Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I've Been Googled by Google

Did you know that it's someone's job at Google to spend time searching the web, i.e. 'googling' information posted about Google? Sounds like fun to me because I love to research. Well, someone was doing their job and found one of my blog posts interesting enough to contact me about it! How cool is that? I have to admit, it was very exciting to have received an email from someone who has "Google, Inc. Global Communications & Public Affairs" in their signature.

It's a good thing I check my junk mail folder regularly to see what it catches. I had to read the email twice because I thought it was spam at first. Then I realized, whoa! she really is talking to me! Cool! It turns out, Google is really interested and invested in learning about positive user experiences, so much so that they actually read blogs and contact people to talk to them. I just find that really really impressive. A year ago Yahoo! contacted me but it just wasn't the same. It wasn't a real person. It was a survey approach. That didn't go very far with me. Here's a secret: it's not going to go any further if M$ gets the deal.

She was particularly interested in my January review of Flickr vs Picasa. It seems like she's not alone as it's the most popular link referenced from my blog. I just find it amusing that so many people have taken an interest in it — for which I am extremely grateful. I really enjoy reviewing products and giving my most honest opinions. I appreciate it when others do the same. To me, it's the best and most entertaining form of marketing there is. I like to make educated decisions before investing any time, energy and money into any product simply because my time, energy and money are all on the short list these days. I need and want to do more reviews and I have many in the works. (Looking forward to Spring Break here and maybe I can crank out some more soon.)

So, we exchanged some emails and arranged for a phone call and then chatted for some time about my user experiences with Google products. She seemed to be very impressed with what I described to her about how I use Google apps on a regular basis in my personal and professional life. I think it may have even been a little overwhelming for her because I use so many of Google's products, I could just ramble on and on about it. I've been boasting for sometime now about how much I love Picasa web albums, but that's not the only Google product I use. I told her some other stories about times when I've used other Google apps and it sounded like she was really interested in knowing more. She wanted to know if I would be a case study for Google apps. Of course, I agreed so I'm looking forward to that, whatever that means I'm not completely sure but it sounds like fun, so I'm game.

I've lost track of how many times I've used a Google app for something useful, but now I sound like a total Google commercial. So, let me clarify. I am a very busy, fun-loving, sleep-chasing, insomnia-powered Mom/Wife/Instructor/Technology Coordinator/Blogger/Webpage-Layer-Outer/Graphic Artist/Daydreamer/Geek/Chick who likes to take advantage of technology tools in my [cough] spare time [cough]. If that technology helps me solve a problem, is fun, useful, intuitive and free (or really really inexpensive), I will use it and love it and feed it and tell people about it any way I can. I will even go as far as to test it and put it through the ropes and share a review and or recommendation. It doesn't have to be Google, but it should work on a Mac (because that's how I roll) and should also be able to be accessed by my PC-using friends on the receiving product end of the service.

I have to say though, I've played with a lot of Google stuff and I think there are some really great products that are worth sharing my experiences in hopes that someone else can achieve the same positive user experience I have. For me, Google products are the benchmark I use to compare other (web) products against. Google happens to be my sandbox of choice and I like to share my toys so come on over and build a sandcastle with me. (Queue up the Air Supply or Styx soundtracks now.)

So, people from Google are watching with their googly eyes and it's really exciting and I wanted to share that little tidbit. It's been motivating so I'm going to work on doing some more reviews and tutorials to share on this blog and on my website. I'd like to see what you think about some of the toys I've found and how they relate to some everyday issues, so please leave some comments when you can. Stay tuned for some new posts in the near future and thanks for checking me out. I really appreciate having a little bit of an audience and knowing my reviews could help someone learn something about technology.

To be continued...

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