Google Docs Introduces Document Statistics And A Better Discussion Pane For Comments
By on June 8th, 2011

google-docs-logoNot many people are aware of a very useful feature in Google Docs the ability to comment on a document and start a discussion thread revolving around the document.

Let’s say you have created a simple word document on your Google Docs account and have shared it with your team members. When your team members have the access privilege to edit the document, they can pull down the Insertmenu and add a comment to any section of the shared document. The comment can be added to particular section of the document and other users can reply to the comment or start a new discussion on another section of the document, which is nice and useful for novice people who have little HTML skills for operating a private Wiki e.g Mediawiki.

Here is an example discussion which shows how Google Docs discussion threads actually look like:

discussions1

As you can see, multiple people are engaging in a discussion and the owner of the document can delete particular comments or request the commentators to edit their previous comments (if required). This is a really handy feature which is ideal for developers, web workers and designers who need a central place to plan their projects, while keeping everything private and archived for future reference.

But what about statistics and analytics of your Google docs documents? There is no way to find out whether people are actually opening a shared or public document stored on your Google Docs account, how many hits it receives during the week and what is the activity of your document on weekends?

Thankfully, it’s now possible.

Google has just rolled out support for statistics and document insights in Google Docs which means   you can now see the last 7 day activity of Google docs documents. All you have to do is hit the Discussionsbutton and click the Document statslink, you would then be able to find out whether your document is receiving a good number of hits or lying stale without eyeballs.

Here is a brief preview of how the document statistics pane looks:

google-docs-document-stats

From the above screenshot, the features included are pretty basic as of now. The document stats pane shows the number of pageviews your document has received and the number of discussions on a particular day of the week. Just below the document stats pane, there is the comment box where all the shared users can post a new comment or reply to an existing comment that has been already posted.

Additionally, Google docs has revamped how email notifications of new comments are delivered. Instead of sending the entire discussion in reverse chronological order, Google Docs now sends you the selected text and most recent comment, with the full thread in chronological order.

4discussionsemail

So you won’t receive the entire discussion thread on your inbox, whenever someone posts a new comment. Instead, only the most recent comment will be emailed to you and all other shared members of the document. Replying to the comment works fine as earlier hit the Replybutton, type your comment and hit Send. The reply will be posted directly on your Google Docs document.

More updates are on their way as Google plans to make sure their online office suite stands out from it’s close rival Microsoft Office 365.

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Author: Amit Banerjee Google Profile for Amit Banerjee
Amit has been writing for Techie Buzz since early 2009 and keeps a close eye on web apps, Google and all things Tech. He also writes at his own tech blog, Ampercent. Follow him on Twitter @ amit_banerjee

Amit Banerjee has written and can be contacted at amit@techie-buzz.com.

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