My Five #479

It’s a Google heavy My Five this week with various Google updates, we visit the Museum of Endangered Sounds, and Twitter is finally adding an edit button.

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Five things worth sharing from the last week or so, brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.

This week’s My Five is by Ali.

1. Google Docs emojis

From 20 April onwards, Google Docs will be rolling out emoji reactions as a less formal alternative to comments.

As shown in a gif from the company, once highlighted, Google Docs users will be able to choose between the existing options of adding a comment or suggesting edits, and now adding a smiley as a shortcut to convey emotions and sentiment.

The entire emoji catalogue will be available, including gender-neutral options.

Users with more basic tiers of Google Docs such as Enterprise Essentials will not be able to see this function.

Of course, emojis are nothing new to social media platforms but allowing the full plethora of emojis could be confusing to some and the informality could jar in a more formal business context.

2. Twitter’s embedded tweets are deleted

Do you regularly embed tweets within articles or blogs on your site? If so you might want to do a quick check that those embeds are still intact.

While lots of people are fussing about whether or not there will be an edit button for individual users, Twitter appears to have changed its API which amounts to editing third party sites.

Imagine you’d referenced a Twitter spat between two people and embedded that discussion, as we often do on this blog. If any of those tweets had been deleted, they would have appeared as something called block text which still made the content available but without it being branded.

To use, Kevin Mark’s example (who discovered the issue in the first place):

The embedded tweet…


would normally look like this, if the user or the tweet had been deleted:

However, Twitter is no longer supporting this workaround and so it is using its embedded Javascript code to blank out the text altogether, it says “to better respect when people have chosen to delete their Tweets”.

3. Google bans AI content

In a Q&A session this week Google said that it considered all AI content, or content written by machines, to be spam. It also said that although it can’t automatically detect this content when it does, it will essentially play hardball and that their webspam team are authorised to take action.

It admits that AI content has probably come on leaps and bounds since the first clunky copy that appeared via this method years ago: “…we aren’t talking about the article spinners of 2003!”

Google admits AI may have a place in certain circumstances such as aiding an initial translation of a page or website but it considers that all content will need working through manually afterwards.

Google is obviously trying to keep one step ahead and ensure that AI is not being deployed to outwit its algorithm.

4. Google’s employees persuaded back to the office with scooter deal

I’ve previously reported that Google has been expanding its offices and campuses but as of this week, Google has announced a new lure to get staff back into the workplace. This enticement takes the form of an Unagi electric scooter worth around £900.

The scooters can either be purchased or rented on a subscription basis (of which the latter has the added benefit of including maintenance costs) as long a staff do a set number of journeys into the office on their new wheels.

5. Save the Sounds

Contrary to always looking forward to the next big thing here, this contribution is a little more retrospective. 

The Museum of Endangered Sounds has been created by tech geek, Brendan Chilcutt, to preserve the sounds made famous by old technologies and electronics equipment. 

It’s like an audible trip down memory lane. The Speak & Spell and the Dot Matrix Printer were the two that took me right back.

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