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Friday, March 02, 2007

Google ROCKuments

So have you heard about Google Docs?

Well, the full name is "Google Documents and Spreadsheets." It is, in short, awesome.

Google Docs is an online word processor. Any document emailed to me can be opened, in-browser, in Google Documents. And from there, I can edit it, cache it to an online clipboard, insert it in another work, or save it as a document that is then stored by Google. Best of all, I can invite others to view and edit the documents further. I haven't tried it yet, but I think it can even support realtime cooperative editing. That is: I can log in and view the doc, another user or users can log in and view the doc, and we can edit the doc together, chatting all the while, and we can see the changes we each make as they are made.

I have nine thesis students who will all be off campus this term, teaching in various parts of China. But they all have a three thousand word graduation paper to write, that I have to check and revise. Google Docs looks to help this immensely; we can set a time, meet online, and proceed to chat, check, and edit together.

And it comes with all sorts of other useful tools, like spellcheck, document uploads, archiving, tagging, and more. I don't mean to shill this thing, but it's a useful tool that I can't believe hasn't been done before (cue the emails that inform that it has been done before, probably since the 80s).

Google continues to help make my life easier. I love it.

Oh, and, uh, sorry about that picture in the last post ... I am not training to be a Buddhist monk, and I am not (currently) on crack. I've been told it's less than flattering. It's the eyes, I guess.

We all go a little mad sometimes ...

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