Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Experiences with Google Technology Part 1 - The Plan

Google Inc.Image via Wikipedia
I've always been a fan of Google and its innovative applications suite. Despite not having a funky name like the Microsoft Office System, the Google products out there today do form a cohesive structure of applications which can support the technical needs of any business or developer. This series attempts to take a look at my experiences with Google technology, both from the business professional perspective and the developer's perspective.
As such the tracks would be as follows:

1. Business Professional Track - focusing on Google Apps. These include details of my real world experiences using Google Docs (Writely, Spreadsheet, Presently), GmailGoogle Talk and GCal. I also mention Google Gears and how it brings the realm of web applications to the offline world making life much easier for mobile-but-offline folks like myself to keep productive.

2. Developer Track - focusing on my experiences building custom portals using devices such as the Google Mini as well as my recent adventures with programming tools such as Google Web Toolkit and Google Android and the recently launched Google App Engine.
A talk about Google APIs and initiatives such as OpenSocial would also be included here as well as links to learning resources such as Google Developer Day videos available on YouTube .

3. Hacker's Track - here it's strictly about how I have fun using Google tools. I talk about my experience with Blogger, their blogging tool, Picasa, their image sharing tool, Google Desktop, their desktop search tool and YouTube, their video sharing tool. Since I am in the process of moving I'll show the usefulness of Google Maps for getting one's bearings in a strange new location. I'll also look at how I manage my RSS subscriptions using Google Reader as well as fun enhancements I use in Firefox to maximise the experiences with some of these tools. I'll take a look at Google Labs and funky projects like Knol which let you write "expert" articles about practically anything. Finally, in a serious-but-fun moment I'll look at how i use Google Analytics to monitor how popular my blog posts are and gather feedback about what sort of topics I blog about are more popular than others.

My initial disclaimer is that this is by no means an exhaustive list of Google's applications. It's just a subset of the ones I've used and the personal experiences I've had with them. The plan is to create an intense but fun series of articles that other folks can look to as a guide for getting started. I hope I can do the guys at Google justice with my take on their tools.
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