Search Robot Speak Dead AU: Floyd

It makes no sense to talk like a robot does it? Yet, years of conditioning by search engines have resulted in some rather bizarre sentence construction. Alas, you may return to being a human as you search the Google. With the release of Hummingbird, Google’s latest major algorithm change, you may officially talk to Google the way you talk to your mom. Queries like, “where is the nearest sushi restaurant?” or “what is the capital of Iowa?” will work just as well as “capital city Iowa.” Goodbye robots! While this may seems like a big change to searchers and a bigger change to optimizers, this dates back to 2007. I remember an interview where Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO, said we look for a time when we can ask Google ‘What shall I do tomorrow?’ and ‘What job shall I take?’ It just so happens that 6 years later that became reality. As…

How to Use Google+ Hangouts in Higher Education: Distance Learning With Social Media

I teach a digital media marketing class that’s about a hundred miles away from my office, so this semester I tried an alternative to traditional “distance learning.” Rather than driving on campus every week or prepare stale lectures, I utilized the power of Google+ Hangouts to facilitate half of my classes this semester. Class participation increased dramatically because students were free to chat, tweet or share their feedback without fear of being put on the spot. Every class lecture or discussion is archived and available on the YouTube Channel. More than two-thirds of my students reported improved class engagement and satisfaction from using the Google Hangout classroom. Specifically in this post, I am going to walk through the steps that will help you utilize Google Hangouts in your classroom, but the steps outlined here can also be used for any business, academic or extracurricular purpose. In case you don’t make it all the way to the end…

Google Alerts May Be Dead, and You Don’t Even Know It

Oh Google, you love to draw me in only to drop my favorite services. I have come to rely on Google Alterts to deliver relevant, timely content into my inbox on a broad array of subjects. Google Alerts may already be dead, and you don’t even know it. Especially, as I’ve been talking about content curation so much recently, Google Alerts is one of the top entry points into my content funnel. The frequency and depth of my Google Alerts began to wane in December 2012, but in late January I noticed that the lag in reporting was far from “as it happens.” Ego alerts were taking 3-4 days to hit my inbox where they took minutes only months ago. So, when I saw Danny Sullivan’s post Dear Google Alerts: Why Aren’t You Working? I knew that I wasn’t alone: One of Google’s oldest features is Google Alerts, where you can enter keywords…

The High Cost of Free – When Google’s Beta has Bite (Google Reader Edition)

Google’s announcement to put a bullet in Google Reader took the interwebs by storm last week. There are hundreds of posts circulating about why Google did it and all of the alternatives. Image taken from YouTube footage of Tommy Johnson. This isn’t the first time a favorite software has reached its demise. Posterous was a simple blog interface. After Twitter’s acquisition, they tombstoned it. Google Wave & Google Buzz each offered unique albeit flawed solutions to collaboration and communication (building blocks of each appear in Google+). So, why do companies, especially Google, take a popular tool and not only stop supporting it but put a bullet in it altogether? In this Wired article, Farhad Manjoo highlights the inherent danger of relying on cloud solutions that are here today and gone tomorrow: Reader’s death illustrates a terrible downside of cloud software—sometimes your favorite, most indispensable thing just goes away. Yes, software would…

Welcome to a Technologically Integrated World

When I first saw this commercial, I thought it was for Siri, or perhaps Google Glass. I was mildly disappointed to see that it was for Charter. We’re not far away from a world that integrates passive and active information streams. A few years ago, I called it the devicification of the web. I know: “nerd.” We’ve seen the “soft” version of this idea with all of the smartphone “apps” created over the last 5 years. Very few “apps” are different than web applications, but now we walk around with hundreds of “apps” loaded up on our smartphones. Similarly, in 2005, desktop access to the internet towered over mobile, tablet, kindle, or any other access. Now, we have phones, thermostats, dvrs and refrigerators that are all connected and creating a cohesive yet disintegrated web experience. Maybe this commercial looks like a horror film to you, but it probably looks more…

Did Google Stick a + in the heart of Facebook and Twitter?

Like others in the social sphere, I’ve been playing around with Google+ since its release last week (thanks to James Herbert). Like the Google Buzz experiment, I’ve been casually playing with it to see how Google envisions their second stand in the social sphere. So, I’m a bit cautious to make any predictions as to whether it is truly the Facebook-Twitter-All-Things-Social killer. If you can imagine the cosmic dust swirling around the big bang in the world of the social cosmos, you have seen bits and pieces of Google+: Wave – Do you remember that experiment? The general idea of allowing groups to share information and have a threaded conversation on a particular topic seemed like an enterprise win, but the lack of notifications and nebulous interface made all wave goodbye. Buzz – It was the Twitter killer, but it ended up being the Buzz kill–for me. The privacy faux…

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GET THE MOST OUT OF AUDIOBOOKS

I consume a number of audiobooks, but how do you retain all of the content? Here are a few tips that I use to improve comprehension and use of audiobooks.

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