ALERT!!! PLEASE click SILENCE above, go to new layout. ;o)

Google wave, an exciting innovation

Googles new ...

google_wave_logoave is exciting to see.

It really could change the web, Lars Rasmussen described it as simply ... "Wave is what email would be if was invented today" ... and the inspiration for this started in 2004.

Lars and his brother Jens along with Stephanie Hannon, all from the google office in Sydney, Australia have come up trumps with this in my eyes, you really need to watch the video to see it in action for it's potential to make sense.

These are the guys who gave you google maps, which is succeeding very well and being used probably more than even they anticipated, I see it on photos, tweets, the social sites, blogs, search ... everywhere.

Googles waving!

So I hadn't got around to watching the wave video until recently, maybe you've already seen it, read about it somewhere, if not, although the video is over an hour it is worth watching. Even if you have no intention of using wave itself, it shows where the internet is really going from here.

Once you see it in action, you realise email and IM messaging (chat) seems to be so lame, old, stale and yet this so much more than simply email, IMessaging in a new form, almost everyone uses email and chat so that most likely includes you and this will change how you do it, should you use it when it's available.

This is by far the biggest and best web innovation I have seen online, to be honest it blew me away watching it, the possibilities, the sheer usefulness of it, the "liveness" of it.

And yet it's still in raw form, meaning it's as basic as it will be the way you see it now, they stressed the point it was in it's early stages a few times, yet there can only be improvements once all the smart developers start building things for it, like "add on" developers do so well with firefox, it's users that make it what it is.

But for the rest of us who will simply use it, most will love it once it's out there to use I think ... maybe some will be late to try it, others will be onto it asap (I can't wait!), whatever happens it will change the way the web is used.

It's simply a new better way of communicating and in real time too, google is leading the way with wave as there really is nothing else to compare it to.

Use Gmail?

If you have a Gmail account, the look in wave (right click, new tab, window, for pics) will seem somewhat familiar, the left sidebar panel is where the navigation and friends show (google contacts), in the main page where your inbox would show in Gmail is where the collection of waves if you have more than one are show as a list.

Each wave when clicked on opens as whole on the right side of the main page and it's in threaded form, but unlike threaded emails of text, waves can have anything added to it, pictures, links, whatever content you want to share. (check first pic)

Much like in Gmail, you can contact multiple people and have several responses all threaded together in one massage ... unlike Gmail, with wave you can pick and choose which person sees what in the wave, while keeping it all in context. (first pic, right hand side) The people in that wave in the pic are shown on the top of the wave itself.

Get this ... anytime in the Gmail, if I wanted to share an email with someone new I would send the whole message, they would see all of it and from all who responded but would have to sit and read it all as it is and make sense of it, even though its all out of context as a thread.

Not so in wave, they have this great feature called "playback" as you see on the button at the top on the pics, clicking this shows the new added person not only the whole thread in the wave, but how it happened, what got added where, when, what led to it, what was changed, the progress as it happened etc ...

Like watching a rewind on a mixed video/sharepoint/doc/picalbum/IM !!

Powerful as a collaberation tool!

Powerful as a storyboard!

Powerful as a mastermind!

Then say that new person wanted to share something private with you, something regarding an idea about the wave which was best not being said in the wave for all to see, they could make a part private to type to you, they would leave the actual message in the wave keeping it in context ... so only the two of you see it!

A hypothetical wave!

Many of my friends on facebook go on holidays, all at the same time quite often yet in different places. They normally post a status or two while on holiday, as well as add a picture album (or two!) to their profile to share with us all.

Let's imagine three groups of four have all gone on holiday ...

1. Four girls have gone to Ibiza (as you do!)

2. Two couples have gone to NZ ... (lucky buggers!)

3. Four lads choose Tenerife. (No surprise there!)

The tags can help people find the "scattered over several (12) profiles" pictures and comments etc, yes I know, so fragmented, so awkward not to mention dealing with all the notifications when others comment!

Use a wave...

For ease we call the wave "summer hols 09" which is simple to remember for all of them and others in the future.

Group 1 touchdown first... it's late in the evening, they comment in the wave and post a pic of the scene from the bus / coach as it takes them to the hotel...

Others online (me!) at the same time can comment in the wave, the girls can reply without leaving the wave.

Next morning, group 2 hit the runway in NZ, on the way they send pics from the plane to the wave, commenting along with it, again anyone online at the time can reply in the wave, to a comment or about the picture.

The couple spot the girls pics and comments from the night before, they comment too.

Others join in as they find the wave.

Later the night the lad in group 3 fly out to Tenerife, three hours later they are hitting the hotel to drop their stuff off and then hitting the bars and clubs, they post a pic or two to the wave, they also comment on the other two groups things.

Luckily the girls are online...they start chatting to the lads, in real time. Others join in.

All this "experience sharing" in one wave, all in context of how the holidays unfolded.

An experience in real time of three holidays all happening at once!

After everyone is home, they can continue to share and comment on the wave about their experiences and more.

A few weeks later, a friend who has not been online much may ask about the holiday now it gets interesting, because instead of saying, yeah we posted pics to facebook and the comments...well you will spend days looking for share the wave!< The friend only has to hit the "playback" button to see the whole "shared experience" of 3 holidays between 12 people and all in one smooth flow, like watching a real time video/screencast as it unfolded. That is neat! :o) That is just one "fun" way of using it, and you have a digital memory bank of it. I hope you can see why the wave looks exciting, not only as a fun thing but a serious breakthrough in how we communicate and share things. It will also have great uses for work, brainstorming and more. I for one can't wait to try it out and see how I can utilise it in several ways. What about you? "waves" :o)

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Google accounts and why you should have one

I have had a google account since they started, being a blogger user before google started GMail and then buying blogger itself, GMail is still in beta strangely although it is getting better all the time I think it's time they brought it out of beta really, it's the best email out there with a spam system second to non.

There are plenty of reasons why it's worth having a google account, of which GMail is really the central to all the rest of the great things you get with a Google account.

Gmail is just so useful. :o) 

To start if you haven't already got one get an account to use and give it a real try out then see if it's not worth using.

Now you have a Google account to use with the great features of the Google range of products and services, and free too. ;o)

One account log on for everything.

Everything is accessible from within your GMail page which is why mine is my home page and so easy to start from. 

On the top left of you Gmail inbox page you will see links to other things you now already have!

These are all accessible without logging in again as long as you stay in your browser you are logged into GMail with. 

One reason the "tabs" are so handy now on browsers.

Before you do anything else, while in GMail, go to the "settings" link at the top right, on the next page with settings, scroll down to the bottom and click the "always use https" as shown below.

This means your GMail is safer to open being a secure connection.

On the end of the link list up there on the left is a "more" button which from the drop down menu if you the click "even more" leads you a page with all Googles stuff on one handy page.

Taking advantage of the other great things I feel everyone should get to grips with are the Google reader and docs, the reader is a great time saver when used right,  yet many don't really use RSS on purpose, what I mean by this is the general Internet user uses RSS without knowing it, like on facebook etc.

Understanding the way it works and how to use and read them is very simple and all you need to know can take five min's to get to grips with.

Click the reader link and it opens in a new tab or window depending on your settings and browser choice, which should be either FireFox or chrome by now, ;o)

Click the "add subscriptions" box as seen above and below once clicked, in that box enter this blogs title, and it will "pull the feed" from my blog here and add it to your reader. Just so you know and understand, the feed URL is different to the blog URL...

My feed is the URL that shows in the bottom of your browser when you hover the mouse over that orange icon on the top right here on the blog. THAT is what RSS readers "pull."

Now you should have this blogs feed working and my blogs content in your reader ... looks like the blogs content without the sidebars. ;o)

You can add any other blog or RSS feed into your reader, wherever you see that orange icon or the letters RSS.

In the top of the reader when you have a feed readable you see the drop down menu, ensure it's the "sort by newest" that's ticked to only pull any new feeds since the last time you used the reader.

On the right of the reader page you will see the same as the image below.

While only having a feed or two you may want to keep it as "expanded" so the whole feed shows, after a while when you are getting to grips with it and adding new feeds etc you may prefer the "list" so you can just scan the titles to choose what to read.

On the right of you Gmail account you have the other main links to your account, IGoogle is something you may want to look at, the "account" link leads to your main account page.

Another great thing to use is the Google docs, makes a great alternative to word with the added bonus of being able to create PDF's, and presentations, spreadsheets etc.

All this is web-based so you can download and upload keeping whatever wherever, but being able to access your stuff anywhere you can get online and logged into GMail. 

Afer clicking the documents link you should see the same as below.
If you have used word before it will all feel similar but neater. :o)

In my opinion anyway!

You can share your stuff, and let others even work on things with you and all updated as its done, no need to send things etc, just refresh page and whatever changed they make show on yours etc and vice versa. A great collaboration tool for multiple users. 
You have a great PDF extraction too, so work on his then donload as a pdf to test in your adobe reader. Very handy for creating fast pdf's.

Googles Picassa is also a downloadable tool you can use on your pc as a photo organiser, then sync it with your photo storage you get in your google account.

You don't need to download it though if you rather not, just upload to the webspace you have here, you get links to use as well as embedible code to post on a blog or webpage, although when using blogger and you add a picture to your blogpost it uses this storage and does it all for you.

You now have this great photo storage with Picasa, you just click the photos at the top of your GMail account page and create an album, upload some pics and you are ready to use them, share them etc.

This is so easily usable with your blogger account with you have with Gmail.

Just a simple clicking of the photo icon when creating a post and choosing the picture to upload, publish the post.

Now it is also in your photo page.

Putting this altogether you realise that there is so much you can do for free and yet so easily using these great tools. All the while it's being improved and added to.

A great reason to have a Google account.

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Why google search ranking matters

If you are like most people, when you search for something in google or other preferred search engine you most likely scan the results shown, usually paying more attention to the top results shown, google knows what people do when they see the results, having tracked it using eye studies, heatmaps, etc...

Scanning the page is the fastest, simplest way you can digest the information without taking in too much irrelevant detail, this is the natural split-second decision making your brain is so good at, it is only when something catches your attention that you start to read the results properly,

This is proof that getting that all important first page result for your site keyword matters and the further up to the left your result are the better.

As you can see getting in any of the slots on the first page will get you eyeballs...whether you get the clicks is another story altogether.

It's a good thing google test these things. :o)

Better still it's great they don't hide the results, here they are sharing it with us.

SEO is an important part of what you should be doing, just the basics is better than nothing.

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"Simple way of getting started with Google"

Just something that may help many of you who would like to start, but are not sure how.

That simple, and that handy to use. :o)

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"Creating the blog"

A big welcome to all new readers, great to have you pop by.

Following on from the last post I did, where I am just posting in the hope it helps some readers to start blogging, but for some of you new readers, I don't need to advise on starting...oh no some of you have some great blogs going and I will read more... ;o)

But you are very welcome to comment and add to anything. :o)

So... cracking on, now for those who did what was mentioned in the last post will have had some fun or possible frustration.
Either camp's good.. ;o) ...Means you are learning and that curve is already shorter.

So, what now?

First a couple of home truths...what the "big guys" don't tell you in the "ebooks" you see.

1, It's NOT easy, simple yes, not easy but very worth doing.

Anything is simple IF you follow a step by step plan of action and DO.
Nothing really complicated is even needed to take a BIG stride and keep that ball rolling.
Put it this way, it's alot harder to "give up" once you DO have a blog up with a few post and you see it!

The first hurdle...starting is the easiest time to give up!

2, NO ONE will read you blog for a while and it will frustrate you...for as long as you let it!

"Build it and they come" is the myth of which the dream chasers hope for when they buy the "next big thing ebook".
No one will even KNOW about your blog unless you actually DO something to share HAVE to market it in some sense.
To some that's a dirty thing, snake oil sellers... "Internet marketing" simply promoting whatever on the web... a blog for instance?

But simply telling your online friends about your blog in IS in a sense "Internet marketing"!
So YES you will have to learn how some things work.

But don't let them discourage you. :o)

Because there is just an easier way now and that is because the web is now how it should be.

Let me explain...

Web 2.0 is simply to me a term for the "more interactive websites and systems"

The more interactive YOU are, the more you's PEOPLE not websites... ;o)

But I am slightly ahead of myself here... I'll end that slight diversion on this... you have had by now had a good look around at blogs etc to research your "topic" as in the last post... so you were interactive with them, you were "traffic" ;o) will get the "traffic" aka "people"

But they are PEOPLE first, traffic second yet inseparable.

So start with people in mind and continue with people in mind.

On with the post... ;o)

Before naming your blog you should give some thoughts to keywords or even using branded style if you have in some way a brand of sorts to etc.

Your content will use whatever keywords suit your "topic" etc so a keyword is not essential in the blog my opinion.

But it won't hurt... ;o)

Creating the blog, using blogger from your google account with the by now researched ideas on whatever your topic with bookmarkd sites and blogs to get inspiration from.

You want to use inspiration from what caught your eye, but keep it simple enough to keep on top of and build as you go. I used minima templates as my first one and learnt alot about the code behind html etc...with the new blogger layouts you don't need to know it, just choose wisely. ;o)

Now you should take heed of this... you want to ignore the fact people may not read your blog alot for a while as it will do after a while.
The most important thing is to simply get cracking so now create a post...300 words maybe to get you going if more happens, great.

Don't stare at the blank screen... heres what i want you do to help you out there, whatever the topic...

Imagine I am sitting there with you and you are telling me about your "topic"...

Look at my pic... then sit and write... imagine it.. "hey Rob, I got all these tips on how to maintain a harley davidson"

Me : Oh yeah.. tell me a bout it.. write a list of ten.. ;o)

"Rob... I got these great recipes to share"...

Me:... Great, are they cakes, main meals etc? What Origin...

Oh, just some old english recipes passed down... "

Me: I'll read and use them.... ;o)

Write...write more, don't edit just write write, this creative writing comes flowing from you and the edit mode is later! ;o)

When you run out things to say... (IF you do!), click SAVE NOW get up and go put the kettle on or coffee pot and take a break from it... ;o)
Pat yourself on the back too...not while sipping ya drink though! Doh! :x)

Now you go back and READ your words... dont edit.. just read... make sense of it.
DO NOT put yourself down for any of it.

You just want to capture what "I" would read... ;o) Unedited.

Now you can alter spelling stuff only!

I get amazed at I need to edit less and less as I blog nowadays.. it flows fluidly at times.
Practice makes a massive difference...repetition is a great learning process.

What you will have will most likely surprise you, maybe 440 words... maybe 600... ;o)

More... doing better than most.

Tidy it up some, slightly reword a few things you feel needs doing and PUBLISH !!

That's IT... you have started and you are now a blogger! Ok.. calm down!.. ;o)

Now this is important... try to post at least 3 post a week, more if possible daily being better!

The first week you may only get a few visitors, but now you have a blog up with 3 or more post and it's a ball rolling.

Next, some ideas on pushing that ball better. ;o)

If you like this and it helps... great, up to you what you do NEXT, stumble this, digg it, share with someone, subscribe to my email updates or feed, comment to it, or even buy me a beer! ;o)

After all you are a person...people first traffic second so I leave THAT choice up to you.. :o)

Remember to write it with me in mind, and then come tell me and I WILL read it... ;o)

Off to check stats LOL.. ;o)

Edit to add...on the sidebar here is a report on writing articles which would be a great help if you really stuggle and not only that it could be your FIRST income maker on YOUR new blog! :o)

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@ 1:57 PM, , create a link to this post

"How do I start blogging"

This is something EVERY blogger has thought of at least ONCE. ;o)

For the obvious reason we all had to start...somewhere.

I still get asked this question and it is something you are going to HAVE to deal with if you want to blog, so ultimately the easiest way is to just start! ;o)

Ok...then the other questions start...

All natural to each of us, we all ask them and all the answers are there to find and easily enough it is too. ;o)

Spending a few hours getting these answers will do 2 things...

  1. Tell you if it is worth doing
  2. If so it will inspire you to DO.
If it is not 1, you will need to ask what else you could ask answers for, ie what else can I blog about that will be 1. ;o)

Ok, how?

There is a great thing on the web called Google...and it's ALL you need for everything really and yes I am serious.

Google is more than "Google"... an oxymoron but it's not JUST a search engine. ;o)

Ok, so you want to at least get some answers to..."how do I start blogging?"

An 8 step plan of ACTION, for now... ;o)

Have a Google account?

If not...Grab one here and choose a user name which remember you can use on everything else I tell you, choose wisely, you will have a Gmail account...this is the email centre of your Google account.

Now you are have a web centre to utilise and it's a huge free asset online to have but more on that another post. ;o)

This is simple yet will be a big benefit to your time and efforts as well as the learning curve.
Most links are at the top of your Google Gmail inbox, one is IGoogle... ;o)
On this IGoogle homepage you can add stuff...alot of this will be stuff you USE, more on that soon. ;o)

This will be your blog dashboard and using the Gmail account as a log in so you only ever need log into all Googles services with your Gmail account once. This will simplify everything.
You can create many blogs in this ONE account, that's why I say don't worry about the first dummy blog.

Now you have the perfect blog search engine to research for the answers to 1. above.
Lets say your "blog topic" will be around your favourite pastime of baking cakes...

Go search for "baking cakes" with " " and without ... baking cakes and see what comes up.
Note how many blogs, how many searches made or anything you see that you can take data from.
Bookmark the blogs, when you look at them really take note of what captures your eye and compels you to read more. Save everything, notes and blogs etc.

Take note of the top right hand side where it say how many sites there are, so it IS something people read. ;o) Look at a few of the websites that come up and see what captures your eye again and bookmark ones you like.

Now you can see that module you just added on your IGoogle homepage... this will be your online web centre bookmarks once you are rolling. ;o)
Add to that THIS blog you are reading.. ;o)

Now you have that reader, see that orange button at the top left of this that and add to your Google. ;o) If not sure, go to the bottom of this blog and click the add to Google button.
Add to the reader and this to your IGoogle homepage.

Simple and fast, effective. Go look at your IGoogle page now. See it all on there and yet you also have the option of creating new tabs... Even create a cake baking tab. ;o) Save things to it.

Now you have a nice Google center you can access anywhere.

I'll stop there for now because now I am sure you are going to have some play around etc.
Go ahead have a look at the set up and see how simple and streamlined it is.

After you have had a look around, have a good think about what you could blog about and read other blogs on whatever topic you have thought about. ;o)

Any questions or comments feel free to do so below.

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Bad targetted ads

Well what in the world happened there?

In the last post I shared a great video, a moving video.
If you have yet to see it... go take a look..

One board, a nice heart.

Thanks to a sharp eyed reader, (thanks Michelle) who points out that one of the google ads above it had shown a sexual abuse ad?!
How the hell does THAT happen?

From what word does google get the relevance from?

Is that unbelievable or what, even a bit disturbing?

How do they get that from such an innocent word and post?
Beyond me... but it is not something I want on my blog.

Why do google even allow ads like that to show?

Any idea?

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@ 3:19 AM, , create a link to this post

Orkut...and my pics.

Google seems to be giving us things to use every week!

If you really went through everything available to you, you
DON'T need to spend money to be able to do things.

Want to have your own list.. use groups.. want to have a blog..
use blogger..want docs and spreadsheets..use googles online ones..

Want to host an album of pics? Videos?

Have gmail? Its all available to you.

I have now set up an orkut account.

So if you have an orkut account.. and would like to add me as a
friend that would be great, comment below, or let me know and
I will also add you to my friends too.. ;o)

Take a look at the pics I posted up to it here..

What do you think?

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Google+firefox VS Msn+IE+yahoo

Google are a smart bunch as you probably gather.. ;o)

Something google have never had themselves was a browser so when firefox started and the way they launched, becoming popular very quickly was bound to have pricked the ears of those in google.

Firefox had the perfect "cause" for the launch, utilising the very fact people disliked IExplorer, which was the main browser in use yet also the main target for hackers to cause problems etc.

So becoming a very frustrating thing for everyone it was easy for firefox to let the users spread the word using THAT very cause...which worked perfectly creating a perfect free viral campaign.

Indeed I was one of those that helped spread the word, I still use firefox as my main browser and will continue to do so...its the best.

I mean why would I want to use second best? ;o)

Interesting to read that yahoo and msn and banding together in direct competition to google and firefox through the IExplorer.

They will still be second best though... for a number of reasons.
The reasons go back a long way too, as do the mistakes made that leads them to where they are now.

Lets take a look at a few things about the situation, I know hindsight is wonderful, but it also helps the future if lessons are learned from it...and there ARE lessons we can use.

Msn are last...simply due their own lack of standard...there is no way they will ever catch google on their own and this has to be the main reason they link up with yahoo.

Take a step back though and you can see another reason why google have gone so far ahead, the name itself is a big part of it.

As you now know people are even using it as a verb for searching in "google my name". Try it.. ;o)

See where the power of that is, although google don't like people using it as a verb it IS making them a success, like aspirin, bikini.

Yahoo or msn don't have THAT kind of benefit at all...they never will.

I recently had the IE7 installed on my PC, but there was something not right about it, it caused my pc to crash several times, so I the uninstalled it and went back to having the IE6 which was on my PC anyway....not a good start for IE7.

Yet Microsoft say they have had alot of downloads in the first 3 days of launch..heres something else I noticed...why do they need to say that?
Firefox didn't need to say how many were being downloaded...they just got on with it, keeping on top of things all the while.

The knew the most important thing was to keep the users happy.
Just as google know to keep people happy...something Msn don't do.

So... where are yahoo and msn merging?
In IE7 the default search is yahoo... the homepage is yahoo.
The toolbar is yahoo.

So why would Yahoo join with Msn?
Optimised advertising is one big reason, with the revenue they will generate from their own version of googles adsense.

Firefox is still used by more people than IExplorer so they will have to do serious catching up, and what better way than to emulate firefox themselves?
With the now popular "tabbed browsing" feature added to IE it shows firefox really DOES lead the way.

One thing that also benefits firefox over IE is the add ons, extensions etc, these are more often than not created by users rather than firefox themselves.
Therefore users are creating the perfect browser for themselves.

IE will never create the perfect browser for users, only play catch up.

What do you think about it?

P.s Update to chrome is now my main browser! ;o)

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Google reader

Having used rss readers for a while and used a few different ones, I have to say the google reader is great, the best I have yet used, and if you already use gmail, it will feel a little familiar.

I was using the firefox rss but this google one is far better, with the added bonus of being able to add the reader to my igoogle home page it is a breeze to keep up to date.

Shame google isn't spending enough time, or the same level of zest on blogger...blogger could be far better than it is.. yes the beta is ok...but not yet usable with own domains. It is now usable with blogger, better yet use the custom domain and have blogger host it all for you, you have less chance of losing the blog this way too.

I think a great idea would be a "downloadable dashboard" so I have all control of it... using own ftp and domain we wouldn't have outage problems.

Shot themselves in the foot with the bad customer service with blogger.

Google is growing at a rapid rate.. inetrgratioin of all this through one google control panel is going to be good, easy and a time saver.
Just get it right...

On the whole I would definately recommend google reader.

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