From a person who does not have very limited technical knowledge but love blogging, Google has been a great companion and great help. If you are not that tech savvy like me, you may want to try out these tools too. What’s great is that Google offer most of this for FREE.
OK, it may sound as though I am being paid for doing this – but I am really not. I have used applications for Google for so long and they have helped me. So I decided to talk about these applications in this post.
Main Google Applications that I am Using:
Google Search Engine
I practically only use Google to do all my searches. Compared to other search engine, I find the search results displayed by Google are the most relevant to what I want to search for. I am able to learn and research many topics, come across various great sites through the Google search engine. From Google, just click “More” followed by “Even More” and you can view all the other Google applications out there.
As you would have undoubtedly notice, my blogs are all set up using Blogger. Blogger allows you to set up your own blogs or websites without all annoying the pop-ups and advertisements that you may find on other free hosting websites such as geocities and whatever other host servers out there.
- Also, the download speed is awesome- you seldom get pages that hang or being disconnected.
- No doubt, there are limited templates that you can choose form, but you can still personalise your blog to make it look less of a run-of-a-mill type but customising fonts and colors. Another alternative is to get a friend to design a customised template- that Google allows you to lose.
- Well, for me, I am happy just to use whatever is available for me. (update: eff Sept 08, I’ve migrated my blogs from Blogger to a paid domain)
Migrating my previous website to Blogger
Recently, I have migrated most of my content from my geocities website to blogger. I have created the geocities site since 2002 when I am starting out on websites. So I was really reluctant to migrate the contents to anywhere else due to sentimental reasons.
Previously in geocities, I’ve kept most of the contents intact- even though I could not keep adding content because I’ve always approached my space limitation (anything more and I have to sign up for a Geocities account that I have to pay for).
However, when Yahoo started to introduce the data transfer limit, it costs many of my visitors unable to access to my site- many of my visitors love the Astrology section. I only found out after one of the visitors wrote to me to ask me for an alternative site because he could not access to it. I decided then that there’s no point of having a website when people can’t even access to- and thus began the painful process of migrating all my posts to a new blogger account. The site is call: http://yinteing.blogspot.com/ (for Astrology) & http://expressingcreativity.blogspot.com/ (for Craft Creations). My visitors who enjoys the Astrology site have been able to now visit the new blogger site.
I am absolutely crazy about YouTube- whereby you can view videos online. Glad Google bought over YouTube. You can literally search for anything from YouTube- anything at all from cake making, flower decoration, wrapping presents, specific exercise programs, MTVs, advises and tips on anything and everything. I’ve found and compiled my favourite MTVs videos- for a long time, I have wished MTV and Channel V would just show more classics videos for the benefits of folks like me who grew up in the 80s and 90s. Previously when MTV had shown the VH1 program years ago (hosted by VJ Belinda), I adjusted my working schedule just to watch the 12pm and 12am shows- but MTV decided to take away the program. But then, I discovered that YouTube has it all- and so I spend a few weeks to compile all my favourite MTVs and park it at my blog. Nowadays when I blog or surf the net, I watch my MTVs from YouTube along. I am so contended.
The only thing is that you will require broadbrand to play those videos properly and you are unable to save them in your computer. Sometimes, videos are removed due to copyright- you can always try to search the video by the name again. Especially for MTVS, many recording companies such as Universal Music and SonyBMG had set up their own accounts in YouTube to give us the videos there.
Google Custom Search Engine
Today, I’ve just add in the Google Custom Search Engine where I basically pasted the Google search engine on my site to search through all my blogs. So my visitors will be able to type in certain keywords and check if I have posted anything that falls into their topic of interest. Just go to Google Custom Search Engine, sign in with your Google account (or Gmail account) and define the sites that you want to customised the engine to search for. After that, you can request for the code which you can copy and paste into your website or blogs. It’s real cool and it’s free.
All you need to do in order to enjoy everything that Google has to offer is to create a Gmail account. Once you have a Gmail account, you can use it to sign on to all the Google applications. Previously, other email from Yahoo and Hotmail had imposed a mailbox size limitation. Gmail is the first site to introduce a large size that allows you to store unlimited. Creating an account is very fast.
Adsense has been widely discussed in the cyberworld but it was only last week that I had finally figured out how it works and add in to my blogs. Basically, you sign up the Google Adsense account (login using your Gmail id and password) and specify the type of ads you want to place there. Then you get your code and add it to your Blogger account via the Template function. For Malaysians, you can get paid using the Western Union Fast Cash (RHB bank is one of the participating banks). I learned this from here (there are really other helpful people out there).
But of course, you will need to drive a high traffic volume into your site in order to be able to earn a comfortable living from Adsense (there are others who earn a comfortable living through blogging). But at least, I can choose when and where I want the advertisements on my site, rather than my previous geocities website whereby visitors can’t even visit my pages without pop-up advertisements and advertisements on the side of my page.
As a person who loves to research and publish articles online, of course I will be interested in what are the topics that my visitors enjoy reading about. I want my posts to benefit others, as it is my natural tendency to learn and share. That’s why I have installed Google Analytics in my blog- again, you only need to sign in using your Gmail accounts. In my other blog where I write about health, fitness, exercise and losing weight, I realised for instance that a lot of my visitors prefer to find out more about how they can have gymless workout, ie exercise without needing to sign up for a gym. So even though I am an avid gym member, I will research about alternative exercise programs that they can use. Google Analytics had enabled me to do just that.
This is something new that I have just discovered. You can actually save all the websites that you have visited under Google Notebook and sign in from anywhere to access to your favourite site. If you are a person who enjoys going to through the net to do research, you would have collected tonnes of links of other sites. Instead of storing the links in your favourite lists (that may disappear if your PC goes down), you can store them in Google Notebook. With that, you can access it anywhere and continue your research whenever you are.
There are other useful applications such as:
- Google Image: Enable you to find related pictures according to the search word that you use.
- Google Maps: Enable you to locate maps to certain locations, even remote areas.