Posts Tagged ‘google’

How I attended an evening talk using Google Hangouts

Today I was on a phone call when I hobbled onto Twitter to see that DigitalNewsAsia’s #disruptmy was happening (follow the moneymore panelists) . I found a link to a Google Hangout, so I plugged in my external monitor and decided to watch. In the meantime, I setup Twitter to be a second screen. On my main screen I did tasks that needed to get completed: catch up on IRC backlog, reply to lots of emails.

What has Google Hangout done for me?

Attending an evening talk

The event starts at 5.30pm sharp. I probably joined not long after and I didn’t feel like I missed much. Do you know what it takes to get to The Gardens at 5.30pm? Traffic jams in the country will mean that I probably should leave at 4-4.30pm at the latest to be there safely. No looking for parking. Not paying for parking. No driving.

What did I miss out? The potential to socialize with some of the panelists & attendees. However I’m willing to bet I know most of the folk in that room, or can be connected to them at best by one degree of separation if required.

Overall, these Hangouts are awesome as you’re going to save time. It’s a secondary thing, like watching TV while you get work done… or listening to a podcast. Very different experience to actually being there.

Come Q&A, I got pretty bored and could tune out relatively quickly (except maybe the part about not getting excited by the Techcrunch hype; I think it goes down to the fact that many people just don’t understand finance). Next up, Team DigitalNewsAsia remember to take Q&A via Twitter. Remember folk, events are fun & all, but don’t be a conference ho. Back to work!

The link between Yahoo!, Microsoft, Facebook, Nokia

Written 23 July 2012, but for some reason it never got posted. Better late than never I guess.

I tweeted (17 July 2012, 4:40am UTC+8): 

There’s an interesting link between Yahoo!, Microsoft, Bing, Facebook and Nokia. The bigger picture is competition against Google, Apple

This was literally moments after the news broke that Marissa Mayer resigned from Google to become the CEO of Yahoo!. I thought I’d expand on this link that I see.

Search is today not something that Yahoo! cares about. Its served by Bing from Microsoft. Bing is also the default on Windows Phone, the operating system that Nokia has taken a bet on (when in the USA, I use a Lumia Windows Phone and cannot complain). Search on Facebook is also powered by Bing thanks to a deal that Microsoft has with Facebook. Bing is a strong contender to Google’s search, and this space is clearly still getting investment (see how DuckDuckGo recently got VC funding too).

Yahoo! has mail that is very popular (it might still be the most popular out there). Microsoft has Hotmail. Facebook has “Facebook messages”. Nokia canned Ovi mail services. Yahoo!, Microsoft Messenger and Facebook Messenger also has instant messenger (IM) capabilities. Imagine a day when they all interconnect? It would be a straight fight against Google Chat.

Picasa is Google’s photo sharing site. Today the stream might be Google+. Yahoo! still has Flickr which is the Picasa equivalent, and for streaming? Imagine if there was a quick link to Facebook. Nokia can build in sharing to Flickr and Facebook quickly from their phones (they already have been doing this from time-to-time between phone releases including their MeeGo stint).

Videos seem to be missing from this big picture. Google has YouTube, and the rest of them have nothing with the exception of Facebook.

Maps? Nokia has got great mapping technology loaded on the Windows phone. It can supply this quite easily to everyone.

I haven’t once mentioned Apple yet. They use other search engines (and maybe the longer term strategy is something like what the Dolphin browser does: use Siri to search multiple search engines and aggregate the results so the user has no idea what search engine is being used). They have their own messenger service in iMessages. They have their own photo & video storage site – the iCloud. For maps, they are using OpenStreetMaps after having ditched Google Maps. I see Apple building their own ecosystem and going it alone.

What about developer appeal? I see many a developer hacking on a Mac OS X laptop or a Linux laptop. With the Apple ecosystem, it is obvious to develop on OSX. With the Google Android ecosystem and the rest of their toolkit, its clear you can be OS-agnostic (they support Mac, Linux, Windows). With the Microsoft/Nokia ecosystem? It seems like you need a Windows box, and that automatically turns me away quite quickly (though upcoming HTML5/CSS/JavaScript will allow more development on this platform, in an OS-agnostic sense). Facebook is OS-agnostic too.

It is an exciting time ahead. All of this is great for consumers! Ecosystems are a building and it is awesome to see alliances being built

The Social Media Page Craze: Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Pages. They are becoming very popular. If you’re a brand, you’ve got to keep track of these things. This is sort of a dump of my thoughts on this.

It was quite common in the day to get a Twitter page. Multiple people can update a Twitter page. There are tools for this, and Twitter has an API. You have desktop tools for this as well.

Facebook pages are common if you have a product or business. The more like’s you get, the higher chance of getting your message spread on the newsfeed. Facebook has an API, and there are tools for this. Multiple people can manage the account.

LinkedIn pages exist. The target audience is a little different. There doesn’t seem to be an API or apps surrounding it, so you end up using the web-based interface. It seems to be the least popular.

Google+ just launched pages. The target audience currently seem to be the alpha geeks. It doesn’t have limitations like Twitter, and I see people posting more long-form status updates that resemble blog postings. It has no API (yet?). It has no multiple user management (yet?). And you have to build a crowd amongst circles, because its still relatively new.

We’re told to be present on all social networks. If you’re a brand, you’d be silly not to be where your audience is. My question is, with all these social networks how do you focus?

Don’t forget, you have to manage your website. American brands are now just pointing to a Facebook page in ads ( which is fine, but its something you don’t control. Your website is something you fully control. Your blog is something you fully control. I see things like Clojure Notes and wonder the permanency of something like this.

Facebook looks to be trailblazing and seems like its going to be around for a long time. Your content will live for as long as Facebook lives. Twitter is all temporal content, you forget you even have archives. LinkedIn I have no idea, but there’s always the emails it sends out. Google+ is something that worries me — they’ve killed Buzz, Wave, Orkut, etc. and while you can take your content and run with it, you lose links.

Some people don’t care about continuity of content. I generally do.

Short names. Facebook and Twitter support this. Google+ has something ridiculous in terms of a number.

I read somewhere that the average human can keep track of at most three social networks. I can’t find a reference to this, and I know its not Dunbar’s number.

Walled gardens. If you have a Google+ album, you can’t link to an individual picture. Facebook pages and what is attached to it is not searchable via a search engine. You generally duplicate updates on sites just to keep up with these walled gardens of Web 2.0.

Bottom line: we’re all looking to engage. We all want a large audience. We all want to get the message across. But how much time are we spending on this? When do we get all the tools we need to manage all this “at one go”? Where do we put our eggs in for 2012?

Google Native Client & Chrome about:flags

I stumbled upon Google Native Client today. It looks really interesting and you can see why Google seems to be targeting their technologies for the Chrome browser first (link with regards to Dart, their future of JavaScript; quote: “We will strongly encourage Google developers start off targeting Chrome-only whenever possible as this gives us the best end user experience.” – Mark S. Miller).

Google Native Client doing PiThe promise of better in-browser games for example, is what excites me about this initiative. There is also the promise of better native/traditional desktop apps, running in the web browser. I was at a show recently where I saw this HRM app that is Windows-only and their proposal to run it on Linux? Use virtualization. This is something they might find useful, for example.

Try out the example apps. Its surprisingly easy to get started. On OSX, you can see that when running the Pi example, the Native Client module is using quite a whole load of CPU time (in Chrome, do Window -> Task Manager).

In all that, I learned about Google Chrome’s about:flags. You need to enable Native Client support and restart Chrome to get this all working. There’s a fairly good about:flags resource; clearly lots more things to play with there (and helps me understand what the idea being the ChromeOS/Chromebook is now).

Conferences selling out forget about the rest of the world

2011 seems to be a good year for both Google I/O and Apple’s WWDC. Google I/O sold out in 59 minutes and Apple’s WWDC sold out in under 10 hours. They’re both held at the Moscone Center and I guess the caps for attendance is usually set at about 4,000-5,000 attendees.Flinders Street Station

My only beef with this is that the rest of the world is forgotten. It’s only good for the developer sitting in North America (or a similar timezone). In fact folk that need to get corporate approval are probably also forgotten. Launching at 9 or 10am PST is past midnight in China and Singapore for example. Its even later in Japan. What about developers sitting in Sydney & Melbourne?

Google takes an open approach to this. They will have live streaming available and are organising extended events (which again, think about the timezones — they work if you’re all together in San Francisco but you’d be hard pressed to find a venue that will let in twenty geeks at 2-6am). Apple will provide recorded video later to registered developers.

However developers in the rest of the world miss out on all the interactions, face-to-face sessions, hands-on labs, meeting other developers, and all the parties and late-nights in where partnerships get made, and new ideas get formed. The networking is why people go to these conferences, in addition to learning about the latest and greatest. I remember years back at WWDC that people will install the latest beta of OS X on their laptops at WWDC itself!

Sun Microsystems used to boast that JavaOne had over 15,000 attendees. Oracle OpenWorld claims over 41,000 attendees. Maybe its time to grow out of Moscone West and use the whole Moscone Center?

I urge Google and Apple to think about the rest of the world. Yes, we will take time out of our schedules to fly to San Francisco, put up at a hotel, all for the opportunity at being at one of these conferences. Not only for the content, but all the relationships we will make, with other attendees and of course, your engineers.

Chrome Web Store – AppStore for Web?

Google recently launched a Chrome Web Store. The web browser has always had an “appstore” model, considering you could have extensions and plugins. Firefox popularised this.

What the Firefox add-on‘s appstore does not have yet, is paid apps. You can donate to applications, but you can’t buy applications. The Chrome Web Store allows purchasing applications, as evidenced by their top paid apps page. We’re generally already used to buying desktop apps (I write this using MarsEdit which I purchased, and on my toolbar I can already see OmniOutliner and TextMate). If the future is living in your web browser, you will end up buying apps within your web browser. Google is pushing this lifestyle with their ChromeOS Cr-48 notebook.

You get everything you need for the Chrome browser in the web store. Apps (extension of web pages), Extensions (your add-ons), Themes and they also have curated collections (holidays, students, et al).

In other news, go download WOT. You don’t even have to restart Chrome to have it working. This is a bonus over installing stuff on Firefox (though I hear, Firefox 4 will allow you to install extensions without restarting the browser too). I also installed Chrome for a Cause during the one week where the more tabs you opened up, the more you could donate for a cause.

Do you have a favourite Chrome extension/app? Anything I must try?