Share your Google+ circles now

Now Google+ allows you to share your circles.

  1. Click on circles and go to the circles page.
  2. Click on the circle that you want to share.
  3. Click on the link "Share this circle" at the top right.

Though sharing your circles, seems to be a minor feature. It will have a great effect on growth of Google+ in the short and long terms.

In the short term, since Google+ has gone public all the newbies will find it really helpful. So if I have newly joined Google+ all I need to do is a find a circle of my interest that is shared by somebody and just add it to my circles. Bingo! like magic Google has solved the problem of empty stream in one go. What  Google has is it has taken the smart way of crowd-sourcing the  featured lists. 

In long term what happens is people have a reward for discovering new people who are interesting, who share great content. A person who can share a great list of people to follow will definitely start garnering more followers. This will help Google to prune Google+ and more people will have more interesting guys to follow, which is great for the community.

Facebook announce Timeline

Facebook today announced their timeline. Timeline is the new profile. Facebook timeline is the facebook's way of telling your story. It collects your status messages, photos, video and apps from facebook to tell your story.

Though it appears to be innovative, I am not sure if it can add much value and if it can help Facebook retain its user base.

SEE ALSO: Facebook - A Life Saver.

Google+ search explained

IF you can see the above on your Google+ profile, then Google+ search has been enabled for you. If you still see the old "Find people " text, you have to wait for some more time, as Google rolls out the search to you.

With search Google made an entry into the web. Now with search in Google+, google has made real entry into social networking.

Google announced a slew of changes that makes Google+ such a better platform. Google+ going public, Hangouts API and Google+ search. But if you measure these improvements by impact they can have, Google+ search definitely stands out.

With search coming to Google+ now, I have more reasons to spend time on Google+.

1.) When people don't know what to do, they generally visit networking sites ;).
And now when they don't know what to do in Google+ they have a search box.

2.) For the first timers Search Google+ is a much better option when compared to the feature lists. Its hard to find the strangers whom you can circle. But now you can search for your interests and then circle the people who have written or shared those interesting articles.

3.) It is easy to find your own old Google+ posts. This was really frustrating as it was difficult for me to find my own posts, when I wanted to link them or read myself.

4.) It is easy for others to find your posts. With search coming now, the floating traffic for your posts will increase for sure. And you might be surprised to find out that your old posts which were inactive for long(that has to be less than three months as of now), getting revitalised again.

5.) Best of search can help find good content. Nobody will search for their interests in Facebook. But in Google+ they will start doing it more frequently. This might in turn become a major plus point for Google+

6.) Most recent : This will help you find the latest content regarding your search term. But if Google+ has to make use of the full potential of this.If Google+ can spice up this feature with the real time updates, it has all the potential to make twitter obsolete.

7.) Save this search : Find the content you want easily, every time you want it. That is what this save this search will do. It will be added as a spark left column.

8.) With search coming up there is more reward for becoming more public. So public will be the default option for many from now on.

9.) Mind my words, search web is not gonna come to Google+, until Google+ starts supporting Ads. Remember that Google makes most of its bucks from Ads.

10.) If Google+ cannot come out with noise controls, the kind of noise that will be generated, will drive out many users from Google+

Compare this with my article I had written just after a few days of Google+ release. http://www.socialbucket.net/2011/07/social-search-what-google-is-really.html

Facebook and Heroku tie up to boost facebook developer activity

Cat Lee of facebook wrote on the facbook blog in an article titled "Facebook and Heroku: an even easier way to get started" wrote "We continue to make it even easier to get started building apps on Facebook Platform. We know that one of the most difficult things to getting started is setting up a place to host your app. As a result, we are starting to partner with some of the top cloud service providers to make it simpler for you to have your first app up and running in a few clicks -- all from within the Dev App. "

This is definitely seen as a move by facebook to grab the attention from the developers as Google+ is going to release their full version API shortly. This seems to be strategic move by Zuckerberg. But what needs to be seen will it be a master move or just another attempt. What is interesting is recently Google hiked the prices of the Google App Enigne, which came as a surpise to many developers.

Two things to note

  1. Programming languages supported : Php, node.js, Ruby and Python. All open source programming languages.
  2. And how do you push the code? Git ofcourse...

So now you now why we like it so much

Google says that gmail is cooler in the cloud

David Jacobowitz, Program Manager, Green Engineering and Operation stars of the blog with "Cloud computing is secure, simple, keeps you productive and saves you money. But the cloud can also save energy".

Google uses this image to show us how using the cloud can  be efficient.

To give you an idea regarding the amount of energy used in serving a general user the data for  gmail and youtube, Google gives these illustrations.

We do agree that the cloud is the trend now. But two questions that are bothering the companies small and large alike are

1. How safe is the data that Google is handling. We did check out their enterprise blog for this and this is what we found.

2. Can we trust Google ?

We don't have a definite answer for this, all that we can say is Its your personal choice. :)

Read the Google blog on this topic here

Are Airpush ads controversial?

The air-push Google ads make tall claims that developers can earn 10X more. So I just visited their site and Googled a little bit about them.

Airpush basically provides Notification ads. These ads sit in the notification bar of your android phone. So an from an application that uses Airpush will look like this.

This is a video from Airpush explaining about their service.

So far so good. But the problem with Airpush ads is that there is no way you can find out which app is pushing this ad. And there seems to be no way users can find this out. Check out Airpush happy to support developers who deceive their users. What we are not sure is how long these ads will sit in the notifications tray. It appears that these ads will sit in the notification tray until the users click on clear notifications(not verified).

Since these push ads have more visibility and shelf life when compared to the inapp ads, naturally these ads are generating higher CPMs. The developer page of their site claims these statistics for the day.

The android terms and condition only mentions this

17.1 Some of the Services are supported by advertising revenue and may display advertisements and promotions. These advertisements may be targeted to the content of information stored on the Services, queries made through the Services or other information.

Since it doesn't say about the location we are not sure whether Air-Push is violating android terms. But the problem here is that since the notifications bar is a common area there should be a way of co-relating the ad with the app that is publishing them. Looks like it is time Google should change this clause appropriately.

The video says that the users can opt out at any time. But the process doesn't seem to be very intuitive either. 

You either need to download an android app that keeps all Air-push ads away from your notification bar. Or you need to enter the EMEI number of your phone manually to keep this ads away.

Though there are few things fishy about the Airpush ads. This seems to be like a natural flow. We had similar development in web too with respect to the hard-to-find-unsubscribe link. But Unsubscribe Compliance helped us out. Considering the growth in mobile technology its time to have Unsubscribe policy for Ads on Mobile Apps too

Google+ Circles, Sparks, Huddle and Hangout

CIRCLES : Google+ circles make sharing online very similar to the real life sharing. Share what y
ou want only with whom you want.

SPARKS : Facebook is family(social) graph while Google+ is for interest graph. Sparks are an other way of finding data about your interests. They are not awesome as of now. But once Google+ starts incorporating best google+ feeds into them, they will definitely be a feature to watch out for.

HUDDLE : Huddle seems to like a group chat with your circles on Android. I am trying it out now.

HANGOUTS : Hangouts are group video chats with your freinds. It is a great way to hangout with your friends.

SETTINGS : If you are a kind who feels Google+ is difficult to use watch this video.  

Freddie Mercury Google Doodle

Google is celebrating the birthday of  Queen’s legendary singer Freddie Mercury with this animated Google doodle.

 If you are thinking that Golden pendant at the center of the Google doodle is just for decoration, look again. It is a play button for the animation.

And as usual if you want to know more about Freddie Mercury click on the Doodle once again :)

Gmail Inbox Styles Tabs

You can use the Gmail Inbox Styles Tabs to your advantage to be more organised and effecient. You have five Inbox styles Classic, Important first, Unread first, Starred first and Priority Inbox. Each one of them useful in its own way. So the best option is to use them all, and that is what Gmail Inbox Styles Tabs exactly.

To enable Gmail Inbox Styles Tabs
  1. Mouse over on Inbox.
  2. Click on the Drop down arrow.
  3. Click on "Try the tabs again".

Once you are done with the above steps you will see this in your mail.

Note :
  1. Don't click on the X mark. If you click on the X the tab might go away and there is no assured way to get it back.
  2. Moreover Google say "After you've settled on a style you like and used it for about a week, these tabs will go away, You can always change your inbox style from the drop down menu next to the Inbox label or from the Settings page." So if the tab goes away after few days try changing the Inbox style a few times and it might as well come back.

Google Blogger gets a new upgrade

The designers at Google looks to be having some work of late ;) We all know that google generally gives very little work to their designers. But of late it seems that google is paying more attention to the design and it surely is paying off large dividends for them. There minimalistic designs go with current trend and moreover they are getting most of the things right this time with respect to their design. All their services have standard look and feel now, making all the services of Google more like a blended unit. The latest upgrade to Google blogger is one more example of how small intuitive changes add considerable value to the user experience.

The home page gives you details about the most happening blogs in your account. The reading list and the View in Google Reader links only suggest that Google might be looking upto ramp up their Google Reader as well. The image at the top right suggest that we might find a link to the Google+ profile once Google+ is out of beta stage.

The home page for each of the blog has all the important  information aptly fit into a single screen. This new layout definitely reduces a few clicks at least. The major links on the left are less cluttered now and look more elegant.

 Clicking on the posts link takes us to our edits posts page. Adding comments and number of views here is definitely adds to the feel. And the revert to draft option beside publish was one thing I had been looking forward to. It definitely reduces your work when you want to un-publish a group of posts at once.

Looks like Blogger is gonna give some stiff competition to Wordpress. Let us sit back and watch...