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Google updates Doc discussions and offers user choice on releases

Google has announced a makeover for its blogging platform Blogger this week and continues making headlines in other divisions, most notably Google Docs and its release schedule.

Traditionally, when new releases from Google are being tested out or released to the public, they are done so according to user status with some users getting changes as they roll out while others get them all at one time on a more paced release schedule. Now, users can choose whether they receive Google product updates as they happen or once per week (click here to select your preference).

Selecting your release schedule makes sense for two types- those who hate opening a Google product (for example, Google Chrome) and tiny changes have been made but some functionality is missing and there is frustration in the surprise and the types who are addicted to the new and the shiny and must know of all tech updates live as they happen.

Google Docs making changes

Google Docs has added several features making it more friendly for collaboration in light of the failed Google Wave experiment and a rise in collaboration products.

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Google Docs has already been given advanced discussion options and become more group friendly, but this week, comments will be upgraded to include a user’s profile pic, a time stamp and adds email notification for Doc notes that mention an email in an update.

The email notification is currently done by using the now universal “@” symbol so that if you type in an update on a Doc “@joesmith@rmax.com,” Joe will be notified and his email response or comment on the document will put him in the loop.

This is Google’s way of simply pulling in new people rapidly and we suspect that Docs will behave more like Basecamp and Twitter in the coming years with live updates and more privacy versus public options. We’d like Google to look more like Flowdock which has left beta and is no longer a free tool- could that be their future?

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