Google Sites Gets New Image, Feed, and Template Features

    October 9, 2009
    Chris Crum

Google has made it easier to insert Picasa Web Albums photos into Google Sites. They have added a photo option to the "insert menu."

In addition, users can upload photos directly to Picasa Web Albums from within Google Sites, using the "upload photo" tab in the insert dialog. It should be noted, however, that Google Apps users will not see the options, because Picasa Web Albums is not available in Google Apps.

Google Sites Insert Dialog

Google has also made it easier for friends and family to follow updates from Google Sites. Announcement pages can be accessed as a feed by adding posts.xml to the end of the announcement page’s URL.

"Feeds are also available for site comments (add "comments.xml") and site activity (add "activity.xml")," says Google Sites Senior Product Manager Scott Johnson. "Announcement and comment feeds follow the permission of the site and require authentication for private sites. This means online feed readers which don’t support authenticated feeds won’t be able to subscribe to private site feeds or site activity."

Google has also added the ability to create custom page templates for a site. This lets users define default content and settings such as layout. Other collaborators can then use the templates when they create a new page.

Frederic Lardinois with ReadWriteWeb makes an interesting connection in that the insert dialog on Google Sites could be what the long-rumored "GDrive" might look like. "This mythical GDrive would give users the ability to easily store and access all of their files in the cloud," says Lardinois. "Lots of other services already offer this, of course, but few of them are at the center of our online lives as much as Google is."

There’s no sense in jumping to any conclusions, but it’s an interesting observation nonetheless.