Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I love Google

I know everybody likes Google.com and uses it every day to search for stuff on the Internet but that is not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about all the great online applications that Google has developed and lets me use for free!

Take f.ex. this blog. It is based on Blogger which is Google's blogging platform but they will let me host and skin it so there are more or less no way people can see that it is Blogger that I use. And it just works.

I read all my feeds (rss and atom) with Google reader which is in my mind the only choice for people that wants to read feeds.

Gmail is of course my email platform where I store all my many thousand mails and it works better than any other web based mail (but still it has IMAP, POP3 and redirect - for free).

And the list goes on. I use Google talk for IM and VoIP talks and when Skype doesn't work (like talking with my Ukrainian colleagues) Google Talk does.

Google Docs is a free online Spreadsheet, Wordprocessor and Presentation tool that works fantastic and have some of the greatest and most user friendly collaboration features I've seen.

Google calendar is where I have all my appointments (I use Outlook at work and it works great as well).

Do I use more products? Yes I do. Google Apps is many of the tools mentioned but packed into a "Office suite" that you can hook up to your own domain. So why buy that expensive Microsoft Office Suite - just use the free Google Apps. Of course you don't get all the features of the Microsoft Office Pack (and I love that too) but for many small and middle size firms Google Apps will do just as well.

iGoogle is your own welcome page where you can search as well as having all kinds of widgets. You can read all your RSS feeds there if you like, see your mails, view your calendar etc.

For my professional needs as a web developer I use Google Analytics and Webmaster tools which are super cool tracking and SEO tools that you can't do without. And need I say it - it's free.

Ohh ... yeah - how can i forget Picasa - my online galley. The best on the market in my view and forget all the hype about Flicker. It's not really that good.

Bookmarks in your browser - but how to synchronize all the browsers you use? Google Bookmarks. That's where I have all my bookmarks 200+ and then I just install the Google Toolbar for IE or the GMarks add-on for Firefox and you get a dropdown menu of all your bookmarks in your browser - but it's the same bookmarks everywhere - try it - you wont regret it.

While on the subject of Google related add-ons to Firefox I have to tell you about customizegoogle as well. It adds so many features to your browser that I can't mention them all about the highlights are: No more adds on Google pages, tracking free search if you don't like big brother (Google) and https for Gmail but take a look.
And for Gmail there is the Firefox add-ons Gmail Skins and Better Gmail that adds so many extra features to Gmail that you just will never believe you have lived without.

Google video I use for my video hosting and you can upload all the videos you want and of any file size. That is much more that YouTube or any of the other video hosting sites.

I haven't really used the Google Page Creator but it is a very simple CMS system that anyone can use and build there own website with. I personally prefer DotNetNuke (that I use for my own website) but it takes a lot of skill to get that up and running. Google Page Creator can make anyone a webmaster in five minutes.

OK - now I think I'm done but it properly wont take long before Google have come up with some new cool products so keep tuned in.

I fucking love Google :-)
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