Posts tagged ‘brand’

September 3, 2011

Android 404 with Cthulhu

Android seems fully in control of this situation.

Please be patient! We are experiencing a HUGE doughnut break

.

Android encounters the 404 Tentacle Horror

Now this… well, I am more concerned.

It looks like Android has quite an unruly creature to contend with. For the very, very curious, more about the mysterious “mythos” of the tentacles may be found here: Cthulhu, zombies and the Centers For Disease Control.

Disclaimer: I am solely responsible for the content of that link, which, in the interest of full disclosure, leads to the Quora website.

Do not be afraid.

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December 8, 2010

Fast Flip in the Wild

Finally, I present a Google Labs project observed in the wild!

Location was the ReadWriteWeb’s technical section, called ReadWrite Hack. Subject matter was the intriguing still new start-up company, FluidDB, and their Flimp tool for importing JSON, YAML or CSV data sources into FluidDB. FluidDB, the product, is a new type of database, which ReadWriteWeb says that FluidDB says is a

hosted database with the heart of a wiki

For the very very curious, Flimp is an acronym for FLuiddb IMPorter. I foresee a critical dependency on case sensitivity in this company’s future.

Introducing Fast Flip

Note the pleasing yellow smiley face in the last letter “p”. Fast Flip has been extant for some time, possibly as long as a year. I hadn’t noted it anywhere outside of the Google domain or Google product pages until now.

logo for fast flip

Google Fast Flip Logo

I thought that Fast Flip was merely the Google version of a slide sharing application. I was incorrect. Apparently there is far more functionality built in, as described by Google:

My Fast Flip Info

Fast Flip personalizes results based on many different signals. These include articles that you have clicked on, liked, or shared. Below you will find a summary of the preferences that Fast Flip has learned for you.

Since this is my first time using Fast Flip, the above was followed by this notification-of-sorts:

Sorry, no preferences have been learned for you yet. Use FastFlip some more and check back here soon!

Emphasis is mine.

Compare one to the other. I am uncertain if the project is named “Fast Flip” or “FastFlip”, given the alternative spellings used by Google, and on the same page. However, there were two instances of “Fast Flip”, actually three if I were to include the meta-data for the page, so I’m inclined to believe that “FastFlip” is a typographical error. Such is allowable. After all, Fast Flip is a Labs project, not a full-fledged Google Product!

Much more information about Google Fast Flip can be obtained from the official Google source, which is not a blogspot Blog this time. Instead, Google chose to use one of their Python answer pages for About Google FastFlip.

November 28, 2010

Going Social with Hotpot

Hotpot is a location-based service (LBS) with a social element. Yes, the rollout is being done with care and deliberation, but it seems that Google is finally going social!

Introducing Hotpot

Hotpot Logo

Google Hotpot is a new location-based service

Hotpot offers Google account holders the opportunity to give 1 – 5 star ratings and prose recommendations to businesses, presumably local, often smaller businesses.

Google can only access data that the user chooses to disclose, usually from other social networking services. The primary emphasis of Hotpot is dining establishments, although other business types seem to be included too. These are linked to the physical location of the business, as denoted on Google Maps.

Sociable

Hotpot is “social” because users are encouraged to invite friends and contacts to take part in Hotpot. Of course, contacts with Gmail accounts can be invited very easily. I’m working on my Gmail friend invitations now. I’m not certain whether it is possible to take part without a Gmail account.

Hotpot users may use Hotpot with Google Maps for Mobile, or directly on the web. I tried Hotpot from the web. It worked very well. I was using Google’s Chrome browser, which probably helped my user experience. I have not tried Hotpot from any other browser.

Google is promoting Place listings for businesses at the same time as Hotpot. I’ve seen more than a few service screens e.g. for Gmail account login, with promotional images for Places and Hotpot. The product introduction page implies that Hotpot is a feature of Places, not Maps, as the heading is Google Places with Hotpot.

Hotpot appears to be a full-fledged Google product, unlike Google Tags. There is already an official Google Hotpot Blog for users to keep up with the latest news. There are similar user support issues, specifically a lack of Google representatives, which is common for many (free) Google products. I observed this in the Google Help Forums the day after Hotpot debuted.

Potential branding confusion?

Hotpot is an extremely cute idea. The giant red Google map marker is very endearing. However, I already foresee branding complications. I did a very casual scan of the Twitter-verse, and noted that at least half of the uniformly enthusiastic tweets were incorrectly referring to the new product as “HotSpot” instead of Hotpot. The Official Google Canada Twitter account was one of them.

Google Hotpot

Google Hotpot Blog

I actually prefer Google’s brand name choice of Hotpot. Yet it would probably be more semantically intuitive to name it “HotSpot” given the linkage with physical location. The food-related tie-in of Hotpot, is logical. Yet “HotSpot” is a stronger complement for Places on Google Maps. Perhaps Google has a compelling promotion which will overcome this issue. At such an early stage of the product’s introduction, it is too soon to decide whether this will be of any importance.

UPDATE

November 29, 2010: TechCrunch just published an article a few minutes ago. According to TechCrunch, this is how Google explains the Hotpot name:

It’s about community!

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