Commentary

Google... Integrating Lives

Here at the university, I have a job that deals heavily with telecommunications. Naturally, it requires sophisticated means of communication amongst all the employees. We must have ways to collaborate on projects, share files, and communicate ideas. Fortunately, Google has answered those calls.

If you already thought Google was taking over the world, brace yourself. Google single-handedly incorporates the lives of all my coworkers. Every employee has a Google account. Obviously, this provides us with an email address that we can use for messaging, but it provides us with so much more. Each employee has their events loaded onto a Google calendar, which they "share" digitally with our boss. That way, he can see when each one of us is available and, therefore, knows when he can or cannot schedule us to work. Not surprisingly, he creates the work schedule on a Google Calendar, which then gets shared back with us, so we can check our work schedule from anywhere that has internet. Scheduling through Google Calendars is highly convenient, but it's not what makes Google great for our work.

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Google allows us to collaborate with each other and share ideas. Over the summer, we had a job that involved a lot of data entry. By creating a Google Spreadsheet and sharing it amongst all of us, we were able to easily keep track of how much work had been finished and who had completed it. We also use a Google Group to share new ideas with each other by posting and discussing different topics to the Group. Additionally, the Group allows us to upload files to share with the Group, which is convenient when there are scripts, graphics, notes, etc., that we would like to share with everyone.

One of our newest projects directly involves using a shared Google Doc. The project is a new "Video Billboard." In other words, it's a publicly-mounted, flat-panel television that displays the information that we (or rather, my bosses) select. The information that is displayed on the "Billboard" is delivered via a Google Doc. When my bosses change the information in the Google Doc, the information displayed on the billboard changes, too!

I usually try not to stake TOO much of my life in technology, because it can always fail, but I break my own rule with Google. It just makes my work-life painless and simple. Now if Google would just come out with Chrome for Mac!

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