Sunday, 26 March 2006

Google, What Would I Do Without You?

I have always been a Google user. When they launched their search service in the 90s, it revolutionized my use of the internet. Before Google, there was Altavista, Northernlights and the likes, and none of them really worked for me. I didn't find I was looking for. Part of the reason for this was of course that the web as a whole was quite new then, and hadn't really become that useful yet. But when Google arrived, it was just better. Fast, lightweight, versatile and accurate.

Anyhow, until recently, I have continued to use Google for searching the web, and I've always been amazed to see the kind of information I could dig up. With the right techniques, and some experience, you can find out almost anything in a matter of minutes. It's so bad, you can even use it to cheat at pop quiz with your cell phone! I did set up a Gmail account quite early, and I noticed that Google started launching a whole range of other applications and services, but I never looked into it. To me, Google was for searching.

It's now been three weeks since this changed, and Google became everything for me and my digital daily life. All my contact with friends who live far away now happen on Gmail. I use Google Groups and Google News to read up on the status of the world. I organize my pictures in Picasa, and distribute them to my friends and on my blog straight out of the application window. Yeah, and I've started writing a blog.

Google even helps my business website. I am part of a collective filmproduction company called Runaround Film (all text in Norwegian). A big part of our website is the presentation of our showreels and samples of our previous work. When we launched the site, we published video as Quicktime files and Windows Media files. You had to download the file, and install the right application to watch them. That was until I discovered Google Video. Now Google stores all our work on their server, and lets us play the videos directly on the website, as an embedded Flash movie. For free!

Google also offers a desktop search, which is a great service, but I have to admit that I prefer Microsoft Desktop Search on this one. It just works better for me.

I am a portable guy, and I depend on having a lot of information available wherever I am. Storing information on a hard disk locally has never worked for me, so the Google philosophy of global availability makes this a perfect marriage. With the Google calendar (CL2) launching shortly, and rumours of a Google online harddrive coming up, I think this is going to be my online home for quite some time.

If you'd like to know what I'm talking about, contact me and I'll invite you to the Gmail BETA. I still have about 94 invites to hand out, and they keep giving me more.

I try not to get religious about computer related things, I use Mac and I use PC, and I'm not fanatic about any of them. But when it comes to Google, I think I'll have to make a small exception. Google, I love you!

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  1. I'm a self-confessed Google addict. Google is my homepage. G-mail is my e-mail. Picasa is my image editing software. And when I say search, it comes out as "why don't you just google information about it?"

    Google rules the internet!


  2. Anonymous07:31

    actually i was thinkin how google is such a big part of my life (literally) ..i searched for the term "what would i do without google in my life" and the first page that came up was this!


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