Friday, March 31, 2006

Usage data for Google Notes

I must say, I'm pretty pleased with how well Google Notes is catching on. The graph below should give you a feel for how well it's doing.
Basically, the yellow dots (which look like a line) represent each new "account" created, where an account is a unique email & keyword combination. The blue dots represent the last time each account was updated.

In this three-month display (since Google Notes was launched) we can make some observations. First, in mid-February, Google added the module to their website list of 3rd party modules (, and that's when it really started to take off.

Next, there are over 5000 accounts, and about 20% of those are actively used. That is, about 4 in 5 users try the module and either (1) change one of their settings and never use the created account, or (2) remove the module either immediately or within a day or two.

We can also see two other groups of users, which I've marked off with faint green lines: There appears to be a set of users that make almost daily use of their notepad modules, and another set that uses their modules every few days to a week. As for myself, right now I probably fall into the latter category, but I think it's cool that the first category even exists.

At any rate, I just wanted to say thanks to all my users and share some of the success with you. I don't know how to specifically define success, but to me, it's just the feeling of "That's cool!" when I look at a graph of the usage data.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Update to Google Notes

Earlier, I posted information about a Google Personalized Homepage module I had created called Google Notes. Since then, it's been picked up at and I've also posted it on

After over a month of successful operation, I've applied the first update to the service. Used to be, when you edited your notepad, the time and date of the last update was displayed below the notepad. That time and date was given in Central Standard Time, which worked for me because I was in CST, but it wasn't so good for roughly 23/24ths of the world. As of last week, I had implemented not only time zone selection but also the ability to toggle the display of any information below the text area.

Over the weekend, my brother (who handles the server maintenance, hosting, etc.) was in the middle of moving to a new home AND being promoted at work (congratulations!), so Google Notes was understandably not a high priority item. However, now that things are calming down a bit, we've applied the new code to the server, run a few tests to make sure everything works well, and now it's available to everyone.

This update process is transparent to the user, and if you have no desire to select a timezone, that's fine...the only effect is that the timestamp text reminds you that no timezone is selected, and it defaults to Greenwich Mean Time.

Thanks again to everyone for making this module a great success, and please do let me know if you have any more suggestions. I hope you are all finding it to be as useful as I have.