… all the colours of the rainbow

“Yeah, you know, that thing that is on all the computers and it tells you very interesting stuff, especially about dinosaurs. You can ask anything! And it’s got all the colours of the rainbow…”

This is how my five-year-old described Google to me only a few days ago. I was shocked first when I listened to him, but then I realised that his description was quite accurate: Google is indeed all that he said… and more.

This week on the CJBSsmdl we explored Google and some of its products. By far, Gmail is my favourite and I rely heavily on it. Gmail has become like my virtual brain, acting not only as my main email hub, but also allowing me to do more than just composing emails. From Gmail I can see my calendar and get reminders, I can see my list of tasks and pending jobs, I can send files directly to Dropbox or Evernote, and my Gmail even tells me what the weather is like!

Working on a library I’m well aware of students using Google Search for their projects and assignments. And as much as we, the I&LS team,  would love to hear that they only use it as a last resource after they have explored all of our very expensive and unique library databases, this is not the case. And I totally understand why they google it before anything else, as my son said it to me, Google can tell you very interesting stuff… but only when used correctly and with a good sense of criteria.


Despite its 1.15bn registered users and the possibility of having video chats with many people at a time, I’m still not convinced about Google+, at least not from a personal perspective. I recently read an article that described the typical Google+ user: men, aged between 25-34, single and with an annual salary of over £35000 – I don’t tick all the boxes. It also mentioned that of the 1.15bn users, only 32% are active, and the US and India comprise almost 45% of the total users. The UK only accounts for 3.9m active users.

What Google+ is good at is helping brands (48% of Fortune Global 100 companies use it) and individuals (freelancers) to increase their online visibility and create connections. Looking at CJBS Google+ page with its 358 followers and 20,320 views, it’s become clear that Google+ can’t be ignored and it should be considered as another (and very important) social media platform to diffuse your message and reach other people.

Image credit: {Balázs} via Flickr Creative Commons

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About cluna2014

Library Assistant at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.

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