Google+ experience of google apps users

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I am an avid user of web 2.0 solutions – in particular social networks including linkedin, facebook and twitter.  First impressions of google+ have been positive – seems to me to support, more easily, useful interaction between people sharing an interest.  Circles appears pretty logical.  Obviously uptake is very important (to obtain critical mass) but the level of uptake in the first few weeks would suggest google+ certainly has a good chance of gaining significant traction.

However – I am a google apps, paid-up, user.  google apps is at the centre of my day to day operations.

Not unusally I started with a gmail account and move to google apps as I established my own domain: http://www.barryjogorman.com.  I have a google profile – associated with my gmail account.  I do not have a google profile within the google apps world.  People interact with me using whatever medium suits them: facebook, linkedin, twitter, gmail, my google apps mail account, SMS, voice.  And now some level of interaction has commenced via google+.

Unfortunately, in order to be active in google+ I have to be logged into my gmail world – not my google apps world.  It’s almost becoming a question of accessing the google apps world from the PC and the google plus world from the smart phone – complete nonsense!

This posting seems to contain the current wisdom from Google: we hear you, we knew this would be an issue, we’ll get there because it is important to us – but it may take a few months.

 

For now it seems to be a question of ‘grin and bear it’.  Any solutions/ tips would be very welcome!

 

 

 

 

 

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(Microsoft) Shoe on the other foot (Google)

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Interesting to read about major investigation of Google in US.  have they had it all their won way on advertising?  Have they failed to be ‘holier than thou’?  Very much feels like the old days of Microsoft being chased arising from their then dominant position.  Will be interesting to see whther this gives rise to any significant findings or actions.

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Does the end user device matter?

Interesting to read of Google’s launch of the ChromeBook.

As corporates migrate their applications to the Cloud can they move away from providing corporate desktops or laptops to the end user?  Provision of these devices and their support is a major corporate expense.  Could we move to a position whereby ‘the expectation is that if you want to work for us you need to manage your own connectivity to the Internet‘?

This position has to major attractions:

  • end users can use whatever device they want to use
  • corporates avoid the cost of supply and maintenance of a fleet of end user devices
  • the end of the ens user support desk as we know it

Many end users are completely frustrated by corporate guidlenes restricting how they can use their device, which applications they can download and install, the fact that their work PC is way below the spec of their home PC fleet.  In many cases we operate Lowest Common Denomionator type thinking – the advanced user is restricted to that the LCD can use.

Corporates struggle to manage end users and struggle to meet their expectations.  And there is a vast range of devices: PCs, laptops, notebooks, phones.

Much of the technology is there to enable this move.  Many of the corporate apps (or the apps required to do your job) can be provided via the cloud.  There are many relevant and effective security solutions.

Who would support end users in this scenario? A combination of the end user, the cloud providers and, to some limited extent, the corporate. It requires a mind set change – it becomes the end user’s responsibility to be able to connect to various applications (whatever device she/he chooses to use).  This drives a different experience for the end users, the corporate and the cloud provider.  But in the long run it will result in corporates investing more time in delivering solutions and less time in providing ‘free’ support.  If you require a car to do your job it is your responsibility to have a car, maintain the car and use it safely for work.  Why not the same with end user computing?  Fleets of company cars are the not the only model.

 

 

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Traditional media being used to promote tour holidays

I see I am now regularly targeted online for specialist holidays aligned with my sports interests – as detailed in my various online presences.  Was interested to read today’s piece in the Irish Times coinciding with the launching of the tour operators‘ brochures for 2011.  Clearly a great deal of marketing spend still goes into the prep and publication of the annual brochure (and these have been upgraded significantly over the years).

I suppose one of the key points is that whether you provide online or hard copy data to potential customers you still have to do the same spade work: property descriptions, photos, stories, pricing.  So,having completed that, the operators still believe that plenty of hard copy is required by the potential buyers.

Interesting comment about difficulty of tracking back on Google search sourced calls: With all her advertisements, Airey uses different phone numbers so she can track the responses. “The one thing we can’t track is if someone sees or hears our ad, then Googles our website and then calls the number on our site. A huge number of calls come from our website, but the problem is we don’t know how that person got to our website. Sunway has to become a household name, and advertising creates that brand awareness.”

Might be interesting to see whether HeyStaks can establish itself as a platform used by many people researching holidays?  Perhaps it will be of greater service to those researching the non packaged option?

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smart phones – privacy being undermined (or ignored)

Disturbing report from Wall Street Journal explaining what private data is being passed when you are using various applications on either your Apple or Android phone.  not particularly encouraging wrt either platform.

As an example: ‘…TextPlus 4, a popular iPhone app for text messaging. It sent the phone’s unique ID number to eight ad companies and the phone’s zip code, along with the user’s age and gender, to two of them.’

And remember: ‘”The great thing about mobile is you can’t clear a UDID like you can a cookie,” says Meghan O’Holleran of Traffic Marketplace, an Internet ad network that is expanding into mobile apps. “That’s how we track everything.”‘

Brings Google back into the whole debate about privacy:

‘Google was the biggest data recipient in the tests. Its AdMob, AdSense, Analytics and DoubleClick units collectively heard from 38 of the 101 apps. Google, whose ad units operate on both iPhones and Android phones, says it doesn’t mix data received by these units.

Google’s main mobile-ad network is AdMob, which it bought this year for $750 million. AdMob lets advertisers target phone users by location, type of device and “demographic data,” including gender or age group.’

All in all seems that for now we are relying on self regulation – where both Apple and Google appear to be conflicted by their interests.

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More Google debate – this time re fairness of search

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So now it seems the EU will investigate the fairness of Google search results. And the complainant is a subsidiary of Microsoft.

This is not the first time that the EU has involved itself with dominant players – ask Microsoft themselves.

The stakes are high.  Google has entered the language – ‘to google’ something being the action of searching for relevant information re something using the Google site.  Any suggestion that Google, enjoying its dominant position in the search marketplace, would use its own search engine to provide results in a biased way (thereby impacting its competitors negatively), would not sit well with the EU.  It is important for the public and the EU that this is cleared up in a satisfactory manner for everyone.

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