Google Docs Becomes Social

Google Docs Becomes Social

By Kelsey Judd, Intern

In the midst of midterms a year ago, I was assigned a very time consuming group report. Realizing it was impossible to find a time for five of us to meet even once, someone suggested Google Docs. Google Docs was perfect because all group members could tap into it at anytime. We were able to define goals, assign roles, and produce the desired results in an extremely efficient way. Receiving the highest score in the class and completing the assignment in half the time given, Google Docs saved my life as well as other students that year.  I have to admit though, it was still messy. We tried assigning ourselves different colors so we would know who wrote what. Comments for each other seemed to get buried or forgotten. Complaints must have been heard because this past Wednesday, Google proved once again they are always capable of staying ahead of the curve. This time it’s by introducing the next generation of comments with Google Docs- Discussions!

Different than a comment, Discussions allow collaborators to have a Twitter or Facebook-like conversation. Each person contributing has a profile picture and a timestamp next to their remark. Along with this, comments can be resolved and visibly removed from the document. Before, comments were permanently deleted. The resolve function allows you to pop them up later at anytime. In a hashtag like way, by including @(person’s email) in a comment, it’ll send them an email notification. Here’s a video demonstrating how it’s done:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zmOYziFKZw

Google Docs provided my team a competitive advantage over a year ago. It was a lesson to me that the speed and efficiency at which we can communicate determines how quickly we can make the grade…or even better, in the business world, make the money.

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