Two Google Apps you should pass on…

Just to show I am not a shill for Google, inc., I wanted to write today about two Google offerings that, in my opinion, are not worth your valuable time.

The first is Google Bookmarks.  Sure, social bookmarking is a pretty handy feature.  Sure, Google Bookmarks does a decent job allowing you to tag sites, organize them and share them.  But it’s all so…boring.  Why do it this way when you could use Delicious Bookmarks (a Yahoo site)? There is a much more rich, even exciting experience in using Delicious that Google.  Maybe it is just me, but I love the cloud view, the custom tag settings, and the trending topics.

The second, I am a bit more resolute on: Google Sites.  This do-it-yourself web creator is a clunky, inefficient, frustrating mess.  I am not saying it makes ugly sites, it doesn’t.  To be fair and plain, the sites it hosts can be wonderful.  But you and I can’t make them.  To put it into context, consider this: my one and only tech skill is navigating and learning web sites.  I usually can master a new website in less than an hour, maybe even to the point I could teach it to others.  It isn’t a big skill, I understand, it’s just that after a while you learn how sites behave and the kinds of things they should be able to do.  I messed around with Google Sites for over an hour and I really didn’t accomplish anything.  Even what I did figure out didn’t even make much sense the way it works.  Long story short, if you have the time, and you are willing to fight through the frustrating interface, go right ahead.  To be honest, Blogger is a far better program, and in a lot of ways offers about the same things.

If you would like to try a much easier, better, full-service web DIY web creator, try one of these:

  • Yola
  • Weebly
  • Wix (This is a drag-drop flash site, very cool, but won’t work on ipad 🙂

If you use either of these and love them, more power to you.  These are just two that as much as I tend to like Google Apps, just can’t seem to get excited about.

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3 thoughts on “Two Google Apps you should pass on…

  1. THANK YOU for saying that about the Google sites. I spent a lot of time this summer playing around with using it for my classroom and I was very frustrated. That sort of stuff usually comes easy to me as well. Just yesterday I was thinking about really using it (going live with it) because I am looking for a place to drop files for my students and I like how it will take Smart Notebook files. I'm going to check out the other sites you mentioned.THANKS!Kerry

  2. I completely disagree with your assessment of Google Sites. I have made many beautiful and functional websites with much ease. It is not a clunky, inefficient mess. I use blank slate theme and go to town, insert text, images, background, and navigation. I wouldn't abandon this App. Visit my blog for help.

  3. I would presume that someone who posts as "Web Design" is obviously going to have a better skill set than the average teacher. If you prefer to use it and possess those skills, by all means, more power to you. My point is that for the beginner w/o much design skill, this is has a more difficult learning curve than other programs. Thank you for responding.

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