Category: google

Why Gmail is the best email to have

I subscribe to the Gmail Blog. Yes, I’m a nerd.

I have been using e-mail for over ten years now, and I have been through countless email carriers, all with their own special glitches and annoyances. About two years ago, I finally switched to Gmail, and all of my e-mail woes have since disappeared. Forgot to attach something? Gmail will remind you. Computer froze in the middle of a long, heartfelt email to your best friend? Gmail’s got it saved automatically in Drafts.

A while back I posted about Gmail’s drunken e-mailing service, trying to save email users everywhere from embarassment. Now, they’ve stepped in to conquer 1/3 of fmylife’s everywhere: Google can now prevent you from accidentally emailing someone the wrong thing.

Apparently, if activated, “Got the wrong Bob?” remembers your common groupings of recipients and asks you to double check if it thinks you might have made a mistake. It can also keep you from “forgetting” to send your birthday invitation to your fremeny. Hmm, I guess you can’t use that excuse anymore.

Check it out:

http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/new-in-labs-got-wrong-bob.html

And if you haven’t already, get Gmail!

Analytics

I have a site tracker on my blog, from Google Analytics. It’s hidden in the code, so you can’t see it but I can find out how many people see my blog each day¹, how people find my blog, my most popular posts, what they look at while they’re on there², what part of the world people come from³, even ISPs. It’s quite awesome, I waste an infinite amount of time on it.

So, a sign that people facebook stalk? I posted my blog address in my facebook status on Sunday night, after I changed my layout. And my visitation went up by 83% in two days. That’s awesome! Who knew so many people stalked me on Facebook?

I also find it very interesting to see what people google to find me. Recently, I’ve had a couple of hits for “a complicated kindness.” Other book reviews like “Not Quite What I was Planning” and various Jeanette Winterson books have gotten some hits too. I’ve had a lot of traffic from people searching “adam bly.” Another big one is song lyrics, such as “leave me your stardust to remember you by” and “lets see how fast this thing can go.” The creepiest ones are people searching “heather montgomery blog” and randomly someone searching “I got this from someone on Facebook… and I thought I wasn’t going to do it, but I’ve decided to give it a try. I’m going to read 50 books in a year! Do it with me!” Which is odd. My favourite searches though are “flood myth” and “phaedra/roman” because I really like my random historical posts. Oh, and “Stephen Harper Spongebob” because it still amuses me to no end, though I can’t take credit for the theory.

For your entertainment, if you’re looking for something to procrastinate with like me, instead of writing essays or studying for midterms, here are my top five most read posts.
1. Google goggles
When you post about something in one of Google’s blogs, it automatically links to you. With this post, I surprisingly got over 100 unique hits in one day. It’s my record. 190 views total.
2. Not Quite What I Was Planning
My “review” of the book. Apparently it can be found by googling the title! 106 views total.
3. Just Leave Me Your Stardust to Remember You By
A sad post with lyrics by Gregory and the Hawk. I assume it was the lyrics that got the hits, but I do like this post. It sums up what I feel quite nicely. 58 views total.
4. Flood Myth
As I started to write my book (still stalled in progress) I wrote about the nature of flood myths. I love mythology in all forms, and I’m so happy people have actually read this! 47 views total.
5. Journalism as Activism
When my Science Reporting j-school class saw Adam Bly speak, I talked about the nature of journalism and my disenchantment with the profession after going through four years of training for it. Also, comes up (waaaay down in the list) when you google Adam Bly, and I bet his PR people google him constantly. 38 views total.

In two weeks, it will be the one year anniversary of my blog, which Fae and I both decided to start the last time I visited her, and I have to say that I’m really enjoying it. It’s definitely an outlet for me, it gives me a chance to write more often, even if it’s about trivial things. For me, it’s never mattered whether someone reads it or not. It’s therapy.

¹Average about 10 each day, 15 or more on days that I post something.
² That’s right, if you search your name on my blog, I know about it!
³Everywhere! India, Australia, Iran… it’s quite amazing!

Google Desktop

I’ve been meaning to look into GoogleDesktop for a while now, and today while I was reading the Gmail Blog¹, I found this: http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/get-calendar-on-your-google-desktop.html which led me to installing GoogleDesktop. I usually like anything in the Google family² and this is no exception. I now have a calendar on my desktop, the weather, Twitter, and my RSS feed. The people at Google consistently amaze me, and I’m happy they are able to offer me my Gmail, iGoogle, GoogleDesktop, Google Analytics and more for free.

Also, footnotes are awesome.

¹ Because I am procrastinating studying for my Canadian history exams.
² Except Google Chrome, their web browser, but that’s just because it needs more work.