Posts tagged google

Google and Reader Demise

What can i say that hasn’t been said, Google decided to drop and kill Google Reader a not so mainstream Google product that was loved by pretty much every geek, developer and tech journalist, and for good reason even if RSS never went mainstream (its mainstream just by other means, apps like Flipboard use RSS) its still a very important part of the structure of the web, however the points i want to focus on is Google’s latest attempts at streamlining their product line and how that is putting Google’s of alienating the very people that support Google.

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me

This isn’t the first time Google has dropped a popular or semi popular product, but on doing so its neglecting all the users that invested their time on that product, it created distrust and in this case by going after Google Reader it really doesn’t matter if they back-down, I’ve and most are moving on to greener pastures, the broken promises of Google App Engine and basically pushing everyone that had a free account to paid and overcharging on top of that, Google+ forced real name policy basically blocked me and most of my friends (that aren’t really tech savvy) and a large segment of the tech community to dismiss Google+ pretty much forever and now with the death of Google Reader I’m starting to move from distrusting Google (mostly for privacy concerns) to one of not trusting Google to keep their promises and doubting the longevity of their entire product line, why should i care about Google products if they can randomly be cut down? I wont be fooled again…

Google is a new social/media company

This new Google has good things, but they are starting to get too few and far between, i used to trust Google, now i get excited with stuff that moves me away from anything Google related, Firefox OS, secure chat and new search engines that give me privacy and protect my rights, i dream about a fully encrypted webmail to ditch gmail for good (the last Google product that i use daily, yep i rarely use Google search anymore… sorry Firefox >_< ), Google as changed from a product oriented company to one more interested in gaining users and providing media, they want to be Yahoo (and look how that turned out), by pissing users they go to competing products, why use blogger? when you can use better and more innovative services like Tumblr or WordPress that care for your privacy and rights that you can contact support and talk with real people when you have an issue, why risk with Google they already killed Picnik so Picasa in on the way, in a couple of years Google will be just Google+ but by that time the “influencers” have moved on and with them everyone else, sure there will be People that same way there are still people in Flickr or use Yahoo searc… coof coof Bing, but most wont be and wont care!

Readers Demise is Google’s Demise

Google Reader to me is pretty much the last drop, I’m tired of it really, so i will be slowly moving away from Google products, not because of Reader, but the accumulation of clear signals from Google, their moto “dont be evil” has already been distorted to the point of being meaningless, the safe bet nowadays is to hedge your bets and avoid Google’s Products you are probably using too many of them already and opening yourself to more problems and issues, the love affair with Google is over, i want a divorce! Sure this isn’t the end far from it, hell this blog is still written on blogger, but its for sure another step and i for one am glad i wont be so dependent on Google.

As a side-note and to not make this just a rant I’ve been trying some alternatives to Google Reader, ill probably post a more detailed review when i find something good, ohh and the new Dig team is making a feed reader hehehe yeah that was the best joke i got from this idiotic move from Google. > still pulling feeds, interesting layout, pretty quick, i like the sparsness > oldie but still good, the problem is that its just good enough, the layout/speed/features are meh > looks reasonable, but still pulling feeds, slow and i cant judge it yet (still they are overloaded, so its understandable) > looks pretty good/speedy/original, but i dont like their fremium model, slow updates and low feeds (used to be 64 now its 12? make up your mind) if you dont pay up its a bellow any rss reader average, naaa ill give this one a skip, i prefer a fremium model where you get something sweet extra for paying not a crippled basic account

Why Am I Moving Away from Google Analytic’s

Oh Urchin how far have you fallen… the old Google Analytic’s interface is dead and now we are all forced into the new interface, not that i care that much and yeah the new interface as a huge bunch of new features, like real-time stats, multi-channel funnels, social stats, mobile stats and a bunch of other neet stuff, thats cool, but that’s not all…

So my reason to drop Google Analytic’s is simple, unlike what Google might want you to believe, the service is not free, Google gets a lot back from “offering” Google Analytic’s, it can increase its tracking of the internet, even if anonymous, its still more power to Google’s big brother machine, also its a way like Google Webmaster to find more about the web, who links to who and how, its also a way of pushing its Adwords business, still I’m not that paranoid and i did feel like what Google offered was a pretty simple and advance stats tool.

So yeah… my real reason to quit is their re-design, the new Google Analytic’s has lots of awesome features, but unfortunately it completely and absolutely sucks if you have more than 1 site, the new design didn’t just add stuff it removed a lot of old stuff and made the whole interface slower and clunkier, here are some of the stuff i hate on the new Google 

  1. The Whole Stats Engine is Slow – Maybe because of the real-time stuff, I’ve seen it drag down page load even with asynchronous loading (that just means it doesn’t block other page elements, it still takes some time to load).
  2. The Interface is Slow – Its kinda going a bit of the way of Gmail, you keep adding stuff and the beautiful Ajax becomes a dragged out process, if you see small yellow “loading” markers or full page “please wait loading”, then the ajax interface isn’t helping at all.
  3. The Interface is Confusing – Quoting the Google 
    Analytic’s team “We are particularly proud of the attention to detail that our user experience team has put into making the interface easy to use, understandable and beautiful”, hummm Google? hello! your user experience team sucks! beautiful… well maybe, it does conform better with Google’s now passion with grey and orange, but easy to use and understandable that’s just funny, now, to do the exact same things that you used to do, you have to click 3 times more, stuff is hidden or on different places, it also has a lot of stuff laying around and 1/3 is always junk (links to news and help and other Google products…).
  4. You Cant See Aggregation Stats – Ohh yeah have more than 1 site? you used to be able to know how your network was doing, now you cant… why? its not that hard to add it.
  5. You cant see Simplified Stats of every Site – There is no way to give a quick glance on all the sites you have, see like before 2 or 3 simple metrics, like visitors, pageviews and trend (if you your visitors are up or down), no you get white space for your trouble.

But don’t trust my word, here are some examples of what i’m talking….

Google Analytic’s Dashboard

What am i supposed todo with this? its a huge blank page starting at me, has no value, no data, just a bunch of junk… so anyone starting Google Analytic’s does so with at least 1 extra click!

Joking! you need 2 extra clicks to go anywhere, brilliant stuff here!

Domain Stats Page

What is this… madness!!!! Yep that’s the main page, filled with… lots of redundant junk, badly organized and slow as shit, yes i know you can customize, but come on!!!! i have 70+ sites and 100+ domains, am i going to customize every single page to make it bearable?

Ohh you wanna change the domain? its just a easy 4 step process!

So to sum it up, i call this one a FAIL! the new Google Analytic’s is new eye candy with new features, but for that they destroyed the usability and good old features, that coupled with slow speed and awkward interface kinda killed it for me, I’m moving to WordPress Stats and Statcounter, i know i wont be able to see aggregated stats but at least these ones are cleaner and quicker and i can always add later on a quick stat package for my entire network.

Blogger Changes for Worst

Ok, I admit it! I use Blogger, actually i use it on 2 of my sites (this site! and on ecchi), the reason for that
is mostly legacy, that and they are 2 fanboyish sites, where i randomly
post random stuff, so there is no big need for more control or whatnot,
they exist mostly as scraps and places to vent, after all thats why
sites like Blogger, Tumblr or exist, to make it easy as
pie to publish content, or so it would seem.

So why am im not
enjoying the new Blogger? its a much needed refresh after mostly years
of neglect! True, and change in my view is mostly always a good thing,
but this new blogger feels and seems like change for the sake of change,
like when Adoble launches a new product line or Firefox launches a new
version (both have a tendency to instead of improving the old to push the new), so what are my gripes?

The Blogger Dashboard

the new dashboard is a remake of the old one, thats fine with me, also
there are some good things about it, showing some micro stats and some
quick links (although those were also on the old layout), thats good! if
you have 2 blogs, but if you have 20, its pretty shitty! the whole
design, is so wide and white that you are lost in it, it takes so much
room that only 5 blogs appear.

Also the new dashboard is
incredibly slow, everything takes a couple more than it should, Google
sees html as slow, AJAX is the way of the future, everything updates
itself, its all seamless and awesome!!! well No! Not really, the
whole thing is a mess, its like when you click on a link on a html site
you feel the microseconds to jump to the next page, its like a snap
feeling (page refreshes to show a new page), here you have the slow drag
feeling, the page doesn’t refresh but it loads… eventually.

whoever designed this was high on orange and on wasting space, from the top down, first
grey bar you have the blogger logo and on the other side my nickname and
some links to edit my profile or google account… great use of
space, especially on 2 features that… humm everyone uses all the time?

bar you have my nickname again and the title! my blogs! oh how sweetly irrelevant, on the other side of the bar you get 2 drop-downs, one for
language (something i like to see all the time and change constantly to keep myself
fresh) and options, of course all of these options are absolutely
positively super duper handy! Here they are:

  • Blogger Help – The first option? I think this needs no further comment.
  • Send
    – Hum? Im seeing double, in the bottom there is a button saying
    the exact same thing, hell that button is on every page!
  • Connect to Google+ – Yes we all know Google hates Orkut.
  • Old
    Blogger Interface
    – My favorite option! i think it should have its own
    button and be called “Go back to the new new blogger, its the same as
    the old but still better than the new”, ohh maybe thats too much text
    for a button, but im glad it made it into this crowded options menu.
  • About New Look – For when “Blogger Help” and “Send Feedback” is just not enough!

you get the blogs displayed, of course to create a new blog, you just
click the button “New Blog” you cant miss it, cause that tiny button is
taking a 1\3 column on the left side, I also like the responsive design
tweaks, but just if you have 1024px or lower screen, if you go higher
you just get extra empty space… how responsive of you.

also decided to continue including the reading pane (basically a poor
man’s google reader), who uses this? Let me think of a time i needed to
get into my blogging software to read other peoples shit? hummm suffice
to say its not practical, its not nice, its basically throwing random
feeds at you. Ohh and of course it takes half the screen and there is no
way of minimising or closing it, you just have to try and use a bit of
imagination, and think of a blogger dashboard without that oversized rss

The new dashboard also hangs/goes into a infinite loop if
you try to login forcing https, yeah, who wants encrypted logins…
what do you have to hide, blogger guy! no one reads your cat blog

The Blogger Editor

Did i say
the dashboard was slow? sorry i mean everything is slow, its slow in
firefox, safari and even google’s chrome, its slow by design, if you
concentrate and listen… listen really well… you can actually hear
the screams of javascript dying, thats how slow, unresponsive and
obnoxious it is!

But when it eventually loads something, you are greeted with even more white and orange, its like writing in a Sunnny D comercial, its so refreshing that im actually becoming orange blind.

Here however there is a somewhat better use of the white space, but still their “responsive design”
leaves a lot to be desired, their sidebar on the left side only
minimizes if your screen is small, if its large its always open, no
choice, also on the “Compose” side of things you have a tiny tiny box to
write, while on the “HTML” you have a large box, and going back and forth
actually loses formatting (a space written on html is not translated into
compose, you literally have to put the html tag for space or
paragraph), thats just silly, the HTML part on a editor is not really to edit html its to tweak the code of a post…

Also your infinite image posting
options, not that its a bad thing, i prefer more than too few, its just a bit confusing, like
you dont know if you are posting images on Picasa or Blogger (or is that gone?) from Picasa or from Google+ or from your webcam, where
do those go? into Picasa or Google+, i dont know… maybe i shouldn’t touch it more!

The New Themes / Dynamic Views

Should i mention those weirdly, barely functional, cooliris wannabe clones (being cooliris kinda a apple coverflowish clone), javascript infilled, bloat hazardous new themes?

Who had this great ideia? Hummm? I bet it was the same guy that designed the new blogger, he just went nuts on a power-trip, the new themes are simply not good, they break a lot of function and usability for the sake of fancy effects, blogs are to be read and enjoyed, not to be wowed by fancy sliding effects, although nice, they add little to nothing for the reader/visitor, it actually makes it worst.

  • These new themes are slow! – You betcha, a theme that has a loading icon is already a sign of bad things to come (like a software with a splash screen), especially when blogger staff says they load 40% faster… what? ohh you mean after the long loading signs it becomes faster? ohhh no? it must be one of those “perceived faster”, or maybe a sidebar is 40% of the design, if we kill a sidebar… 40% faster! by the way the screenshot on top of a dynamic view loading was super easy to take, no need to hurry before it finished loading…
  • These new themes are not easy to navigate! – They aren’t! Sure the fonts are nice and readable, but you can choose any font for your blog, but try and navigate anywhere on a dynamic view…  let this scrolling quest begin!
  • These new themes are all basically the same! – They are and half of them aren’t even that nice, and most are made for a specific kind of formated posts, so any average blog will look like shit in them!
  • These new themes have crippled search! – Try it on a average sized blog… i dare you! … to find anything…
  • These new themes have no sidebar! – So they basically want to push oversized, slow jazzed up tumblr themes on everyone… nice…

We all know Google quit the “Dont be evil” some time ago, and although i still use some Google products i cant say i trust them all that much, for sure me, like most of you will stay very clear from things like Google+ and Google Drive, as i would never sign up my cat to Google+ , if not the subpar facebook clone, the risk of his account getting banned and all his cute kitty pictures being lost forever… NOOOOO!

But when did Google stop making clean, simple and fast designs? Google Search is as bloated as ever, sometimes i have difficulty searching cause im writing something and instant is firing off and pages are loading and i realise that i cant even concentrate on what i was searching (and yes i know you can disable it, but how many times have i disabled instant or safe filter to have them show back on later on, even when im logged in!), what happen to the mili-second clean pages of search? what happen to clean, simple UI’s and focused design on one thing that does one job awesomely well!

Well, yeah the new updated Blogger sucks, its slow, buggier, way more complicated than it
should be, not that user-friendly and overall a disappointment, and
most likely when this new blogger turns into the official one, ill have
to pack my bags and move over to tumblr, apparently the only sensible offering on
the market today.

Note: Why no, well I also have
some minor issues with since they seem in comparison with
blogger and tumblr, the ones that offer less options and flexibility, ohh and worst! they are way more picky about the kind of content they let you publish (the 2
blogs i had there were “suspended” at one point or another), yes i know its their choice and
platform, and yes they eventually un-suspended me, but that just makes
me stay away.

Note 2: As I wrote this post on Gmail and
copy pasted to Blogger, im sure Google tracked that action down, later today some Google manager will look at that log and think … humm this should be on the next Gmail build! so just after the Gmail+, Google will launch the brand new Gmailer+ hey and its a success already, from day 1 it has a bazzilion users! Blogging right from your Google+ i mean Gmail, ahhh you know what that means! Humm now that i think about it… at least it would be a better Blogger!

Google Drive and Cloud Storage

So Google just launched Google Drive and although this has been quite a week on the cloud, and the response from the web to “Google’s Dropbox Clone” has been mostly “meh”, i do understand the sentiment, it is basically a Dropbox Clone, sure it has some new features but those are mostly baked into Google Docs already, so what is my view on this Goggle Docs+ i mean Google Drive…

Oh Shit it does Sync!

That’s awesome if it was released in 2006, its 2012 now and there are plenty of sync everywhere including cloud services, some more simple, some more fancy, but that’s pretty much the service, Google launching it now, feels and seems like an afterthought, because Microsoft and Apple went into it, they better do it as well, also it pretty much does only that, its a sync engine for Google Docs and that service although cool is not that awesome and it doesn’t replace at all using a local office software.

Oh Snap Google Owns Me!

So most of us are loyal and use a lot of Google Services, i know i do, and the day some algorithm in Google decides to suspend my account for some random reason (ie a bad Google Adwords ad, or putting my nickname on Google+ or whatnot), and of course i can trust the non-existent Google support to help me out, so yeah, using Google nowadays should be done with a backup/alternative always in mind.

Worst! Google unfortunately resides in the USA the home of such nice things as the Patriot Act and the reason why a lot of companies don’t host any personal/private information in the USA, cause its too easy to just go into your files, you need warrants and judges to go to your home to check your computers, but going to your cloud files… hummm not so much, and with the latest CISPA, it will just get worst, if banks/governments dont trust putting anything inside US borders, why should we trust Google with our stuff?  (ie i know most other cloud hosting are on US, im just stating the fact that Google is also).

Oh Jeez i have to Pay!

So Google launches Drive and decides to updates its storage price, and the web gives a sigh…

If Google Drive was launched with the previous storage prices it would have been an awesome cloud hosting mini revolution, i would see people using and integrating Google Drive in lots of different ways just to find uses to that cheap pricing on storage, but no! the new prices are 4X or more expensive than it used to be, and now its price is just on par with the cheapest of the pack, so why choose Google Drive? Not on storage price!

Its a Google App Engine all over again, they start with a really cheap price and then when people start using it they change the rules of the game, so if anyone is already deep down on Google Services and needs more storage, they will have to pay 4 times or more just to have THE SAME STORAGE THAT THEY USED TO HAVE! its ridiculous and in my opinion its another huge fail from Google.

But wait it gets worst, now with the new storage prices, Google Services have all different storage limits, like Gmail has 10GB, but Drive has only 5GB and Picasa has 1GB what? but Google+ Photos is unlimited, its ridiculous and besides making it more complicated it also kills the gmail “you never have to delete an e-mail ever again” popular slogan, cause now gmail storage stopped growing… thats just sad T_T so sad…

Oh Wow it kinda Sucks!

Ok so Google Drive is syncing to Google Docs, but…no not really, since your documents formatted with Google Docs wont sync, yeah thats right, they will only live only on the Google cloud, so when Google kills your account those files will be lost forever, nice file sync Google, its mostly one way… plus at least in my opinion, not supporting linux is just another silly mistake.

Also Google’s new “all services have the same terms of service” makes Google retaining/granting ownership or license of any material you upload, unlike competing syncing services, if you put something on Google, even if you delete it later on, Google still owns some rights to it, i know! its fucking embarrassing and ridiculous.

Oh chucks i quit!

So whats my take on this Drive… humm ill skip this one, it kinda just makes me dislike Google even more, the old Google ignored users, but this new Google just doesn’t respect its users, Google’s moto “dont be evil” is pretty close to becoming moot.

Google Adsense is Ridiculous!

This shit keeps getting worse, talk about monopoly, i follow google adsense rules to the letter and i still keep getting the “review of your account we found that you are currently displaying Google ads in a manner that is not compliant with our program policies”, the fact is that im always in compliant, but since there is no recourse with Google, there is no one on the other side, i have no choice but to NOT use Google Adsense on that site, its silly, stupid and arrogant.

Why? Cause they give you no choice! and i quote “Your AdSense account remains active. However, if we continue to find problems, we may disable your entire account. Therefore, we suggest that you take the time to review the rest of your network to ensure that all of your other pages are in compliance with our policies.”, the sites in question, are pretty big sites, galleries, blogs and directories, there is no adult content or linking to adult content, but Google decided that it links to Adult sites!

What? what are the urls of these sites that Google considers to be adult sites?

Who? are these sites, it could be any comment on the blogs/galleries or site on the directories, this is the 4th site that was found in “violation”, well last time i checked the internet is all about linking, then all the fucking internet is found in violation of google adsense policy! they dont give a fuck, they change the rules in the middle of the game all the time, im a tiny client on their list, but ill tell you this, I keep finding myself getting more and more stressed with Google’s bullshit and that has consequences, not today, but some day.

Google Vs Web Developers

With the recent news about Google’s App Engine pricing, i kinda want to give my own 2 cents, not only on that but also on Google’s attitude towards web developers in general.

So just incase you werent following up, Google on its spree of canceling products, decided to not cancel the App Engine product but instead turn it into a enterprise product, the App Engine is basically a scalable hosting solution, were you can build websites or applications.

So when the App Engine debuted it was touted as a one stop app hosting solution, were you could build your web applications quickly and they would run on Google High End Systems, kind of like Amazon Cloud offerings but simpler and easier to use, well it wasnt really easy, you have the choice of Java or Phython (pretty much) and the system is a bit trickier, but at least it was cheap and once you got it up and running, it was pretty cool, so that premise brought a bunch of developers to the App Engine, hey it wasn’t perfect but it was pretty easy and cheap.

 So fast forward to now and the App Engine is a completely different beast, by switching their pricing model the App Engine has become way more expensive (mostly because before you paid for what you used and now you pay for what you need to use, even if you don’t use it, big difference) and im not saying like 20%, im saying 200%, and so Google’s answer to the outcry was:

  • Pack Up and Go, well that would be great, but most cant, cause to make the site or application you had to custom build it to fit App Engine, even if the languages were universal, moving away turns out to be a costly en-devour, so Google has you locked in (whenever i see Google announce another fake information liberation campaign i cant help but chuckle),
  • Optimize your Code, if you optimize your code you can make a lot of savings, yeah im actually all for that, but to me, like many other developers, we optimize code for performance and for security, optimizing code to run cheaper is for lack of a better word idiotic! developing something is most of the times a hack job that you perfect and improve with time, with App Engine your code better be perfect from the get-go or you gonna have to…
  • Pay More, you betcha, this one is easy, pay enterprise level prices or fuck off.

 So basically Google did a bait and switch, pulled in all this small developers that had the time, interest and risk to create stuff on an untested new platform as the App Engine (cause understandably Large Companies seldom risks trying new things), but now that the system is somewhat stable and ready for prime-time, those same developers get shafted, so in the end whats the point of having a scalable hosting solution if a developer cant afford it.

But this wasn’t the first time and it wont be the last, Google’s only interest is Google bottom-line, that’s it, developing anything on top of Google Services is a huge risk, they also recently disabled a ton of API’s, that a lot of sites depended on and were created on top of, also pushing Google Chrome Only/Optimized features, as well as a bunch of other services.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticizing Google for doing it, i’m just saying that when Google says they are making new tools for developers, new API’s, new hosting platforms, support open source, supporting webmasters… that you should take those offers with a huge grain of salt, for myself, well im off the App Engine and most of my apps wont be moved over, im keeping to what i know, i learned this lesson before, with Ning, with several Hosting Providers and such, never build anything you don’t have absolute control of, lesson learned.

Blogger FAIL with 503 Errors

This is getting ridiculous, but Google Blogger is having a fit since Saturday at about 11:30am CST, random actions give you random 503 errors (by the way 503 Service Unavailable: The server is currently unavailable. Generally, this is a temporary state), from settings to posts, practically everything is being affected, comments as well, hell this post gave a couple before being able to post, and worst is that although there is a huge amount of posts on twitter and Google groups and help regarding this in the last 24hours, but there are no updates on this on Blogger Status or Blogger Known Issues, such a dumb fail again from Blogger >_< but well kinda getting used to the Google wall of silence.

Most likely Blogger hosting system is under some form of unscheduled maintenance or just failing all over the place from overload or just plain fail, pretty much after they announced the new interface (that is a mix bag, for one hand is nicer and cleaner on the other hand its difficult to read and slow as hell to use) for anyone using the draft panel.

Why Does Google Buzz Suck?

Txaaa i normally don’t use this blog for rants about products, heheh anyways, google just launched buzz, its a gmail addon for small talk and sharing of media with your friends, i just don’t understand the point, gmail is awesome because it is simple and to the point, it makes managing your e-mail a breeze, now we have chat and buzz and all kinds of random stuff in there.

We have flickr for photo sharing and photo communities and we have facebook for small talk and basic sharing, nowadays we have all this crossover sharing like posting on twitter also posts on facebook and gmail has chat and i see less and less value in it, why would i use buzz? it just adds more clutter to my e-mail its just a time waster, if you go photo sharing you will still want to post it on flickr as well, if you go talk small or just random sharing you will still want to go to facebook or twitter, so whats the point?

Google should clean up their job with orkut or jaiku, or finally launch a quality skype/pidgin gtalk software that can connect to all the major IM networks as well as provide affordable voice services (connecting with google voice) and quit this idiotic social experiments, its like all the shit with google reader, its too much bloat, after a while it stops being a feed reader, one thing is adding value (gmail labs is a awesome idea), another is adding random stuff that has no obvious purpose and just duplicates functions other sites do better, kinda like google friend connect (com)

S2R is Over with Feedburner

This was the last drop, the only reason for using feedburner in more than 20 of our sites was that it provided a good and reliable storage of the feeds, the ability to manage the feeds and possibly monetise it and above all else because of the feed stats, but in a week time since we moved the feeds from feedburner to google feedburner, the bad service is even worse, its a case of google doing again a shit poor job of a service they bought and in our case its the final drop, and we are dropping the service all together, we prefer the clean workable and always available feed that our sites provide than the broken down mess from google’s feedburner, we are done and we recommend most users to drop them as well… really no point, you lose more than what you win…