Is Google Plus (G+) the key in the transition to Web 3.0

A Google account has become the most powerful tool that any entrepreneur or small business owner could ever hope for. While Google’s general public brand has been tied to Search, Google has been building a monopoly that can and will change the shape of business, politics, and education forever. In fact, Google is Web 3.0!

Google has many, many tools and products in its offering, most of which are free! If you have not taken the time to look around I suggest you spend a few minutes and start to familiarize yourself with them, they will save or make you A LOT OF MONEY!!!

Google recently made a few updates, but the top bar has been around for longer than most realize, it is in this bar that Google is writing the book on Web 3.0.

What is it that makes Google such a force? Why is Google Plus or G+ such a big deal?

As seen above, Google has captured the “cloud” era ahead of schedule. Without even looking at the advanced features or Google Apps, one can create and store documents on their google account, set appointments organize and share a calendar, find new information and search for products, solutions, books, or even watch a movie or a how to video.

Social Media has changed the way that people interact and use the web, in fact web 2.0 was all about social media. Websites, software and plug-in updates that allowed people to interact with one another and turned a one directional internet into a multi directional web. In web 2.0 not only can you talk back to the media or information source, you could share it or pass it around. The individual web user could claim the brand of a company for better or worse. Dell had individuals that were not related or employed by the company providing customer support in the forums, and Milton’s Scrabble lost thousands, arguably millions in its brand because two other developers claimed the brand in Facebook.

Web 3.0 has been branded the “cloud” era where information, both public and personal is stored on the world wide web and accessed via data plans, Wifi or traditional cable and dial up. This includes massive files for things like high definition media, entire company databases, etc. This is really not something that is new, just look at how startups like Patch Media use google to simulate a traditional IT infostructure or Saleforce.com to organize track and distribute leads, sales and work. With only one main hub in NYC, Patch Media delivers people and content without traditional overhead in over 800 communities around the United States.

Google Plus bridges the gap between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0

In Google Hangout people interact in a real time public space. Others now have to rethink how they look, speak and the body language or facial features that they use. (The innovative marketers and advertisers will need to think how to get a coke can on the desk during that hangout, how to get a new movie poster on the wall behind that person on the hangout etc.)

Google Hangouts has a game changing advantage for those that know how to present, speak and are truly genuine in public. Users should be aware that this new social tool is a lot like “Larry King Live” and you better be prepared for questions that you may not want to answer.

Google Plus has an A symmetrical sharing system, which means that we can send to others but not get a share in return. G+ from its creation allows users to separate professional and personal lives and even organize beyond the largest separation issue that has plagues social users. This interface along with many other features makes Google Plus the most advanced social media site/tool/software that has ever been created, but all that pales in comparison to why Google is so powerful in web 3.0.

If you are in a space where you are using social in a way that allows you to network and share both your personal life and professional life, what could be better than the Google suite of products? You can share and update documents in real time, video conference, make appointments, develop leads, search out information, shop and buy products, services and so on…

A small business now has an IT Dept. in one place. They can seek out support, generate leads, share reports, organize their schedule, promote their business with video, learn from other videos, advertise in Search, not to mention capture the power of social or viral activity. The digital business can now provide face to face support in a familiar environment something that many still crave.

A teacher or tutor can instruct a class or group from half way around the world, share documents, collect home work in real time. A educator or small college can now reach millions and take online learning into a space that captures the best of brick and mortar with distance learning once only done through text based posts.

A politician can capture and organize moral entrepreneurs, organizations and supporters from an account that brands who they are, what they are doing and interact with them with little or no technical experience or knowledge.

The shift in the world economy has come from millions of individuals competing with large corporations and brands that once held a monopoly on professional marketing, networking and talent. Thanks to a Google account you can now work with the best talent, develop a impressive network and generate a brand that is professional, technologically competitive and organized.

 

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Google Plus: A short Intro to G+

Vic Gundotra of Google explained that, connection is a “basic human need”. The current online choices in social media did not have enough diversity inside each individual social tool.

Who should be worried about Google+:

  • GoToMeeting
  • Flikr
  • Skype
  • Facebook
  • Microsoft
  • EVERYONE!

Bradley Horowitz, VP Products helped build Google+ explained in an interview for Twit:

Google+ allows individuals to create social networks inside a single social tool to share as you want where you want, when you want. It allows you to not only share via a news feed, but puts you face to face with people via video chat or in “Google Hangouts”.

In the real world people interrupt conversations and the technology in Google Hangouts was developed to recognize that and move the camera, its designed to develop the natural communication we see in real life.

Another innovation in Google Plus is Spark. Spark uses google news and google search to integrated with content that you interested in, it will provide a personal filter for content that is fresh and new to generate conversation. It keeps the discovery and sharing within your circles.

Another Great feature of Google Plus is the instant upload feature for Android. It allows users to automatically upload pictures as you take them on your mobile phone, then when you use G+ its loaded and ready to share if you choose.

Huddles is the mobile version of the platform that allows you to interact in small groups, I hope they add video to this, it would make the mobile video a real userfriendly social option.

Changing Social Interaction on the Web:

In Google Hangout people have to interact in a real time public space, something that others will now have to rethinking. Success will now include how they look, speak and the body language or facial features that they use. Google Hangouts has a game changing advantage for those that do know how to present and speak in public and are truly genuine. Users should be aware that this new social tool is a lot like “Larry King Live” and you better be prepared for questions that you may not want to answer.

Stay Tuned for “What does Google+ Really Mean for Google?”

This is a great video look at Google+ and really starts to get to the culture of Google+ at 44 minutes.

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Google: Social, Cloud and more

It seems these days the biggest players in the computer world are raging wars against each other. And this war has the potential of changing the computing world as we know it.

Google wants a share in social media platform and working very hard to create a model that will work. They’ve tried it unsuccessfully with Google Buzz, and scraped the program when it didn’t work. Its newest attempt, called Social Circles, tracks the path Gmail users take through outside networks like Twitter and LinkedIn.

At the beginning of May an e-mail went out to many journalists and bloggers saying: “Google quietly launches sweeping violation of user privacy!”  It whipped the news media into frenzy. According to the e-mail Google was using the little known feature, Social Circles, to “Scape and mine social sites from around the web … and shares that information.” It was traced back to the big PR firm Burson-Marsteller.

When influential privacy blogger Christopher Soghoian was contacted with an offer to help him draft an article about the subject, he wanted to know who is paying the firm for this job.  The PR firm would not divulge the name of its customer. To warn others, Christopher posted that e-mail exchange on his blog instead.

A few days later Facebook admitted to hiring the PR firm to spread rumors about Google’s user privacy. Well, somewhat admitted, anyway. They admitted to wanting to draw attention to that privacy issue, and it wasn’t meant to be a smear campaign. Facebook and the PR company apologized and admitted mistakes (More to come on this tomorrow).

At the world Economic Forum, held in January of this year, Google’s then CEO Eric Schmidt said that Facebook is not the real competitor to Google, but Microsoft.

Whether it had something to do with his replacement is unknown, but finally, two years after Google released its Chrome browser it is about to  launch its first operating system Chrome, threatening the dominance of Microsoft’s Windows.

Google believes that the way the current operating systems work, whether Windows or Mac, is “so 20th century”. Data is stored on the computer’s hard drive, so if it crashes or is stolen, the data disappears with it. When computers break, it is time-consuming and expensive to fix.

For businesses, the expense is even steeper. After spending money on fixing the computers, you end up with an old one with not enough space. It takes backing up and securing against viruses and Trojan horses. Many companies forbid their employees from bringing in thumb-drives for fear of outside viruses getting into the system. The business spends money on IT personal to keep the computers going smoothly. NetApplications, a services firm, says that about 50% of businesses still use Windows XP, a 10 year old operating system. They did not upgrade to Vista or Windows 7.

Google’s solution? A cloud based operating system called Chrome OS which is about to be unveil on June 15.

Everything will be on the server, not on the desktop. No need for a huge hard drive to store information, no need to back anything up. All a user will have to have is a way to connect to the server.

About 20 years ago Oracle CEO Larry Ellison predicted that a “thin client”, a user without a hard drive, would be the future of business computing. There is finally a serious attempt to do that.

The server will be accessible immediately, no waiting time for booting and updating. The business can be accessed from anywhere in the world, from any computer that runs this operating system.

But Google went a step further and changed the business model as well; for the first time Google is providing both the operating system and the computer (the hardware) in a package deal. For $28 a month ($20 only for government and schools) companies can rent a 3G “Chromebook” from Google and get support, all the programs, and exchange and upgrade the equipment. No need to buy computers or programs, no need for an IT department. “We think this can fundamentally change the way people use computing in companies.” Says Sundar Pichai, Google’s SVP for Chrome.

Google partnered with Samsung and Acer to build the hardware. Different kinds of laptops will be available in June. Thin, light, without a hard drive, for the price of a tablet ($300 – $500).

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GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar and ShowMyPc

Remote viewing or remote connections have been an imperative part of the technical support world for many years. However, in more recent years, developers finally found other great formats for remote connection that also has plenty of benefits.

  • Web Meetings and Conferences
  • Webinars
  • Web Training

 Along with other useful aspects, these are some of the reasons why remote connectivity software or programming has become more popular in recent years.

GoToMeeting

GotoMeeting offers their customers a solid package for the price of $49 USD per month. This fee includes integrated VoIP, telephone conferencing service and a single license for unlimited web meetings with up to fifteen participants. With their software package users will be able to:

  • Schedule regular or reoccurring meetings
  • One-click meetings
  • Transfer the mouse and keyboard controls to meeting participants
  • Access to desktop and selected applications
  • Clean screen
  • Instant messaging
  • Activity time-outs
  • Meeting recording

GoToMeeting also allows users to create Webinars. If you are not familiar with the term, think of it as being allowed to attend a large conference from the comfort of your own home.

GotoWebinars allows users to harness the same power of remote meeting interaction but on a much larger scale. Webinars created on this service can accommodate up to 1,000 people and can bring the power of influential interaction, literally, to your fingertips.

How Can A Webinar Benefit My Business?

Using Webinars to market your products or services can offer great benefit in many aspects of your day-to-day business planning by:

  • Reducing travel time so you can focus your efforts on the most important elements of your business.
  • Generating more high-quality marketing leads at lesser cost.
  • Presenting your marketing campaign to up to a thousand people from your home or office computer.
  • Helping to save on the bottom line in travel cost, and other forms of audio conferencing such as international calling. 
  • Reaching locales, niches and regions that you may have been previously unable to market to due to other restrictions.

 Alexa shows that GoToMeeting is ranked globally at #381 while the U.S. shows the highest traffic ranking of #132. Users are predominately Caucasian and African-American women with some college education who use the program from work.

ShowMyPc

In comparison, ShowMyPC is another remote connection service that can help to improve productivity and profitability for your business.

Although it offers the same functions as GoToMeeting it also offers a bit more, as well as the flexibility to choose a package that provides only the features you need. Different packages and capabilities include:

  • Remote Meeting Support – Conduct or attend meetings online.
  • Access Home or Office PCs – Remote viewing and access for technical support activity.
  • Privately Hosted Servers – So that users have the option of their own server for conducting secure meetings or simply secure connections on remote access.
  • Broadcasting Presentations or Classroom Planning – If you have a business that involves training and education this is likely the best option for remote access viewing and interaction.

Considering the packages are separate elements on their own, this is likely the more cost efficient option for those who are just launching this type of web conferencing campaigns while GoToMeeting would provide a better value for those who may need to use all of these aspects of remote viewing in their common activities.

ShowMyPc has attained a global ranking of #41,268 and statistics show that most users browse from work and are predominately educated males between the ages of 25 and 45 with incomes ranging from 30 to 100k USD.

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What is the Microsoft Cloud?

Although the Cloud sounds fluffy and inviting, it really is just another name for the internet. All of us are Cloud users in that aspect, as anytime we use Facebook, or log into Hotmail, we are on the Cloud.

However, recently the Cloud has expanded its niche into an entire new range of different business services. Some of the detailed applications that help business owners are now accessible via the Cloud without the necessity of having them installed on your computer. This gives users the ability to access their information online from anywhere in the world that an internet connection is available.

Although the name ‘Cloud’ was coined for this aspect of internet interaction from the cloud symbol commonly used to represent the web in diagrams and flowcharts, it is a bit more complicated than the name implies. The Cloud uses three distinct types of service.

  1. Platform-as-a-Service
  2. Software-as-a-Service
  3. Infrastructure-as-a-Service

These services can be:

  • Sold on demand. Commonly these services are those that are useful by the minute or hour.
  • Elastic services. These services allow a user to have as much or as little of the specific service.
  • Fully managed services. Users will need nothing but their own computer and a connection to the internet.

Benefits for Business

The bottom line of course, is that the Cloud can save you time and money. Your list of software to be purchased to get your business off the ground can be significantly reduced. With no need to buy multiple copies of individual software, this can be a huge money-saver for any business owner.

There will be no money or time focused on maintaining or upgrading services or software.

It is an easily accessible way to carry out required online tasks.

On-demand access for your employees will cut time wasted and allow them to be more productive and effective with their allotted time. It can also reduce the time they spend communicating with one another.

Cloud can also help to reduce operational and capital expenses depending on what may work best for your particular business. With less management and maintenance time spent the Cloud may, in fact, be a very willing and effective partner in most small, or even larger businesses.

Personal Cloud computing can mean that a user can have every piece of data they need to manage every aspect of their business at their fingertips.

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Visibility Marketing Trends for 2011

As for Businesses and visibility, what can be predicted to be the trends for 2011?

Here are some thoughts:

Web Design – As the reliance on websites becomes widespread for small businesses, so does the competition. How to retain the visitors and make them go to other pages on your site has been a question may want an answer to. The trend for the upcoming year in websites, points to the fact that a basic page is not good enough anymore. Sites are expected to engage, entertain and interact with their visitors. The design process has become simpler and many sites are offering, for small amount of money, templates that and already set up, making them hipper, more fun to use and interactive.

Mobile Connectivity – Smart phones are gathering speed and offer possibilities that we never had before. Almost 50% of business owners already own smartphones. Mobile devices will change how we do business. They offer another platform for advertisement as well.

E Commerce – will continue to grow in popularity. A research done in the beginning of 2010 showed that only 30% of small business websites have e commerce capability.

Social Shopping – and interacting with customers is becoming increasingly important. More businesses will get into the social media plains. First hand recommendations in a saturated world are more important than ever.

Social Media – In the past year many business owners spread themselves thin over many social media platforms. The important thing is, and will remain to be, a consistent message and brand, with exposure to consumers.

Cloud Computing – In the beginning of 2010, a group of internet experts and mavens got together and announced that “we will all be leaving in the cloud by 2020”. It seems to be happening faster than they have predicated. Many business owners realized that cloud computing is very beneficial. It eliminates the need for an office and a desk. Everything can be accessed from mobile devices (laptops, tablets and smartphones). Having the ability to see everything that goes on, wherever you are anytime you choose to, is becoming a reality with cloud computing. It is the ultimate “virtual office”.

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