Archive for January, 2011

January 3, 2011

Android Before Space Flight

Android PreSpace Flight

Google Android Pre-Flight Preparation

Advertisements
January 3, 2011

Reading Level Search Filter

Google added a new search option earlier this month. Find it on the advanced search page.

Check reading level for websites

These are the options. Full documentation on use of the feature is available on the Google web search help page for reading level.

by rustybrick of Flickr dot com and Barry Schwartz of seoroundtable

Google Reading Level Search

On December 10, 2010, Search Engine Roundtable’s Barry Schwartz wrote a nice article, Google+”Reading+Level”+Search+Filter demonstrating some amusing ways to use the feature. He also provides many helpful screen shots for using the filter options.  Image above is the work of Rustybrick of Flickr.

Who should use the reading level filter and why?

The reading level search filter is a valuable tool for bloggers and small businesses. Generally accepted standards for web design show that in order for a web page to be accessible and pleasant to use, the reading level should be tenth grade or below. There were several reading level checking services before Google released this. However, the Google reading level search filter is free and probably has superior availability. It also checks the entire website, not merely a single URL, a limitation of  other services.

Whatever reading level check one uses is not that important. What’s important is periodically doing it, whether on one’s website, or for each blog post. Confirm that the level is well-matched to your website’s target audience.

There’s never any reason to make a web site more complicated than necessary

I’m guilty of doing this. It isn’t by intent, it’s just my writing style, and the way I was taught to write. I’m aware of it and continue to improve.

Straightforward is better

That applies to website design as well as content. And it’s true whether one is selling a product or communicating an idea.

January 3, 2011

Phone calls and more in Gmail

In addition to sharing voice and video chats with your contacts from computer to computer, you can also place and receive phone calls to any landline or mobile phone number in Gmail.

To get started, make sure to install the voice and video chat plug-ins.  Sign in to Chat, click on the “Call Phone” link, and a “Call” window will open. You’re all set to go!

I noticed this option: If you use Google Voice, you can enable Google Chat for forwarding and receiving phone calls in Gmail!

gmail logo

Google Gmail

Phone calls in Gmail are a feature available only in the United States as of December 2010. If you don’t see the “Call Phone” link at the top of your Chat list, and you’re in the U.S.A., check and make sure that your Gmail language is set to English (US).

For complete details, including a 40-second YouTube demo video, see Phone calls in Gmail – Gmail Help.

January 1, 2011

Mapping the Storm Clean-up

Recent public service by WNYC demonstrated a nice practical application of Google Maps. WNYC used Google Maps to provide real-time updating of street plowing status to residents of New York City.

WNYC radio and TV logo

Retro WNYC

WNYC readers and listeners (WNYC is also a radio station) are invited to send updates by cell phone or SMS. Just text PLOW to 30644, according to a December 30, 2010 post on the WNYC website.

I am unable to embed the associated Google Map due to restrictions by WordPress.com on use of JavaScript.