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Showing posts from 2017

Weekly Update - December 16, 2017: Google+, AdSense minus YouTube, AR Stickers

This week there were gobs of goodies for Google+ers! But that’s not all - there are updates and tips for YouTube Partners, Live Streamers, Business Owners, and more.
Google+ launched two new features for Community Owners and Moderators: Community Insights for number lovers and bulk moderation of Community posts for spam haters. You can also now more easily rid your posts of spam (yay!) by using the new delete, report, and block option. Poof! Spam is gone, spammers are blocked, and Google+ is better for it. And if you really need to find that post your you made back in the summer of 2013, that awesome recipe posted in some community (but you aren’t quite sure which one), or just see all the posts that Mentioned you last week, the new Google+ advanced search operators are for you. There are a number of parameters you can use to search, including date, the type of post, whether it’s in a Community or Collection, and who posted or is mentioned. There isn’t a user-friendly interface (yet?…

Weekly Update - December 9, 2017: YouTube and abuse, Chrome Apps unlisted in the Chrome Store, Android Go

The last month of the year is usually pretty quiet, but even so, there is some interesting news and some helpful tips this month for YouTubers, Chrome users, Android fans, webmasters, live streamers and more.
Starting off on a light note: if you watch a lot of YouTube videos, check out YouTube Rewind 2017 to see if you can spot your favorite creator or musician, and identify the popular memes. I recognized a few. And, yes, this is just a big ad for YouTube. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki made two announcements this week. She explained how YouTube is expanding their work against content that may “mislead, manipulate, harass, or harm”. They are hiring humans “to address content” that violates YouTube policy (aiming for 10,000 across Google), improving machine learning to detect violent extremism, hate speech, and threats to child safety. Along with that, greater transparency around flagged content. Wojcicki also addressed the Creator Community, promising there will be improvements to the sy…

Weekly Update - December 2, 2017: Hangouts Meet, YouTube Community, #NotHacked

This week there are updates and tips for YouTubers, webmasters, business owners, Hangouts Meeters, Android users and more:
G Suite Enterprise customers can now host a Hangouts Meet video call with 50 people. Plus all users can now copy and paste Hangouts Meet conferences across Google Calendar events.It was #NoHacked week, and Google Webmasters wants you to keep your website and accounts un-hacked. They posted a tip a day, and if you have a website or blog, be sure to check it out! In September 2016, YouTube launched the channel Community tab in beta. Now, over a year later, YouTube is finally rolling out the Community tab to channels with over 10,000 subscribers. There’s no word as to when the feature will be available to smaller channels. YouTube also announced "Reels" - their take on the "stories" format. They are still "experimenting with a beta version", and so most creators aren't likely to have access for a while.VidMe launched in 2014 as a vid…

Weekly Update - November 25, 2017: Google Lens, YouTube Policy, Cyber Monday

All shopped out? Tired of turkey? Check out this week’s updates and tips. This week there are tidbits for YouTubers, live streamers, webmasters, AdSense Publishers and more.
Google Lens (announced in May) has finally come to the Google Assistant and Google Photos on Pixel phones. Lens can identify (or at least try to identify) what your camera is pointing to, from flower species to landmarks to works of art and movie posters. It can also scan bar codes and QR codes, and save and navigate to addresses, call phone numbers and add dates to your calendar.  There's no word when or if it will be available on other devices.In the wake of last week’s articles pointing to disturbing and spammy content seemingly aimed at kids, YouTube announced updated policies and improved enforcement. They are age-restricting and disabling monetization on some videos, removing thousands of others, and - as of last week - had terminated 50 channels under the new policies. But major advertisers are suspe…

Weekly Update - November 18, 2017: Google+ Profiles, Google Maps Icons, YouTube Kids content

This week there are updates for Plussers, YouTubers and much more:
Google+ has a new Profile “About” card on desktop, which nicely formats your personal details, and provides buttons to contact the profile owner directly. Check yours today to see if your profile needs tweaking.Google Maps updated its look to make it easier to identify businesses, services and landmarks. There are new color-coded icons and the icons you see are more context dependent - if you’re using driving navigation, you will see gas stations, while if you are using public transit, you’ll see train stations.YouTube announced that in-video notifications of a featured video or playlist will be discontinued December 14 . It turns out, very few people follow those links, and those who do sometimes are taken to a non-existent live stream. YouTube is encouraging using Cards and End Screens to promote your videos and playlists instead.YouTube also came under fire this week as media outlets noticed that there were “startl…

Weekly Update - November 11, 2017: Google Docs & Slides, AdSense, Chrome & Ads

This week Google Top Contributors from North and South America (and a few other places) met in Mountain View, California to learn, shmooze, and have some fun. It was a great time, and it was awesome to see everyone in person. In the past few weeks, there were also meetups in Dublin, Ireland and Singapore for Top Contributors around the world.

Check out the photos of all three TC Summits on Google+, Twitter, and Instagram.
As a result, the Weekly Update will be a bit shorter than usual this week. Here are my top updates:The image insertion process for Google Docs, Slides, and Drawings has been redesigned. Now you can more easily add one of your own photos or a photo from the web to your document or presentation.Google Docs and Slides now has fonts to support 62 languages, including non-Latin scripts like Cyrillic and DevanagariThe AdSense ad balance tool is back - it lets you reduce the number of ads you show to visitors to your website without significantly decreasing your income (hop…

Weekly Update - November 4, 2017: YouTube Live, Google+ Notifications, Hangouts Meet

Fortify yourself with leftover Halloween candy and a cup of tea, and take a look at this week's updates for YouTubers, live streamers, Google Plussers, Hangouts Meeters, business owners, Local Guides and more.
Live stream events are now easier to manage on YouTube. You can now copy settings from previous events, auto-start and there is automatic resolution detection.Small YouTube channels can now join in on the mobile live streaming fun - you only need 25 subscribers to stream from the YouTube mobile app.There was a big update for Google Hangouts Meet for G Suite Enterprise accounts. Now you can record your video calls to Google Drive and include up to 50 participants. And all Hangouts Meet users can use the new Meet hardware, which includes a 4k camera, speakermic, Chromebook and controller.The Google+ desktop notifications page now lets you open notifications in a new tab (hooray!!) and includes hovercards, so you can see more about the person who +1’d you right from the notific…

Weekly Update - October 28, 2017: Gmail Add-Ons, Google Lens, Nik Collection

This week there are updates and tips for photographers, Bloggers, YouTubers, and more. This week’s top updates:
YouTube announced that they have improved the technology for classifying videos for monetization, and are rolling out an update, significantly reducing the number of videos receiving limited ads (the dreaded yellow $). That means millions more videos will become fully monetized.The new Gmail Add-Ons let you complete tasks right from your email inboxEarlier this year, Google announced that they would no longer be updating popular Nik Collection of photo editing software. But it’s been rescued: DxO buys Nik collection from Google, and will resume developmentIn May, Google Lens was announced at Google I/O. Lens lets you take a photo, and have Google Assistant tell you more about what you are looking at. Google Lens is built into the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2XL, and it’s now rolling out to first-gen Pixel and Pixel XLsThe new Pixel 2s have unfortunately been generating a lot of complai…

Weekly Update - October 21, 2017: Google Calendar Makeover, Google Photos Pet Face Recognition, Advanced Account Security

This week’s updates should be especially interesting to folks interested in account security and abuse prevention. But that’s not all:
Google Calendar for web (finally) has a new look and features. This is Calendar’s first redesign since 2011! New features include the ability to add rich formatting and hyperlinks to your Calendar invite, and the ability to manage multiple calendars side by side in “Day” view. If you want the new look, you can opt in now!Google Photos face recognition can now recognize your cat or dog. That’s especially nice if you want to create an album, movie or photo book featuring your pet.October is National Cyber Security Awareness month, and Google is celebrating with some new features. The new Advanced Protection Program provides extra account security for those most at risk of attack, such as journalists, political workers, celebrities, folks seeking safety from an abusive relationship. And Google Account Security Checkup now has personalized advice - review…

Weekly Update - October 14, 2017: YouTube Creators Hub, Android Video Calling, WordPress & Google

This week there were nice updates for video creators, bloggers, and more:
The YouTube Creators Hub got a makeover, and has launched a series of Master Class videosYouTube has expanded their “harmful and dangerous content” policy to prohibit videos “that demonstrate how to convert firearms to make them fire more quickly”. Some in the firearms community aren’t happy with the changeIf you use WordPress for your blog or website, you can now easily insert Google Photos images and the new VCP Events Plugin lets you easily embed YouTube live streams + Google+ comments on your site.Google is making video calling from the Phone, Contacts, and Messages apps easier on Android phones. If your carrier supports ViLTE (e.g. T-Mobile), no app is required, otherwise you will need to install Google Duo.Local Guides are getting new badges on Google MapsMedium has opened its Partner Program to everyone. They call it “the internet’s first open paywall”. You can make your articles members-only. Non-member…

Weekly Update - October 7, 2017: Made By Google, Google Assistant, Fake News

There was a lot happening in the Googleverse this week, with some cool new hardware and updates for Hangouts, Webmasters, and Google+.
On October 4th Google had it’s big hardware event, where they introduced “a few new things made by Google”, showcasing their focus on an “AI-first” world. Google Assistant is everywhere!
New products include the new Pixel 2 phones with an excellent new camera and eSIM, earbuds with Google Assistant, Google Home Mini and Max, more integration of Google Assistant with Nest, new AR and VR experiences, the Google Clips AI-enabled camera and the shiny new Pixelbook Chromebook. Google+ got two excellent new features: the web image lightbox now emphasizes captions and comments  and Community moderators can now remove recent content from banned members.You may have noticed a change to Google Hangouts Contact Search. There are no longer suggestions from across Google and Google+ - all you will see in the resules are people from your contacts or organization. I…

Weekly Update - September 30, 2017: YouTube Link Cards, Google Slides, AdSense in Bangla

This week was pretty quiet, but even so there are updates for presenters, webmasters, AdSense publishers, YouTubers, live streamers and more:
My favorite update was the shiny new features for Google Slides. There are now add-ons, synced slides and drag and drop integration between Google Keep (Google Blog)For YouTube Creators, there’s been a change to the eligibility requirements for adding external link Cards - you now need to have monetization enabled to share any external links, including to Merch and Crowdfunding sites.অ্যাডসেন্স এখন বাংলা (বাংলা) বুঝতে পারে - AdSense now supports Bengali (Bangla)Google celebrated their 19th birthday, sharing fun Google Doodle games from years gone by.Outside the Googleverse, Twitter is testing out letting users have 280 characters to Tween. They explained why, but many Twitterers aren’t happy with the change.Image: Detail from Atardecer en el mar [La ola roja] by Joaquín Clausell (~1910) (Public Domain)

Weekly Update - September 23, 2017: YouTube Sponsorship, Project Fi Phone, Google+ Bulk Moderation

This week there are updates and tips for YouTubers, live streamers, Google Plussers, webmasters, advertisers, photographers and much more!
YouTube announced a new way for Creators to make money: Sponsorships. Fans can sponsor your channel for a small amount each month, and in return they get access to private chats, custom live chat badge and emoji and more. The catch? Sponsorships are currently only available to gaming channels. If you don’t have a gaming channel, you can submit an interest form .While YouTube said hello to Sponsorships, it bid goodbye to Paid channels and videos. Current paid channels will only be available through the end of November.Also this week, the YouTube Video Editor and Photo Slideshows was retired. While there are decent free video editing apps for Windows, Mac and most mobile devices, creators with Chromebooks unfortunately have few alternative options. The YouTube Creator Studio app is now officially YT Studio, and has some nice new features, including …

Weekly Update - September 16, 2017: Google News Local, Google+ apps, iPhone X

This week there are updates for Google Plussers, video watchers, advertisers, webmasters, smartphone buyers and much more.
If you have a phone running Android 8 (Oreo), Google+ 9.20 has new notification options. The catch: unless you are familiar with Oreo’s new notification options, they are a bit hard to find. The Google+ iOS app also got an update with bug fixes.Google News added Community Updates so you can easily find out what's happening locallyYouTube TV is available in 8 more US metro areasYouTube is making HDR playback available on select Android devicesProPublica discovered that Facebook enabled advertisers to target anti-Semitic ad categories. These were algorithmically created based on self-reported profile information. Facebook is implementing changes to help prevent this from happening in the future. The Google AdWords keywords planner also allowed anti-Semitic ad targeting - but according to Google such queries would be filtered so no ads would appear. They have tu…

Weekly Update - September 9, 2017: YouTube Live, Google My Business, Privacy Settings

This week in the Googleverse there are updates video makers, live streamers, business owners, webmasters, travelers and much more. Here are my top updates:
YouTube Live got a sweet update, with real-time ultra-low latency streaming and new chat moderation tools. You can also now stream games or apps on your iOS device using the YouTube app. If you want to give ultra-low latency streaming a try, check out BarbaraEMac’s encoder setting tips.If you are a YouTube Partner, and you have a video that is “not suitable for all advertisers”, check out the latest update on the YouTube monetization appeals process for videos with yellow $ icon. Your channel needs at least 10,000 subscribers, or your video has to have had at least 1000 views in the past week to appeal. Uptime is an iOS app from Area120 at Google that lets you watch YouTube videos with friends. It’s latest feature is “Parties” - invite your friends and the YouTube videos will be synced for all of you, even when you jump from vide…

Weekly Update - September 2, 2017: YouTube's New Look, Monetization, User First Beta

New this week in the Googlevers  there are tips and updates for video watchers and creators, live streamers, business owners, webmasters, bloggers and much more.  This week YouTube unveiled a redesigned and very bright logo, plus a new look and new features on mobile and desktop.YouTube Creators have been understandably concerned when their monetized videos started showing the yellow “"not suitable for all advertisers" icon. In response, Ryan “Fwiz” Wyatt (Head of Global Gaming, Content & Partnerships at YouTube) posted a FAQ to explain “what’s up”. The take-away message is there is now an option to appeal: “... no system is perfect. When you appeal, our reviewers take a look and their decisions help our systems get smarter over time. Deleting the video and re-uploading won't help.” Another change for YouTube Creators is the new requirement that monetization be enabled before you can link to your own website on a video Card or End Screen. There is an exception for no…

Weekly Updated - August 26, 2017: Android Oreo, International Webmasters, YouTube Borderline Hate Content

This week was pretty sweet:
Android Oreo was unveiled and may be coming to a device near you soon. Super sweet! There are a number of overviews of what’s new to dig into.YouTube updated the Blur Faces tool with improved face recognition. You can now select specific faces, and YouTube will blur them throughout the video, even when they are moving or partially hidden.YouTube videos with “borderline” hate speech or violent extremism content may now have their features limited, with content behind a warning message, and no comments, likes, suggested videos or monetization. This is the implementation of policy that Google originally announced in June. If you believe your video has been incorrectly categorized, you can appeal.A New York judge ruled that Ethan and Hila Klein (the husband-and-wife team behind popular YouTube channel h3h3productions) use of clips from MattHossZone in a "reaction video" was fair use. Franklin Graves at Tubefilter has a good overview.

While it's a…

Weekly Update - August 19, 2017: Google+ Discover, Allo on Desktop, Solar Eclipse, Online extremism

As the summer winds down, updates are heating up. Here’s what happened this week:
Google+ launched Discover, a new way to find content and Communities from across Google+. The web navigation menu has been simplified, making it a bit more difficult to find Events and your own Collections.Google Allo is now available on desktop - sort of. You need to be running the Chrome Browser and have your Android phone running Allo linked. Now you can use your Google Home to make phone calls hands free. Calls to the US and Canada are free, and calls to other countries are available for Google Voice and Project Fi customers.Google will be revealing Android O live on Monday (2:40PM Eastern) and has done some teasing about the name (Oreo? Oatmeal Cookie? Orangina? Omelette?)Android devices are getting a redesigned Google app with emphasis on topics and news. Plus there are video previews help you find what you're looking for faster.There are a bunch of new Google Docs, Sheets, & Slides feature…

Weekly Update - August 12, 2017: Monetization, YouTube Sharing, Diversity

So first my good news. My YouTube channel finally reached 1000 subscribers (yay!). Have you subscribed? Why not? Do it now! Next stop, 10k …

Here’s what else was new this week:
If you’re curious about where Google+ers are from, I shared the results of a totally non-scientific poll. The short answer: mostly the United States and India. For the long answer, read my post ;)YouTube introduced a new option for YouTube Partners. If your video is "not suitable for all advertisers" that is more clearly shown in your video manager, and there is a new chance to appeal. At the least this should help Partners understand why their monetized video is never (or rarely) showing ads.Sharing in the YouTube mobile app is now rolling out to all users. If this doesn't sound new to you, it may not be. Sharing has been available by invite for almost a year, and was launched in Canada in January.Facebook is introducing a new video platform "Watch" for personalized discovery and soci…

1000 subscribers from around the world! Thanks Plussers and YouTubers!

This weekend my YouTube channel finally reached 1000 subscribers. Thanks to all of you who subbed!

I know a lot of my video views and subscribers have come over from Google+. I took a poll to see where you all are from, and made a video to give you all a shout-out.

Most of my Google+ followers and YouTube channel viewers come from the United States, India, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom. Those are followed closely by folks from Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, Indonesia, Canada and Malaysia.

Thanks to all of you around the world for reading, commenting, watching and subscribing!

So what does 1000 subscribers get me?

* YouTube for Creators Opal status (this also requires 1,000 hours watch time)
* I can now use Super Chat, if and when I live stream
* I can enable paid content
* I'm theoretically eligible for "Creator on the Rise" promotion (but seriously, I know that's not going to happen)

Now I'm aiming for 10k subscribers, so now is the time to subscribe …

Weekly Update - August 5, 2017: Google+ Search, YouTube, Google Search Console

I’m a happy Plusser this week, as Google+ got a really nice update.
This week Google+introduced a number of really excellent improvements to search. The most noticeable difference is that clicking the search box no longer immediately starts loading the Explore page, which I found hugely annoying. You can sort the results by “Best” or “Most Recent”, filter by post author (including yourself), and easily switch between posts, people, Collections and Communities. And G Suite users can limit search within their domain.As a bonus, the search results Explore page may also show popular topics along the top of the search results, letting you, well, explore. Check it out. Things were a bit more volatile on YouTube.
YouTube posted an update on progress fighting terrorist and violent extremist content online. They are using machine learning, as well as human Trusted Flaggers, to identify violent extremist content. Once it’s identified, it may be removed or eventually hidden behind an interstitia…

Weekly Update - July 29, 2017: Google+, Project Fi, Flash

It’s been relatively quiet in the Googleverse this week. It’s so much easier to keep up with the changes when new features and updates aren’t launched one on top of the other!

What’s new in the Googleverse (and beyond) this week?
Google+ Communities got a nice update. You can use the new Community Member Activity View to see all the posts from a member of a particular Community. It’s useful for moderators, and helpful if you want to see what a specific person posted about.And if you love Google+, and want to give feedback on features under development, you can apply to be a Google+ beta tester! Android early adopters and developers: Developer Preview 4 now available, official Android O coming soon! My big question: what will “O” be? Orange Marmalade? Oreo? Oatmeal Cookie?Adobe announced they will be saying goodbye to Flash by the end of 2020. Even though the use of Flash on the web has decreased significantly in the past few years, but it’s still in use for videos and games. Goo…

Weekly Update - July 22, 2017: YouTube, Analytics, Google+

Here are this week’s updates in the Googleverse and beyond.
For Creators, YouTube gives - block comments with links - and YouTube takes away - Video Editor and Slide Show will be retiredYouTube fights terrorist recruitment by redirecting searchesThe Google+ G+1 button on 3rd party web sites no longer displays +1 count. If you plussed sites in the past, you can download the links and use them as bookmarksGoogle Analytics now lets you ask about your site’s stats in natural English And there are more tips and updates for live streamers, video creators (and watchers), business owners, website publishers, Hangouts Meeters and more.

Image: Google Street View arrives in Space, with a walk-through of the International Space Station. Start here. The image is the Earth’s atmospheric glow and the stars of the Milky Way, and an experiment module at the tip of Japan’s Kibo module on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA (NASA Media Usage Guidelines)

Weekly Update - July 15, 2017: Google+ Photospheres, Desktop Backup, New Music Radio