Couple of interesting bits recently. First, looks like Google may be readying a CommissionJunction rival. I think that would be pretty cool. We haven’t had a lot of success with affiliate marketing on NetworthIQ (ok, actually zero success as in not a single conversion) through CJ. But, I don’t really blame that on them. It just hasn’t been a priority, so I haven’t done much research/tracking/experimenting, other than throwing a coupld LMB, ING, and Vonage ads up. However, it never hurts to have competition in the market.
Then we finally learned what Amigo is all about. Adsense for newsletters. Pretty simple, but one of those ideas that strike you as “hey, that’s pretty cool, hasn’t somebody done that already?” I’ll try to give it shot, especially now that we have over 1000 subscribers to our newsletter. Maybe this will be the motivation I need to actually send a newsletter consistently.
I jumped at the Google Spreadsheets launch (more here) and wanted to share my first impressions. It sure gets the closest to Excel that I’ve seen so far. I was incredibly impressed. The editing, formuals and sheets functionality is very well done. You can even change sheets with CTRL-PgDn like in Excel, although if you have mutliple tabs open in Firefox it will change the sheet in your spreadsheet and then change tabs (so if you want to use this feature, make sure you have your spreadsheet in a single tab instance of Firefox). The only thing that I couldn’t find that I use regulary in Excel, was autofill.
Google’s office suite is rounding into good form. I’m now using Gmail, Google Calendar, and Spreadsheets. I’m sure I’ll use writely as well when the need arises (currently just have one document in Writeboard in Basecamp’s free plan).
As of today, I am now using the big three email betas: Gmail, Windows Live Mail Beta, and Yahoo! Mail Beta. I have entirely too many email accounts, but it’s interesting using the different clients. I’ve been using Gmail heavily for a couple months, I just switched to the Yahoo! mail beta last week, and to the Winodws Live Mail Beta today. I’ll spend some time analyzing the three over the next few weeks and see which one comes out on top. First impressions are that the Gmail is great, Yahoo! rocks, and Windows Live Mail needs some work.
I hate sounding so negative all the time about Microsoft stuff, as I’m currently working with the .Net technology stack. So, I’m going to try to find some positive Microsoft stuff to talk about as well. I don’t have anything against Microsoft really, but the other guys are just doing a better job right now. I can tell you that Windows Live Mail is still better than Verizon’s webmail product. See, positive already.
News yesterday about the Google Labs release of Google Transit (via SearchEngineWatch). It’s pretty cool that Portland is featured. Being that I live in the Portland area, it’s also pretty easy for me to test it out.
Overall, I was pretty impressed, I could see this being a very useful tool to figure out approximate routes. Considering that most public agencies probably don’t have top-notch web talent like Google does, this could be very helpful. The specifics were a bit disappointing though.
I routed my commute to work, which only has bus service, no MAX. I have taken the bus a few times, so I know it takes about 20-30 minutes (never any traffic). Google says 19 minutes in transit, pretty close. But, it got the bus stop stop wrong, saying I’d have to walk 13 minutes to get on the bus where it suggested, when really it takes about 2 minutes. I’m not against walking or anything, but no need to brave the cold this time of year more than I have to.
I’m seeing a delete option now in the actions menu in Gmail. Is this new? It always bugged me that the interface discouraged me from deleting anything. Interesting that they decided to go back to the model all other email clients use.