Ever since I started using Firefox and discovered the joys of tabbed browsing, I have had my browser start with multiple tabs open to my most commonly accessed websites. For about three years, there were only two: Slashdot and ESPN. About two years ago, I added Google Reader to the mix for blog reading.
What pages make it to my startup screen is a delicate balance. Slashdot could be an RSS subscription in my Reader, but I found that it was easier to just scroll through the website for a couple minutes and pick out the articles I wanted to read. The same was true for ESPN.
Lately, Lifehacker has been high on my list of sites I read, but it too is starting to clog my Reader screen with too many posts. As a result, I’ve decided that after two years, it’s time to update my startup config for Firefox. The list, from left to right:
- Google Reader
The other notable addition is Facebook. I still hate their design for the most part, but it’s becoming a critical tool that if I don’t start with it open, I won’t make it to Facebook somedays, and there are too many youth there to forget a day.
What website(s) do you include in your startup screen?
I’m a compulsive Google user. I might even have a Google addiction. But they are so stinking cool I can’t resist. A few months ago, I found a website that suggested you should list your business in the Google Local Business Center. Theoretically, it helps people find your business.
So I added First Trinity. Check out our listing. Tonight I got an email telling me that I can now log in and see stats about how people find us and what they do with our listing once there. Here are some interesting statistics about how people Googled us in the last 30 days:
- Our listing showed up 633 times.
- There were 65 actions taken:
- 10 Clicks for more info on Google Maps.
- 27 Clicks for driving directions.
- 28 Clicks to our website.
- Top Search Queries (impressions):
- First Trinity Lutheran Church (56)
- Churches (45)
- Preschool (45)
- Church (32)
- Daycare (26)
- Trinity Lutheran Church (22)
- Preschools (21)
- Child Care (19)
- Lutheran Churches (19)
- Christian Schools (16)
- Where the driving directions requests came from (requests):
- Buffalo 14202 (7)
- Buffalo 14224 (6)
- Hamburg 14075 (4)
- Amherst 14068 (3)
- Buffalo 14228 (3)
- Angola 14006, Buffalo 14217, Lockport 14094, Summersville 26651 (1 each) [Note: Summersville is where we’re looking at staying on our way home from the Workcamp. That may have been me looking]
- Our listing went live on May 1, 2009. We were averaging 15 impressions/day through May 25. Our average from May 26 through June 11 is 31.7.
So I was inspired to go ahead and connect our profile with some videos and added some office hours and worship times. We’ll see if it increases traffic.
EDIT: We get 10 pictures to place in our profile. One is a picture of our facility so people will recognize it. The remaining 9 are to be decided. Help us choose! Check out the following places for your favorite pictures of First Trinity:
Try to find pictures that match these simple statements:
- Where People Matter
- Rooted and Relevant
- Celebrating Life Together
Last time I upgraded phones from a Samsung flip phone to the Treo 700wx, I went through my contacts and manually added everything to the Treo instead of paying the $10 at Verizon to have them do the transfer. Not a big deal.
This time, I’m trying to move my contacts from the Treo to the new iPhone. The iPhone allows me to sync with Google’s contacts (my Gmail contacts, actually). This causes all kinds of problems however:
- My contacts have always been separate from one another. Gmail had all my email addresses, my phone only phone numbers.
- The most direct route of transferring the numbers is to sync them to Outlook, export them to a file, then import them to Gmail.
- Everyone who I have a phone number for is now listed twice in Gmail.
So I’ve spent about 2 hours updating my contacts to get things in some sort of order. I suppose long-term, this will be good for me. However, after working with Gmail’s contacts for a while now, here are some changes to the Google contact manager I’d like to see:
- Google is about search. Can’t it search your contacts and suggest possible duplicates for merging together?
- I’d like to be able to search for contacts that aren’t in a specific group.
- Where is the social media section of the contacts? Why can’t I store people’s MySpace, Facebook, Twitter or personal websites in a specialized field?
- For that matter, why can’t Google suggest possible links by searching for the email address and seeing if it’s linked to a social media site?
- I want to archive email addresses with a contact. This way I can keep a record of all previous email addresses for someone so the “View Recent Conversations” will show all emails from all the addresses associated with the contact. These archived addresses shouldn’t show up as options in the auto-complete suggestions for writing an email, only in the conversation history.
The iPhone and other smart phones in this generation have radically changed the way we use phones. It’s time Contacts caught up.
You may or may not know, but Google turned 10 recently. In a fun throwback to the early days of Google, you search the Internet as it existed in 2001. The Standard has some interesting searches to try. We show up in the search results, including our old website. Boy I’m glad Joe is on the job! You can also visit an extensive list of our old websites.
Thanks Slashdot for the original links.
Today is one of my favorite days of the year to surf the web. Why? It seems like on this day every year, the best inventions, innovations and inspired ideas. Some of my favorite so far:
- eHarmony Founder Finds Love on Match.com.
- Nasa raises money by burning ads on the surface of Mars.
Any good announcements out there that you’ve seen?
Google just released their Zeitgeist 2007 statistics. Basically, it’s a snapshot of what people are looking up online through Google. One interesting piece is the “Who is …” search ranking. Here’s the list:
- who is god
- who is who
- who is lookup
- who is jesus
- who is it
- who is buckethead
- who is calling
- who is keppler
- who is this
- who is satan
People are searching for God and we have an opportunity to share Him with them this Christmas season. Considering inviting a friend to Christmas Eve services this year!
Also interesting to note are the top entries from the “What” and “How” categories. They are: “What is love” and “How to kiss.” I guess that means our “Best Sex Ever” Crossroads series that kicks off in January should be a hit. I’m excited about looking at what the Bible has to say about this topic with our youth. Should be a blast!
Google recently announced that they were rolling out some upgrades to their popular Gmail service. I always enjoy seeing the “What’s New” link appear in my Google services as it usually means something exciting is being added. Some of the fun upgrades included:
- The Forward and Back button now work like they do on every other site in the world. Finally.
- Contacts have been re-designed to a 3-pane view that is much nicer for working with, especially on our Widescreen laptops.
- There are more options in the chat box. I don’t use it, but that’s nice for those who do.
- Conversations (Emails) are pre-loaded when you start Gmail. This means that there’s a longer delay when first going to Gmail, but almost no delay in loading messages once you’re in. This is great for people like me who open it in the morning and leave it open all day.
My one big complaint, however, is that the upgrade broke a number of extensions I use in Firefox, most notably GTDinbox, an adaptation of the Getting Things Done task management service by David Allen for Gmail. You don’t realize how customized your browsing experience has become until you lose those customizations. I’m hoping the GTDinbox people will put out an upgrade soon as it’s a real pain not having that working.