Thoughts and ruminations on Thing 29, Google Productivity Tools...
Tried Google News & Google Alerts: I missed the Oscars this year. I mean totally missed them. Didn't see a single movie nominated for the big awards, didn't watch any red carpet hoopla & missed the opening number ( it was Hugh Jackman!?!?! What was I thinking?). I think it was the first time that I can remember that happening. That said, I decided that I needed to get caught up on my Oscar viewing, so I checked out Google News and found that I really like their news aggregator. I enjoyed having articles from all over the web (E! News, various newspapers online etc.) in order to see a variety of articles and content about the awards. I also set up a Google Alert so more news articles about the Oscars. (Hoping for a scandal to break or something like that, perhaps.) So far today I have had one email pop into my inbox with a list of links for more articles about the awards and winning actors. This could be a useful tool if or when I want to track something. The More Things team noted on the wiki that Proquest Newstand Complete overs more newspapers and more full text coverage than Google News. Too bad Proquest is a database that one needs to pay for (of course, it's free in MN via ELM) but Google has something going for it---name recognition! Interesting, too, that Proquest and Google have teamed to work together on the archives. Read about that here.
Tried Google Calendar: I have used Google Calendar before. I went back to check out the features again and to see what's changed and been updated--Not much has changed since last go 'round. While I find this tool nice and the invite feature works well, I don't do well with electronic calendars. At some point or another, I start using them and then I end up needing a print calendar in front of me and it just doesn't work. Anyone else? Just curious. (That's why I stopped using my Palm, too.)
Scoped out: Google sites, PB Wiki and Wetpaint.
These three all offer the user the ability to create a webpage or pages that are free, easy to create and allow multiple editors/users. Users can post discussions, documents, photos etc. Each site can be made public or kept private for users. The biggest difference between these sites appears to be the layouts.
Scoped out: Google Groups--create a user group, add participant's emails and create pages to go with your group. I am in two Yahoo Groups and am starting to wonder:
Would one of the other sites (G sites or PB Wiki or G groups) work better for my bookclub? Right now we use a Yahoo Group, however I think the Google Group would offer a little more content for us. We could post links to buy the books, reviews and have discussions online, too. Group members could also have profile pages. It's a possibility, but right now there is not enough time in the day to set it up and see if they'd be interested in it. Sigh. Let's create a 48 hour day. :)