Posts Tagged ‘Dear Google

Google+ Pages. Singular or plural?

Posted in Funnyon Nov 7, 2011

Dear Google+,

I went to create a page at Google+ Pages and I saw this notice:

I may be a computer geek, but I also appreciate correct grammar, and I’m seeing some inconsistencies in text of the popup notice.

Since the noun “pages” is plural, I would expect it to be used with a plural form of the verb: “are.” Instead, I’m seeing “pages is not” which is certainly incorrect. But I am able to explain it away because you could read it as, “The product offering, Google+ Pages, is not ready for everyone.” In this case, it might make sense to keep the verb in the singular form.

But wait! If you read the explanation text, Google suddenly refers to pages as “them,” which is certainly plural.

So what is it, Google? Is your Google+ Pages offering not ready? Or are you still releasing them to everyone?

Dear Google News (and everyone else who aggregates news articles),

Just because a company primarily conducts is business online, does not mean that news about the company should be in the Sci/Tech/Internet category.

It is 2011, and every big business has a website. It is time that we think about a company for the services that it provides, not the technology and method that it uses to provide those services.

A few examples of articles I found in today’s Sci/Tech/Internet news, that probably should be somewhere else:

The IPO for Groupon (GRPN) probably should be financial news.

Bieber having more than 14 million followers on Twitter should probably be entertainment news.

The crash of WebMD shares should probably be either health or financial news.

That the CIA actively monitors 5 million tweets a day, should be political news.

android; pixelpipe

Dear Google Android Folks,

I hear Google is hiring a bunch of Android app developers to increase the number and quality of apps for the Android platform. Building a developer community is tricky, and I’m sorry to see that you think you have to pay people yourselves to create more Android developers.

One thing you should consider is to come out with cheap Android devices that aren’t phones, similar to the iPod Touch. While phone devices receive a great deal of attention, non-phone devices may also have a good share of sales. One figure has the iPod Touch comprising over one third of iOS device sales. Certainly the Android developer community could benefit from a 30-50% boost of quantity of devices.

I also suspect that many of the mobile app developers run small operations. Probably many of them use their own personal iPhone or other smart phone for testing apps. Certainly these people have a greater barrier to create multi-platform apps if it means having multiple phones with multiple phone plans. By providing a non-phone Android device, you might entice many mobile app developers into developing for the Android platform in addition to the iOS platform.

Just a thought from someone who would like to own an Android device, but hasn’t found a great way to do so (yet) without having to buy an expensive phone plan.

Weight map overlay by population

Posted in Technicalon Jan 25, 2011

Dear Google Analytics,

I like your map overlay feature in Google Analytics which shows how many hits come from geographic regions on a map (see example below). However, this isn’t quite as relavant as it should be. Unless my website targets specific geographic areas, states like California with lots of people will always be a darker shade of green than states like Wyoming. That is why you should shade geographic regions on the map based on hits normalized by the population of that region. If one percent of the populations of both California and Wyoming all hit my web site, then those states should be shaded the same.

A few suggestions for Google Knol

Posted in Technicalon Jul 24, 2008

Dear Google Knol,

After your recent announcement about opening Knol, I’m excited to share a few suggestions.

First of all, let me say how excited I am to see Knol come out to play. I’ve got nothing against Wikipedia, but just like there are different vendors for traditional book encyclopedias, I think it is great to have different sources for online encyclopedias. I think Knol will be a good supplement to Wikipedia.

I really like how you can choose different licenses for a knol, work and collaborate in groups, and receive adsense revenue for knols written. I’ve often wondered why I should spend time adding content to someone else’s site, when I could add content to my own and collect advertising revenue for it. With the revenue sharing model of Knol, I feel more comfortable putting forth efforts.

As a suggestion, I think you should also allow Google Analytics to be used on the pages to track traffic, similar to the way you allow Google Analytics to be used on Google Code projects.

One of the things I found confusing when I started using Google Knol is what the policies are for copying other sources, such as copying Wikipedia articles or copying other Google Knol articles. Although I’ve been able to figure this out, if you were to have a Google Groups discussion group for authors to discuss best practices, it would have been a valuable resource for beginning authors.

Finally, Google Knol is unique from Wikipedia in that it can allow multiple articles on the same topic. This can be a valuable incentive to allow more people practice writing articles. For example, I think Google should work with educational institutions, especially high schools, to provide opportunities for students to write knols for their school projects. Allowing high school students to write scholarly articles and reports which can then be peer reviewed online would be valuable preparation for collegiate studies.

Thank you for hosting Knol,

BTW – From what I’ve been able to discover about copying articles, Wikipedia articles cannot be copied for use in Knol because Wikipedia articles are licensed under an license incompatible with Creative Commons licenses used by Knol. Knol articles can be copied with attribution, but if a knol uses the Creative Commons non-commercial license, then it cannot be copied to a knol displaying adsense. At least, that is how I read things.

iGoogle gadget color themes

Posted in Technicalon Jul 14, 2008

Dear iGoogle,

I’ve been building Google gadgets for a while now, and there is one thing I’ve struggled with: getting a gadget’s colors to match the colors of its container’s theme. That seemed like a mouthful, so let me break it down.

Suppose my iGoogle theme has lots of natural colors: green and brown. A gadget on that page would look better if it contained green and brown elements. But if my iGoogle theme had pink and purple colors, a gadget with green and brown elements might not look the best. A gadget’s color scheme should match the color scheme of the iGoogle container theme.

Already the iGoogle provides a few substitution variables like the __BIDI_* variables. The gadget container should pass color substitution variables along to the gadget as well. For example, __COLOR_LINK__ could be the substitution variable for link colors, allowing the iGoogle theme to set a common link color to all of the gadgets on the page. There could be a handful of different __COLOR_* variables that would be passed along for button colors, highlight colors, text colors, etc.

hAPI hAPI joy joy

Posted in Technicalon Jun 30, 2008

Dear Google,

Let me tell you why you are a winner in my book. Three letters, A-P-I. I think opening up your services through developer APIs is what gives Google an edge over your competitors. It is what makes Google more than just a web site. It makes Google a web service. Your latest efforts to make Google data more mashable is a good example of your continued efforts to support nice APIs.

Thank you for your efforts and keep up the good work.