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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Google Tools

Originally uploaded by duanekeys.
Meghann and I were discussing and comparing out Google Homepages recently; she beat me to the blog post but I thought I'd cover mine as well.

When you go to Google you'll notice an option to "personalize" the site in the upper right hand corner of the page. I highly suggest giving it a try, there are some very useful and time saving modules. What separates this from other portals like My Yahoo! is the open API (or application programming interface) Google has provided. This allows people from all over the world to write plug-ins for others to use.

When RSS (Really Simple Syndication) arrived I didn't really get the point. Now with all the blog reading I do and keeping up with different changing topics combined with the ease of use of the Google homepage RSS is my best friend.

On the left you'll see I have 3 RSS feeds of my different blog stats. Of course the obligatory Google Mail preview gets a top center position.

Below my mail preview I have the Google Reader, which I have all my favorite blogs added as subscriptions. This allows me to make one stop to find all of the updated blog entries for the blogs I care about. I also have RSS feeds subscribed to for different news topics (such as the company I work for), that way I keep up to date on any new news items. Another useful bit with the reader is you can make items you find interested available to others. You can see the items I find interesting in the in "Interesting Reads" widget on the left side of this blog.

I have two weather related modules, a Google Maps-based radar as well as a forecast on the right column. Google Maps is yet another invaluable tool. Try the hybrid or satellite views for some fun! I have a forecast on the right column.

Google Calendar is also another awesome tool that I'm very impressed with. In the lower right hand column is my Netflix feeds which shows me my queue, recommendations, and shipping status for the movies I rent.

Below the fold, so to speak is a number of different modules, mostly news feeds. I have a "word of the day" type module and a quote module among others.

The Google Personalized Homepage along with all the Google specific tools I mentioned requires an account with Google, which is free. I highly recommend checking out the personalized homepage to see if it can save some time for you on-line like it has me.


Blogger Sniderman said...

LOVE the Google page. Been on to Gmail for a while now, too. Good stuff.

Thanks for the welcome, BTW.

7:57 PM  

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