Saturday, May 08, 2010

Google Trusted Tester

I signed up to become a Google Trusted Tester after seeing this post on Buzz. Much to my surprise, I was actually chosen as a tester.

While I'm actually not that interested in testing buzz per se, I'm assuming that I'll be able to test other services. In particular, Google's announcement that more google applications will be available for google apps has me intrigued. While Google Apps will not be migrated to the "new system" until the fall, organizations can voluntarily select to migrate to the new system over the summer.

I have thought for a while now that Google Apps was pretty useless. Granted that you can create a "google account" using your google apps account, the reality is that it becomes a separate account with the same email address. So while I can create a picasa account using my neohawk.org domain (in use with Google Apps), it's separate from my google apps account. What that means is that when I log into Picasa, I will see Google's universal navigation bar at the top. But if I click on the "gmail" link it takes me to a page to create a google mail account.

As a domain using google apps, this is exactly what I don't want! I'd like a navigation bar that represents the services in my domain. But since the accounts are separate, there currently is no way to do this.

With google making more applications, such as reader, blogger, picasa, and others available via google apps, and managed in the domain control panel, I'm assuming that the "universal" menu bar will no longer confuse my users. So I'm all for it and as I buzzed at the time, "about effin' time".

But here's my problem. I have already created an google account for my Google App accounts. Since using my google app account to create a google account was the only way to create a blog on blogger, for example, I now have two accounts. So the question will be is there a way to migrate the services I've signed up for back underneath my google app account, an expunge the google account.

Google app account...google account....all very confusing. One reason that Google won't really make it inside the enterprise, but continue to do well in "consumer" type services. If you read the announcement, you would have noticed that one of the main reasons for making this change is that Universities and other "enterprise" size organizations are demanding it. With 8 million U.S. college students using Google Apps, this is a pretty big demand. For example, my daughter now has an American University email account provided via Google Apps. However, if she were to go to blogger today, she'd have to use a separate google account to create a blog. Not very organizational friendly, particularly since she can create accounts using here AU account with zero control from the organization providing that email account. Hence, Google's move to make more services available and under the control of the issuing organization.

I'd like to let you know how it goes, but as a Google Trusted Tester, I'm under an NDA not to say anything except to Google for those services I select to participate in as a tester. Since I am already a Google Apps user, I'm assuming that the NDA doesn't include voluntarily moving my google apps domain to the new system this summer and then telling the world how it went. But we'll see.

In particular, I'm interested in the expansion of Google services for Google Apps less for my personal use, but rather for JANO of which I am a member of the "web team" and manage the email for them. JANO is a google apps user, and a blogger user. So I'll be interested in how the "migration" goes.

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