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?
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 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 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?)
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.
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.
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
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?