Posts tagged ‘help’

March 12, 2011

How To Use Google To Search

Which search to use?

Google search

Which search to use?

Sounds obvious doesn’t it? It isn’t. As a start, consider these three search options of which I wasn’t aware.

Then there is the basic bread-and-butter of searches. I found the choice of search topic quite ironic.

How to use Google 2.0 universal search, the 2008 edition

universal search

Google 2.0 Universal Search

This detailed guide maintained by Google describing the meaning of each item returned on search results pages is a good resource.

Then there are the infrequently used special search commands. I wrote a detailed post on these Google special searches a few weeks ago.

See too the Google resource page of help documents to learn how to search.

Inspired by How To Use Google To Search.

February 1, 2011

YouTube Video Scavenger Hunt

YouTube – Broadcast Yourself included a hyper-linked line of text at the bottom of my search results today. It read something along the lines of “Discover video treasures on YouTube”.

What could be described in such glowing terms amongst the mess of poor quality content, or poor quality recordings of high quality content, that constitutes much of YouTube? “Video treasures” evokes the phrase “national treasure” which is such a contrast to the petabytes and exabytes of inane user comments attached to most videos, regardless of the associated video’s (sometimes worthwhile) content. Well, I clicked and saw a page with the heading,

YouTube Topics on Search Beta

and the following announcement:

YouTube Topics is a new way to explore the worlds of videos on YouTube. After you opt in, when you search for something (“funny” for example) you will see topics related to your current search displayed at the top of search results and next to individual videos. You can click on these topics to switch to that topic on search.

You can also add a topic to your current search by clicking on the  + sign that shows when you hover over it. Each new topic you click will give you new results to explore.  Here’s a query to start with, so you can see how it works:  camera tricks

You may have noticed a “golden topic” when you tried this. We’ve scattered topics across the site for you to find (including this one), and if you can find and click on them all, you’ll unlock a special YouTube Logo to prove your puzzle prowess.

For more clues about the golden topics and for other questions you have, read this article in the Help Center.

An advisory that I am currently not opted in to Topics on Search Beta, and must Click here to opt in, is at the end of the page. I will opt in. I feel a bit uneasy in light of Facebook’s announcement (and rumored retraction) that it would release users’ names, addresses and phone numbers to 3rd-party developers unless the user opted out. I do not use Facebook. Also, I trust Google significantly more than Facebook! Plus I checked the URL associated with the Click here and it appears to be genuine!

My next post will advise whether or not this scavenger hunt for “golden topics” is worthwhile, or the goal attainable. Perhaps I will even have that intriguing “special YouTube Logo” to display, as proof of my puzzle prowess…

January 15, 2011

YouTube Tornado Spectacular

How to Search on YouTube

How to search

Looking for a tornado video, of any length, with newsworthy content?

Search query example and results via YouTube Press and Broadcasting information page.

search results on YouTube

Search Correctly to Find This on YouTube

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.

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