Amit Agarwal from blog Digital Inspiration has a great guest post on the Official Google Docs blog today outlining how anyone can use the service as a live blogging tool. The writing format, which has become an increasingly popular way for bloggers to cover events as they're happening (mainly useful for things like Apple keynote speeches), but also manages to work for smaller conferences and events, too.
Agarwal's suggestions are to either set it up as a special page on compatible blogging platforms so that your writings will show up like a regular post, or to simply embed it on the page as I've done here. One of the platform's strong suits is that it lets several people work on a document at the same time, which your standard blogging platform likely won't allow.
Other small things to note are that your blogging tool might not pick up your byline or give the post a time stamp. Agarwal suggests you use Google Docs' inline comment system (hitting CTRL + M), which will add a timed notation. Also, your readers will need to manually refresh the page to see any updates since there's no way to set your individual post to do that automatically.
We've covered several live blogging tools on Webware before. Rafe's favorite is CoverItLive, which we've used with great success. There's also competitor ScribbleLive. Both offer live updating, and options to let your readers get notifications and reminders on when live coverage will begin.
Update: While Google Docs works just fine as a live blogging tool, there are some things to note about the embed option that some might consider shortcomings.
For one thing it will auto-publish any changes when it auto-saves (something you can turn off, but having it on takes some effort out of the equation). This might be troublesome for some users who are simply jotting down ideas and don't want them to go live yet. Also, whatever you write might not get picked up so well in your RSS feed, or for mobile readers. The post nearly locked up Safari when viewed on an iPhone.
I've embedded the original live blog after the break, which is simply the same post as what's seen above (sans update).
By scrutinizing the traffic Google searches produce, Internet analysis firm Hitwise in January predicted that Google might launch a virtual world. Lo and behold, Google launched Lively on Tuesday. So what's next?
Google Autos or Google Music are the guesses that Hitwise hazarded Wednesday. "Our thinking was that Google might want to fill natural gaps in its portfolio of offerings based on the interests of its users. We looked at which categories are receiving the most traffic from Google in which Google does not have its own property," Hitwise's Heather Hopkins wrote in a blog post. … Read more
Although it has disclosed that 600 of its coffee shops will be closing up shop in the coming months, Starbucks will be unveiling only a small selection of closures per month.
That doesn't mean that you can't check if your favorite coffee watering hole (or office) is going the way of $2 gas. According to The Seattle Times, employees at stores that are facing closure have been given some extra heads-up to either find new jobs or transfer elsewhere.
As part of Google's effort to shed a bit more light on its search work, the company on Wednesday detailed some of the process it uses to order the results its search engine produces.
The most interesting element of the post by Amit Singhal, a Google fellow who oversees the area, is a discussion of why the company doesn't manually elevate particular search results to obtain the right order. However, the company does of course hand-tune the algorithm that ranks the results, so you can consider manual intervention still relevant at a higher level.
Google gives two reasons … Read more
I wrote a few weeks back that Google has discovered developers and, as part of that, has significantly invested in open source.
For all the bile that I and others have spewed at Google over the years for its adoption of open source, with little in the way of contributions back, it's amazing to see the trickle of open source from Google turn into an absolute flood. In just the past two weeks, we've seen Google open-source the following:Browser Sync, a "Firefox extension that continuously synchronizes your browser settings." Google is abandoning Browser Sync but wants to make sure it doesn't bury the dead without ensuring its code can live on as developers see fit. Ratproxy, an application security testing tool.… Read more
news analysis A big audience doesn't automatically mean big profits.
That's the lesson that YouTube and Google are learning the hard way, according to a story published Tuesday evening by The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper's Web site reported that YouTube is generating $200 million in ad sales and is stilling failing to meet its revenue expectations.
Other startling revelations in the piece include a plan by Google to allow preroll and postroll advertisements to appear on YouTube, and that it has identified 105 problems with YouTube's ad sales. Another surprise came when it was suggested … Read more
YouTube has been plagued with inefficiencies in its ad-sales department and Google is apparently ready to abandon its policy of keeping preroll and postroll ads off the video-sharing site.
The news was first reported Tuesday evening by The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper, citing unnamed sources, also said YouTube will generate about $200 million from ad sales this year, short of Google's expectations.
However, the figure is far higher than most of the guesses made in recent weeks by analysts and media pundits. If accurate, it is almost certain to raise questions about what kind of costs YouTube is … Read more
No, not death, but close to it. The race is on for who has the most expensive iPhone plan in the world! Plus Microsoft finally gives us a date for XP SP3, sort of. And we have some security news for you as well as a recap of the digital TV transition. So listen up! Listen now: Download today's podcastEPISODE 761
FAQ: iPhone 3G launch day is Friday http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-9983810-37.html
iPhone Jonny: world’s first iPhone 3G owner (in waiting) http://www.engadget.com/2008/07/08/iphone-jonny-worlds-first-iphone-3g-owner-in-waiting/
Spat with Rogers leaves Canadian Apple … Read more