Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
User Journal

AKAImBatman's Journal: How I Slashdotted Google 15

Journal by AKAImBatman

It's not every day that you get someone from Google showing up to check on the spreadsheet you shared out using the Google Documents site. But that's exactly what happened after I posted such a spreadsheet in a Slashdot comment and accidentally created an impromptu chat room.

Someone over on Google must have been curious about all those server spikes, because a viewer with the address of google@google.com showed up shortly after the user traffic peaked. In fact, I had never expected that the discussion feature of the spreadsheet would attract so much attention. I figured that people would simply look at the sheet and discuss it on Slashdot. Perhaps even make a copy, modify it, and share it out.

So what could I do when the Google lurker was noticed? Quickly yank the spreadsheet from the public eye? Close my account and hope Google never traces it back to me? No, I went for hollering out an apology for the Slashdotting over the aforementioned discussion feature. This must have satisfied the lurker, because he then exited the sheet without saying so much as a word.

Then again last night, the sheet received a chat from a person with the gmail name of "google". The message was simply, "A chat room through the spreadsheet discussion? Who would have thought?"

While there's no concrete proof that these users were indeed from Google, it does seems likely given how Google tends to control its name inside its own system. Thus I have to wonder, will there be any repercussions from this? Will Slashdoters regularly create impromptu chat rooms with spreadsheets? Will Google use this as an example of how well their collaboration features work? Or will the whole thing simply blow over?

Who knows? But I can say that this little spreadsheet gone haywire was a fun experiment. And if we want to keep Google on its toes, we can always do it again!

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

How I Slashdotted Google

Comments Filter:
  • They are just forbidden to talk about it, by the terms of their employment contract.

    Of course, their employer has a great mechanism to determine if this has been violated online. ;-)
    • Some of them are allowed to blog about Google, though. So if anything really interesting shows up in the public eye, it's still possible to hear about it. You just can't match up the Slashdotter names to the Googler names. :-)
  • So what could I do when the Google lurker was noticed? Quickly yank the spreadsheet from the public eye? Close my account and hope Google never traces it back to me? No, I went for hollering out an apology for the Slashdotting over the aforementioned discussion feature. This must have satisfied the lurker, because he then exited the sheet without saying so much as a word.

    Then again last night, the sheet received a chat from a person with the gmail name of "google". The message was simply, "A chat room through the spreadsheet discussion? Who would have thought?"

    Seems like a bit of paranoia... I think it's more the case that, if this was some Google monitoring because of all the activity, that they were fascinated by what was going on and just wanted to see what the scoop was all about. Just like someone who plays World of Warcraft for the first time might say "A chat room through a video game? Who would have thought?"

    • Oh certainly. While it's a bit embarrassing to drive enough traffic to Google to make a blip on their radar, I don't think that Google's interest was anything more than just trying to figure out what was going on. There was probably some curiosity as to whether or not the sheet violated the terms of service, but once it was seen as legit, they just left it alone. (Oh, it's those slashdotters again. :P)

      The message from "google" is enough to make you wonder, though. Has it become a bit of internal buzz for Go
      • by RingDev (879105)
        Give a monkey a rock. The monkey will likely poke the rock, sniff the rock, maybe even bit the rock. But when the monkey uses the rock to crack a coconut, most people will take a peek and say 'wow'.

        Nice working finding an interesting way to use their tool.

        -Rick
        • by markhb (11721)
          If the monkey is named "Google," the next step is to determine some metric that determines a particular spreadsheet to be high-discussion, and then start interspersing Adwords in the chat.
  • Surely this unplanned feature must've previously happened on Wikipedia or other public wiki. It's always fun to discover a new, unexpected use for something that no one had thought of.

    It's reassuring that GOOG seems to have adopted the 'cool! I wish I had thought of that' approach and quietly monitor how things turned out. Too often the makers/owners pull out the baseball bat and try to curb the creative use that the clever individual discovered.

    Next thing you know they'll be plopping Google Chat func

    • Isn't this similar to Wiki's 'discuss' panel?

      Google Spreadsheets have live chat. Probably based on GChat.
  • Would you be willing to post the email headers from the google email you received?
  • Why would they need to visit in the same manner as an external user such as you or I? Wouldn’t it be safe to assume that they could take a peek at things “from the inside” as it were?

    • You're assuming that it's easy to do so. How many applications have you written that make it easy to peak in from the inside? Especially considering that it's private information. Since the sheet was publicly shared, though...
  • It is probably more fair to put the graph on the logarithmic scale. After all, cpu clockspeeds and ram haven't been growing linearly. Also--XP does run on 128 as a minimum, but it is dog slow. Vista runs on 512 as a minimum--you have to turn off the snazzy glass effects, but it runs. It runs about as slow on 512 as XP does on 128, maybe a bit better.

    The point is made regardless, the insufferable amount of bloat that is completely rampant can only be seen by looking at really well designed programs. Plan
    • It is probably more fair to put the graph on the logarithmic scale

      Second tab, two separate links to such spreadsheets.

"If you don't want your dog to have bad breath, do what I do: Pour a little Lavoris in the toilet." -- Comedian Jay Leno

Working...