You Don’t Run the Google?

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In all seriousness though, my post is going to be about Google. Google is a powerhouse in the internet world. It’s become a house hold name, and people have even begun using it as a verb. “Just Google It.” But what do we really know about the company? They are constantly throwing out neat little sites that toy with ideas.

What is Google?

goo·gle  

/ˈgo͞ogəle
Verb
  1. Use an Internet search engine, particularly Google.com: “she spent the afternoon googling aimlessly”.
  2. Search for the name of (someone) on the Internet to find out information about them.

Google was founded Sept. 4 1998. It started out as a simple search engine. the creators Larry Page and Sergey Brin didn’t know HTML so the Google homepage stayed minimal.

Over the year’s Google did everything right and sky rocketed. They are named the number one company to work for by Fortune magazine and until this past year Google had been ranked the #1 visited website in the world (beat out in 2013 by Facebook). Google is constantly launching new little products or getting involved in something. With Google pulling in $58 billion a year, it’s estimated that they acquire one new company a week. Below I’m going to toss out a few of my Google favorites. 

Head to http://www.alexa.com to check out some cool site statistics. Owned by Amazon.

Google Wave

Google Wave was launched in 2009 for beta use invite only, it was announced in 2010 that it would no longer be continued.I had a Google Wave account and loved it. I was sad when Google announced their discontinuation of Wave and felt as though it was just a misunderstood program that didn’t have the right platforms to carry it. The best description I have found of Wave is as follows:

Created by the same engineers who masterminded Google Maps, Wave lets you and your collaborators build documents—which Google calls “waves”—from conversations. Multiple people can simultaneously edit and chat inside waves. You can also add images, Web links, video clips, and polls to waves, and that’s just the start. Thanks to the growing ranks of Wave extensions, you’ll be able to incorporate all kinds of interactive content. Wave offers live typing, so you can see your collaborators’ input in real-time, keystroke by keystroke.

Google describes Wave as “what e-mail would look like if it were invented today,” in the world of instant messaging, wikis, and online forums. But while the initial idea may have been to reinvent e-mail, in practice Wave is more akin to Google Docs than it is to Gmail. For example, how many times have you tried to develop a document through e-mail, with all those criss-crossing message threads clogging your inbox? Wave seeks to do away with that, by providing a single, hosted copy of a conversation that everyone can edit and discuss.

Wave is similar to e-mail and different from other Web apps because of federation. If Wave catches on, your company could set up its own Wave server, which would then be able to communicate with other Wave servers across the Internet, independent of Google. – macworld

 

Google Voice

Google Voice was launched in 2010. It allowed for people to get a local phone number, send/receive texts, and make/receive phone calls. It had a feature where you could enter your mobile phone number so people who called your Google Voice number would get forwarded automatically to your cell phone. 

I was moving to Australia and begged for a Beta Invite. I eventually got one and got a home phone number. Google Voice allowed me to text people from home for free. While I still used Skype to make phone calls, it was nice to have free texting. Google Voice is still running although Google has merged it into Gmail. (Didn’t know?)

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The built-in chat in Gmail allows text messaging. To use it, click the button settings, then the labs tab, scroll down to “Text Messaging (SMS) in Chat” and click Enable. Then scroll down to the bottom and press save changes. Now, open up a chat window from the chat box. Click the options button on the bottom left and press Send SMS. It will prompt you for a phone number. Currently, this only works for US phones.- WikiHow

Google Voice is a neat little free tool Google offers. I don’t have my Google Voice number connected to my cell number- so it’s text only from the computer and phone calls never go through. I use this number on websites that require number’s to register, etc.

Google Has Fun?

This doesn’t really fit in with the list, but I find it wonderful and want to type about it, so I’m putting it here anyway.

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April 01, 2010. The mayor of Topeka Kansas announced that they were changing their name to Google. (Article Here). Google’s was honored, and announced the change of their name to Topeka (Blog Post Here).

Early last month the mayor of Topeka, Kansas stunned the world by announcing that his city was changing it’s name to Google. We’ve been wondering ever since how best to honor that moving gesture. Today we are pleased to announce that as of 1AM (Central Daylight Time) April 1st, Google has officially changed our name to Topek- Google Blog.

Google +

I almost didn’t put Google + on the list as it’s being talked about everywhere- but since it’s the hot new Google thing, I figured I owed it at least a quick description. So here you go.

So when people ask, “What is Google Plus?” there is the temptation of saying it is “like Facebook” or “like Twitter” but once you get involved, it is not that similar to either. Yes they all involve “social” and “people” and “communication”, and both of those other social networks can be great at doing what they do, but Google+ is something different. It is bringing people together within the context of many of Google’s services. It is, quite simply, something to be experienced for yourself. This is also why so many people cannot understand the concept of Google+. It is not simply a new social media platform, and many people are yet to grasp the concept of a social layer. – Martin Shreve

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I’m going to end the post now, as I’ve rambled long enough- but what do you think? Do you have any Google favorites? 

 

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The Re-Emergence of the Magazine

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While chatting with a friend one day we got on the topic of emerging media. He said to me that one of his new interests is actually the re-emergence of the magazine in digital format.

When you think about it, how often do you see articles about articles being published online? It’s an interesting concept and one I decided to dig into a little deeper and found a whole new ‘internet world’ that I had never been to before! Oh man… 

Taking a quick look at the magazines history, the first one was published in 1741 in Philadelphia. It was called the The American Magazine. Now over 5,500 magazines can be found on Zinio alone (read on to read about Zinio).

Where to start? All of the sudden there’s countless choices. I headed to a website called Digital Magazine Awards (http://digitalmagazineawards.com/). Here the best of the best is show cased with different categories to choose from. It’s the oscars of the magazine world.

A quick example (and the one I found most interesting) was the Best Magazine Advertisement Award. The winner was an interactive advertisement directed at iPad users. The photo below is the 2012 winner. When user’s shake their iPad a new ‘living space’ will appear. If you have spare time to kill, go to that site and be prepared to be entertained.

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Another cool site that popped up was for a website called Zinio-The World’s Largest Newsstand . Here you are able to choose from over 5,500 online magazines that can be read on any device. While some feel that a device can’t replace holding the magazine in your hands, the attractive prices Zinio offers are had to pass up. Offering deals such as $5.00 a month gets you any three magazines to read, and $20 gets you a 12 month subscription.

I think I might be paying this website a visit later on… and perhaps purchasing an iPad.

Another interesting website that my friend told me to look up is The Magazine (https://the-magazine.org), stating that I wouldn’t be disappointed.

Without buying a subscription, you’re allowed to read one article a month for free. I chose one called ‘weight for it’. Opening it up, I was greeted with this image,

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What is that? (further reading of the article says its a watercress sauce).

Back on track though, the article was a pleasure to read! The aesthetics of the website being so simple and beautiful made it an easy place for my eyes to rest even though I was reading.Image

This is incredibly cool world of emerging media that doesn’t get the same attention as social media. I in fact had never really considered it before. What about you? Anyone else have E-Magazine subscriptions? I think I’m about to start!

 

I’ll leave you with a fantastic article published on State Of the Media that shows a  study of Magazines in the entering the digital world.

http://stateofthemedia.org/2013/news-magazines-embracing-their-digital-future/

Reddit: The Unsung Social Media Giant

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Ah Reddit, the front page of the internet as it proudly proclaims when you first enter their site. When Reddit comes into conversation the word social media is one of the last things that is associated with it- Reddit is a social forum with everything you can imagine right? News is shared, humor is shared, ideas are shared, people connect with each other, and friendships are even made… isn’t this everything social media is supposed to be?

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On an average day Facebook gets 24 million unique visitors a day, Twitter gets 7 million and Linkedin gets 3.5 million. Reddit gets an average of 71 million unique visitors a day. WHAT?! and an average of 5,500 active subreddits a day. 

This overlooked social media site has been the cause of many good things and many bad things over the years. I’ll cover two specific examples that caused a GIANT stir thanks to Reddit and those who share on it!

The BadAmy’s Baking Co.

Amy’s Baking Company participated in an episode of Kitchen Nightmares. When the owners proved too difficult to help, Chevy Ramsey stormed out. As soon as the episode aired, people took to Reddit and posts insulting Amy spread like wild. The next day it caused a barrage of facebook posts from Amy attacking them.

“WE ARE NOT FREAKING OUT. WE DO NOT CARE ABOUT A ‘WITCH HUNT’ I AM NOT A WITCH. I AM GODS CHILD. PISS OFF ALL OF YOU. F**K REDDITS, F**K YELP AND F**K ALL OF YOU. BRING IT. WE WILL FIGHT BACK,”

 

“To all of the Yelpers and Reddits: Bring it on. you are just p***ies. come to arizona,” one post read. “you are weaker than my wife, and weaker than me. come to my business. say it to my face. man to man. my wife is a jewel in the desert. you are just trash. reddits and yelpers just working together to bring us down. pathetic.”“This is Samy. I am keeping note of all names here. We will be pursuing action against you legaly, and against reddit and yelp, for this plot you have come together on”

Amy’s Baking Company went from having a couple hundred likes on Facebook to 115k.

The Good: Kathleen Edward

“Kathleen Edward, a 7-year-old dying of Huntington’s Disease, made global news in 2010 when it was reported she was being cyberbullied by a 33-year-old neighbor. Enter Reddit, the social news platform with an active and passionate audience. Hans Mansing, a toy store owner posted on the site that the store was near Edward’s home town of Trenton, Mich., and the flood gates of goodwill from the Reddit community opened. Kathleen Edward got to spend the day in the toy and even wound up donating toys to a local hospital. Besides coming together to let her be a kid in a toy store, the site’s audience raised close to $8,600. Social media at its finest” – digiday

Reddit has yet to be a place marketer’s tell their clients to create an account with and with their extreme free speech policy may never be. However, what do you think? Could Reddit become an important tool for companies?

 

http://socialmediatoday.com/sarahevans/1522086/reddit-re-introduces-multireddits-provide-front-pages-all-users

http://www.howmanyarethere.org/how-many-hits-does-facebook-get-a-day/

http://www.ibtimes.com/kitchen-nightmare-contestants-amys-baking-company-insult-everyone-complete-online-meltdown-1259285

http://www.digiday.com/publishers/can-reddit-cash-in-on-its-popularity/

 

XBOX One- Post One; Emerging Media

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The XBOX One… should this be considered a new and emerging media? Yes, it’s a gaming platform, and yes Sonny blew them out of the water with the release of the PS4 being $100 cheaper, but I’m not going to pay attention that right now. I have an XBOX 360 and haven’t paid much attention to the XBOX One  drama, but I think this is going to be a great opportunity to dissect this product and see if it’s the One-Stop-Shop that Microsoft claims… Can this change how Microsoft fans deal with the internet? (FYI, I’m a Microsoft Fan and was a Zune enthusiasts- laugh all you want). 

The XBOX One

 

The Xbox Website describes the product like this:

Be amazed.

Welcome to a new generation of games and entertainment. Where games push the boundaries of realism.
And television obeys your every command. Where listening to music while playing a game is a snap.
And you can jump from TV to movies to music to a game in an instant. Where your experience is custom
tailored to you. And the entertainment you love is all in one place. Welcome to the all-in-one, Xbox One.

Simple. Instant. Complete.

Xbox One is a state-of-the art gaming console, a new generation TV and movie system and a whole lot
more. Gone are the days of switching inputs on your TV to play a game or watch a movie. With Xbox One,
you can quickly jump from TV to movies to music to a game. Just with the sound of your voice.

Be immersed.

With Xbox One, games are so lifelike, you’ll swear they’re real. Immerse yourself in cinematic worlds
with characters that are more human than ever. And reach into television, sports, music, and even
the web in ways you never imagined possible.

Be recognized.

Xbox One gets to know you. It learns what you like and what you don’t. And brings it all together on
your own personal home screen. And because every Xbox One comes with Kinect, it responds naturally to
your voice, movements, and gestures. Say goodbye to the days of one-size-fits-all entertainment.

Be connected.

Xbox One brings you closer to the entertainment you love and the people you care about. You can chat
with your friends on Skype while watching football on TV. Or show off your best game highlights
instantly with Game DVR. And because Xbox One is powered by the cloud, you won’t have to wait
around for game updates. It looks like the living room can finally start living up to its name.

http://www.xbox.com/en-US/xboxone/meet-xbox-one

 

So tell me, are you excited yet? It sounds fantastic. What can be the cons to this though? Nothing is ever perfect and if it seems to good to be true, it must be right?

Cons

  • You have to authenticate your disk every 24 hours, if a check in is missed, you are unable to play ANY games until you do.
  • The Xbox One has a starting price of $499- a half grand for this piece of new media. Microsoft is obviously targeting the higher market, and it became even more apparent with Sony’s release of the Playstation 4 at only $399.
  • XBOX 360 games aren’t compatible
  • Neither are the controllers
  • If you don’t have an internet connection, you can’t play any games! Why buy a game console that can’t play games?
  • You can no longer buy/sell/trade your used games. But! If you’re lucky, you’re game publisher might let you trade your game through a participating company! (This doesn’t sound awesome- Microsoft, why do you want the middle man?)

 

 

So I’m interested to hear what you think? Would you consider this a new form of Emerging Media and do you think it has the capacity to change how we connect with each other? An all in one device with limitless options… It’s something I personally will never purchase- but it’s just personal opinion. I don’t need to talk to my TV, I’ll just use the remote.