Monday, May 14, 2007

Google is Lovely Part II

I'm apparently in an enconium-mood today as I'd like to praise Google a little more. Aside from the AdSense products I mentioned in the previous post, there are two products anyone can enjoy for free and no profit. If you want to locate these, just search using the Google Search bar to the right of the post!

  • Google Reader: This is the best way to keep up with websites that constantly change, but at an unpredictable rate. For instance, a blog that updates whenever the person has time or ideas. Or a commercial website that changes only when their products change. Or a financial page that changes all the time, but isn't as easy to navigate. Google allows you to "subscribe" to these websites (basically by reviewing the RSS feed that notices when something is updated and what it is) and displays on a single page all of your sites. So I check about a dozen blogs, from the ones that tell me who's dying next on Heroes to the medievalists who keep me updated on the field and everything in between. And instead of relying on my bookmarks, guessing whether it's updated or not, I can simply go to Google Reader!

    And that's not even the best part. My favorite part is that I can star items I want to return to, or remember for some reason. So the long blogs about conferences that I didn't get to read, the book that is reviewed or the funny joke I'd like to remember. And if that weren't enough, it will even track my usage -- giving me fun statistics such as how many times a day I check my blogs.

  • Google Notebook: This is a beta test, which means that if enough people use it, it becomes bumped up to project that is updated. My only gripe is that it's not yet ready for Safari, so I have to juggle programs. What does it do? Haven't you learned enough to know that with Google that's not a question. It's just "where is it?!"

    Seriously, it allows you to select text on a webpage that is memorable and click and add it to a notebook, which is an online storage tank for random fragments. It automatically copies the link so you can always return, but the information is right there. You can also share some notebooks (while keeping others private), aiding collaboration. I have an idea, you can update it! I'm finding it incredibly useful when I notice a book I should read, or a great scrap of writing that I want to preserve and so on and so on.

Be sure to check them out!

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