Any frequent visitor to the WebEden blog knows that we’re big fans of Google. As we discussed last year, Google innovates at a hectic pace, bringing out – and evolving – products at a pace unmatched by other businesses. In the last year alone Google launched 278 fully fledged products or services, each of which would have been a big launch for any other company.
To help keep up with all the new and exciting stuff going on Google have launched a new website called Google New.
They’re using this website to publish news about their latest products and services.
It includes an aggregation of all their blogs and pulls in their latest posts. You can also search Google products, and there’s a product of the day too.
The site also includes a directory every product, advert, developer tools and blogs.
Take a look google.com/newproducts. Or watch a video all about it below.
This week’s top website – and it’s been a long time coming – is WhiskyMerchants.co.uk.
A keen Twitter aficionado and (obviously!) a whisky advocate, WhiskyMerchants.co.uk brings you “information about all types of whiskies, tasting notes, expressions and bottlers”. This includes lots of details about distilleries & their history, visitor centres and all the relevant contact details.
We like this site. It is PACKED with information and tasting notes about every whisky you could think of (and a few more besides). Despite this density the site is easy to navigate and above all displays an enthusiasm for the subject which is pretty inspiring. Take a look!
When did you build your website?
Started building the website in January 2008 and been adding information to it ever since.
Why did you build a website?
One of my rivals had hijacked the advertising space on a whisky information site I was advertising on. So I thought why not build my own and use it to advertise my commercial website
I looked around for some website building software and came across webeden. after reading the positive reviews and the free trial decided to have a go.
What do you like best about your website?
The flexibility, I can add flash video, twitter feeds, news feeds, all this makes it easy to keep the website looking up to date. plus the ease of use, I am a one eyed one finger 50 plus (never been taught) webbie so if I can do it any one can
What is your best website building tip?
Use twitter and Google news feeds. these can be added so as to be always updating your website even when you cannot.
If you want to be featured as our Website of the week, and get exposure to thousands of readers of the WebEden blog, visit the forum now!
At the back end of September 2009 we released a brand new control panel for you to build and edit your website.
It allowed more rapid access to certain features, with some new functionality too.
At the time we said that we would at some point stop support the old toolbar and phase it out. That point has been reached! When the next major release goes out (the new blog), the old toolbar will be retired.
Of course 90% of you are on the new control panel in any case, but for those who have stuck with the old one you will be automatically migrated to the new.
If you want to manually upgrade then you can do so by going to:
This is what it looks like:
Here’s what we think the new control panel is good for:
*Use the full screen browser for editing – you can move edit tools outside the boundary of your site
* Zoom in/out while editing – you make your site bigger/smaller to help ’see’ it in full glory
* Sticky edit tools – the Toolbar remains at the top and the Editor will remain on screen as you scroll up and down
* Show off-screen objects – if you drag something off your site (outside the boundary), you can choose to hide or display off screen objects (new under ‘view’)
* Detailed insert menu – more objects can be added in one click, including some new HTML snippets (’Insert’ menu)
* Quick pages menu – includes quick ways to add pages, copy pages and change page length, plus edit meta data (for search engines) more quickly (see ‘Pages’ menu)
* Links to other services – Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, AdSense can all be viewed without leaving your site (new ‘Services’ menu)
Are you a big mobile texter? Do you make use of predictive text? The feature -which guesses what word you’re trying to type saving you the effort of actually doing so – has made texting much quicker and more nimble.
With ‘Scribe’ Google have decided to bring that idea to documents, Scribe lays out possible endings to each word or phrase based on what you’ve already typed. As you type you can choose the auto-complete suggestion that best fits your sentence.
The suggestions also include what is ‘normally’ or popularly used to end each sentence.
There’s no doubt – as with predictive text – that this sort of thing takes a bit of getting used to. Having tried it myself it went from intriguing to annoying and then finally useful in about 20 minutes.
Last year we brought you news of Google’s plans in Social Search. Take a look at that post to see Google’s Matt Cutts talk all about what it actually is.
Finding out what your friends think
Briefly, Social Search is when results and content posted by people in your social circle are surfaced in the search results page.
For example, lets says you’re searching for an ‘Italian Restaurant in Reading’. It might be that recently a friend of yours has visited an Italian Restaurant in Reading and has made a comment about it on Facebook. Social Search would return a set of results that included the comments made by your friend, since they are relevant to the search results.
All of us are more likely to follow the recommendation of a friend than someone we don’t know, so social search is also about making search more relevant to each one of us.
Facebook and Bing in on the act
Now its the turn of Facebook and Microsoft’s Bing to socialise search. In the US they have just completed a tie up to make search “more social”,
What they plan is that when a user searches for something on Bing or using the web results in Facebook, if any friends have ‘liked’ an item related to that search that person’s image will appear alongside the search results.
Bing has added more depth to its people search too, by making the results based on the user’s Facebook contacts. So when a user searches for an individual, friends or mutual friends get shown higher in the search results.
In a blog post Facebook commented “Everyday most of us make decisions with the input from people we trust and this is a way to bring friends’ recommendations to online search.”
At the moment the change is just in the US – we’re yet to see plans for the UK.
Try it out!
Try switching your settings on Bing to US and trying out social search. Do you think there’s a future in it, something genuinely useful to people? Or is this just another search gimmick? Leave us a comment below.