Sunday, April 27, 2014

Will Google+ Become Android Social? What I liked about Google Plus

Photo: Senior Vice President, Android, Chrome & Apps at Google
Last week tech news coverage spoke a lot about the departure of Vic Gundotra, Google's
Senior Vice President, Social and speculation was rife about the future of Google+. I chose Sundar Pichai's photo for this blog post because this is one executive to watch at Google. Currently looking after Android, Chrome and Android Wear plus apps. I am confident that there is a lot of consolidation that will happen in the next few months.

Features of Google Plus that I love 
  • Photo Backup : The best way to keep my photos synced between my phone, computer and camera is this feature. Moments after taking the picture on my phone I can download it on Google+  on  my desktop. This is not necessarily social but a good feature. Of late my Android device has made this a separate app called Photos that allows me to share the photo on any app on my phone- Twitter, Facebook or other. In this way Google+ has been excruciatingly painful for sharing with other networks. I advised friends even on iOS devices to use the Google+ photo backup option.
  • Highlights and Animations through Photos : The coolness of Google+/Android realizing that come photos were taken consecutively and make them into GIFs. Adding snow to your pictures was cool, again this was more an android function that I used from my phone.
  • Contacts:Again a Google+ Android phone convenience to have your Google+ contacts appear on your phone was useful along with your Gmail contacts being synced to the phone
  • Communities: This is one feature that us device/desktop agnostic and is much more user friendly than the Google Groups. This is the most authentic "social: feature of Google +
My peeves about Google+
  • Confusion on Business Pages :  Way before Google+ made it's appearance, Small businesses were learning the ropes, setting up Google Local pages for their business. Just as they learnt the ropes , Google Plus started to force them to create Business pages and the distinction was not always clear. To this day I am not sure there is a way to make sure you have a Google Local and a Google Plus Business Social page and integrate both so you are able to manage just one presence. The Google Local page is very important for small businesses since it depends on people using Google Maps to find the business.
  • No Open Sharing API's : Many of us are members of multiple networks.  I use buffer to share to my networks based on the content. I never have been able to do that based today. I had to login to Google Plus to share. I would have liked to use a tool to see a stream of Google Plus updates.

As a android user I am happy if the Google Plus features I like are integrated into the Android device. I won't miss  Google Plus, How about you?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Washington DC News Media : Washington Business Journal - Business Reading Over the Weekend

I eagerly look forward to the Washington Business Journal every Friday. I have been a long time subscriber of the Washington Business Journal and the print version is my way of disconnecting  and  reconnecting. I usually read the print version over the weekend, starting with the Back Page first, top read Jennifer Nycz-Conner column and see if I know anyone featured in the photo section of the BackPage.

I love the fact that the Washington Business Journal has large photos of the reporters and has divided the paper by topic. I follow Bill Flook through out the week as @TechFlashWBJ and also the newsletter that I get every day, and it is always nice to see if I missed anything in Bill Flook's print column.

Since I joined Bozzuto, I am paying a lot of attention to the coverage of Real Estate by Michael Neibauer and Daniel J. Sernovitz who seem to know everything real estate and your life in the Washington DC Metro.

Rebecca Cooper covers my favorite topic - Restaurants, retail, hospitality and the arts  and even though I have not met her in person, I feel like i know her through her tweets and the newsletter. IF you want to know what's opening in the Washington DC area, follow her.

Tina Reed is new covering health care and I have had the privilege of meeting her at  a Washington Business Journal event for Minority Business Leader's Award. 

Between Dough Fruehling and Rob Terry, they manage to make the viewpoint column very personal and interesting. 

I met Alex Orfinger the publisher of the Washington Business Journal at a DC Chamber of Commerce event, many years ago and he does a very good job being social, human and upto date.

I love the fact that most of the reporters at the Washington Business Journal do a great job with social media. It is not a big deal to subscribe to the print edition of the Washington Business Journal and you can keep in touch with the pulse of business in the Washington Dc area and get leads from news about companies in the Washington DC area. 

A subscription to the Washington Business Journal is a well worth the investment of $59 for a year. Your monthly coffee is probably more expensive.

The other way to keep in touch is to go to the events organized by the Washington Business Journal organized by my friend Whitney Suntum. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Get Google Search Trends into Your Inbox

If you were wondering about what people were searching on Google, a service called Google Trends is very useful. It gives you fodder for blog posts, reports and sometimes just curiosity.
Google has added a new feature to Google Trends, you can now subscribe to receive a trend email alert for any topic of your choice. Since I work at Bozzuto, I am signed up for a Google Trend alert for "apartments", this could help me understand search behavior and determine if people are searching for "rental apartments" or " Apartments for rent"

This service is new and to sign up for an alert you have the choice of :

  • Topic
  • Country
  • How often ( Weekly or monthly)
You can also determine a timeline of the trend and which terms related to your topic are rising. A useful tool for sure. Of course, just like how Thomas Claburn says in Information Week , we wish Google Trends had an API.

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