You want to have a Google account. (Yes, you do)
Often, when I suggest this, I hear: "Why do I need another email account?"
It's not so much about having an email account – in fact, you don't ever have to give your GMail account out to anyone. Yet, the tools available and how you'll use them make having a Google account (including the GMail) very important.
And the tools are free and numerous. Here's just a snapshot of some of them:
Once you open your Google Account, you have access to aggregators of information, analysis of traffic, and content creation tools in abundance.
Though this homework assignment is simply opening the account, over the next several days, we'll examine in-depth how we begin using:
- GMail – we'll aggregate all your emails into GMail. You'll receive everything (except most of the spam) and be able to send from GMail without anyone knowing the difference
- Google Reader - This will be your RSS aggregator. Feeds from other blogs, feeds from newes sites you follow, and feeds from search strings so you can Search Once and Subscribe. Google Reader also makes it easy to Skim, Scan, & Save (and then Share), as well as emailing stuff to colleagues and customers.
- FeedBurner – This is how will smartly burn and syndicate your content.
- YouTube – In case you didn't know, YouTube is a Google property. We'll use this for your video content (those you produce and those you share).
- Analytics – This is how will measure how much, where from, and what's hot in your traffic patterns
- AdSense & AdWords – If we decide to put content-relevant ads on your site or feed, or possibly purchase ad space, we'll need these two tools.
- Google Voice – We'll want to set up a Google Voice number for one or more various possible uses.
- There are so many other tools … and more coming out constantly
Get to writing, I'll see you on Day Six – Smart Infosumption with Google Reader.