Monday, June 27, 2011

[BREAKING] A Google Product unveiled: Say hello to Google Questions

Today is an exciting day... Not only that I found GooglePlus and Google Circles in the stylesheets of Profiles (and GooglePlus in the picker), I also found the final proof for Google Questions. (I already stumbled over it here and here.)


You might already know that Google started (or... acquired) various attempts to "answer questions".
We have here:

  • Aardvark
  • Guru
  • Google Answers

To be honest... I never used one of them. Ever. So I don't know shit about them. But I know, that I found today some interesting clues in the stylesheet of the Google Talk Gadget.

Let's have a look, shall we?

To keep you somewhat focused, I'll post some neat pictures first:

But the buttons themselves aren't as conclusive as their name and their context, so we'll have to jump right into the CSS code.

.questions-howitworks-ask{background:url('images/questions/howitworks1_sm.png') no-repeat 0% 50%}
.questions-howitworks-find{background:url('images/questions/howitworks2_sm.png') no-repeat 0% 50%}
.questions-howitworks-connect{background:url('images/questions/howitworks3_sm.png') no-repeat 0% 50%}

Here we have the fist three icons. As you can see they are basically some fancy icon thingy for showing off how the stuff works. You ask a question, someone sees your question and gives you the answer. Simple as that.

Now we get to the part, where it becomes interesting:


That is the green Google button. Notice the circles in the name definition? I'd assume that you can ask a question just within your Google Circles.... circle... Uhm, however, you might also be able to share the answer you got via permalink:
.questions-mole-toolbar-permalink-image{background-image:url('images/questions/arrow_permalink.png');float:left;height:10px;width:10px;margin:3px 5px 0 0}
You can also tag your questions and set a topic:


.questions-chat-followup .questions-chat-bottom-bar-followup{display:block}
And there is also the info about your chatpartner, though I've no idea how that will look like

.questions-chat-contact-image{float:left;width:30px;height:30px;overflow:hidden;border:1px solid #ccc}

It might even be possible to browse open questions in a small floating window.. kinda the style of tasks and standard gTalk chatwindows
.questions-mole-bb-newanswer .questions-mole-bb-newanswer-link{font-weight:normal}


Custom share buttons.. maybe for sharing on twitter or something?
.questions-share-buttons .goog-custom-button{font-size:13px;margin:10px 10px 0 0}
Of course you can report abuse too


You can directly ask questions in the box

.questions-ask-question{padding:10px 8px}
.questions-ask-box{border-top:1px solid #efefef;padding:5px 7px 9px 7px}

And here are some visual markers like checkmarks (possibly for answered questions), exclamation marks, ignoring questions or notices and locked questions.

.questions-mole-bb-checkmark{background-image:url('images/questions/confirmation_checkmark.png');float:left;height:38px;margin:2px 5px;width:38px;display:none}
.questions-mole-bb-dismiss-link{background-image:url('images/questions/confirmation_x.png');float:right;height:10px;margin:5px 5px 5px 10px;width:9px}
.questions-status-message{background:transparent url('images/questions/lock.gif') no-repeat left;font-size:12px;padding:4px 2px 2px 16px;margin:0}

Ok, conclusion:
Google questions might be something that is in internal testing.
It is a tool that allows you to ask and answer questions. You can share questions with others (or their solution with others). It seems to be integrated with Google Circles and Google Buzz.
It uses Google Talk for communication, but unlike Aardvark it has a dedicated interface for that. It seems that you are possible to review, answer and manage questions directly in the interface.
If it will be ever released... I don't know... If it's old stuff: I don't know. But it seems neat and I'd like to take it out for a ride :)


Discuss on Buzz


Pablo Chuken said...

Great job Florian. I'm amazed.

Florian Rohrweck said...

@Pablo Thanks man! :D

Our Time for Change said...

Seems logical and just think what such an advancement will do to the declining FB posts already.

Hope you're correct Florian.

Florian Rohrweck said...

@Our Time: Yeah I hope too ^^ It seems rather finished as a product, I hope they'll release it :D

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