Google Fan Boy

June 9, 2008 - By

I have been called a Google Fan boy before, but it’s hard not to admire a company whose unofficial motto is “don’t be evil” (seriously). It’s also so easy to endorse a company who has personally made my life a lot easier. As a result, when I setup client sites it’s no surprise that I rely on tools like Picasa, Calendar and Mail to make my clients site flow work seamlessly. We can sometimes take this company for granted. While writing this I forgot that the behind the scenes tools making this entry possible; Blogger, YouTube and Feedburner, are all a part of this company.

Here are some examples of how Google keeps things fresh for me daily.

Email: I’ve had too many email addresses for over ten years. I have always juggled and distinguished account through various mail clients and browser apps. None can hold a candle to Google’s Gmail (somehow still called a beta). It has all your standard mail features in a fast loading Ajax shell (that somehow has back button functionality). The real kicker for me though is the use of Labels. Labels work in the same way that folders do in other mail clients, but it also allows you to view All Mail – which distinguishes all mail chronologically regardless of Labels. I wish Outlook did that. Gmail won my loyalty the first (of a million) times I accidentally left a composition – best autosave hands-down.

Calendar: I remember the first time I was asked to make a working calendar of events tool for a website. It was 2004 and I was in over my head. I researched at length various ASP and PHP tools, most which sold a single licence for over $100 – after which reams of code were to be customized and made to inegrate with a database. These products were either to costly or time consuming time after time, and as a result clients would opt for a listing of events. Now enters Google. I can have a fully functional calendar embedded in a site by an iframe that a client can easily manage. When I think of the time this saves me I can rationalize almost any amount of goofing off during work hours.

I was going to write three, but I could go on for ages and this is getting long. That’s just a small taste from a great company that is making, and forever refining a lot of tools that we use all the time without even thinking about. Nevermind that it’s supposed to be the best place to work in the world. Those stories are actually a little annoying to those of us who don’t work there.

This low-blood sugar documentary was my buddy Matt and I today on IM (Google Talk no less). Sometimes it’s hard coming back from a weekend.


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This post was written by ArleyM