Friday, April 27, 2012

[G] See 3D buildings in a whole new way with Google MapsGL

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Google Lat Long: See 3D buildings in a whole new way with Google MapsGL


In March, we shared news of a significant improvement over our previous 3D buildings in Google Maps, providing a much more recognizable view of thousands of important buildings around the world. Now, we’ve brought this enhanced 3D experience to Google MapsGL as well.

Google MapsGL is a true 3D experience affording a perspective called “parallax”, so you can get different views of a building depending on where you pan. Here are a few comparisons of this 3D upgrade for some landmarks around the world:

Here’s Big Ben before and after


the Eiffel Tower before and after


the Piazza del Duomo before and after


and the Seattle Space Needle before and after.


But those are just a few of the many improved 3D landmarks now available around the world. Along with our recent launch of Google MapsGL photo tours we hope you enjoy these more realistic perspectives and tours of buildings you might want to visit or see in your own neighborhoods!

Posted by Sean Egan, Software Engineer, Google Maps
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2012/04/see-3d-buildings-in-whole-new-way-with.html

[G] See what happens when Gary Oldman directs Jack White’s live show

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YouTube Blog: See what happens when Gary Oldman directs Jack White’s live show



The American Express Unstaged series, in partnership with Vevo and YouTube, matches a musical act with a visionary director to create a unique online experience. Previous match-ups have included Duran Duran directed by David Lynch, Arcade Fire directed by Terry Gilliam, and My Morning Jacket directed by Todd Haynes.





Tonight at 6pm PT, Gary Oldman will direct the live stream of a very special performance from Jack White. At a time when White is embarking on a brand new solo project, with his album Blunderbuss performing well both critically and commercially, we're excited to see what he brings to the stage of New York City's Webster Hall!












Watch the show unfold on Jack White's official channel.





Tim Partridge, music marketing manager, recently watched Metronomy - The Bay












URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/cY_xhj8wzEU/see-what-happens-when-gary-oldman.html

[G] Webinar: Driving Online Conversions with Remarketing

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Inside AdWords: Webinar: Driving Online Conversions with Remarketing

Join the UK Google Online Media Specialist team for a live "Driving Online Conversions with Remarketing" webinar on Tuesday May 1st at 3:00 PM GMT (10:00 AM EST / 7:00 AM PST).

97% of website visitors do not convert the first time they visit. Remarketing can help you re-engage with your potential customers and bring them back to your website to buy your products. Join our live webinar to see how you can use remarketing to increase your online conversions by helping close the deal with customers who were not ready to make a purchase the first time around.

Key areas that will be covered include:
  • What remarketing is and how it works
  • Reasons to use remarketing
  • A step-by-step set-up guide
  • Campaign optimization tips
This webinar will be presented by a Google Online Media Specialist and will include Q&A. The session is suitable for advertisers who are already running campaigns on the GDN, as well as those who have not yet used the GDN.

 Register now!

Post Posted by Allison Sommer, Inside AdWords crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2012/04/webinar-driving-online-conversions-with.html

[G] In Nashville, the sweet sound of entrepreneurship

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Official Google Blog: In Nashville, the sweet sound of entrepreneurship

Nashville and Silicon Valley have a lot in common. They're both filled with smart, creative people building businesses together. Nashville's start-up scene may be less well known, but it's bursting with energy and creativity like the rest of the city, and on April 19, we brought our Google for Entrepreneurs program down to the home of honky tonks to learn more about how we might help out.

Event crowd in our rustic music hall venue.

Google for Entrepreneurs was a full day of sessions exploring topics from how to use Google+ and Youtube to publicize your content, to ads and analytics tools for businesses to our various platforms for developers. The crowd of 430 attendees ranged from tech startups like Populr.me, which is building a beautiful HTML5 micropublishing app, to ArtistGrowth, which is creating a platform for artists to organize and monetize a music business from their phone. A group of eight enterprising Googlers led conversations on getting your business on the global map, while the Creator’s Freedom Project hosted a panel of local artists discussing how creative people can make a living using today's technology. We closed the day by discussing how music and tech can work together to make the Internet awesome. Then, naturally, it was time to let the live music and beverages flow. For more photos, check out our web album here.

Google panel taking any and all questions.

We’d like to thank all our partners Flo {thinkery}, Entrepreneur Center, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Nashville Technology Council and Tennessee Film, Entertainment & Music Commission, as well as Karl Dean, the Mayor of Nashville and Beth Harwell, Speaker of the House (Tenn.) for making this event truly memorable. In one amazing day, we came together to bring the magic of Google to Nashville and made friends with one talented city. We look forward to connecting with more entrepreneurial cities around the country, and the world.

Posted by Bridgette Sexton, Global Entrepreneurship Manager
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/in-nashville-sweet-sound-of.html

[G] Bahrain Grand Prix, France goes to run-off ballot, Plane crash in Pakistan

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YouTube Blog: Bahrain Grand Prix, France goes to run-off ballot, Plane crash in Pakistan


Everyday on the CitizenTube channel (and @CitizenTube on Twitter), along with our curation partners @storyful, we look at how the top news stories are covered on YouTube. Each week we post a weekly recap of the top news stories of the week, as seen through the lens of both citizen-reported footage and professional news coverage.




  • We saw the controversial Bahrain F1 Grand Prix proceed on Sunday, despite continuing anti-government protests.

  • We monitored the presidential elections in France as Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande geared up their campaign efforts ahead of the May 6 French presidential run-off ballot.

  • We were shocked at scenes of devastation in Pakistan after a plane crash caused the deaths of over 100 people.

  • We watched George Zimmerman secure bail from Seminole County jail after posting 10 percent of his $150,000 bond.

  • We followed the GOP candidates as the race for the Republican nomination all but concluded with Mitt Romney's latest primary victories.

  • We observed students clash with police in Montreal as a protest over tuition hikes turned ugly.

  • We were saddened at the deaths of seven as flash floods swept away a church youth group in Kenya.

  • We viewed fading optimism that the presence of UN observers in Syria would decrease violence after 70 people were reported killed in a bomb blast in Hama.

  • Finally, we marked Earth Day with a selection of YouTube films uploaded to create awareness of the occasion.



Come back to see the news unfold on YouTube. 





Olivia Ma, YouTube News & Politics, recently watched "War and Terror in Liberia: VICE Presents 007."













URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/7BtoHfVGCio/bahrain-grand-prix-france-goes-to-run.html

[G] European Google Analytics User Conference in Belgium, Sweden and Spain

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Google Analytics Blog: European Google Analytics User Conference in Belgium, Sweden and Spain

We’re excited to announce 3 upcoming Google Analytics User Conferences in Europe. The first will be in Brussels on May 3rd, the second will be in Stockholm on May 8th and the third will be in Barcelona on May 10th.





You can find further information, such as the agenda and speakers, on the links below. In our experience these events quickly sell out. So act fast if you want to take part, otherwise it is possible that you have to wait another year for the next event!





Key benefits of attending a Google Analytics User Conference:


  • Meet members of the Google Analytics team, experts, and other users like you

  • Learn through tangible examples how to measurably impact your business

  • Find out how others solve the challenges you are facing today

  • Have your business questions addressed by Google and Google Analytics Certified Partners



Brussels:


View the full agenda and register at www.gabc.be





This is the first Belgian User Conference! You will get to hear from some of our local Belgian Partners as well as Google speakers. Topics will range from learning how to take action using diverse data sets, creating tailor made dashboards, how to optimize your ROI with advanced campaign tracking, to measuring the value of social analytics.





Stockholm


View the full agenda and register at www.analyticsconference.se 





This is the second Google Analytics User Conference in Sweden. You’ll learn from national and international Google Analytics specialists to use the tool for maximum impact. You will meet speakers from Google as well as speakers from Google Analytics Certified Partners such as inUse Insights, Klikki, iProspect, Guava, and Relevant Traffic.





Barcelona:


View the full agenda and register at www.googleanalyticsconference.es 





Building on the successful User Conference last year in Madrid, some of our Spanish partners have decided to do the same in Barcelona! Meet and share your experiences with other users of the tool, experts in the field of Analytics, and of course meet the Google speakers. Make sure not to miss the hands-on workshops that are being offered! 





User Conferences are part of a global series of events hosted by Google Analytics Certified Partners. This series brings together Partners from each region to present content that is relevant to local Google Analytics users.





We look forward to seeing you there!



Posted by Jon Day, Google Analytics team


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/tRaA/~3/jYIOI8jmp14/european-google-analytics-user.html

Thursday, April 26, 2012

[G] Breaking down the language barrier—six years in

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Official Google Blog: Breaking down the language barrier—six years in

The rise of the web has brought the world’s collective knowledge to the fingertips of more than two billion people. With just a short query you can access a webpage on a server thousands of miles away in a different country, or read a note from someone halfway around the world. But what happens if it’s in Hindi or Afrikaans or Icelandic, and you speak only English—or vice versa?

In 2001, Google started providing a service that could translate eight languages to and from English. It used what was then state-of-the-art commercial machine translation (MT), but the translation quality wasn’t very good, and it didn’t improve much in those first few years. In 2003, a few Google engineers decided to ramp up the translation quality and tackle more languages. That's when I got involved. I was working as a researcher on DARPA projects looking at a new approach to machine translation—learning from data—which held the promise of much better translation quality. I got a phone call from those Googlers who convinced me (I was skeptical!) that this data-driven approach might work at Google scale.

I joined Google, and we started to retool our translation system toward competing in the NIST Machine Translation Evaluation, a “bake-off” among research institutions and companies to build better machine translation. Google’s massive computing infrastructure and ability to crunch vast sets of web data gave us strong results. This was a major turning point: it underscored how effective the data-driven approach could be.

But at that time our system was too slow to run as a practical service—it took us 40 hours and 1,000 machines to translate 1,000 sentences. So we focused on speed, and a year later our system could translate a sentence in under a second, and with better quality. In early 2006, we rolled out our first languages: Chinese, then Arabic.

We announced our statistical MT approach on April 28, 2006, and in the six years since then we’ve focused primarily on core translation quality and language coverage. We can now translate among any of 64 different languages, including many with a small web presence, such as Bengali, Basque, Swahili, Yiddish, even Esperanto.

Today we have more than 200 million monthly active users on translate.google.com (and even more in other places where you can use Translate, such as Chrome, mobile apps, YouTube, etc.). People also seem eager to access Google Translate on the go (the language barrier is never more acute than when you’re traveling)—we’ve seen our mobile traffic more than quadruple year over year. And our users are truly global: more than 92 percent of our traffic comes from outside the United States.

In a given day we translate roughly as much text as you’d find in 1 million books. To put it another way: what all the professional human translators in the world produce in a year, our system translates in roughly a single day. By this estimate, most of the translation on the planet is now done by Google Translate. (We can’t speak for the galaxy; Douglas Adams’s “Babel fish” probably has us beat there.) Of course, for nuanced or mission-critical translations, nothing beats a human translator—and we believe that as machine translation encourages people to speak their own languages more and carry on more global conversations, translation experts will be more crucial than ever.

We imagine a future where anyone in the world can consume and share any information, no matter what language it’s in, and no matter where it pops up. We already provide translation for webpages on the fly as you browse in Chrome, text in mobile photos, YouTube video captions, and speech-to-speech “conversation mode” on smartphones. We want to knock down the language barrier wherever it trips people up, and we can’t wait to see what the next six years will bring.

Posted by Franz Och, Distinguished Research Scientist, Google Translate

URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/breaking-down-language-barriersix-years.html

[G] Joining forces to support computer science majors

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Google Research Blog: Joining forces to support computer science majors

Posted by Maggie Johnson, Director of Education and University Relations



A few weeks ago, I attended the annual SIGCSE (Special Interest Group, Computer Science Education) conference in Raleigh, NC. Google has been a platinum sponsor of SIGCSE for many years now, and the conference provides an opportunity for thousands of CS educators to come together, share ideas and work on significant challenges that have emerged over the last five years.



Five years ago, the Advanced Placement Computer Science course and exam almost died. Due to lack of student interest, the B part of the AP CS was discontinued and there was a risk that the A part would also be discontinued. At that time, the number of CS majors at the undergraduate level also hit an all time low. Specifically, the number of students taking the AP CS exam fell 15 % between 2001 and 2007, and the number of college freshmen intending to major in CS plummeted more than 70% during the same period. This was a paradox for CS educators. They knew (and know) that advancing U.S. students' understanding of the principles and practices of computing is critical to developing a globally competitive workforce for the 21st century.



Rather than be defeated, a commission of ten secondary and higher education faculty came together and used this as an opportunity to reinvigorate interest in CS. They re-invented the AP CS into a course that not only introduces students to programming, but also gives them an understanding of the fundamental concepts of computing, its breadth of application and its potential for transforming the world.



The NSF generously funded the development and piloting of this new CS Principles course two years ago. This academic year, the NSF has funded several high school pilots as well. The pilots have been so successful that the College Board has now committed to developing a new state-of-the-art exam for the course. This is a critical accomplishment. The AP CS is the only standardized computing course we have in high school. The high school curriculum is packed—it’s nearly impossible to get any new course from any domain into the curriculum, and the AP CS is our stake in the ground.



Concurrent with the AP CS development, the ACM has pushed forward on two fronts that are also making significant impact. The CSTA (Computer Science Teachers Association) now has 11,000 members with 2300 College Board-certified to teach the AP CS Part A (which is still being offered). Membership and interest is rising, and this community plays a key role in professional development, CS standards definition (another critical stake in the ground) and scaling of the new AP CS.



In addition, we have the Computing in the Core Coalition, which is a non-partisan advocacy group of associations, corporations, scientific societies and other nonprofits that is working to elevate CS to a core academic subject in K-12 education. The Coalition does this through advocacy with government agencies and Congress, and by raising general awareness through CSEdWeek.



The good news is we are starting to see positive indicators of change. CS majors are rebounding at the undergraduate level.







The latest Employment Projections for 2010 to 2020 (Bureau of Labor Statistics) show a 6.9% increase in employment from 2006-2010 in computer and mathematical occupations, and a projected 22.0% increase from 2010-2020. This is in comparison to a 14.3% increase, on average, for all other growing occupations.



Students, parents, teachers, administrators and government officials are starting to hear the message:




  • There is an exponentially growing demand in computing job opportunities

  • Computing is inherently creative, innovative and team-based

  • Technology and computing are transforming the world




Of course, we still do not have nearly enough supply coming out of colleges and universities to meet the demand, but the situation has improved in the last two years.



We believe that computing and CS are critical to our future, and we support CS education through many programs including CS4HS, App Inventor (just re-launched from MIT), our Exploring Computational Thinking curriculum, and other outreach programs and partnerships. Computing is at the foundation of all things technology, and computer science is at the foundation of computing.


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/gJZg/~3/XGfQzE9UPoM/joining-forces-to-support-computer.html

[G] Joining forces to support computer science majors

| More

Google Research Blog: Joining forces to support computer science majors

Posted by Maggie Johnson, Director of Education and University Relations



A few weeks ago, I attended the annual SIGCSE (Special Interest Group, Computer Science Education) conference in Raleigh, NC. Google has been a platinum sponsor of SIGCSE for many years now, and the conference provides an opportunity for thousands of CS educators to come together, share ideas and work on significant challenges that have emerged over the last five years.



Five years ago, the Advanced Placement Computer Science course and exam almost died. Due to lack of student interest, the B part of the AP CS was discontinued and there was a risk that the A part would also be discontinued. At that time, the number of CS majors at the undergraduate level also hit an all time low. Specifically, the number of students taking the AP CS exam fell 15 % between 2001 and 2007, and the number of college freshmen intending to major in CS plummeted more than 70% during the same period. This was a paradox for CS educators. They knew (and know) that advancing U.S. students' understanding of the principles and practices of computing is critical to developing a globally competitive workforce for the 21st century.



Rather than be defeated, a commission of ten secondary and higher education faculty came together and used this as an opportunity to reinvigorate interest in CS. They re-invented the AP CS into a course that not only introduces students to programming, but also gives them an understanding of the fundamental concepts of computing, its breadth of application and its potential for transforming the world.



The NSF generously funded the development and piloting of this new CS Principles course two years ago. This academic year, the NSF has funded several high school pilots as well. The pilots have been so successful that the College Board has now committed to developing a new state-of-the-art exam for the course. This is a critical accomplishment. The AP CS is the only standardized computing course we have in high school. The high school curriculum is packed—it’s nearly impossible to get any new course from any domain into the curriculum, and the AP CS is our stake in the ground.



Concurrent with the AP CS development, the ACM has pushed forward on two fronts that are also making significant impact. The CSTA (Computer Science Teachers Association) now has 11,000 members with 2300 College Board-certified to teach the AP CS Part A (which is still being offered). Membership and interest is rising, and this community plays a key role in professional development, CS standards definition (another critical stake in the ground) and scaling of the new AP CS.



In addition, we have the Computing in the Core Coalition, which is a non-partisan advocacy group of associations, corporations, scientific societies and other nonprofits that is working to elevate CS to a core academic subject in K-12 education. The Coalition does this through advocacy with government agencies and Congress, and by raising general awareness through CSEdWeek.



The good news is we are starting to see positive indicators of change. CS majors are rebounding at the undergraduate level.







The latest Employment Projections for 2010 to 2020 (Bureau of Labor Statistics) show a 6.9% increase in employment from 2006-2010 in computer and mathematical occupations, and a projected 22.0% increase from 2010-2020. This is in comparison to a 14.3% increase, on average, for all other growing occupations.



Students, parents, teachers, administrators and government officials are starting to hear the message:




  • There is an exponentially growing demand in computing job opportunities

  • Computing is inherently creative, innovative and team-based

  • Technology and computing are transforming the world




Of course, we still do not have nearly enough supply coming out of colleges and universities to meet the demand, but the situation has improved in the last two years.



We believe that computing and CS are critical to our future, and we support CS education through many programs including CS4HS, App Inventor (just re-launched from MIT), our Exploring Computational Thinking curriculum, and other outreach programs and partnerships. Computing is at the foundation of all things technology, and computer science is at the foundation of computing.


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/gJZg/~3/XGfQzE9UPoM/joining-forces-to-support-computer.html

[G] New 45° imagery available for 19 cities

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Google Lat Long: New 45° imagery available for 19 cities


The latest 45° imagery update in Google Maps features new imagery for 8 international locations and 11 U.S. locations. This also marks the first time we're publishing 45° imagery for France.

Avignon, France
The city of Avignon is the first place in France where 45° imagery will be available. Classified as a world heritage site by UNESCO, Avignon is full of history. The famous bridge “le pont d’Avignon” (referenced in the well-known French song “Sur le pont d’Avignon”) provides a spectacular view of the old city, including the “Palais des Papes” where 7 popes have resided.

These days, the city is well known for the “festival d’Avignon”. Every summer, Avignon becomes a city-theater transforming its architectural heritage into venues to host a contemporary performing arts festival.


View Larger Map

Rotterdam, Netherlands
Starting as a dam constructed in 1270 on the Rotte River, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial center. Its strategic location at the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta on the North Sea and at the heart of a massive rail, road, air and inland waterway distribution system extending throughout Europe is the reason that Rotterdam is often called the "Gateway to Europe".


View Larger Map

Miami, Florida
This imagery update also includes the southernmost 45° imagery in the United States so far: Miami, Florida. Besides its status as a popular tourist destination, there are several interesting tidbits about Miami. Since permanent weather recordings started in 1900, Miami has experienced snowfall only once. Moreover, the Port of Miami is also currently the world’s busiest in terms of passenger traffic and cruise lines.


View Larger Map

International: Avignon, France; Reus, Spain; Rotterdam, Netherlands; L'Alcudia, Spain; Gandia, Spain; Sueca, Spain; Burgos, Spain; Los Palacios Y Villafranca, Spain

US: Albany, GA; Omaha, NE; Baytown, TX; Miami, FL; Amarillo, TX; Monroe, LA; Manchester, NH; Alexandria, LA; Rapid City, SD; Loudon, TN; Farmington, NM

Happy exploring!
Posted by Gwen Cossoul, Maps for Business Technical Program Manager
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2012/04/new-45-imagery-available-for-19-cities.html

[G] Visit global landmarks with photo tours in Google Maps

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Google Lat Long: Visit global landmarks with photo tours in Google Maps


Every year, millions of people pack their bags and head to far-off places to enjoy sites and cultures different from their own. While there, they snap photos to document their trip and share their excursions online. Yet none of these individual photos captures the experience of actually being immersed in a specific location. With today’s introduction of photo tours, a feature of Google Maps that guides you through a 3D photo scene, we're one step closer.


Photo tours are available for more than 15,000 popular sites around the world, from famous landmarks such as St. Mark’s Basilica in Italy to scenic treasures like Half Dome in Yosemite. They can be initiated from Google Maps in two ways. First, when you search for a place, such as Trevi Fountain, the results in the left panel will indicate if there is a photo tour available: click either the thumbnail image or the link to start the tour. Alternatively, if you’re browsing the map and click on the label for a particular landmark, the info window that appears will indicate if a photo tour is available.


To produce these photo tours, we use advanced computer vision techniques to create a 3D experience from public, user-contributed Picasa and Panaromio photos. We start by finding clusters of overlapping photos around major landmarks. From the photos, our system derives the 3D shape of each landmark and computes the location and orientation of each photo. Google Maps then selects a path through the best images, and adds 3D transitions to seamlessly guide you from photo to photo as if you’re literally flying around the landmark and viewing it from different perspectives.


Every photo is attributed to its contributor, and the more photos people share, the better the tours get. So if you have great photos of places you’ve visited on Picasa or Panoramio, make them public so they’ll be eligible for inclusion in these photo tours!

Please note that using photo tours requires Google Maps with WebGL. Check out a few of our favorites or visit this map to browse all the available tours. Enjoy touring!

Posted by Steve Seitz, Software Engineer, Google Maps
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2012/04/visit-global-landmarks-with-photo-tours.html

[G] STRskillSchool is April’s YouTube Partner On The Rise!

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YouTube Blog: STRskillSchool is April’s YouTube Partner On The Rise!

Please join us in congratulating Steve Roberts from STRskillSchool! He is YouTube’s “On The Rise” spotlight partner for April and is featured today on the YouTube homepage.



Based in Suffolk, England, Steve has 14 years of coaching experience in a variety of sports, but is most passionate about soccer (football). He runs a sports coaching company along with Senior Coach Tommy Marsden, and brings coaching advice and knowledge of the sport to millions of people across the world via his YouTube channel. Regardless of your age or skill level, STRskillSchool has step-by-step tutorials for any player. Check out Steve’s instruction for the Ronaldinho/Neymar step over, knuckle balls and free kicks, how to do a hard flick over your head!











Here are a few words from the Steve:


My name is Steve Roberts and I am a UEFA qualified football coach. STRskillSchool is me and pretty much all the videos are filmed, edited and performed by myself and I am self taught in film making. I have loved football (soccer!) from a very young age. I always dreamt of being a Pro Footballer but sadly didn't make it. Two years ago I thought I would make tutorials to share with players, as the content I found was incorrect or frustrating to watch. I now have over 100 videos teaching many parts of the game, which players, coaches and parents can enjoy. I have been so overwhelmed from the worldwide support shown on my Youtube channel. I would like to thank everyone who has supported me in the past and thank you those who rallied round to help with the voting. My fans are the people who keep me motivated to create new fresh content. There are lots of new videos to come from me, so please subscribe and see what the future has to offer! Thanks again! 



If you’ve enjoyed this monthly On The Rise blog series and want to see more rising YouTube partners, check out our On The Rise channel. Keep an eye out for next month’s blog post, as your channel may be the next one On The Rise!



Christine Wang and Devon Storbeck, YouTube Content Partnerships, recently watched “Birth to 12 years in 2 min. 45 sec. Time Lapse Lotte.”


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/y4D3QTFbCKo/strskillschool-is-aprils-youtube.html

[G] Sompo Japan Goes Google

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Sompo Japan Goes Google

Posted by: Akihito Fujii, Google Apps Team, Japan



Google Apps has customers all over the world from Spain to Canada, and today we’re bringing you news from Japan. Sompo Japan Insurance Inc. announced that they’re moving all 30,000 employees to Google Apps by May 2013, becoming the largest Google Apps customer in Japan to date. Sompo is the largest property and casualty insurance company in Japan, operating 700 offices across 28 countries. Through a network of 45,000 agencies, they help a large base of customers with damage insurance, life insurance, and asset management.

Using Google Apps, Sompo will make strengthening its internal communication the centerpiece of their strategy, which will be critical for their planned merger with Nippon Koa Insurance in early 2014. Additionally, Google Apps will make it easier for employees to work remotely, stay connected to overseas offices, and seamlessly communicate using mobile devices.
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2012/04/sompo-japan-goes-google.html

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

[G] Making campaign planning and build-out faster and more accurate

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Inside AdWords: Making campaign planning and build-out faster and more accurate

We've been listening closely to your suggestions on how to reduce the guesswork involved with building new campaigns. To help improve the campaign building process, we’re rolling out improvements to the Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator.

Improvements to the Keyword Tool
To help improve campaign management, we’ve made improvements to the Keyword Tool including:
  • See keyword ideas grouped by themes: With the updated Keyword Tool, you can easily view suggestions for new ad group themes and quickly choose to add ad groups directly to your account. 
  • Seamless Traffic Estimator integration: Easily view Traffic Estimator data for the keywords you select in the Keyword Tool to make better campaign strategy decisions.
Improvements to Traffic Estimator
We’ve updated the Traffic Estimator to help advertisers build a more effective bidding and budgeting strategy. Changes to the Traffic Estimator include:
  • Graph your performance estimates:
  • We’ve introduced a graph to the Traffic Estimator to make it easier to gauge traffic and bid estimates and develop an effective bidding strategy. 
  • Structure your keywords into ad groups: You can now create draft ad groups within the Traffic Estimator and easily view traffic and bid estimates for each of your draft ad groups. 
  • Add campaigns to your account: When you’re satisfied with your campaign structure, you can add the draft campaign directly to your account. 
We’re also improving the quality and accuracy of the traffic estimates by using performance history to better gauge traffic estimates. This means that going forward you’ll have to log in to AdWords to use Traffic Estimator.

You’ll find the updated Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator in the AdWords interface over the next couple of weeks. To learn more about the updates to the Keyword Tool, you can visit this article in our Help Center and this article to learn more about the Traffic Estimator.

Posted by Deepti Bhatnagar, AdWords Product Manager
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2012/04/making-campaign-planning-and-build-out.html

[G] Increasing transparency in Quality Score

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Inside AdWords: Increasing transparency in Quality Score

Today, we’re introducing more details about your Quality Score in AdWords.

Using the status hover for a keyword in the Keywords tab, you’ll see the traditional 1-10 numeric score and new ratings for each main factor in Quality Score. The new ratings have a relative scale so you’ll understand whether your performance expected clickthrough rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience is average, above average, or below average compared to other advertisers.



We’ve heard from advertisers that having more insight on Quality Score can help you better focus efforts to improve performance. Improving ads quality is great for users, too.

One final note: This launch gives you information you can use to improve your Quality Score, but it doesn’t change how Quality Score or ad rank are calculated.

Posted Jen Huang, AdWords Product Manager
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2012/04/increasing-transparency-in-quality.html

[G] Slice and dice your data using AdWords labels

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Inside AdWords: Slice and dice your data using AdWords labels

We are excited to announce the launch of account labels. Starting this week, you can organize your account’s keywords, ads, ad groups and campaigns into custom groupings so you can quickly and easily filter and report on the data that is of most interest to you. To see the opportunities that labels enable, let’s meet Bob.

Bob is an online retailer who sells apparel and accessories for men and women. He has campaigns for shoes, clothes and bags for each of his three major markets (New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania) and within the campaigns has separate ad groups for generic and brand keywords. This structure (ex: New York - Shoes - Generic and Massachusetts - Shoes - Generic) means that he has the same ads and keywords spread across different parts of his account. Before today, Bob could not easily sort his account or run a report to see how well sneakers are selling across geographies.

Enter labels.


Now Bob can create the label “sneakers” and apply it to all sneaker-related keywords across his account. He can then filter by this label on the Keywords tab to only see sneaker keywords, or he can run a keyword labels report to aggregate performance by label. These reports allow him to then compare --for example-- how sneakers perform against all other shoes, or other labeled groups.


Labels can be used to organize your campaign elements in any way you choose. Report on brand keyword performance versus all other non-branded keyword performance. Measure how ads that mention “free trial” perform versus ads that mention “free demo”. Or simply label your favorite keywords so you can quickly review them every morning.

Labels will begin rolling out this week to all AdWords accounts. For more information, please visit the AdWords Help Center.

Posted by Jon Diorio, Senior Product Manager, AdWords
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2012/04/slice-and-dice-your-data-using-adwords.html

[G] Google Apps keeps music companies humming

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Google Apps keeps music companies humming

Posted by: Barbara Yang, Google Apps Team

Music is a huge part of our culture at Google, and I’m really excited that the music festival season is just getting started. If you were at Coachella (which we livestreamed on YouTube this year) or have plans to go to go to another festival, you're probably just as excited.

Musicians, record labels, and music companies are using technology to do some amazing things, like producing on-stage holograms or experimenting with new online distribution models. It’s common for artists to launch their careers on YouTube, broadcast a performance on Google+ Hangouts, or connect with their fans using social media. But beyond the tech-coolness we hear a lot about, the music community is also taking advantage of technology behind the scenes - or rather, in the cloud - to develop their businesses.

I’m proud to say that some of today’s musical entrepreneurs are using Google Apps for Business. Whether it’s having the freedom to run a new indie record label, the flexibility to manage up-and-coming music artists on tour, or the ability to collaborate across the globe, Google Apps helps these teams focus on what they love the most - the music. We want to share three stories about awesome music companies using Google Apps to grow and evolve:

Music Clout is a startup formed by a group of guys with a die-hard passion for music. The idea is simple: create an online community that connects independent artists with music industry contacts and opportunities. They launched their company with Google Apps to make it easier to work together internally and with their team of contractors. Since their web development team works from Turkey, the combination of chat in Gmail and Hangouts allows them to instantly discuss website programming and other technicalities, while saving the team from high phone bills.

GHouse, a Boston-based record label, works with musicians from various genres, including electronic, reggae, rock, and country. Beginning as a side project by a college music student, it’s evolved into a full-time business. Initially, the team relied on a remote server and legacy software that were always stalling or crashing on them. They switched to Google Apps so that they could easily work together anytime, anywhere online, and on any device with Internet connectivity. With Google Docs, the team can easily share music tour dates and track all of their profits from the shows.

Founded in 2007, Fly South Music Group is an artist management firm out of Orlando, FL with satellite offices in Nashville and Los Angeles. The company set up Google Apps because it wanted a common platform for company email, calendars and documents that could be shared between all their clients, families, labels, tour managers and promotion coordinators. Today, it’s become essential to their workflow from scheduling to budget management with access to information from anywhere. This accessibility provides a whole new layer of transparency that keeps everyone in sync, especially while traveling around the world.

Google Apps has given these companies the built-in collaboration they need to communicate better, work smarter, and stay focused on bringing new talent and fresh ideas to the music industry.
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2012/04/google-apps-keeps-music-companies.html