Posts tagged ‘Aardvark’

September 4, 2011

The Google Labs story continues

Green is the new blue

According to this comprehensive listing via Google Code, Google Code Labs projects will be associated with a green bar, not light blue. Google Labs that have graduated to full products will have the usual light blue bar:

Instead of the blue page elements that you see on most Google Code pages, Labs products use green. For example, see the title bar above that says “Google Code Labs.” For Labs products, you’ll also notice “(Labs)” in the title bar, next to the product name.

The other way of denoting a Google Labs project is more pleasing to me, and endearing:

Instead of the typical Google Code logo, Labs products have one with a conical flask as the “L”… We’re admittedly fond of conical flasks so they may show up in other places as well.

I am also fond of conical flasks.

Google Labs is being discontinued

Swiffy (click to view full size)

Which Google Labs projects will be discontinued and which will remain?

This is unclear. There will be some survivors, despite the demise of Google Labs announcement several weeks ago. For example reCAPTCHA is a Google Labs project, but is unlikely to go away! Nor is the Google Prediction API.

Google also indicated that Google Swiffy, the HTML to SWF Flash content converter project, will continue as a Google Labs project, although perhaps in a different location. See image above for further details.

UPDATE

Two days ago, Search Engine Land featured a comprehensive post about Google Labs. Some projects will live on, others will not.  A few of the more noteworthy decisions were that Google Correlate will survive. Say farewell to Google Sets and Google Squared though.

UPDATE 2

This is a shock. Straight from the REAL GooglePlex was this sad announcement on 2 September 2011. The following much-loved favorites, at least by me, and profiled in the past here on this very blog, are being discontinued:

There were several others on the list.

Google Health and Google Power Meter were discontinued too. That announcement was made separately, in June 2011.

Google Experimental Labs logo

???

The Fate of Google Experiments

I do not know how this will impact Google Experimental.

Although the image denotes it as part of Google Labs, the URL is a sub-domain for google.com rather than the Google Labs URL googlelabs.com.

The official description implies to me that it is a search-specific feature:

Google is always experimenting with new features aimed at improving the search experience. Take one for a spin and let us know what you think. Join an experiment and you’ll see that feature whenever you do a Google search.

January 7, 2011

Contacting Support or Aardvark

These are the options offered by Google for contacting user support:

  • Email
    1. Report a problem:  contact_type = problem
    2. Send feedback:   contact_type = feedback
  • Search the Help Center
  • Ask an expert

Don’t expect a response to your email. Google says that isn’t their policy in most cases.

Next option is The Help Center. The Help Center for most Google products is a distinctly user do-it-yourself arrangement, also known as users helping other users, a.k.a. the blind leading the blind in the worst-case scenario. Google employees do track and respond to issues, but with a varying amount of attentiveness and follow-through.

I really like the sound of the last option…. What’s that about?

vark.com is Aardvark!

Can’t find what you’re looking for in our Help Center? Let Aardvark try to find an expert for you.

Ask an expert at http://vark.com .

Aardvark is alive and well as a Google product. Don’t be misled by the seemingly non-Google domain name.

Aardvark logo from CrunchBase

An Aardvark from TechCrunch

More details should be available from the Google contact page: contact_type = contact_policy .

Not fluent in Python? Me neither. This is the URL syntax for using contact_type :

http://www.google.com/support/toolbar/bin/request.py?contact_type=

Note that everything in this post is specific to Google Toolbar. Contact options differ to varying degrees for each Google product.