Google Apps- What’s It Good For?
I know what you’re thinking, “What the heck is Google Apps?” That’s ok, it’s exactly what I thought when web design guy, Christian Kuffner, told me about it. He even explained it to me, but I don’t think I really got the concept until recently. Well, I get it now and I’ll explain it to you. You never know, it might be something you can use.
Once again, this is a freebie (I love me a good freebie), but they have a couple of different paid options that are more for larger businesses, nonprofits, schools…etc. In short, it’s an online business application that lets you share and create documents, collaborate online with others in your organization, set up a business email (if you own a domain name) and get all of this without having to hire someone to create a special program or purchase any specialized software. The application is entirely web based, so you can access it from anywhere. Gee, you could collaborate with people on the other side of the world. I wonder what kind of music you could make that way?
The free version is just called Google Apps and it gives you an online hub/homepage where each user can log in, see notes and announcements, work on ongoing projects, check email…etc. The big reason I started using it is for the email component. If you own a domain name you can set up a professional looking email (email@example.com) that lets you have up to 50 users. That means up to 50 individual email addresses so each member of your band can have their own band email. Oh, and each email address gets the same 7 Gb storage capacity that a regular gmail account has. Pretty cool, huh? If the Beatles had used it their emails might have been John@Beatles.com, Paul@Beatles.com, George@Beatles.com and Ringo@Beatles.com…get the idea?
You do have to go through a verification process to prove that you own the domain name and that’s a little confusing, so you might need a little help with that (I did, and I’m not ashamed to say so). Once that’s done, however, it’s as easy to use as yahoo or hotmail. The best part is that it works like it’s supposed to. A musician I know paid someone to set up a professional email for her domain, but there was a HUGE glitch. She didn’t just get emails addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org, she got emails for addresses that didn’t actually exist. Basically, pick a word…add it to the front of @herdomain.com…send an email to it…and it would go to her. Yeah, my advice…don’t pay for stuff that doesn’t work when there are freebies out there that do work…very well.