Monday, July 27, 2009

Help me Google! Give me strength!

Tip of the Day: With newspapers slashing their comics lineups, why not read your favorites online? The Houston Chronicle has the best online selection.

Thank you Darby Conley for pointing out the separation of Google and State. Meanwhile, I've converted to Google Chrome. Now if only I could win more converts away from Internet Explorer, I wouldn't have to worry about partisan websites who give download and print instructions as if everyone believed in Microsoft.

You know what else Google does well? Google Groups. My online critique group uses Google Groups for our critiques and discussions. Anyone can set up an online critique or writers' support group with Google Groups. A group will contain places to post documents and a discussion area that works like a message board such as the Blue Boards.

My online crit group tried a few online venues before settling on Google Groups. Our group is private, meaning we have to approve anyone who wants to get in online. That's because we post our writing there and we discuss our submissions and fears. That was one of my top concerns in deciding on an online crit venue: privacy.

Here are some tips for using Google Groups for your writing group:

1. Have more than one administrator. Otherwise, you won't be able to give a new member access if your one administrator isn't available.

2. Come up with a file naming system. You'll be able to find your critiques and save them to your computer much faster.

3. Post the group rules. Groups can be more or less formal, but if you have a word count cutoff for submissions, for example, it's nice to always know where to find it.

4. Set your discussion option to "Digest." You can set up your Google Group to email you once a day with any messages posted to the Group.

Does anyone else use Google Groups for writing? Yahoo Groups seemed a little less flexible, but perhaps I'm wrong about that. Go ahead, try to convert me!

-- Kate, Miss (Internet Nerd) Perfecting the Pages


DeenaML said...

The YA Librarians in MCLS use Google Docs for stuff -- it is really helpful and saves time!

Lisa Schroeder said...

Wow, I didn't know Google groups did all of that. Sounds really cool!

Emily Marshall said...

I use Yahoo Groups and that seems to work well for critiquing. Haven't tried Google Groups yet, but sounds like fun!!!