Google Docs Gets Menus

Apparently commands in Google Docs weren’t organized well enough. Actually, it was more than apparent. Things that would take me milliseconds in Microsoft Word (on account of the fact that I’ve used it so long) used to take seconds in Docs. The menu structure just wasn’t intuitive. Well, the Docs team did some card-sort studies (part of usability research) and figured out a better way to organize menu commands. Instead of just having one File menu, the top of the application is now graced by a full complement of menus, Office-style (Microsoft pre-2007 or OpenOffice.org, take your pick; they’re pretty…

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Financial Reports Waste Paper; Use the Internet

Financial reports are a colossal waste of paper. Well, perhaps that’s not entirely true. I’m sure some people read every last character in those thick stacks of paper sent out by investment agencies at the end of the fiscal year. But most of us just shred them and put them in the recycling (or, unfortunately and probably more commonly, the trash). What’s in one of those things? Usually it’s just a summary of all transactions conducted by the agency on your behalf since the last report, with a few statistics thrown in for good measure. Yes, it can be useful.…

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Google Analytics Benchmarking Active

If you follow the other Google blogs such as Google Operating System or Google Blogoscoped, you’ll probably already know that Google Analytics’ Benchmarking feature is finally showing data. Heck, the Google Analytics Blog even announced this one. I thought I’d blog my take on it anyway, just to see how my opinion differs from those other people. At first glance, the benchmarking data is cool. I haven’t had a chance to probe every nook and cranny yet, but it looks like it is can be quite useful. That is, if your site fits into one of the categories provided. I…

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Google Maps Becomes Wiki-Like

Readers of my blog should know by now that I stand by the wiki, a kind of freely-editable website. Google got into the wiki business, sort of, when they acquired Jot (not Jott; that’s something else) and developed it — after many months — . Which is a wiki-that’s-not-a-wiki. Well, recently Google Maps got some updates that make it also a wiki-that’s-not-a-wiki. Users from the United States, New Zealand, and Australia can now add, edit, and delete places in Google Maps. (That Google Operating System post has tons of screenshots, so just head over there to see them if you’re…

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Funny Randomization: Google: Web 2.0?

Here’s a randomization from google.isyournewbicycle.com that is obviously untrue, this time about Google (): That’s really funny, considering that Gmail was one of the first major Web applications to use AJAX extensively. Google’s Calendar, Reader, and Docs services (among many others) also use AJAX as a fundamental part of their inner workings, so it’s even funnier in that case.

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GOOG-411 Expands to Canada, Possibly Elsewhere

I’ve heard too much about this subject to dismiss it as a rumor. I’ve read posts from multiple sources that GOOG-411, Google’s free 411 service for businesses, is now available in Canada. Garett Rogers, a blogger at ZDNet who lives in Canada, confirms that the service does indeed work in his city. Haochi of Googlified says that Google has not yet updated the page telling where GOOG-411 works, and my testing confirms that it still says the service is only available in the United States for U.S. business listings. So, this doesn’t really affect me because I live in the…

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Blogger Team Says Permalink Issues With Scheduled Posts Fixed

User Belcarnen noticed late March 4th that the permalink issues seemed to have been fixed. Yesterday morning, Pete was back with another note saying that the problems should be fixed this time. In his words: As Belcarnen noticed, the permalink problem should be sorted out now. Jason assures me that the correct code has been pushed to all servers and all is well. We do have reports of scheduled FTP publishing now not working, which we’re looking into. We wanted to get the permalink thing sorted out first, though. So there are issues with scheduled posts not working on FTP-based…

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Google Reader Adds "Most Obscure" Tab to Trends, More Reading Space

Continuing from the data available on the Official Google Reader Blog, and so as not to make too long, here are the other changes to Google Reader. Aside from adding more languages (which is ongoing), the Reader team managed to find an extra 17 pixels, vertically, for content. They also added a small feature that shows which of your feeds have the fewest (Google) subscribers: It’s actually kind of neat to see how many sites I’ve subscribed to that have fewer than 10 readers on Google (right now I have five). Notice how my friend i80and’s blog is in there.…

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Google Reader Adds "Show Details" for Quick Stats

A while back, the Reader team added pop-up, tooltip-like windows to the timestamps of posts in the reading pane to that each post was published and added to Reader’s cache. Now there are easily-accessible statistics for each feed, visible after clicking a new “show details” link: *Click* The bar that pops up contains info on the average number of posts per week for that feed and the number of Google subscribers. In these screenshots, I’ve included a sample of what the stats look like for the feed from xkcd.com (a webcomic you may remember, as I wrote a while back).…

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Google Analytics Rolling Out Benchmarking and Sharing Settings

Google Analytics makes a great way to track how your site is doing, visitor-wise, and see what content attracts the most eyeballs. If you don’t have a lot of experience in the Web analytics world, like myself (I won’t lie, I’m a n00b), you’ll probably find these upcoming features useful. What they’ll do is allow you to see how other sites in your vertical market perform. (Your “vertical market”, or “vertical”, is your field, e.g. e-commerce, blog, etc. I think. Like I said, I’m a n00b.) To get the option, those of us with higher account numbers will have to…

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