thing #17: google docs

16 10 2008

What a thing of beauty it is when documents are not tied to a hard drive or a physical memory device.  That’s why I’m kind of in love with Google Documents.  You don’t every have to worry about emailing a document or forgetting your flash drive somewhere.  All you need is the Internet.

Web-based apps like Google Docs are even better when they’re used in a collaborative way.  No more clogging up people’s inboxes!  No more sending a document back and forth countless times!

Here are some real-life testimonials of when Google Docs has saved the day for me in regards to collaboration:

  • I do work for an Aids in Africa non-profit (website is a work in progress!).  Every year we have a booth at ComFest.  In effort to get appropriate “staffing” for the booth, we created a schedule with a Google Docs spreadsheet and emailed all volunteers about it.  Since everyone had access, each person was able to go into the document and schedule themselves for a time slot.  Genius!
  • In a slightly more delightful way, I used a Google Docs spreadsheet to get people to sign up to bring meals to some dear friends shortly after they had their first baby.  No one, including the less-techie people, had any problems using it and people even took the initiative to add a few columns such as “What dish are you bringing?”  Two heads are better than one!

Overall, I love how Google Docs removes wire-crossing email mistakes from the equation.  Much less room for human error!  And, you don’t even have to have a gmail account to access a document.   You can share a document with anyone, no matter what email provider they use.

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things #8 & #9: RSS

2 09 2008

I love Google Reader.  In the past, I was a Bloglines girl, but I am increasingly sucked into the the Google cult, errr, I mean Google family of products!  If you have a Gmail account, get on Google Reader now!  And if you don’t have a Gmail account, well, I’ll only accept one excuse for not having one: Google honors China’s demands to filter the content the search engine provides to Chinese citizens.  If you’re able to look past this little ethical dilemma, get a Gmail account now!

Enough political talk.  Here are some noteworthy feeds I subscribe to via Google Reader:

Consumerist: If you love to complain about poor customer service, this is the blog for you!  Did you have a nightmarish encounter with a flight attendant?  Send it into Consumerist.  Spot a ridiculously-labeled package?  Take a photo and send it in.  Unfortunately, their tag for good experiences, “above and beyond,” doesn’t seem to get enough usage.  Yes, there are occasional posts about libraries, but I want more nitty gritty than that.  I long for a post about an atrocious real-life customer service disaster at a library because it will be indicative that our users expect more than mediocrity from us.  It will be a sign that they’ve stopped settling.  In the meantime, I will have to make do with hilarious post like this, submitted by a friend of mine.

I Can Has Cheezburger: If you can understand people’s comments on the posts, you are a super genius.

Stuff White People Like: I am pretty shocked that libraries haven’t made the list yet.  If you’re white and live outside of rural Appalachia, this blog is pointing its finger directly at YOU.  Don’t try to deny it.