This is the last of the four webinars that I produced for our clergy. This topic covers Google+, Hangouts and Drive. I hope that our clergy will find this useful in figuring out how to use these important collaboration tools.
On a personal note, scheduling four webinars for the same week was a bit aggressive. Perhaps future episodes should be spaced out a bit more.
This is the third of four online training webinars that I am working on at work. We are starting this new emphasis on empowering our clergy using the Google+ Hangout system. We suffered a glitch in the webinar today where it didn’t seem to be recording the first few minutes to the archive. I noticed that it had glitched during the presentation and started it up at somewhere around the 12-14 minute mark. The archive missed the introduction as well as a description of the major browsers. The main part of the discussion was preserved.
In case you are wondering, you should use Google Chrome for everything. Period.
We are experimenting at work with technology webinars delivered over the Google+ Hangout system. This was the first of four that I am working on this week. It’s a very basic discussion of the history of technology, where are are now and a brief overview of social networks and hardware options. The class is designed for our clergy that want more of an overview of various technology topics. It was well received when I went on a recent training trip so I thought I would repackage it here for online viewing. You can find out more about the webinar schedule here: http://nccumc.org/it/webinars/.
I have narrowed down my Google Reader replacement choice to either Feedly or The Old Reader. I have set up accounts with both services and tried using each for a few days. Here’s what I’ve found:
Feedly has a nice looking interface that takes some time to adjust to.
Feedly was the first service that I tried to use. After being used to the Google Reader interface for several years this was quite an adjustment to make. I was looking for a concise presentation of headlines with perhaps a small snippet of the article itself. Feedly’s interface concentrates more on the presentation of the data instead. It took me awhile to get used to this interface. The mobile apps for this service mirror the website closely. I was able to use it on my smart phone, tablet, laptop and desktop computer.
The Old Reader has the closest interface to Google Reader. Mobile support isn’t that great though.
The Old Reader had the closest interface to Google Reader. The layout felt familiar and was the easiest to adjust to. The biggest problem with this service was the lack of good support for mobile devices. There is no corresponding app for smart phones or tablets. The website interface didn’t seem to work well in the mobile browser. I kept accidentally clicking the wrong links as I was using it.
At the end of the day I decided to stick with Feedly. Both sites were very easy to configure and start using. After I imported my Google Reader feed list they picked right up where Google dropped me. Even though Google Reader is still going for a few more months I’ve already switched. The key factor in my decision was mobile support. You just can’t beat a solid mobile app.
Google announced today that one of my favorite web services will be shut down:
We have just announced on the Official Google Blog that we will soon retire Google Reader (the actual date is July 1, 2013). We know Reader has a devoted following who will be very sad to see it go. We’re sad too.
I don’t think they feel as sad about it as I do. I have used this service nearly every day since it launched way back in 2005. I manage literally hundreds of feeds and scan through thousands of posts every week. I access it via the website and all of my mobile devices. To be honest, I’m not sure what I’m going to do to replace this service.
So, what’s a good replacement service that offers the same (or similar) feature set?
It looks like Google is going to end support for the Gmail mobile app on the Blackberry platform:
Beginning November 22, 2011, we will end support for the Gmail App for Blackberry(installed native app). Over this past year, we’ve focused efforts on building a great Gmail experience in the mobile browser and will continue investing in this area.
Users may continue to use the app, if installed, however it will not be supported by Google, or available for download starting November 22. BlackBerry users can continue to access Gmail through the mobile web app at http://www.gmail.com in their BlackBerry web browser.
Anyone that has the app installed on their phones now will be able to continue using it. I wonder how long it will be before a system update to the Gmail service will break these unsupported apps? If you have to wipe your Blackberry after November 22nd (and let’s face it, we’ve all had to wipe our Blackberries before) you will no longer be able to install the application.
The best bet is to go ahead and start switching over to the mobile application now. I’ve always preferred to move to a new platform on my own time. Waiting until it breaks is a recipe for disaster. You’ll likely be stuck and waiting on the IT guys to return your call.
I can’t say that I am surprised by this. At work we have been encouraging our end users to migrate away from the Blackberry platform for a few years now. Most of our smart phone folks have moved to either the Android or iPhone platforms but there are still a few that like to use their Blackberries. I wonder which app will be the next to end support?
My latest article is up on the Faith & Technology Blog. I discuss the recent Priority Inbox and Conversation View changes in Google Apps and Gmail. Now it’s time to start thinking about the next topic!
We have officially shut down our Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 e-mail server. All of our staff e-mail accounts have been successfully migrated to the Google Apps collaboration system. We still have over 1,000 accounts on a few other servers but this is a significant milestone in the overall migration project. Here’s to progress!