Posts Tagged ‘ Google ’

The Buzz about Google Buzz

If you use Gmail frequently you would have seen Google Buzz by now…if you haven’t don’t worry they will email you an extension pretty soon. This post addresses issues related to Buzz and defines what Buzz really is. When I first saw Google Buzz I asked myself hmm what is Buzz? well like the word states it’s a reason for creating ‘hype’ on the internet. It’s Google’s attempt at Twitter and going social. They launched Google Wave last year and honestly Wave is a very interesting platform but it didn’t pick up like the expectations were. In 2009 the market was still dominated by the usual: Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Linkedin etc. StumbleUpon became famous and recently Foursquare has gained a lot of popularity.

So when there are a million Social Networks out there why would you choose Google Buzz? Hmm, the answers to this could be both simple and complicated.

Simple: Because like Apple, Google always tries to do something revolutionary. Google Buzz simplifies Twitter, Facebook, Youtube into one.

Complicated: Well because in some way or the other Google would help supplement your account with multiple things. It will help users use multiple platforms combined in one. It lets you link your Blog, Picassa, Youtube etc. to your Buzz account and share information simultaneously (very similar to what Google Wave does).

Here’s what Google has to say about it, “Google Buzz is a new way to start conversations about the things you find interesting. It’s built right into Gmail, so you don’t have to peck out an entirely new set of friends from scratch — it just works. If you think about it, there’s always been a big social network underlying Gmail. Buzz brings this network to the surface by automatically setting you up to follow the people you email and chat with the most. We focused on building an easy-to-use sharing experience that richly integrates photos, videos and links, and makes it easy to share publicly or privately (so you don’t have to use different tools to share with different audiences). Plus, Buzz integrates tightly with your existing Gmail inbox, so you’re sure to see the stuff that matters most as it happens in real time.”

I love Google products, I am a big fan of Google search, Gmail, Adwords, Analytics, Nexus One, Android etc. I read the Google Blog all the time and when Google Wave came out I was literally addicted to it but I haven’t been that taken by Google Buzz yet. Where the name ‘Buzz’ sounds really cool and saying that I m buzzing is catchy I still don’t feel comfortable about having my social network in my email. I like keeping the two separate. True that there is a turn Google Buzz off button (at the bottom of the Google Buzz page for those of you who want to know).

The reason I like Twitter is that I can connect with people who share a common interest, Facebook stores all my friends worldwide and I can post stuff quickly and share with them. Both Twitter and Facebook offer me the chance to control who sees what and where I go with it.  I know you can unfollow people on Buzz or make sure they don’t follow you or set privacy settings. Even though there are all those options it still doesn’t seem private because it resides in my email and I feel like it’s constantly spying on me.  Put simply having Buzz in Gmail is like having a roommate you don’t like.

Frankly I am not thrilled by the whole Buzz about Google Buzz. I hope Google can improve this technology and convince users like me that Buzzing can be fun and useful. Maybe there will be future enhancements that make this platform very useful and strategic.

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Exclusive: Mass GTUG an opportunity to experience Google technologies?

This is the last part (part 3) of the interview series with Mass GTUG Co-founder Monika Adamczyk. In the interview with Amvona, Monika highlighted her views on Google Wave, her involvement with Mass GTUG, CrisisCamp and MacoTech Inc. and she presented her views on the future of the web. For those interested Massachusetts Google Technology User Group (Mass GTUG) is open to anyone interested in Google Technologies. Like the name suggests it is a User group for Google technology enthusiasts.

Anyone can join the group, attend meetings and participate in discussions. Mass GTUG has a Google group and a site. They also have Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin pages.Talking about Google Wave and other similar platforms Monika commented that, “My personal opinion about Google Wave has been positive so far. I was present at the Google I/O 2009 when it was first demoed to the public and I immediately saw a lot of potential for it as real time collaboration and content delivery platform.” When asked if she thought that the Google Wave platform will change online communication Monika remarked that,”Absolutely. There is a growing demand for robust, flexible and real time communication tools and Google Wave is certainly filling that niche even in the current beta version.” In the interview Monika defined her role as the organizer and co-founder of the Mass GTUG. She manages the group, organizes monthly meetings and events, maintains the group website, posts announcements etc. In short she pretty much does everything ‘necessary to keep the group running’.

A couple of months ago we introduced our readers to Google Wave and described how Google was pushing this platform forward. Monika is an active Google Wave user and during the interview she described the time she has spent exploring Google Wave and the work she has done. She states that, “I have been an active user of the platform from the very beginning and done some Google Wave API development (robots, gadgets etc). I have also spent time investigating the Federation Protocol and open source version of Google Wave Federation Server that is available from http://www.waveprotocol.org/.I am also an active member of an a Federal Wave project whose primary goal is to develop an interagency, crowd sourced effort to promote Wave as an integrated platform for communication and collaboration within federal government agencies. We have presence on a number of social networks from Google Wave (Google Wave account required to access the wave), a few wikis (most of them closed to public except for https://defensemetawiki.cape.osd.mil/Gov2Gov that is open to both government employees and government contractors), Facebook, GovLoop and others.”

When discussing the future of the world wide web (www) Monika remarked that, “Web (as in WWW) is just a small part of modern communication platform and more and more often it merges its functionality with other technologies that are being used by public for daily activities and information exchange.It is certainly here to stay and continue evolving, utilizing the latest technologies as they get developed. There will certainly be continued growth of mobile systems accessible from cell phones, hand held devices allowing us to not only look up information but also perform a wide range of tasks (from e.g. paying daily fees such as parking car, vending machine purchases to receiving last minute notifications that may affect the decisions we make).”

We agree with Monika that the web is transforming. As new devices, gadgets and other technological innovations come into play the world of the web will keep on changing. We would like to thank Monika for taking out the time to answer our questions and for introducing us to Mass GTUG. Monika is also the owner and founder of Massachusetts based tech company Maco tech Inc. This boutique firm specializes in software design and development, provides a business analysis and project management services.

Written for and published on the Amvona Blog

The Apple Countdown begins – 30 mins till the launch of the ‘new product’

Yes, the most anticipated launch is about to happen. Will the Apple Tablet be revealed? Will it be as exciting as we think? or will it just be a disappointment? Rumors are that the ‘new product’ is based on iPhone developer platform and looks like a bigger iPhone. Engadget has just revealed a picture of the que outside Apple Stores in San Francisco. And ladies and gentlemen the countdown has begun.  In 30mins or less the world will see the new Apple product :).

Engadget reveals the following times for the launch:

“08:00AM – Hawaii
10:00AM – Pacific
11:00AM – Mountain
12:00PM – Central
01:00PM – Eastern
06:00PM – London
07:00PM – Paris
09:00PM – Moscow
03:00AM – Tokyo (January 28th)

image from Engadget.com

Written for and published on the Amvona Blog

Exclusive: Mass GTUG Co-founder talks to Amvona

This is part 2 of the Mass GTUG Exclusive series on Amvona. This interview with Mass GTUG’s co-founder Monika Adamczyk reflects Monika’s thoughts on the future of the web, Google Wave and it provides an overview of the Mass GTUG history, projects and much more.

The concept behind GTUG is fascinating – it opens up the Google world to the general public and allows them to experiment with the given developer technology. Tech companies like Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Digg etc. all have developer groups. Developer groups can be termed as ‘common interest groups’ where people passionate about a certain cause or technology come together to work on new projects, discuss bugs in software, tell stories of new tech developments and basically review everything and anything related to that particular interest.  At Mass GTUG they explore many themes within the Google domain.

Monika provided us with a brief history of the group and said that, “Mass GTUG was formed during summer 2009. We are one of many GTUG groups that operate across the world. The origin and short history of GTUG can be found on Wikipedia. Our group was originally established as Boston GTUG but because we had participants from other parts of Massachusetts, we renamed it to Mass GTUG. We started small with just a few members, but since then we grew into relatively large group. The Google discussion group has over 100 participants. We also have groups established on LinkedIn and Facebook, have a number of followers on Twitter @massgtug and a public Wave on Preview Google Wave server (Google Wave account required to access the wave). Last, but not least we have a website http://massgtug.gtugs.org/ where meeting announcements and organizational details are posted on regular basis.”

When asked to describe projects and development of ideas at Mass GTUG, Monika replied, “Mass GTUG is a user group, whose primary purpose is ideas exchange and education in Google related technologies. Our group usually meets once a month for a technical talk given by either a member of the group or an invited speaker. So far we had presentations on Google Wave, GWT, Google App Engine etc.While most of the group members are developers who work on software projects (commercial and open source) that utilize Google technologies, at this point we do not have a group wide development effort. However, once in a while, we are going to be hosting hackathons whose primary purpose is collaborative computer programming. The first one was organized in November 2009 and devoted to Google Wave. We had about 50-60 participants with members of Google Wave API team (Pamela Fox and Brian Kenish) giving technical presentations on the topic. Google Cambridge office provided meeting space and sponsored food during the hackathon.”

Stay tune for more in Part 3.

Written for and published on the Amvona Blog

Exclusive: Mass Google Technology User Group – An introduction

Monika Adamczyk is the co-founder of Massachusetts User Group – Mass GTUG (Google Technology User Groups). We have been in touch with her over the last couple of months and recently did an interview to find out what the group was up to.

The Google Technology Groups are spread all over the world. And we are lucky to have one right here in Massachusetts.The Mass GTUG meets atleast once a month to talk about various developer projects. They had a meeting last weekend where they worked with CrisisCamp to design relief projects for Haiti. And they are also meeting on February 3rd, 2010 to discuss new features of GWT 2.0.

the pins indicate the various GTUGs worldwide

They are ” user groups for people who are interested in Google’s developer technology; everything from the Android and App Engine platforms, to product APIs like the YouTube API and the Google Calendar API, to initiatives like OpenSocial.” The Mass GTUG formed in summer 2009. It is a platform that enables Google enthusiasts to come together and find out more about Google technology, to work on development projects and discuss technical material. Most of the people who are part of these groups work within technology.

This article will be published on the Amvona site in 3 parts. This is part 1 of 3.

images courtesy gtugs.com

Written for and published on the Amvona Blog

Haiti: Google Reveals New Satellite Images of Port-au Prince

Today, Google revealed Hi-Res photographs of Haiti taken from a Satellite camera. These photographs were taken on Sunday, January 17th 2010. These new detailed photographs of the Port-au Prince area have a resolution of about 15cm. You can see the entire collection of images in Google Maps in Satellite Mode. Last week, Google and it’s partner organization GeoEye published detailed imagery of the area along with some old photographs from 2008.

Google Blog states that, “Last week, thanks to our partner GeoEye, we published updated satellite imagery of Haiti in Google Earth and Google Maps which illustrated the devastation and current conditions on the ground. This data was made available for public consumption and also to assist relief efforts including those by many UN organizations and the Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies. With the hope of furthering awareness and relief efforts, we arranged for a collection of the Port-au-Prince area at even higher resolution (approximately 15cm) to complement the existing imagery.”

Currently, these images can be viewed in Google Maps in the satellite mode. They are also available via Google Maps API and Google Map Maker. Google is aiming to make them available on Google Earth too, at the moment they are only available as a base layer image. Google has  also made the images directly available for use by relief organizations.

images from the Google blog

Written for and published on the Amvona Blog

Happy New Year – The Google Myth Comes True

Remember how we discussed the Google I’m Feeling Lucky button? Well the past month every one has been speculating over the hit counter that appeared every time some one clicked the button. Our assumption was that the hit counter refers to the number of seconds left in the New Year. And we were right!

Last night if you tried clicking on the I’m Feeling Lucky button on the Google Homepage you would have seen the digital fireworks appear on your screen. We tried it out and Guess what we were right. The hit counter launched beautiful digital fireworks and they were far more amusing than anything else on the web. Google is definitely the pioneer of online innovation and as always they entered the New year in style 🙂

Happy New Year Everyone!!!

Written for and published on the Amvona Blog

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