdWords crew

[G] Learn about the latest in Video Ads on Ad Innovations

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Inside AdWords: Learn about the latest in Video Ads on Ad Innovations

Google offers the world's largest online video audience, based on users of search, our partnerships with top video publishers across the Google Display Network, and the reach of YouTube, the world's largest video property. On YouTube alone, users generate 3 billion video views daily and upload 48 new hours of video per minute. The online video market is huge for users, and we believe this means it also holds a lot of potential for online advertisers.

For those of you who are already passionate about this large and growing market, we’ve just launched a Video page on Ad Innovations -- your destination for exploring our latest advertising developments.

On this page, you can learn about new video innovations that can help you prepare your campaigns and promote your business.

Prepare your campaign

Promote your business

  • TrueView video ads by YouTube - Give users choice and control over which advertisers' messages they want to see and when. Pay only when a user chooses to view your ad, increasing your view count on YouTube.
  • Video extensions - Include click-to-play videos for trailers, previews, and product demonstrations that play right below your ads on
  • Media Ads - Discover new ways to target, pay for, and experience video ads on

Check out our new Video innovations page
and send us feedback on these new features. We’ll add more items to this page as we bring new video advertising features to you.

If you're new to video advertising, start with the basics. We have online resources available where you can learn about all our video advertising solutions including YouTube advertising.

Posted by Lauren Barbato, Inside AdWords crew


[G] Getting Started with Automated Rules

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Inside AdWords: Getting Started with Automated Rules

Earlier this year, we launched Automated Rules, a feature that lets you save time by scheduling automatic changes to your account based on criteria that you specify. Since then, tens of thousands of advertisers have created rules to manage their accounts more effectively and even deploy more advanced strategies.

Whether you're new to Automated Rules or already an expert, we wanted to share with you some of the most popular examples of rules that AdWords users have created. We hope that these examples can help you take better advantage of the feature.

Click here for details on how to set up these types of rules. You'll need to adjust them to meet your business needs and goals. Let us know what you think of these examples, and send us your favorite rules.

Scheduling ads
  • Turning on/off special ads for a promotional event
  • Turning on/off certain ads on a repeating basis (e.g., every weekend)
  • Turning on/off a special ad campaign for a promotional event
Pausing low-performing ads or keywords
  • Pausing low-performing keywords based on success metrics (e.g., high cost per conversion)
  • Pausing low-performing ads based on success metrics (e.g., low CTR)
Bids and bid scheduling
  • Adjusting bids for keywords based on cost per conversion
  • Changing bids to reach a desired average position
  • Raising bids to ensure ads show on the first page
  • Bid scheduling (e.g., a higher bid during certain hours of the day)
Controlling budgets and cost
  • Increasing budget for campaigns that convert well (using cost per conversion)
  • Budget scheduling (e.g., higher budget on certain days of the week)
  • Pausing campaigns that have spent a certain amount partway through the month
  • Pausing campaigns that have received a certain number of clicks partway through the day
General examples
  • Understanding how to make a rule work on one, several or all campaigns
  • Excluding keywords from a rule
To learn more about Automated Rules, please visit Ad Innovations. Happy automating!

Posted by Dan Friedman, Inside AdWords crew

[G] Reach your audience with interest categories

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Inside AdWords: Reach your audience with interest categories

Whether the goal is to generate awareness or drive sales, marketers share a common objective: reach people likely to be interested in their product or service. With contextual targeting on the Google Display Network, you can find people the very moment they express interest by browsing relevant content. But what happens if someone who has been browsing for cameras then goes on to read a separate news site or favorite blog? A marketer for a camera company would like to show that interested user an ad, but they can't use contextual targeting to reach them, since the site is unrelated.

Over a year ago, we announced a beta of interest categories on the Google Display Network. We've been slowly expanding the availability of this feature, and as of today, interest categories are now available to all AdWords advertisers. It works like this: our system looks at the types of pages a user visits, taking into account how recently and frequently those pages have been visited, and then associates their browser with relevant interest categories. Using these categories, you can show ads to the people most likely to purchase your products or services, and you can reach them across all types of sites in the Google Display Network in addition to contextually relevant sites.

With over 1,000 interest categories from ecotourism to mobile phones, we’re confident you'll find a category that fits your business. And with over 500 million users interested in these categories who visit the Display Network every day, you’ll be able to reach a huge number of potential customers. You pay only for clicks or impressions at auction prices, as always. Our beta advertisers have used interest categories to successfully meet all kinds of goals, from an advertiser increasing brand lift by 40% to a shoe retailer driving 400% more conversions at a lower advertising cost per sale.

As we’ve made interest categories available to more advertisers, we’ve remained committed to providing users with the highest level of control and transparency. Users may, at any time, view and edit interest categories or permanently opt out of receiving interest-based ads entirely with the Ads Preferences Manager. Also, we label our ads with the AdChoices logo to give users notice and choice about the ads they see.

We hope you'll use these interest categories to enhance your advertiser campaigns. We think you'll find them an effective way to reach more interested users, increase awareness of your products and services, and ultimately drive more sales. You can visit our Help Center to learn more.

-Jon Krafcik, Product Manager, Google Display Network

Posted by Lauren Barbato, Inside AdWords crew

[G] Learn more about AdWords with our new YouTube channel

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Inside AdWords: Learn more about AdWords with our new YouTube channel

Recently we made all the AdWords Online Classroom videos available on YouTube. Now you can easily watch videos on new and simple ways to improve your ads.

For example, boost your performance by including a strong and compelling call-to-action in your ads like "Buy Online Now." Here’s one of our favorite videos for improving your AdWords results:

Here are a few other videos you can watch to learn more about AdWords:
Happy learning from the AdWords Online Classroom team.

Posted by Dan Friedman, Inside AdWords crew

[G] Think with Google: "Word of Mouth" study shows Google directly informs 146 million brand conversations a day

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Inside AdWords: Think with Google: "Word of Mouth" study shows Google directly informs 146 million brand conversations a day

There are more than 2.4 billion conversations about brands every day, according to our latest "Word of Mouth" study with Keller Fay. More than half of consumers involved in these conversations say they’re likely to make a purchase based on what they talk about. We wanted to know more about how media and the Internet play into all this conversation, so we took a look at what effect the Internet and search have on word of mouth. The study shows how media and marketing channels provided content before, during, and after consumer conversations by surveying 3,000 adults across 12 categories.

It turns out that while most people still talk about brands face to face, their conversations are informed by the Internet more than any other media source. And when they’re online, users go to search sites more than any other. This is even more true after conversations, especially those sparked by TV. People follow up by searching for more information and prices more than any other online activity, including social media.

Check out this video or see here on Think Insights for more information on the full study!

Posted by Lisa Shieh, Inside AdWords crew

Editor's note (Wednesday, June 22, 2011, 2:45 pm): The post originally said that there are 2.4 million brand conversations happening every day. The correct number is in fact 2.4 billion, so the post has been updated to reflect this.

[G] Google’s Think Auto Event - Live Stream - June 21st

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Inside AdWords: Google’s Think Auto Event - Live Stream - June 21st

As vehicle shoppers make a resounding return to the auto market, Think Auto will arm advertisers with new ideas and tools to help capture these shoppers. The "constantly connected" lifestyle of today’s consumer affords greater opportunity to deliver relevant and engaging brand experiences. How do these new consumer behaviors apply to brand marketers' strategies today and in the future?

Tune in and find out as Google's Lorraine Twohill, VP of Global Marketing, introduces five concrete principles to drive both positive brand image and product usage.
  • Live streaming begins on June 21, 2011, at 12:35 pm EDT
  • Register here
  • Following us? Use #thinkevents for this event
We'll reveal new insights on today's automotive shopper during the "Path to Purchase" section, which will uncover new consumer behavior during the vehicle shopping process.

Guy Kawasaki, the final keynote speaker and author of Enchantment, will surely excite the audience as he explores new thinking on influencing and igniting action, both through individual interactions and marketing at scale. Hope to see you there.

Posted by Dan Friedman, Inside AdWords crew

[G] Preview the new look of Google Apps

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Preview the new look of Google Apps

Posted by Simon Smith, Google Apps User Experience lead

Google Apps, along with all of Google, will get a new look over the course of the summer to make the user interface more focused, elastic and effortless to use. We continuously improve and seamlessly update our products (there were over 125 new features added to Google Apps last year) and hope that these user interface updates will make features easier to find when you need them and hide them when you don't. Our goal is to give you the best possible experience across all of our apps on all of your devices.

Just like you, we rely on Google Apps every day and we know that change can take a little while to get used to. So we want to give you a heads-up before the new look becomes the default, and we’d like you to share your feedback along the way. These visual improvements will follow our standard Google Apps release process, with organizations on the Rapid Release track gaining access to the updates first, followed later by organizations on the Scheduled Release track. The first visual updates will be in Gmail and Calendar, and to start they will be available on an opt-in/opt-out basis, so you can continue to use the old interface and preview the changes before they become the default later this year. When you do give it a try, we hope you enjoy a cleaner, more modern look.

On the site, you’ll find instructions on how to access the latest designs for Gmail and Calendar. We’ll keep this site up-to-date with the latest information about the new look as well as a feedback form and other resources for Google Apps administrators and users.

[G] 500 reasons to consider Google Apps

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: 500 reasons to consider Google Apps

Posted by Shan Sinha, Google Apps Product Manager

Monday we shared some thoughts on why you might consider going Google. Since some of you asked for more, we invited our customers and partners to help us. After all, who knows the reasons better than they do?

We were humbled by the speed and thoughtfulness with which hundreds of people responded. Within 24 hours, we received more than 500 reasons to consider Google Apps. Thank you!

Just for fun, we put all the answers into a word cloud to offer a glimpse at what’s most important to our customers. We were pleased to see alignment with the four categories we shared Monday: pure and proven cloud, designed for teams, productive anywhere, and simple and affordable. If you’re interested, you can see the full list of responses here.

Word cloud based on over 500 reasons provided by our customers and partners.

Over the course of the coming weeks we hope to share as many of these reasons as possible in a more digestible way. Feel free to share additional thoughts by completing this form.

Thanks again for all the kind words!

[G] Google Earth API and StrataLogica: Changing Education

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Google Earth API and StrataLogica: Changing Education

(Cross-posted on the Google Lat Long Blog)

Editors note:
The Google team encounters fun and new ways of using the Google Earth and Maps API. Here’s an example of how a century old educational map and globe publishing company realized more students wanted to learn online and transformed their teaching methods to include a program built on the Google Earth API. Don Rescigno, from Herff Jones | Nystrom, explains how students and teachers benefit from technology in the classroom with StrataLogica.

With today's technology enabling information to travel at a much more rapid rate than in the past, students feel more advanced than what many of us can remember from our own days in school. Elementary school students use a school computer, manage multiple usernames and passwords, work with spreadsheets, develop their own blogs and websites, and more. They’re tech savvy and they’re connected.

The challenge for educators is to use tools and resources that take advantage of students' advanced technological skills. Combining educational content with technology like the Google Earth API gave us the opportunity to foster a new and immersive experience that changes the way students see our world.

StrataLogica—combined with the Google Earth API —provides students with powerful tools to visualize and comprehend the ways in which geography has impacted events, politics and populations throughout human history. Students have the ability to see current events, taking place around the world, from their classroom.

Using a computer or interactive whiteboard, students uncover layers of educational content and can then drill down to Google Earth’s satellite imagery, see what’s actually there, and even use historical imagery to compare then and now. Recently, I had to play the role of a teacher when one of my children overheard a CNN report on Japan and asked, “Dad, what made the earthquake and tsunami?” The ability to access and interact with so many resources—aerial imagery of the earthquake, videos, and photos posted by Japanese citizens, local news stories—allowed me to teach him about the Earth’s processes and their impact. It helped to create a better understanding beyond the news story. It fostered critical thinking and a global perspective.

Like so many with children, I want to see students learning in a new way that
inspires them. It’s important for our future generation to understand how we are all connected — to think
globally and comprehend world impact. We want them to truly become global
citizens. StrataLogica and the Google Earth API are helping change the way students see the world; they can “fly” to any location in a matter of seconds, zoom in to imagery and see street views of historical sites that they may never have an opportunity to visit, embed videos and photos, and experience their own virtual field trips.

If you’re an educator interested in teaching geography, history, earth science and
more, visit to learn more.

Posted by Natasha Wyatt, Google Earth and Maps Enterprise Team

Thursday, June 30, 2011

[G] A preview of Gmail’s new look

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Official Gmail Blog: A preview of Gmail’s new look

Posted by Jason Cornwell, User Experience Designer

We get a lot of great feedback about how Gmail helps you be more efficient, keep in touch with family and friends, and get work done. We’ve saved you from forgetting attachments and made sure that you got the right Bob. Over the years, adding countless features to Gmail has made it an increasingly powerful communication hub, but along the way the interface has also become more cluttered and complex.

That’s one of the reasons we’re embarking on a series of interface updates to help strip out unnecessary clutter and make Gmail as beautiful as it is powerful. This is part of a Google-wide effort to bring you an experience that’s more focused, elastic, and effortless across all of our products. The changes are not going to happen all at once. We know that you love and care about Gmail as much as we do, and we’ll be working on these upgrades gradually over the next few months to allow plenty of time to understand and incorporate your feedback into the evolving design.

We’re kicking things off with two new themes for you to try out as a sort of sneak peek at what we’re up to. Starting today, you’ll see the “Preview” and “Preview (Dense)” themes in the Themes tab in Gmail Settings. Why two themes? Our new interface will eventually expand dynamically to accommodate different screen sizes and user preferences, but until then you can pick the information density that you prefer.

Here’s what one of the new themes currently looks like:

And in conversation view:

Click the images above to see larger versions.

If you poke around you’ll hopefully find a lot to like and a much cleaner, modern look but also few rough edges. In particular, some Labs features may look a little strange in the new themes. We plan to fix these issues as we roll out changes in the coming months. You can also expect some updated themes that embody the same design principles but are better suited to working in a dark environment, use a different color palette, or include the illustrations that we know many of you love to see around your inbox.

Look out for these and other new features over the next few months. In the meantime, try out the new themes as a preview of the future of Gmail and let us know what you think.

P.S. Like Gmail, Google Calendar is also getting a new look. You’ll see it automatically within the next few days so there’s no need to turn it on, and we’ll also continue to make improvements there in the coming months. Details about the current changes to Calendar can be found in the Calendar help center.

[G] GoogleServe 2011: Giving back around the world

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Official Google Blog: GoogleServe 2011: Giving back around the world

Over the last month, more than 7,700 Googlers helped serve their communities across 400 different projects as part of GoogleServe, an employee-driven initiative organized almost entirely by volunteers. Through partnerships with nonprofits, schools and local governments, Googlers from 119 cities in 36 countries helped communities in need with projects ranging from educating youth about online bullying to cleaning up local rivers and parks.

GoogleServe began in 2008 and has become an annual company tradition. Giving back to our communities not only revitalizes and strengthens our connections with the cities and towns in which we live and work, it also brings us closer together as a global team. Each year the event has grown in size and scope and this year’s GoogleServe was our largest yet. Here’s a sampling of some of the projects we participated in this time around:
While GoogleServe is an annual celebration of community service, employees donate both time and money to organizations and causes throughout the year. You can find opportunities to serve your local community at All For Good.

Here are some photos of our team in action:

Posted by Seth Marbin, GoogleServe Global Director

[G] A special invitation from The Wiggles

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YouTube Blog: A special invitation from The Wiggles

The Wiggles are one of Australia’s most beloved entertainment acts, having rewritten the book on children’s entertainment with their unique song and dance routines. And now Sam (Yellow), Murray (Red), Jeff (Purple) and Anthony (Blue) are hitting the road in their big red car to find a fifth Wiggle for a special series of North American shows.

Are you a Mum or a Dad with a mean boogie and a penchant for wearing bright pink? Or an Aunt or Uncle with a quirky twist and an orange turtleneck that has been in the back of the closet for way too long? Then record your own version of iconic Wiggles song “Fruit Salad” for a chance to perform live on stage with The Wiggles in their upcoming North American Tour.

The Fine Print

The competition is open to people over 18; winning entrants will be selected in each city to receive a family pass to attend the concert, and perform live on stage!

Feel like some fruit salad today? Go ahead, show us what you’ve got.

Ernesto Soriano, YouTube Australia, recently watched “Let’s make Australia a reading nation."


[G] Pottermania at YouTube: live streams, movies and extras

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YouTube Blog: Pottermania at YouTube: live streams, movies and extras

We were wondering how we could get you closer to the action of the upcoming Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 movie premiere. Since becoming a wizard isn’t currently an option, we found one of the next best things.

On July 7, we’ll be live streaming the red carpet event of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 from Trafalgar Square in London, and you’re invited to join. The event will be live on the Harry Potter channel on 7/7 from 8-11am PT (4-7pm GMT), with the entire cast, J.K. Rowling and surprise celebrity appearances. We’ll also be re-broadcasting the event immediately after in case you miss it.

Before the final throwdown between Harry and Voldemort, you can catch up on with our Harry Potter collection of movies, with all seven films and two extended versions available to rent.

If that’s still not enough wizarding for you, YouTube also has unique movie-related content that can’t be found elsewhere, including behind-the-scenes footage, parodies and remixes to accompany all the Harry Potter films. See the creativity the web has to offer with YouTube Movie extras like a hilarious Deathly Hallows trailer parody, a Time Magazine interview with Emma Watson and movie clips.

“This is beyond anything I have imagined.” Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Mildred Padilla, YouTube Movies, recently watched “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

[G] The Zero Moment of Truth

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Official Google CPG Blog: The Zero Moment of Truth

The way we shop is changing and marketing strategies are simply not keeping pace. Whether we're shopping for corn flakes, concert tickets or a honeymoon in Paris, the Internet has changed how we decide what to buy. Today we're all digital explorers, seeking out online ratings, social media-based peer reviews, videos, and in-depth product details as we move down the path to purchase. Marketing has evolved and modern marketing strategies have to evolve with the changing shape of shopping.

At Google, we call this online decision-making moment the Zero Moment of Truth -- or simply ZMOT.

Winning the Zero Moment of Truth is a powerful new eBook by Jim Lecinski, Google's Managing Director of US Sales & Service and Chief ZMOT Evangelist. Jim shares how to get ahead at this critical new marketing moment, supported by exclusive market research, personal stories, and insights from C-level executives at global leaders like General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, and VivaKi.

If you're a marketer, a CEO, a sales rep, or an aspiring entrepreneur, this eBook on marketing strategies and the ZMOT will help you understand this shift in the marketing landscape and show you the strategies it takes to win.

Click on the headline to download the e-book, get more information, and watch new video content.


[G] How to Create Your Brand Digital Dashboard

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Official Google CPG Blog: How to Create Your Brand Digital Dashboard

Today's blog entry is by Patrick Tedjamulia, Senior Account Manager, Food & Beverage at Google.

How can I keep track of my Brand online?

That seems to be the question I hear all the time these days. In our insta-share culture, Brands are realizing that they can either hear about the conversation after the fact, or they can participate in the conversation in real-time.

Here are a few of the triggers that cause Brands to ask "How can I keep track of my Brand online?"
- Search Trends
- Blogs/PR
- Social comments
- Product recalls
- User Generated Content (Videos)
- Reviews
- Voluntary Product Placement
- Competitive activity

Last year, I worked with Google's iGoogle team to develop a framework for Brands to create their own Brand Digital Dashboard. Let me show you how its done.

Create a New Tab on iGoogle
- Go to iGoogle and access iGoogle's settings
- Add a Tab so the Dashboard can live on its own and be shared easily
- You can customize the theme/banner of the tab with your own brand

Add Gadgets
- Search the iGoogle Gadget Directory for gadgets to add to your Tab.

Here is a list of gadgets I recommend
Google Insights for Search
- customize this gadget's settings with the search terms and locations you want to see. You can add multiple instances of this gadget so you can see Rising Searches, Top Searches, and Interest Over Time.
Google News
- customize this gadget's settings with the topics you want to see
Google Analytics - login to your Analytics account and access Analytics reports.
Twitter Search - simply type a term and see the most recent Tweets with that term
Flickr - simply type a term in the search tab and see relevant pictures
Blogs - you can also add any blog you want as an RSS feed (ex: Yahoo Answers, etc...)
Other Gadgets of interest may be: YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, etc...

After you have created your dashboard, the key will be to develop marketing strategies that will allow you to act on this real-time insight. But, at least you now have a better sense of what's happening with your Brand online.