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Google Pages Launches

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the the-google-wide-web dept.

205

An anonymous reader writes "Google released the first public beta of its Google Pages service Wednesday, allowing users who signed up for the service in January and February to begin creating personal websites using an easy-to-use, browser-based tool. The service gives each user 100 MB of free storage space on Google's servers. To use the Google Page Creator tool, users must have an existing Google account. However, only those who signed up early (in January and February) to use Google Pages have access to the current beta. No new signups are being accepted at this time, Google said. The company is expected to open Page Creator to more widespread use over the next few weeks."

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205 comments

DeJaVoogle (4, Insightful)

ExE122 (954104) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979675)

Funny, I could've sworn GeoCities [geocities.com] and Angelfire [angelfire.com] had something like this many many years ago. Complete with page building tools and wizards...

The only true advantage I see to this is that Google gives you a LOT more disk space for free, wheras you have to pay for more with G&A... but perhaps that's why we're seeing "Sorry, we are unable to offer new accounts today. We appreciate your interest and invite you to add your Gmail address to our wait list. We'll let you know when we've enabled your account."

I'm not trying to advertise for G&A, I just don't see how this is something to jump up and down about. Search engine, Email, webpages, online stores/auctions... they're just becoming the next Yahoo.

--
"Man Bites Dog
Then Bites Self"

Re:DeJaVoogle (3, Insightful)

holdenholden (961300) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979686)

That, the the priviledge to have your content indexed, searched, and linked to your other Google accounts (gmail, adwords, analytics). No thanks. I think I will skip on this one.

Re:DeJaVoogle (2, Insightful)

bjpirt (251795) | more than 8 years ago | (#14980064)

agreed, I'm getting increasingly nervous about just how much of your data google could index if you let them. I'd be curious about how many people using google desktop are aware of the privacy implacations. Most end users just see it as a cool way of finding stuff on your computer, completely unaware that data is being sent to google.

I know, I know - do no evil

(for now)

Re:DeJaVoogle (5, Insightful)

tehshen (794722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979701)

... they're just becoming the next Yahoo.

Is that so bad a thing? I kind of liked Yahoo.

GeoCities was a nice service, but was let down by the ads pane (pain?) taking over half the screen. Yahoo! mail was nice but suffered from too low storage. Lots of people here are turned off by "portal"-style pages with loads of links on them - Google put their search page first and moved all the links someplace else.

I've noticed that Google seem to wait for a technology to develop, see where it trips up, then make its own GVersion. Kind of nifty, really.

Your sig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14979765)

> Guy asked me for a quarter for a cup of coffee. So I bit him.

I know it's not funny when you explain a joke, but is there a punchline hidden in that sig?

Re:Your sig (1)

popeguilty (961923) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979911)

It's a play on an old Vaudevillian joke: "So this guy comes up to me and says, hey, help me out, I haven't had a bite in days. So I bit him!"

Re:DeJaVoogle (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979812)

The pain (originally) with geocities what trying to tell someone your address. It was usually something like www.geocities.com/citypark/coolgang/theeliteguys/3 847. Then I found tripod, which not only had a whopping 11 MB of space, but also let you have an address like myname.tripod.com or www.tripod.com/~myname. Oh, and all this gets subverted by $3.95/Month shared hosting which gives you a gig of space, no ads and more bandwidth than you can shake a stick at. As well as mysql, phpbb, gallery2, and a bunch of other tools.

Re:DeJaVoogle (3, Insightful)

se7en11 (833841) | more than 8 years ago | (#14980063)

I've noticed that Google seem to wait for a technology to develop, see where it trips up, then make its own GVersion. Kind of nifty, really.

This is what Apple is doing and doing quite sucessfully. They just add an "i" to things though.

Re:DeJaVoogle (1)

SecretAsianMan (45389) | more than 7 years ago | (#14980132)

I've noticed that Google seem to wait for a technology to develop, see where it trips up, then make its own GVersion. Kind of nifty, really.

Sounds like "embrace and extend"...

Re:DeJaVoogle (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14979743)

Just to make up a random statistic I bet, ooh, 50% of all dead links on the internet are to Angelfire and Geocities sites (the other half seem to be to ~someoneshome/some.edu )

Some time ago I got to not even clicking to visit a site if I saw it was Angelfire or Geocities. Is it because all those people who built sites lost interest, moved onto other things? Certainly a percentage did use these free hosts as their first forray into the world of the web, but I bet you that's not the reason. I'm betting the largest number of those sites were taken down, either because they infringed on some trivial copyright, or because they broke the ever more ridiculous TOS of the hosts.

My point is this, publicly hosting user content is a NIGHTMARE. How are Google going to handle the slew of bad publicity that befalls them when they take down little Johnys "Bus route enthusiats website" because it contains "copyrighted" material? Are Google suddenly going to become porn police deciding where the line falls for those revealing prom pics that the teenage girls put up?

Google are heading into a minefield. I'm making no judgement one way or the other but expect to see a LOT of "Google are evil because.... / No they're not because...." stories very soon.

Re:DeJaVoogle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14979904)

Don't you know? Google can do whatever they want because normal laws do not apply to them (or so they want to believe John Randomshareholder).

http://fuckedgoogle.com/ [fuckedgoogle.com]

Re:DeJaVoogle (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979987)

Just look at the domain and don't click, as always.

Anyone who is serious about their website does *not* use geocities (and definately not angelfire - I've not seen anything on there recently but warez and hacking sites). If you want to know what some 14 year old thinks then look at them, otherwise steer clear.

It's a pity google will probably get added to that list - it can only hurt their advertisers once that reflex is ingrained.

Re:DeJaVoogle (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14980230)

I'm making no judgement one way or the other but expect to see a LOT of "Google are evil because.... / No they're not because...." stories very soon.

Business as usual, then.

Advertising? (2, Interesting)

balster neb (645686) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979767)

What I'm not able to figure out is what kind of advertising is going to be there on user pages. Yahoo Geocities has a huge advertising pane on the right side of every page. I wonder how google will deal with inserting ads. If anyone here has got Google Pages access, what kind of advertising is present on the pages?

Another thing that's not clear: how much bandwidth they offer. Geocities has a daily bandwidth limit per user. If the limit is exceeded, the user's page isn't accesible for the rest of the day. It would be interesting to see how Google deals with this.

Re:Advertising? (2, Informative)

mancontr (775899) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979826)

I use it, and don't see any ad.
About the bandwidth limit, I dunno, haven't reached it..

Re:Advertising? (1)

Jackazz (572024) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979882)

I created my first page last night to show some pictures to my friends, and there are no ads on it. Don't know about bandwidth.

Re:Advertising? (1)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | more than 8 years ago | (#14980045)

Geocities has a daily bandwidth limit per user. If the limit is exceeded, the user's page isn't accesible for the rest of the day. It would be interesting to see how Google deals with this.

I never understood why Geocities (and others) would take down popular pages so often. Isn't the whole concept based around serving ads to as many people as possible?

Re:Advertising? (1)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 8 years ago | (#14980048)


hat I'm not able to figure out is what kind of advertising is going to be there on user pages. Yahoo Geocities has a huge advertising pane on the right side of every page. I wonder how google will deal with inserting ads.

I haven't an account, so I'd welcome more informative responses, but I'll speculate:

  • There will be no ads during beta. The first hit is free.
  • The ads that do appear will be based on the content of the page, and will be mostly text--ala the ads that you see on everyone's blog. It only makes sense to tie this service to the existing ad delivery mechanism, but since Google will host the site the site owner won't get a kickback, and will be given more powerful tools to draw viewers.

Re:Advertising? (2, Interesting)

dykofone (787059) | more than 7 years ago | (#14980131)

I could imagine they would start to offer AdSense accounts to the Google Pages users. It gives the flexibility to insert the ads where you want, has the incentive of receiving money for clicks, and Google still makes cash.

Just a random guess though.

Re:DeJaVoogle (3, Informative)

jbarr (2233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979787)

The really nice thing about Page Creator is that it provides simple Web pages without the annoyance of ads and "ad gadgets" that so many others include. Page Creator Web pages, so far, are clean, and easy to make. If Google eventually does include ads, you can bet that it'll be unobtrusive like most of its other services.

Google doesn't always come out with "new" products, but it often implements them in new and fresh ways.

-Jim
http://gmailtips.com/ [gmailtips.com]
http://googlepagestips.com/ [googlepagestips.com]
http://pagecreatortips.com/ [pagecreatortips.com]

Re:DeJaVoogle (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979810)

There's something to be said for not necessarily doing something *new*, but doing it *better* than it had been previously, and building a number of disparate products into a cohesive, well-designed whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. See "Apple."

Re:DeJaVoogle (1)

JaXx-StoRm (936638) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979941)

I think it's true, they are becoming the next Yahoo, but I think everytime they offer a new service similar to something yahoo or MS offers, they do it better (in general) which is why they have become so popular. Google will branch out into every conceivable market, I think thats a given, however what remains to be seen is if they beat all their competitors in every market. If they do, they'll have a monopoly even MS with the desktop OS could only envy

Re:DeJaVoogle (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979973)

Funny, I could've sworn GeoCities [geocities.com] and Angelfire [angelfire.com] had something like this many many years ago.

Without any ads whatsoever?

Temporary could be good! (1, Troll)

jbarr (2233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979983)

That's the one thing that really intrigues me about Google's Page Creator: The concept that it is capable of quickly creating simple, ad-hoc, "temporary pages. While you are absolutely correct about the non-availability of many GeoCities and AngelFire pages, if we know that about GooglePages from the start, then GooglePages won't seem like it's fallen into the same realm. GooglePages is a great place to post temporary or short-term pages for things like events, notes, and other stuff that don't require long-term storage. Once you're "done" with the page, just delete it and that's that. Yes, "grandma" can use it too for her "permanent" pages, but I think the real power of Page Creator is its quick-and-dirty approach.

If Google indexes GooglePages just like other sites, (accessible through Google's Web Search) they should then ensure that GooglePages that get deleted are removed from its index (maybe as an optional checkbox during the delete step?) You see, while we all certainly like archived information through the likes of the Way Back Machine [archive.org] and Google's page cache, is that really necessary for much of life's temporary information to permanently hold onto it? If you want long-term storage, then put it into a blog, a Wiki, or a site geared for long-term hosting.

I think the "killer app" aspect of GooglePages is its potential for temporary Web pages.

What do you think?

-Jim
http://gmailtips.com/ [gmailtips.com]
http://pagecreatortips.com/ [pagecreatortips.com]
http://googlepagestips.com/ [googlepagestips.com]

Re:DeJaVoogle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14980252)

Geocities also removed ftp access to your websites, forcing you to go through their interfaces to update files. Is there any word on if google will allow ftp?

Re:DeJaVoogle (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 7 years ago | (#14980283)

The only true advantage I see to this is that Google gives you a LOT more disk space for free

Even then, I seem to remember that Xoom offered "unlimited" webspace. They're no longer around, but the point is that even increased space isn't anything new.

Re:DeJaVoogle (1)

izomiac (815208) | more than 7 years ago | (#14980334)

There are actually quite a few free web hosts, many of which with far better offerings than Geocities or Angelfire. I haven't made a webpage in the last few years, but it looks like the site [freewebspace.net] I used to use to find hosts still works. I never really got why Geocities and Angelfire are so popular when they just offer a small amount of space, ads, and static pages (last time I checked). I mean, if you look you can find free hosts that offer 5 GB of space, others that offer no ads, and still others that offer things like CGI or MySQL.

REALLY OLD NEWS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14979680)

Wow, this is a new low, even for slashdot. This was on digg *weeks* ago.

GOOGLE PAGES = WWW.PLAYFULLYCLEVER.COM (-1, Flamebait)

PlayfullyClever (934896) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979684)

www.playfullyclever.com

google = teh win0rs

fuck t3h micro$oft

long live teh stallmantor

n fuck u lameness filter

Dupe (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14979691)

This is a dupe, it was covered on slashdot ages ago.

As opposed to geocities etc., the user interface for pages.google.com is a very comfortable Ajax one, w/ almost the feel of a desktop application.

Re:Dupe (1, Funny)

NETHED (258016) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979731)

Dupe-dedupe da dupe dee dupe DUPE
Link to the Dupity-dupe [slashdot.org]

Sorry, this is my first time reporting a Dupe. And damn it, i'm going to have fun

Re:Dupe (4, Insightful)

strider44 (650833) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979775)

Unfortunately it's not a dupe when it's reporting new news. Just as Microsoft releasing the beta for Windows Vista isn't a dupe of Microsoft announcing that there will be a Windows Vista, this is not a dupe of that article. Didn't the "google released this Wednesday" clue you in that the article might actually be reporting something different than the article from more than a month ago, even if they are on the same software?

Re:Dupe (4, Informative)

sarabob (544622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979806)

yes, but no matter how much TFA says it was released on Wednesday, it's been around since the last article. I built a site, other people built sites. This is nothing new, just TFA being slow.

Pages does not support Safari (4, Informative)

mytec (686565) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979695)

Sorry, your web browser is not yet supported. Our programming wizards tried their darndest to get Google Page Creator to work with as many browsers as possible. But alas, even the most expert practitioners of web sorcery must sleep now and again, lest their JavaScript magic run dry. So, for now, you'll need either to download a new version of Firefox or download a new version of Internet Explorer (Windows only), and then come right back.

Re:Pages does not support Safari (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14979759)

Heck, I got this from Firefox 1.5. Just because I'm using Firefox on a platform that's not Windows, Mac, or Linux .....

Re:Pages does not support Safari (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14979886)

That piece of shit safari is still around?

Re:Pages does not support Safari (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14980079)

That's because the Safari team have spent too much time on CSS 2 (just so they can release smug acid test press releases) rather then getting the browser to work in real world situations.

Apple engineers, if you're reading this, please start working on your DOM model & Javascript. As things stand your rather crappy browser is hard to support.

Hear, hear! (2, Interesting)

MisterSquid (231834) | more than 7 years ago | (#14980289)

Apple engineers, if you're reading this, please start working on your DOM model & Javascript.

In the past, my university's IT departments were models of Windows-centric ignorance regarding Mac OS X and Unix-workalikes. That's since changed and when I call about a network problem and tell them that I'm running OS X, they take my reports seriously rather than asking me to reboot my computer.

This last term (Winter quarter) my university introduced web-based grade submission. I pointed Safari at the website and was peremptorily notified that my browser (Safari 2.0.3) was not supported for not having a coherent DOM.

Apple does a lot of things right, especially as regards standards. But why does Apple choose to screw up so royally with something as important to developers as the DOM? This, really, is egg on Apple's face.

Re:Pages does not support Safari (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14980348)

Oh quit whining.

Bloody Mac users, whiners the lot.

I was one of the lucky few (5, Informative)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979698)

I managed to sign up very early, so I got to play with it a fair bit. Since I'm a web developer, I was most interested in the technology rather than having yet another web site I maintain. Here's the things they did well, in my opinion:
  • The use of AJAX is well done. Pages save by themselves, you can drag and align images, and there's a nifty file upload utility.
  • There's simple versioning, allowing work on pages before publishing.
  • The HTML editor is super-easy. They do let you play with the raw HTML, which might cause problems down the road.
In general, I think it'll be a nice tool for people wanting a small little web site with a handful of pages. It doesn't do other things very well, such as maintaining navigation between pages or doing any sort of interactive pages. Still, Google tries hard to capture the 80% useage and I think they've done so with this little application.

Re:I was one of the lucky few (5, Informative)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979785)

On the down side, they claim XHTML 1.0 Strict, but the pages they produce aren't even well-formed. (Notably, they don't close br, hr, and img tags.)

They also use divs where they should be using spans (if they must use these generic tags). And they leave out some required attributes.

Overall, it's a pretty sloppy job.

-Peter

Re:I was one of the lucky few (3, Interesting)

Inda (580031) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979789)

You say that it's possible to edit the raw HTML but is it also possible to use <SCRIPT> and <STYLE> tags? How about adding links to external style sheets? Textboxes and dropdown menus etc?

Will Google serve my pages without line breaks as they do with their pages? I hope not as it's a nightmare to read and understand.

Does their editor create nice HTML or does it look like MS Word HTML?

Can I upload ZIP files, videos, MP3s etc?

I can't wait to have a play. Seems like it could be fun.

Re:I was one of the lucky few (2, Informative)

mancontr (775899) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979844)

It removes page breaks, create better HTML than MS Word but far from perfect, and you can upload any filetype.

Re:I was one of the lucky few (4, Informative)

TOWebstress (855727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979915)

I've also got a beta account on Google pages, and am a web designer. The HTML it creates is passable, but not good. It can't touch the horror that MS Word creates (but what could?), but it still uses tags, which I find a bit odd. You can manipulate the raw code, but it's not set up in a way that would encourage the average user to do so. Overall, I found it a comparable product to the other basic WYSIWYG web building tools that have been online for years...a cleaner interface (a la Google, they do that well), but really nothing new. It's easy to use though. One needn't know so much as how a site is structured in order to build a site, and linking between pages is pretty intuitive. There doesn't seem to be any way to see an overall structure of the site you're creating though. You can end up just building and adding pages from here, there any everwhere, but never having the benefit of seeing a site or file structure to keep architecture in check. That said, I suspect that most of the people who use this product will be building little site...a few pages...and don't have big demands for advanced features.

Re:I was one of the lucky few (2, Informative)

garaged (579941) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979940)

no script and style tags AFAIK, its quite well protected to avoid XSS, try to do any onEvent and it will be striped.

It's a pretty neat work on that side, the XHTML issue may be another story, but I think is quite good by now, it can be better really soon.

Email scrapers probably like this ... (4, Interesting)

xmas2003 (739875) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979707)

USERNAME@gmail.com can be obtained from USERNAME.googlepages.com and a list of the later can be pulled by using Google to search for site: googlepages.com [google.com]

Re:Email scrapers probably like this ... (3, Insightful)

ricepudd (960850) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979756)

From my experience, many ISP's embed your username somewhere in the URL to their free webspace offerings. Is this any different?

According to this page [googlepages.com], spammers hadn't caught on to this the last time the page was updated.

Re:Email scrapers probably like this ... (4, Insightful)

jbarr (2233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979760)

But then again, Gmail's spam handling is excellent, so I personally wouldn't worry about it.

I receive about 300-400 spam emails per month, and typically Gmail flags them correctly. I almost never get false positives, and only occasionally, it misses a few, but overall, spam really hasn't been an issue for me with Gmail.

So Will PAgeCreator increase spam? Probably, but it really shouldn't impact Gmail users that much.

-Jim
http://gmailtips.com/ [gmailtips.com]
http://googlepagestips.com/ [googlepagestips.com]
http://pagecreatortips.com/ [pagecreatortips.com]

Re:Email scrapers probably like this ... (2, Interesting)

Inda (580031) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979836)

Is Scraping really that much of a problem these days?

My email address up there ^^ has been advertised on Slashdot since the start of the year. I've had exactly 16 emails sent to that address so far. The first one was from me testing it out, one has been from a fellow Slashdotter and the rest Spam. Where there's been an opt-out link, I've used it and there have been no repeat offenders.

I'm going to put my real email address back up after Spam #20. That's how much of a problem I think Scraping is.

Re:Email scrapers probably like this ... (2, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979986)

Maybe they just don't bother about SpamGourmet addresses? ;-)

Re:Email scrapers probably like this ... (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979820)

> USERNAME@gmail.com can be obtained from USERNAME.googlepages.com and a list of
> the later can be pulled by using Google to search for site: googlepages.com

Bring it on! I've got a 6 character Gmail email address, and I post to Usenet fairly frequently with no attempt to hide it. I get absolutely loads of spam, but all but 1 or 2 pieces per month is filtered away for me.

Re:Email scrapers probably like this ... (1)

garaged (579941) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979984)

I must be doing something wrong because I can get as much as 15-20 spams in a day not tagged correctly, but that can be because I redirect a really spamed account to gmail, any way, it doesnt matter, it takes me like a minute/day to detect spam by subject and tag it correctly.

I don't know about others, but my bayesian human filter is quite fast and misses little actually

Re:Email scrapers probably like this ... (1)

astrosmash (3561) | more than 8 years ago | (#14980001)

Yes, one would be very wise to create a new Google account strictly for this service, rather than use their primary Gmail account. I hope Google will eventually take out the middle step and allow people to specify a different URL for their Google pages without having to use multiple accounts.

Re:Email scrapers probably like this ... (1)

jimjohnson (715479) | more than 7 years ago | (#14980209)

How is this (checking website URLs looking for email usernames) any different then a spammer simply testing gmail addresses directly. I.e. couldn't a spammer just send emails to random gmail addresses, see which ones bounce, then add the non-bounces to his good email list? Unless there's some way to prevent that, I don't see how having a URL with your username in it increases your spam risk.

Re:Email scrapers probably like this ... (1)

bismark.a (882874) | more than 7 years ago | (#14980244)

What is more interesting is that I get a count of the number of google page users that have been allocated from the Google Index.

http://google.com/search?q=site%3Agooglepages.com [google.com] "Results 1 - 100 of about 21,400 from googlepages.com for . (0.17 seconds)" just a few seconds back.

so about 21,400 users = about 21,400 user * 100 MB/user MBs = about 2140 GBs = about 2.14 TB

And a heck a lot of bandwidth too. Wonder what would happen when the AD goldrush trickles or dies down

Erm, I already had access... (4, Informative)

ricepudd (960850) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979712)

I'm a little confused. I signed up to GooglePages in February when Slashdot first reported this story [slashdot.org], and I've been happily been able to log in and edit my site ever since... I take it from this article that this hasn't been the case for everyone?

Re:Erm, I already had access... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14979946)

seconded

Re:Erm, I already had access... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14979981)

I just put my request in now and was able to login and publish immediately!

Re:Erm, I already had access... (1)

geobeck (924637) | more than 7 years ago | (#14980205)

Same here; check sig.

Re:Erm, I already had access... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14980298)

I too have been able to use mine for the last few months

Closed to new accounts? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14979713)

MMM I never signed up in JAN/FEB I only just heard of google pages from this link today.
True on the main page they are not allowin ppl to sing UP

BUT I just enterend my gmail details on the right to login and I already have an accout

so all gmail users it is quite likely you already have a page

Do you get the feelling... (3, Insightful)

simong (32944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979722)

That someone at Google is browsing Yahoo! just a little too much?

Initial impressions (5, Informative)

simon_hibbs2 (792812) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979726)

GooglePages offers a very basic set of editing tools and a bunch of pre-defined page templates. It's pretty similar in usability to the GeoCities tools I used a while back, but the big difference is that it's all in-browser editing. With GeoCities I had to download an editor app and fire it up if I wanted to work on my pages, whereas with GooglePages you can immediately start entering content which makes it much more user friendly. I almost gave up of GeoCities several times due to the initial configuration process.

I wish Google had better integration, or even just basic links between it's services. Logged into Gmail and want to edit your GooglePages? Tough, you might as well open a seperate browser tab and navigate there from scratch. Likewise if you have a personalised Google home page - you can load a widget into it linking to your gmail, but again if you're in Gmail there's no easy way to go to your Google homepage reliably.

I know these are 'beta' services and they're beign incrementaly improved - the chat client in Gmail is nice - but Gmail has been in beta for a year or so now and how difficult would it be to just put simple links in place?

Simon

Lol, read other posts and think for a sec (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979879)

Might the lack of a links on every google page to every google service possible be on purpose?

Several posts above moan about how portals like yahoo filled their pages with ever more stuff making them impossible to use.

Perhaps google has decided to keep all their services seperate making it possible to keep their pages clean and not wasting screen space on links that should be in your bookmarks anyway.

You seem to want to turn google in another Yahoo. No thank you.

Re:Lol, read other posts and think for a sec (1)

simon_hibbs2 (792812) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979927)

SmallFurryCreature:

>Perhaps google has decided to keep all their services seperate making it possible
>to keep their pages clean and not wasting screen space on links that should be
>in your bookmarks anyway.

I just went into Gmail to count the links at the bottom of the page and post a smart-allec reply along the lines of "They allready have 7 links at the footer anyway" and what do you know? Now there's a link to Google Homepage. How long has that been there? It must be pretty recent.

Plus in Home Page there's a widget you can add that holds user-defined bookmarks. Things are looking up in Google Land.

Re:Initial impressions (1)

scrm (185355) | more than 7 years ago | (#14980253)

I've also been playing with Google Pages. It's slick in the way that we expect Google products to be slick. But hey, it's just an AJAX page editor. The fact that it saves your work on the fly is nice, and I find the design intuitive despite what some people have posted here, but this doesn't cover any new ground functionally - it doesn't *change how you work* - like Gmail did with its conversations feature and built-in Google search for email (which has essentially made the clerical task of sorting email redundant).

I'm also querying the target market here. Gmail has replaced local email clients for many, and there's a even a debate about whether it could be employed for business use (remember it's spawned a hosted Gmail [google.com] offering). In its current form, what business need is Page Creator going to serve? It's hardly an all-singing all-dancing CMS, and it's clearly targeted squarely at the newbie base, so it won't stick with the tech thought leaders and won't really gain traction like Gmail has.

Before I get the 'if it doesn't suit you, don't use it' responses or 'if it means my grandmother can have a homepage that's all that's important': I'm not saying that Pages is no good, but haven't we come to expect more from Google? Unless it's massively developed, beyond the Geocities crowd it's just going to be a toy.

Google Pages Initial Testing (1, Interesting)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979736)

It loads initially okay in IE7, but it is a bit slow right now. I am not sure why, but it crashed the first time I used it. It didn't want to save, and it didn't load some of the tools on the left-hand menu. The next time I tried, it worked okay, but it hung again when I was uploading some images.

It has several default templates to choose from, which is nice. There is a menu on the left side to easily adjust your fonts, colours and layout.

I reloaded it in Firefox 1.5.0.1, and got this error: 'Google Page Creator is having a little trouble right now. This is not because of anything you did; it's just a little hiccup in our system that will hopefully go away soon. We apologize for the inconvenience, and recommend you try reloading this page.'

I then closed Firefox and reopened it, and it loaded perfectly.

I will give it a few days to work out the bugs, but for a free page creator with 100mb space, you can't beat it.

nice,but... (4, Insightful)

penguin-collective (932038) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979745)

Does anybody actually still just edit static web pages? And does anybody still edit navigational structures by hand instead of using a CMS for maintaining the navigational elements?

It seems to me that a home page site should, at a minimum, support static pages, blogs, a gallery, calendar, comments, and a file archive under a common navigational structure.

So, this seems like a neat tour-de-force in AJAX, but I think it's missing where the world has been moving over the last few years.

Re:nice,but... (2, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979799)

Clearly you haven't visited many personal websites lately. Most of them are exactly the same as they have been for years - namely some poorly coloured text on a tiled image background with a few pictures of their pets and a huge animated .gif for the title.

Suprisingly few people actually have the knowledge or inclination to go as far as putting up photo galleries, blogs, calendars and other associated crap on their own personal homepage - there are plenty of other services (read: MySpace for the mostpart) that do that for you.

you're supporting my point (2, Insightful)

penguin-collective (932038) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979846)

You are supporting my point: the "home page" has been replaced by other services, which incidentally also generate an externally visible page. The people who still attempt to create a classical home page generate something that's ugly and obsolete.

Re:nice,but... (1)

Emporer of Ice Cream (442086) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979856)

Perhaps you'll recall Google has an app for Email, and a coming app for Calendaring, and a portal called Fusion, and a personalized News product?

Can you say "Add my modules to my page"?

I tried it - seems well implemented (3, Insightful)

MarkWatson (189759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979751)

I run two of my own servers but I signed up because I was looking for a simple web hosting service to recommend to a few non-technical friends. The editing features are simple enough to use. I ended up putting a boring little rant on Spirituality and Responsibility [googlepages.com] on my free googlepages account - nothing that I would put on my professional web sites, and material that is probably too boring even for my blog :-)

only jan and feb signups? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14979778)

actually, i signed up for the service on monday, and got my invite tuesday saying my account had been set up...

I didn't like it (4, Insightful)

khendron (225184) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979802)

I tried it yesterday, and didn't like it.

Oh, it's a groovy implementation of AJAX, but I found it was very awkward to use. It was restrictive enough to be frustrating, yet flexible enough to be confusing. I think Google was shooting for that perfect balance between usability and features, and missed.

That's strange... (3, Informative)

Zaatxe (939368) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979892)

However, only those who signed up early (in January and February) to use Google Pages have access to the current beta.

I signed up to it less than a week ago and 15 minutes ago I got an e-mail saying I could already use it. And it's true, I can.

Off-site storage? (3, Interesting)

Life700MB (930032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979918)


Will they allow to use those 100Mb to store files to be linked and served from free hosted pages in other servers?


--
Superb hosting [tinyurl.com] 20GB Storage, 1_TB_ bandwidth, ssh, $7.95

The information Microsoft (0, Flamebait)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979921)

Email, search, news aggregation, blogging, webpage design, maps. Google is an information behemoth that is in search of a search engine these days. Don't get me wrong, I still think that they are winning on quality with their search, email and news services, but they are expanding rapidly into every conceivable territory, often without regard for being significantly better.

Ironically, just like Microsoft, they have a core strength surrounded by large amounts of weakness. Microsoft's great strengths are only its OS products, Microsoft Office and its development tools for the same. The other stuff in some respects actually drags the company down by causing it to lose sight of keeping the core compelling.

I actually happen to have no problem with Microsoft's core products, but there is a real, meaningful parallel between the two companies now. Google has "done evil" and will continue to do so. At this point in the game, their markets are too different to say whether Google really does have a different corporate culture in principle rather than degrees. Microsoft had to be vicious in order to become as big in its markets, but Google has to walk a finer line because information service monopolies are intrinsically scary to a much larger number of people than an OS and Office suite monopoly, though Google doesn't yet have a monopoly.

Anyone try embedding flash? (1)

gobblez (659715) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979926)

It strips flash code for me. Tried various embed methods such as the default and satay. I had to upload my own html with the code, and link to it. I'm guess they strip the object/embed tags for their own saftey and to help prevent abuse of future ads.

Licenses (2, Interesting)

h2g2bob (948006) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979935)

It's nice to note how different the Google Pages and Yahoo Geocities Terms are,

Google's ToS:
"you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, adapt and publish such Content on Google services solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting Google services. This license terminates when such Content is removed from the Google service to which you originally submitted."
Yahoo's ToS:
"the perpetual, irrevocable and fully sublicensable license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, publicly perform and publicly display such Content (in whole or in part) and to incorporate such Content into other works in any format or medium now known or later developed"
See, google isn't (always) evil

Create Google content for free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14979948)

It costs $10/month to host content on the web. So any website had to have $120 worth of value to survive for a year.

Then Google Adsense pays out less and less until your adsense adverts only makes $30/year with Google keeping the big share.

So Google makes hosting free, so now you can clone content from other web sites and stuff their index with pages worth absolutely nothing.

Just like Blogger has become stuffed full of computer generated blogs, scraping content from other sites out on the web. Content that can't even sustain the cost of hosting it on the web.

Isn't this what Netscape tried to do? (1)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 8 years ago | (#14979953)

Google Pages, Google Word (or whatever they're calling it), Gmail, etc. etc. ... isn't this the online future that Netscape promised with Navigator 4? Presuming your browser handles the various tech, the OS you use really does become more or less irrelevant as all work is done entirely in the context of html.

We're seeing it with the bigger apps too....Siebel, Peoplesoft, Oracle (those are the ones I'm familar with) are all browser based. Sure a lot of the world (read: most of the world) is still running off of Excel workbooks and Word documents, but even Microsoft is toying with an online version of Office. I can almost imagine a time when a Mac mini really is all you need (with the exception of games, of course).

Is it just me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14979962)

or is this story like a month old?

Things that make you go hmmm... (3, Interesting)

SwashbucklingCowboy (727629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14980116)

Google gives away 2 GB with a Gmail account, but only 100 MB for web access. Why the difference?

Re:Things that make you go hmmm... (5, Insightful)

cinnamoninja (958754) | more than 7 years ago | (#14980185)

The difference is that storage is cheap, but bandwidth is expensive.

If you store 1 GB of mail, you will probably only access each individual message 5 times, ever. If you put up 1 GB of data on the web, you want it to be downloaded by as many people as possible, every day for the live of the page.

Cinnamon

Re:Things that make you go hmmm... (1)

freeweed (309734) | more than 7 years ago | (#14980330)

Plus, email compresses amazingly well. That 2GB (note: I'm fast approaching 3GB on mine, don't know if this is true for all) doesn't really translate into 2GB of disk space. Most email is still just text, or HTML, while webpages often are loaded with pictures which don't compress very well.

Also, gmail is a pain to use for bulk file storage/transfer between friends. Small attachment sizes, etc. Googlepages would be ideal for putting up say 2GB of mp3s to share, and all of that WOULD get used, and used often.

I want this! (2, Interesting)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 7 years ago | (#14980148)

Just a place I can put my little bit of GPL-ed code where it is accessible to anyone. Sometimes a project is just too small for sourceforge.

it launched a month ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14980332)

As I understand it people did get in when signups were first taken a month ago. I personally got in a day before this proported launch:
Page: Words -- Defined
Status: Published
URL: *.googlepages.com/words
Last Updated: Mar 21

I am dismayed that google doesn't seem to automatically update it's search index when you hit publish. It'd much faster than crawling your pages.

To answer other's points:
I do edit static pages by hand in vi for my home page. I have installed a few "CMS" systems, and most of them go stale while my hand edited html is easy to keep updating. With google pages I think I created more new content in 4 hours than I have in the last 2 years, so it is easier and faster, but who know if I'll be keeping it up to date.

No, your gmail contact do not automatically get told that you have a googlepage, it's not integrated like chat and mail. It doesn't even use the spell checking from gmail (or any at all).

For some reason it consistantly will substitute 'P' for &Rho; It's about right.
It could use some css attention. When you change the font of some text, it uses the font tag instead of a span; it would be better if you could just set the value for at least a limited set of CSS attributes per box in your current box (I.E. Color, Font-Family, Font-Size, Font-variant, Font-Weight, Line-Height, Text-Align etc.) It would be best if you could change the CSS for the layout.

No it does not integrate any photo-album, blogging, calendar, Customer Relations Management, Mailing Lists, Comments, Moderation Delegation, VRML2 or what have you. They have blogger for (some of) that.

I'm told it's a heck of a lot easier than Cyworld. Linking pages, externally or internally, editing them, and using images is surprisingly well done. I wonder if I can drop in some swf, svg, or stuff like that.

I'd personally like to make my subheading be a nicely styled menu with :hover attributes, I'm not clear on if it's possible now. But one thing that would make it easier it to define elements smaller than a page which can be included like images and thus updated accross multiple pages.

yup.
-D

Here's an alternative. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14980346)

Not free, but it has worked well for some small business owners I know: www.homestead.com [homestead.com].
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