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Google Groups Goes Socializing

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If your invitation to Google’s after-hours party at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos somehow got lost in the mail, you can use that time to explore the newly updated Google Groups service.

Google Groups Goes Socializing
Google Groups Spruces Up

There is web page creation, file sharing, and customization in Google Groups, and with apologies to Scott Karp and Steve Rubel, ‘social’ is very much a motivation to use the revised product.

Google has personalized the main Groups page for logged-in users. A box showing one’s group memberships and activity appears on the page. Its placement can be expanded to occupy the top of the screen or left in column form.

People can create personal profiles, which should be key to Google’s Groups strategy. They have emphasized the kinds of new features that keep people coming back. Every return visit presents Google with the opportunity to display its contextual advertising, making promotion of social aspects a given.

Software engineer Griff Hazen wrote at the Official Google blog how they introduced the new version of Groups last October in beta. Lots of feedback and new features later has seen them drop the ‘beta’ designation; for Google to move something out of beta in four months must be a land-speed record equivalent for a company that has been synonymous with lengthy beta periods.

Hazen’s rundown of the new features highlighted a change in the way people can read a Group’s messages. “For your discussions, there’s no need to struggle to follow interrupted conversations, as Google Groups now includes the same style of organization that Gmail users love,” he said.

Personal groups can be managed to permit levels of access. Content access can be publicly open or kept private. The group owner can assign viewing and editing permissions to individuals. It is similar to how their Docs & Spreadsheets product works.

File sharing has been enabled, with each group receiving 100 MB of storage for their items. For those who scored invites to the Google party at Davos, a Group would make a nice place for them to upload a few photos of the fun and share them with others (hint hint.)


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Google Groups Goes Socializing
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