Googleholic for June 20, 2008
In this edition:
- Upcoming AdWords system maintenance
- Sites gets new features
- YouTube tries long-form
- YouTube introduces Screening Room
- Google Docs on ultraportables
- Google Finance adds cash tracking
Upcoming AdWords system maintenance
AdWords will be down for maintenance Saturday June 21, 2008 from approximately 10 a.m - 3 p.m PDT. While users will not be able to login to their accounts, all AdWords campaigns will run as usual. Google says that this maintenance may take up to an hour longer than its typical sessions.
Although AdWords usually has routine maintenance on the second Saturday of each month, this month is special.
[via Inside AdWords]
Sites gets new features
Google has added some new features and improvements to the latest release of Google Sites. Sites, which was born out of Google's acquisition of JotSpot launched earlier this year as a way for users to create group collaboration tools alongside other Google services.
The new features include an auto-save in edit mode (to prevent lost work), the ability to change page names and URLs at any time, support for links in lists, forward linking, and custom landing pages.
[via Google Sites Blog]
YouTube tries long-form
YouTube has been extraordinarily successful in-spite or because of their dedication to limiting the length of clips. For most users, videos uploaded to the site are limited to 10-minutes in length (users who were part of the original "Director program" have grandfathered privileges to upload longer clips). This was done in part to curb copyright infringements and also because web video is often more successful and digestible in smaller bites.
Thus, it was a bit of a surprise when Google outlined a new long-form policy to content partners last week. The new policy, which will be exclusively available to existing partners or independent filmmakers who sign an agreement with YouTube, will now be able to upload feature-length content to YouTube. Long-form content is limited to 1 GB in size, which in standard definition can yield about 90 minutes.
So why is YouTube doing this? Silicon Alley Insider surmises that the key is in the advertising YouTube can sell on longer videos. Monetizing YouTube has been a struggle, in part because it is difficult to sell ads on short clips.
[via Silicon Alley Insider]
YouTube introduces Screening Room
In the same vein as our last story, YouTube has just announced the launch of the new YouTube Screening Room. The YouTube Screening Room will showcase short films from filmmakers around the world. Many of the films have been featured at international film festivals. Every two weeks, four new shorts will debut in the Screening Room.
The debut showcase features an Academy Award nominee, an Academy Award winner, an animated Opera, and a short from acclaimed indie director Miguel Arteta ("The Good Girl," "Chuck and Buck" and episodes of The Office, Ugly Betty and Six Feet Under).
Google Docs on ultraportables
As liliputing becomes increasingly popular and more and more ultraportables enter the marketplace, web services are starting to think about how to best serve those users. In the Google Docs Blog, Regina from Docs User Operations details her experience using Google Docs on her new Eee PC. She also asks for input from users on things Google can do to make the experience better for ultraportable users.
If you have an ultraportable and have used or tried to use Google Docs, leave some feedback.
Google Finance adds cash tracking
With the recent addition of real-time quotes and some interface redesigns, Google Finance has started to become a real contender in the finance tracking space that is still largely dominated by Yahoo!. Now Google has added a feature that will greatly improve the functionality of its portfolio feature: cash tracking!
Uses can now add and subtract cash to every portfolio they maintain. Additionally, users can also link stock transactions to their cash balance so that purchases and sales create a matching debit or credit, keeping total portfolio values in-check with their actual valuation.
Note: No actual cash is added or subtracted to these accounts, this is for tracking purposes only.
Google promises more feature enhancements to portfolios in the future.
[via Google Finance Blog]