Posts Tagged ‘Google

Google AdSense gadget

Posted in Technicalon Apr 18, 2008

Dear Google Adsense,

I find myself logging into the AdSense site frequently, just to see how much money I’ve made by publishing your advertisements. It would be very convenient if you would place much of the Overview information into a Google Gadget that I can have on my iGoogle page.

Advertising on Google code

Posted in Technicalon Apr 9, 2008

Google should provide an option to allow projects hosted at Google Code to display and profit from Google Ads. Project owners who would opt into the ads would benefit from the revenue they collect. Google would benefit as well by collecting their share of the advertising revenue. Users might benefit because they can perhaps find other advertised services similar to the project they might be currently looking at.

Recently I’ve decide to open source some more code and templates that I’ve written. I could either share that code from my own website, or I could share it on Google Code, being able to make use of some of the other features they have there. The biggest advantage to providing the code from my website is that I’m able to collect on any advertising revenue, which in the past has been around a dollar or two per thousand views. If Google could provide me a way to generate similar revenue by hosting my code on their site, not only would I consider hosting my code their, but I would find more incentive to write open source code projects.

The only major problem with this might be abuse. If I wanted to make a few extra bucks, what is stopping me from “forking” someone elses project just to host their code under a slightly different name on Google code and profit from the visitors I would have stolen from the more legitimate site.

While Google is perhaps one of the most innovative web development companies out there, sometimes I am slightly disappointed because they fail to meet my exceedingly high expectations. Google has developed and released very few applications that I would consider as world changing. The short list includes Search, Gmail, Maps, Spreadsheets, and Calendar. That isn’t to say that Google hasn’t purchased and developed other emerging technologies which might also been revolutionary–Blogger, Picassa, Writely, Keyhole, and YouTube–but those applications got their start outside of Google. That also isn’t to say that Google hasn’t developed other standards and technologies which have greatly furthered the Internet. I’m simply making the point that Google has developed, from the start, only a few applications that most Internetizens would consider life-changing.

There is perhaps one product which is little known that I consider as having changed the Internet forever. This app has never really seen daylight outside the lab. In fact, its been a part of Google Labs for the last three and a half years. The product of which I’m referring is Google Suggest. If web applications were a family tree, Google Suggest would have been the grandfather of the so-called Web 2.0 apps we have today.

Google Suggest makes use of a web browser feature called XmlHttpRequest. This feature allows the browser to connect back to the web server and download additional content after the web page has already loaded. Today we see this feature used all around the web, but when Google Suggest was first released, few people ever knew that it existed. Post-loading content from the server was so revolutionary, that it has seen incredible adoption all over the net. So although most people never really knew about Google Suggest, it has indeed been the spark that lit the Web 2.0 firestorm.

Today Google released a new product platform which may be listed among the great revolution products from Google. Google App Engine (not to be confused with Google Apps for your Domain) is a service which allows web application developers to host their applications on Google’s servers, using Google technology.

Google App Engine solves the single biggest challenge in web application development: hosting. Having a web host that is well configured, well connected, and well tested is usually expensive, but it seems that Google will be providing at least some level of hosing for free. This really gives developers a whole new level of freedom for creating apps, and I think this will foster a whole new level of web application creativity. Who knows, this might be just the beginning of something called, Web 3.0.

Google, please calculate this

Posted in Technicalon Mar 5, 2008

Google has a calculator built right into its search engine. For example, if you want to know:

One thing it doesn’t do is date calculations. For example, how cool would it be to type in today + 155 days or 12:59am + 10 minutes?

Please Google, help me calculate dates!

Voicemail label in Gmail

Posted in Technicalon Feb 5, 2008

In my attempt to clean up my jacobbrunson.com inbox (hosted through Google Apps; powered by Gmail), I wanted to take all the email messages about voicemail from GrandCentral, Gizmo Project, and others, and apply a label to them so I can sort them away.

I thought an appropriate label for these types of messages would be Voicemail.

When I tried this, it returned the following error message:

System specific names are not allowed. Please try another name.

I don’t understand why Voicemail would be a system specific name, unless Google has something special coming to Gmail.

When Google calculates the importance of a page, they use an ranking algorithm known as Pagerank to produce a numerical value for the page. We don’t know very much about Google’s Pagerank algorithm, except that it is complicated and evaluates lots of criteria, such as number of links, quality of page, and freshness.

Every once in a while Google exports their Pagerank values into a database that can be accessed by the Google Toolbar (also available as a bundled download with the Firefox browser). When Google performs such an update, people can see the Pagerank value for a particular site or page.

The latest export is currently underway, and I’ve noticed that the new Pagerank values for some of my sites and pages have been kind of disappointing. For example, I was excited when my main blog was promoted from a 4 to a 5 during the last Pagerank update, but has now fallen to a 3. This technical blog has fallen from a 3 to a 2, and my other blogs have stayed at about a 3 or 2.

I blame the lack of freshness of my blogs. During the last Pagerank update, I was blogging a new post almost every day. During the last three months, this has slowed down considerably, as blogging isn’t as important as it used to be for me. As a result, my Pagerank is down. This is too bad, but I’m not devaluing my life because of it.

See Portland up close

Posted in Generalon Oct 9, 2007

I’m excited to share that Google Maps has expanded its street views to include Portland, Oregon. Google announced the addition recently on its LatLong blog. Portland is such an interesting city, I’m excited that people can explore all the many many miles of street view photos available. You can see the Portland LDS Institute Building, where I took classes last fall, or the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

Please have lots of fun exploring Portland, Oregon.

Portland Oregon


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