From Google to Kaboodle

That’s Courtney Hohne, PR manager at Google (she’s pulling some of the hard-to-come-by Google stickers out of her bag to give to me, gotta love a PR person who hands out swag. I promptly stuck one on my tripod).

Her claim to fame? She was the one who did the PR for the Google Apps for Your Domain press coverage last week. She told me she didn’t have any ulterior motive other than she didn’t brief enough people and got heck for it (even Business Week’s Rob Hof says he wasn’t briefed). I told her don’t brief me, but start with the Z list — a blogger with four readers will get noticed almost as quickly as if Michael Arrington wrote it. She told me that she’ll try to make more use of the email mailing lists that Google is building over on the Google Press Center, so if you’re a blogger you might want to subscribe to their mailing lists if you want to get news from Courtney. Anyway, I respected Courtney a lot for coming out and meeting with me. That’s the sign of a good PR practitioner, they take the bad with the good.

Speaking of good and bad PR, did you see Frank Shaw’s blog? He runs the Microsoft account for Waggener Edstrom and he had to clean up a mess by another PR guy in the UK who said “I don’t get blogs.” If a PR person said that to me I’d say “I don’t get why you’re still employed.”

It seems to me that if you don’t understand something you should work hard to understand it.

Which, brings me to Google Calendar. I wrote last week that I don’t get why I should use Google Calendar instead of Exchange and Outlook. So, yesterday I met with the Google Calendar team to explain why I missed Outlook. Really I do.

Some things that bugged me, though, like how when I just accidentally click on the Google Calendar it wants to create an event for me, are actually features that they discovered in user testing. At least that’s what Carl Sjogreen, the guy who runs the Calendar team, told me. He said that before they added that users couldn’t figure out how to add a new event and after they added that they could.

He also showed me how they build the Web into everything they do, and don’t just make it an afterthought. For instance, I can share my calendar with you in a variety of ways. I could just share my calendar out with you as a Web page (I almost did that, but I realized there’s some stuff on there that people sent me in confidence, so can’t share that, sorry). Or, I can build a specialized calendar and share that with you in a box on my blog to the right. That kind of Web-thought is deep at Google and is going to be how they come at the Enterprise world.

You might not switch your Outlook/Exchange calendar to Google for many years to come, but they’ll come in the back door by getting you to start new calendars that you can share with your family, friends, and with the Internet at large. I’m going to do a new calendar just for my video show, for instance, and share that with you so you’ll be able to see both interviews that are upcoming as well as shows that I’ve both published and that are going to come up. I’ll try to have that calendar done by the end of the weekend.

Yeah, he admitted that they have a lot of work to do on mobile phone sync and the other stuff I asked for (offline, for instance and better email integration). When Google solves those problems they’ll have something very interesting that will see usage inside corporations.

Anyway, after talking with Google yesterday I headed off to meet Kaboodle’s CEO, Manish Chandra. He designed Kaboodle to make it easier to keep track of projects you’re doing on the Web. That sounds pretty cold compared to what it really does though. Let’s say you’re planning out a vacation and you’re visiting dozens of sites, keeping track of the places you want to visit, or the hotels you’re considering and you’re working with other family members. Kaboodle helps you store all those Web sites and pieces of things you’re tracking, and put them in one place, and also collaborate with other people on them. Pretty cool stuff.

Last night Daniel McVicar (who has been an actor on the popular soap opera “The Bold and The Beautiful” had dinner with me last night). I didn’t even realize just how big a star he was until I read his Wikipedia page this morning. He has a funny vlog. Last night he was wearing a Ze Frank t-shirt (I snapped a picture of that on my Flickr feed. Hey, he’s in the ORG! Watch out for those “little duckies.” He can’t get the damn song out of his head either. Heh, Rabbit Bites made fun of his vlog already.

Hope you’re having a good Friday. While I was out meeting the geeks and interviewing people more than 50 more emails came in that haven’t been answered yet (and that’s after cleaning out the ones that aren’t important or were spam). Yikes. I’m gonna take the weekend off and see if I can catch up on my email a bit. Have a great one (it’s Labor Day weekend here in the United States, thanks to everyone who does the work that keeps this world running).

Comments

  1. Thanks for the heads up on Kaboodle. A number of friends and relatives have asked me about doing this before. I’ll have to check them out and send them a pointer. :-)
    Must have been cool visiting Google. Their web based calendar may not make you want to switch out Outlook now but they have some very talented folks there doing some amazing work so who knows. I do know that a vibrant and competative Google (as well as other vendors) is a good thing for Microsoft and consumers in general. In a highly competative landscape everyones products improve, prices lower, and consumers are the ultimate winners.

  2. Thanks for the heads up on Kaboodle. A number of friends and relatives have asked me about doing this before. I’ll have to check them out and send them a pointer. :-)
    Must have been cool visiting Google. Their web based calendar may not make you want to switch out Outlook now but they have some very talented folks there doing some amazing work so who knows. I do know that a vibrant and competative Google (as well as other vendors) is a good thing for Microsoft and consumers in general. In a highly competative landscape everyones products improve, prices lower, and consumers are the ultimate winners.

  3. Robert, re. “how they build the Web into everything they do”. It may just be paranoia, but I’m afraid I still get the impression that generally it’s not actually *the* Web, but *Google’s* Web they build for. Is all your data (that you’ve delegated to Google) available over HTTP? How much is, how much isn’t?

  4. Robert, re. “how they build the Web into everything they do”. It may just be paranoia, but I’m afraid I still get the impression that generally it’s not actually *the* Web, but *Google’s* Web they build for. Is all your data (that you’ve delegated to Google) available over HTTP? How much is, how much isn’t?

  5. flipjack: hmmm, it’s nothing like the OnFolio I know, even though they are trying to solve a similar problem.

    Danny: by default? None of it is. But I can share my calendar with you.

    Larry: Thanks. These are harder to come up with cause I gotta do some real work first. Heheh. I’m getting more into the swing of things in the valley, though. I’ll try to increase my frequency of this type of post.

  6. flipjack: hmmm, it’s nothing like the OnFolio I know, even though they are trying to solve a similar problem.

    Danny: by default? None of it is. But I can share my calendar with you.

    Larry: Thanks. These are harder to come up with cause I gotta do some real work first. Heheh. I’m getting more into the swing of things in the valley, though. I’ll try to increase my frequency of this type of post.

  7. Danny: Of all the things we did in Google Calendar, one I’m most pleased with is the fact that we make it very easy to get data in *and* out of our system. Your calendar is available to you (and anyone else you give access to) via HTML, iCal, RSS, as well as full ATOM based read/write API. If you’ve got feedback on what we can do to be more open please do let us know — it was an important design principle from day one. As much as we’d like everyone to use Google Calendar, its much better for everyone if calendaring systems work together, and we’ve tried to do our part.

  8. Danny: Of all the things we did in Google Calendar, one I’m most pleased with is the fact that we make it very easy to get data in *and* out of our system. Your calendar is available to you (and anyone else you give access to) via HTML, iCal, RSS, as well as full ATOM based read/write API. If you’ve got feedback on what we can do to be more open please do let us know — it was an important design principle from day one. As much as we’d like everyone to use Google Calendar, its much better for everyone if calendaring systems work together, and we’ve tried to do our part.

  9. About the calender:

    It’s pretty cool, but if you you the Gmail notifier on Windows, only your new mails pop up.
    If you use the notifier under mac, your new mail AND new calender event pop up.

    Disadvantage Windows? Heheheh :-)

  10. About the calender:

    It’s pretty cool, but if you you the Gmail notifier on Windows, only your new mails pop up.
    If you use the notifier under mac, your new mail AND new calender event pop up.

    Disadvantage Windows? Heheheh :-)

  11. If you’re looking for desktop alerts, you can install the Google Calendar plugin for Google Desktop. You’ll get reminders before all of your appointments.

  12. If you’re looking for desktop alerts, you can install the Google Calendar plugin for Google Desktop. You’ll get reminders before all of your appointments.

  13. Kaboodle’s CEO Manish is a great guy and true entrepreneur.

    Carl: thanks for the tips… I will download now. I’ve been using the calendar for a few months now. I just left Outlook after many years.. Congrats you’ve converted me .. well the fact that I’m online all the time really made it for me.

  14. Kaboodle’s CEO Manish is a great guy and true entrepreneur.

    Carl: thanks for the tips… I will download now. I’ve been using the calendar for a few months now. I just left Outlook after many years.. Congrats you’ve converted me .. well the fact that I’m online all the time really made it for me.

  15. The reason I’ve been using google calendar instead of outlook/exchange is that neither I, nor the company I work for, have an exchange server. This is something that is not easy or cheap to setup and maintain.

    It isn’t perfect, but it is a simple way to keep track of a moderate level of appointments and access them from multiple machines.

  16. The reason I’ve been using google calendar instead of outlook/exchange is that neither I, nor the company I work for, have an exchange server. This is something that is not easy or cheap to setup and maintain.

    It isn’t perfect, but it is a simple way to keep track of a moderate level of appointments and access them from multiple machines.

  17. I’ve thought for sometime that Kaboodle would be a good takeover target for Google if they ever want to get into social shopping/planning. They could call it “Google Kaboodle”. Sort of has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

    I use Kaboodle for some research, including research on future purchases. The plug-in for Firefox makes it very easy to “Kaboodle” items as I browse. I also like the OneNote 2007 beta, and go back and forth between them. Like Gmail, one advantage of Kaboodle is my info is available on any web-connected computer

  18. I’ve thought for sometime that Kaboodle would be a good takeover target for Google if they ever want to get into social shopping/planning. They could call it “Google Kaboodle”. Sort of has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

    I use Kaboodle for some research, including research on future purchases. The plug-in for Firefox makes it very easy to “Kaboodle” items as I browse. I also like the OneNote 2007 beta, and go back and forth between them. Like Gmail, one advantage of Kaboodle is my info is available on any web-connected computer

  19. Robert,

    Has any of your opinion about Google Calendar changed since meeting with them? If if has, would you attribute the change (positive or negative) to anything you learned, or perhaps just from a change of view once you got to know the team personally?

    I know it is sometimes difficult to separate an opinion of product from an opinion of the people involved.

  20. Robert,

    Has any of your opinion about Google Calendar changed since meeting with them? If if has, would you attribute the change (positive or negative) to anything you learned, or perhaps just from a change of view once you got to know the team personally?

    I know it is sometimes difficult to separate an opinion of product from an opinion of the people involved.

  21. Robert,

    I wish you would post more about kaboodle. I sometimes scan blogs, and if I had stopped 3 paragraphs from the end, I would not have gotten to the Kaboodle coverage at all.

  22. Robert,

    I wish you would post more about kaboodle. I sometimes scan blogs, and if I had stopped 3 paragraphs from the end, I would not have gotten to the Kaboodle coverage at all.

  23. Mr. Scoble – Did you notice that TEDTalks added a 2004 Ze Frank session to their iTunes Podcast (as well as Mena from 2006)? ‘sright and he didn’t blink then either.

  24. Mr. Scoble – Did you notice that TEDTalks added a 2004 Ze Frank session to their iTunes Podcast (as well as Mena from 2006)? ‘sright and he didn’t blink then either.

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