June 28 & October 25, 2010 Program Summary

“Go Gaga Over Google, Parts 1 & 2”

Speaker Ted LesterThese fun, informative events were facilitated by Google specialist Ted Lester, who took us on a whirlwind but expertly guided tour of several of Google's vast collection of no-cost tools.

You might have noticed that many of Google's offerings can reduce or eliminate the need to purchase commercial software for professional, business, or hobby-related purposes.

Not only does Google unveil a steady stream of novelties, but it is always improving its existing tools to make them even more beneficial to us. Programs you may have looked at in the past might now work very differently from the last time you saw them.

Therefore, Ted's presentation focused on some popular programs that have improved quite a bit over the last several months, and which you might find particularly helpful.

For example...

1) Have you ever wanted to collaborate with other people by sharing and editing the same document? Google's suite of Docs, Spreadsheets, Forms, and Presentations lets you do exactly that. Here are just a few capabilities of this tool set:

  • Two or more authors can edit files simultaneously, without needing to go back and forth with e-mailed drafts. Google keeps track of all of the revisions made by each author, so you can always see who has done what. You can even revert back to an older version instantly, if desired.
  • You can hold Web seminars without paying a dime for a subscription to Webex, for example, by combining the power of Google Presentations and Google Talk.
  • You can easily create an online survey and collect the responses directly using a blend of Google Forms and Google Spreadsheets.

2) Have you ever wished you could set up your own Web site with all kinds of cool features? Whether you need a site for yourself, a club, or a business organization, you'll find plenty to work with using this group of tools. For example,

  • Google Sites lets you set up a Web site with complete navigation from page to page, without requiring any knowledge of programming.
  • You can easily "plug in" a variety of other Google apps, such as calendars, forms, videos, and maps, all of which embed directly into your Web pages.
  • You can find out how people are visiting and exploring your Web site using Google Analytics.

On June 28th, Ted walked us step-by-step through creating an ad-free web site using Google Sites, and also showed us how this powerful system interacts with many other iGoogle applications like Google Docs and Picasa. Best of all, everything he demonstrated is absolutely free.

On October 25th, Ted focused on how to customize your own Google home page (called "iGoogle") by adding all sorts of tools and components. For example, we learned about these exciting products:

  • Sites - Create your own Web sites and secure group wikis
  • Voice - Use one number for all your phones, online voicemail, and cheap calling
  • Mobile - Get Google products on your mobile phone
  • Reader - Get all your blogs and news feeds fast
  • Talk - Instant message and call your friends through your computer
  • Calendar - Organize your schedule and share events with friends
  • Picasa - Find, edit, and share your photos

To see examples of Google sites Ted has created, go to:

See Ted's downloads and resources below!

Downloads & Resources:

For best results, please use the following tips when downloading files:

  • Windows Internet Explorer: Right-click on the link and select Save Target As... You will be prompted to save the file to a specific location on your hard drive.

  • Other platforms or browsers: Right-click on the link (click and hold on the Mac) and select Download link to disk, Save Link As... or a similar command. You will be prompted to save the file to a specific location on your hard drive.

Download Ted's presentation here:

For information on how to set up a Google Site:

Questions? Contact Ted at:

“Go Gaga Over Google, Parts 1 & 2”
Date: Monday evening, June 28 & Oct. 25, 2010

Since the 1980s, Ted Lester has been focusing his professional career primarily in software development and technology training, and is Director of Technology for a top travel host agency -- The Travel Center USA.

As a cruise group director and travel agent, he has sailed on more than 100 cruises. In addition, Ted teaches about technology on cruise ships. He is a Google specialist, and presents his "Go Gaga Over Google" seminars both on land and at sea. His popular seminar cruises sail throughout the year. Ted is also a performer, conducting improv comedy classes and entertaining people as an emcee and keyboard player. (See more information here.)

Disclaimer, credits, copyrightGet Acrobat ReaderSome articles or linked resources may be in Portable Document Format (PDF). To download the free Acrobat Reader, click the icon at right. To install the Reader, double-click the downloaded file.

Disclaimer and credits