Feb 042014
This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series 2013-14 Program Chronicles

John Sgammato leads the way through the Googleverse

Google is everywhere, and Google knows it. Google is on your street, in your researches, in the ads you see on your computer. They want to be in your eyes with the new Google Glass. Google Apps provide the IT infrastructure for an increasing number of companies, municipalities, and non-profits.

Of course, Apple is everywhere, if you live in the iWorld. And Microsoft is everywhere. And the NSA, for that matter! A handful of companies are building complex “ecosystems” of services, gadgets, and content in a play to become your most essential tool for everyday life. We’ll see how that plays out, but for now, the sensible technical communicator is asking “If they all want to be in my life, what’s in it for me? How can Google make me more valuable to employers?”

January’s program meeting featured Actifio’s Documentation Architect John Sgammato speaking on “Google Drive, Google Docs, and the Whole Damn Googleverse” to a record crowd at the Burlington Hilton and to webinar attendees from as far as Sweden and Australia. The presentation covered two subjects of particular interest to technical communicators: Collaboration with SMEs using Google Drive and Google Docs, and Google Apps as an infrastructure for a highly-collaborative organization.

The first section went into some detail about Google’s free collaboration tool Google Drive and the benefits and perils of cloud-based storage. This was followed by a lab exercise: he introduced Google Docs and opened two Google Docs for live collaboration both with in-room attendees and with remote webinar attendees. Participants were able to “collaborate”, editing the docs and seeing each others’ changes in real-time. Then John showed how to use the color-coded Revision History tool to reject comments that participants .

The second part of the presentation introduced Google Apps, a suite of tools for organizations that includes Gmail, Google Drive and the Google Docs suite, plus additional tools for productivity and management. He explained the Google Apps is free of charge to 501 (c) 3 non-profit organizations such as STC New England Chapter. The chapter has a fully configured Google apps setup; if you are interested in learning more about Google Apps for Non-Profits, contact the chapter webmaster at webmaster@STCNewEngland.org.

A PDF of the presentation, a list of useful resources, and the lab exercise materials are available on the chapter’s Google Drive. Registered webinar attendees have full collaboration access to this content.

A recording of John’s presentation will soon be available to registered attendees as well. The chapter is researching now how to make it available to people who missed the presentation.

Be sure to join us next month for How Do You Prove Documentation Success? with STC Past President and Fellow Andrea Ames!

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