Tech Spotlight: GoogleDocs Discussions

A couple months ago I did a presentation at Productive Scholar about annotating digital documents. I didn’t talk much about GoogleDocs in that talk.  Although their commenting feature was perfectly nice, it seemed a bit too simple and didn’t seem to really take advantage of the medium. Well apparently also a couple months ago, Google changed their commenting feature and it is worth taking another look at.  They are now calling them ‘discussion’ rather than comments which makes perfect sense because they have added the ability to reply to comments much as you would in a discussion board or when commenting on a blog post. Each reply in a discussion has a picture of the commenter so it is clear who commented, and a timestamp so it is clear when they commented. The author of a comment can also be alerted by e-mail when someone replies to their comment. There is also a button labeled ‘Resolve’ in the discussion area. Clicking this button will hide the discussion from view.  It can later be restored from a ‘Discussions’ menu in the upper right hand corner of the screen.

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