Aug 182011
 

I confess I’m not the most active user of Google+, the new social network that’s currently in private beta, or so-called “field trial”, with already over 25 million users… and probably a majority of Google+ people are already active on other social media. And what makes a social network great is both the people and the technology’s features/ functions. For Google+ to have a smaller feature set, and using that magical number “3″ to frame its features (circles, hangouts, sparks), it’s looking to be the next big thing (and seasons for a social network’s popularity ebb and flow, a la Friendster, MySpace, Facebook…), btw, here’s a free invite to Google+ http://ow.ly/5ZhVf

What’s great about Google+ is how it’s easy-to-use for sharing stuff, be it a status update, a link, a photo, a video (especially YouTube)… and to share that in select circles (or select individuals). And I do like to share. There are 3 things that are missing for me, and how I’d like to use Google+

1. search. Yes Google is the king of search. I’d want to search my own stream, or a stream of one of my circles, or all my streams. There are things I remember seeing on my stream but want to get back to it more quickly than scrolling back to try to find it. (there are some hacks + workarounds)

2. filter. I don’t keep Google+ open in a web browser all the time, so I kinda miss hours of stream shares at a time. I don’t want to scroll back to see everything, but I do want to catch when certain topics or keywords get mentioned. What if Sparks could be applied to just my stream and/or certain ones of my circles?

3. my +1′s. From what I can tell, +1′s adds to the count of people who liked a certain shared item. Good that the person who shared it knows how many +’s and subsequent users who see that shared item. What I’d also like to see is a stream of items I have +1′d. That’d be a good bread crumb trail of goodies I would like to reference, or even to share that. [update: aha! found my +1's listing - thank you Google!]

There you go, three of my thoughts about Google+. For more about the latest, check in with these blogs: the official Google blog, the official Google+ platform blog, unofficial Google Plus blog.

Plus, for fans of group video chat, find an open hangouts + connect with new people spontaneously at: hangoutongplus.com + gphangouts.com + plusroulette.com + hangouthut.com

Aside: when the name of something is difficult to type or has more than one way to identify it, that does make for some challenges.. so on a keyword search, does one search for Google+ or Google Plus? One thing I kept running into with my work at L2 Foundation was gently informing people that it’s “L-Squared” and not elle-two. Such as it is when you can’t superscript in plain text.

Jan 202010
 

There are 2 other ways to use Google Apps without having to move your email server. I think. I’ll use my domain name (djchuang.com) as the example:

(1) First, setup Google Apps with the domain name (djchuang.com), for a Google Apps Standard Edition. After verifying domain ownership, then you’ll be able to login to the Google Apps Control Panel. Under Dashboard > Service settings, you can click on the “Email” link, and click on “Disable service”.[cf]

Then, each person on the domain would register for a Google Apps username, at a URL like https://www.google.com/a/djchuang.com/ . And then, these Google Apps would be associated with djchuang.com, e.g.

(2) The other way is to create a new Google Account with an “@djchuang.com” email address. On the page https://www.google.com/accounts/ , click on “Create an account now” on the right sidebar at bottom.

I’m not sure what the difference is between (1) and (2) above, since I can’t figure it out from the online help at Google Apps. Either of the options above will enable us to use Google Apps like calendar and docs, without affecting the current email setup at all.

Can anyone explain what the difference is between the two above ways for using Google Apps with a domain and without having to interrupt the domained email server? And, would the #1 setup above affect some of the email notifications that Google Apps sends out for doc sharing or calendar invites?

Aside: here’s 3 links to blog posts that give step-by-step instructions for hosting your email and using Google Apps with your domain: hanselman.com, smarterware.org, and htmlcenter.com — in other words, this is the normal way to use Google Apps.

Sep 012008
 

Chrome is the name of the new Google browser, releasing on Tuesday, September 2nd. The buzz is spreading all over the web, and onto the mainstream media too.

The official Google blog announces it as: A fresh take on the browser. It’ll be released in a beta version, of course.

Google Blogoscoped has early scoop and screen shots, along with TechCrunch and SearchEngineJournal.

The comic book introducing the concepts behind Chrome was drawn up by Scott McCloud, and is available online here or there or over at agglom.

Jul 012008
 

Just returned last night 11pm from part 1 of family vacation in the San Francisco Bay area. Now for part 2 of family vacation here in South OC or thereabouts, mostly father & son time until the 4th. Come by our 4th of July BBQ + Swim + Fireworks in Aliso Viejo, any time after 3:00pm; contact me for location and directions. We’ll have incredible view of local fireworks b/c we overlook the town center and park. Back in office on Monday 7/7.

To honor my family by giving them my full undivided attention, I did not pre-schedule any meetups with people, though I did see David Liu [his wife blogs more than he does + team member of scrapbook supplier Maya Roads], Tim Tseng, and Bruce Reyes-Chow [newly elected Moderator for PCUSA] along the way. Plenty of back stories, but I’m on vacation, so the stories will be part of our family memories but not permanently recorded in cyberspace.

Made a spontaneous stop in Silicon Valley. blue bamboo t-shirt Took some effort, but did get entry into Googleplex (Google‘s world headquarters), courtesy an old friend from Carolina days. Walked around the Google campus for about half an hour on an unofficial tour with our (lawyer) host in sandals. I love unofficial. What an amazing place, love their very distinct very cool corporate culture. Don’t know how much of Google work life has been game changer for other companies. One can only hope and dream and vote for change.

At Googleplex, stopped by Google Store for a very soft bamboo t-shirt. Coolest visual was a rotating earth with dots eminating into space, representing web searches from around the world.

Other exclusive family memories: 2 hotel nights free courtesy HHonors. Pyzano’s Pizza. Wall-E on opening night. Rides on BART and Muni buses. Exploratorium. Saw 100s doing CityChase [NOT available in LA]. Tom’s Cookies. Kite flying at Crissy Field and Marina. Napa Valley. Buckhorn Grill. Golden Gate Bridge. Fisherman’s Wharf. Barney’s Burgers. Cafe Do Mundo. Select photos here and here.