Tuesday, October 27, 2009

101 Reasons why Google are taking over the world...

Get Your Files Out of Google Docs With New Export Options:
"... today, Google announced the “Convert, Zip and Download” feature in Google Docs to tackle this challenge. The new features make it a simple two step process to pull down any and all the Google (Google) documents of your choosing (up to 500 MB), convert them to your preferred file types, and zip them up in a concrete package you can download and save to your desktop."
Gotta love 'em... Google sure are chomping away at the online / offline connected world.

More and more I find I'm using Google docs for collaborative editing rather than entering into track changes hell with Microsoft Word. More and more I'm using Google sites as a wiki rather than faffing about with using other wiki tools (WetPaint withdrawing its ad-free education version forced me to see what Google were up to). More and more I'm using Google forms for surveys / quick an' easy booking systems. And now, I get to not just create stuff online with them, but I can quickly pull all that Googly goodness off the system. More and more I'm using Google to find ways around the red tape / processes which infest institutional systems and make it so painfully difficult to innovate.

Actually, you don't need 101 reasons why they're taking over.

There's really only one: Google get it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Library learning

An observation.

The Educational Development Unit where I work is based in the main University library. Last week we had a few powercuts in the library building. As on any normal weekday, there were loads of students in the building. Hardly any spare desks available. Then, the power went off. Though there was no power, but it was still perfectly light enough to work - the only thing missing was the computing facilities and the artificial light. Still lots of books. Lots of desks. Lots of places to read. Lots of places to write.

What happened?

The library emptied.

With no computing resources available, the students left. Virtually all of them. Gone.

Just an observation.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Reserving judgement

Okay, so... like lots of people I got a Google Wave invite... which was jolly nice, especially if you're a bit of an 'ooooooh, what's that shiny thing over there' kinda girl, which I am. However, I've been struggling to contain my high levels of underwhelm at the moment. I've got a few contacts now, but no real purpose for using it... and the only uses I've seen so far are for what are essentially fancy, collaborative lists. Which is nice. But... not inspiring.

However... two and a half years ago, I remember seeing the following on a blog...

"I have to say if someone I knew thought they should be sending me texts, e-mails, IMs etc about the fact that they were just off to the loo and wouldn't be around for five minutes, I'd be seriously considering turning off my computer forever, bricking up the windows and becoming a hermit. Has the world honestly gone bonkers? My 'persistent presence' is that I'm here. I know I'm here. I don't really care if you are aware of that fact 24/7 and you know what? I'm betting you don't either. Where's the separation between public and private? Doesn't part of that separation exist because we simply don't have time to care about the meaningless minutiae of each other's lives. Isn't it okay not to care????

So... You had tuna in your sandwich... but you thought you might have cheese... it took you three bites and a sip of tea to consume it, lasted precisely 2 minutes of your day and another half a minute in which you wondered if there was a little too much mayo and not quite enough salad. I DON'T CARE! Please, if you're struggling to say something to me today, don't bother. Just take time out for yourself. I don't sweat the small stuff in my own life, and I sure don't want to sweat it in yours either!!

Blogging - okay... now get it.
Microblogging - NO! NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!!

PS. NO!!!
PPS. There. That feels better
PPPS. I'm about to have porridge for breakfast. With raisins. A dash of milk. A cup of tea. I may or may not yawn half way through doing so...
PPPPS See - you don't care either. :o)"

... and could tell that that person really didn't think much of Twitter at all. They were seriously dismissive of it as a technology and weren't going to give it a fair go. Microblogging - no, no and a bit more no!

Thing is. That person was me.

And once I got off my negative high horse and found a purpose for it other than the use suggested by the service, just fill in the answer to: 'what are you doing'... and instead built a network... and made connections... then. Then, it had real value.

So. Rather than being the person who makes dreadful dismissive statements about Wave, I'm going to let the dust settle. Keep an eye out. Keep on having a go... and find my own way in. Or at least, give it a proper chance to be what it will be.

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