Garin Online

Google Buzz: What Is This?

February 12, 2010

So what exactly is this? A new social feature to add to Gmail? Googles attempt at a social networking platform to compete with the likes of Facebook?

Or is it a failure on all fronts. Google, usually an innovator when it comes to online software, has taken itself into the social networking war with its new “Buzz”. But because this is a brand new program, Google will be working with it and improving it over the next few years extensively. Gmail itself just recently lost its “Beta” tag after several years in operation.

Already Google is looking to improve Buzz, purchasing Aardvark for $50m. Aardvark is a website that gives you quick quality answers from people whose profiles are similar to yours. You can submit a question via e-mail or IM and the program scans the profiles of people who claim to have knowledge of that subject.

Some stats posted by Techcrunch:

-87.7% of questions submitted were answered, and nearly 60% of them were answered within 10 minutes.  The median answering time was 6 minutes and 37 seconds, with the average question receiving two answers.

-As of October 2009, Aardvark had 90,361 users, of whom 55.9% had created content (asked or answered a question). The site’s average query volume was 3,167.2 questions per day, with the median active user asking 3.1 questions per month. Interestingly, mobile users are more active than desktop users.

-98.1% of questions asked on Aardvark were unique, compared with between 57 and 63% on traditional search engines.

Aardvark will be a very cool feature to add to Google Buzz, and if they continue to add these interesting programs to it, than Buzz may be a thing I would actually use in the future. However, that is the future. As of now, Google Buzz seems like the addition of Twitter to Gmail. And I stopped using Twitter a long time ago because what Shaq and MC Hammer are doing with their spare time interests me little. What I can see Google doing is integrating Google Wave into this and making this not just a social network, but making it a realtime work network as well.

Here is a video about Google Buzz if you are further interested.


And It Starts

February 3, 2010
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Like I said in the first post on this blog, the possibilities of the iPad are endless. And these endless possibilities begin right here in the education field. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has made deals with Kaplan, Pearson Education, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt K-12, and the educational sector of McGraw-Hill to post school textbooks and official exam study guides to the iPad bookstore. These deals make the iPad much more attractive to the college and graduate student with the ability to carry all of your necessary textbooks. This not only saves room in a book bag, but also saves you from carrying a lot of weight around all day. If I do continue on to grad school or portfolio school, this will be an extremely attractive feature.

It Was the Best Night Ever

January 28, 2010
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Every Monday night on CBS is my favorite show of the last decade, and the follow-up to last decades biggest sitcom, Friends. How I Met Your Mother is one of the most uniquely written and produced show in the last few years. It follows the story of Ted, a man searching for his eventual wife and his four best friends. They are all in their mid-twenties and live in New York City. What the show does so uniquely is use cut-scenes, flash-backs and alternate telling of stories.

What the show also does so creatively is creating internet add-ons for any sort of website that has been created in show. This has not happened on just one or two occasions, its happened a total of fourteen times through the shows creation. Some of the websites created to coincide with the show are: Barney’s Blog, Barney’s Twitter, Swarley, Ted Mosby is a Jerk, Lily and Marshall Sell Their Stuff, Guy Forces His Wife to Dress to Dress in a Garbage Bag for the Next Three Years, and several others. The show drove so much traffic to these websites that several of them went down because of too much traffic. One of my favorite ones though, has to be a music video created for a music montage on a season 4 episode.

The shows creators actually released two books to go along with the show, one being The Bro Code, a thing often referenced in the show by Barney, one of the shows main characters. The other book was The Playbook was the second book released, which chronicles Barney’s different “plays” when trying to pick up women. CBS does a fantastic job at creating other venues for the show to publicize it, and if you check out the Wikipedia article for the show, all of the websites are laid out for you.

Video Games are No Longer Just Games

January 28, 2010
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Having received a PS3 for Christmas, I am being reconnected to the world of video games for the first time since I owned my last system; an N64 in 7th grade. However, things are not what they once were. Games are not just games, they a franchises. One of the biggest Ps3 franchises is a game set titled Uncharted. Both games have been given the respective title of “Game of the Year” in the respective year they were released (07 & 09). Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune was the first game, and it follows the quest of Nathan Drake, a fortune hunter who recovers the coffin of Sir Francis Drake, an explorer. The game is following the themes of Indiana Jones and Laura Croft. Drake himself is modeled after a young Harrison Ford and Johnny Knoxville. In the second outing of the franchise, Uncharted: Among Thieves, Drake is again thrown into action and adventure when he searches for the Lost Treasure of Marco Polo. With the release of Among Thieves, not only was it declared the best PS3 game of all time, but the franchise was voted the best that the PS3 had to offer.

The praise that this franchise has had has led to many other opportunities, including a movie deal with Colombia Pictures that will be put together in the next few years. While this may be the time of the comic book movies, very few video games are made into movies, and even less into successful ones. But Uncharted is taking the plunge into moviedom, and with the popularity of it, it may become the next big thing.

Microsoft, You’ve Lost Again

January 27, 2010

The release of Apple’s new iPad

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