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Colin McKay
Works at Google Canada
Attended University of Toronto
Lived in Ottawa, Ontario
5,204 followers|269,594 views


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Really, sometimes you can make a significant impact with you strategic impact.
At age 3, Monique Luiz of Phoenix starred in the most famous political ad of all time.

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" He composes articles on the PC, loaded with WordPerfect software because he feels Microsoft Word argues with him. He saves them on a 3.5-inch floppy disk" - the publisher of Harper's magazine, ladies and gentlemen.
When John R. MacArthur, the publisher of Harper's Magazine and a zealous promoter of the virtues of print journalism, sits down at his desk to write, he has three options — a typewriter, an ancient beige PC and a modern Apple desktop computer. To correspond with literary friends like William T.
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Take a tour of street art around the world  - artistic expression that draws on local talent, social cues and political struggles.
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WOW!!! +Colin McKay GREAT "Idea"... Please :expand IT...  

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"I'm old enough to have danced at Studio 54 and young enough not to have missed the digital revolution," says Diane Von Furstenberg

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My world ... is so confusing. 15 year-old me wouldn't have imagined this.

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Ah! The rich history of the people of the Airport Lands.

Their leader, John Running Refueling Truck, struck the first treaty with the Crown in 1846.
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Rumor has it they worshiped queues and built Stonehenge-like monuments out of crowd control stanchions.  They would gather around with their arms out while fellow airportlanders ceremonially rubbed their appendages.  

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It feels like just yesterday my wife, two kids and I packed all our belongings, sold our house in New Jersey, and made the long trip to California. It was almost 14 years ago, and I was on my way to join Google’s Search team. 

One of the more memorable moments during the years that followed was the company’s IPO, where Larry and Sergey introduced their vision to the world. I can’t believe that was 10 years ago tomorrow. Their founders’ letter [] highlighted Google’s long-term focus:  

“Our business environment changes rapidly and needs long term investment. We will not hesitate to place major bets on promising new opportunities.”

Since 2004, Google has of course made a range of big bets: YouTube, Android, Chrome, Google Maps….and recently, many of the amazing long-term projects Google[x] is pursuing.

But the heart of Google is still search. And in the decade since our IPO, Google has made big bets on a range of hugely important areas in search that make today’s Google so much better than the 2004 version (see our homepage from back then below). Larry has described the perfect search engine as understanding exactly what you mean and giving you back exactly what you want. We’ve made a lot of progress on delivering you the right answers, faster. But we know that we have a long way to go -- it’s just the beginning.

I thought it might be fun to share the 10 biggest Google search milestones since 2004 that really stand out in my mind:

1. Autocomplete: We built a way for Google to predict the most likely useful words and phrases as you type, and even load search results instantly—so you can quickly get to that perfect recipe for “silky gingered zucchini soup” (even if you can’t remember the dish’s whole name). Typing out a whole phrase feels archaic.

2. Translations: Google Translate was barely a beta product ten years ago. Today people use it in 80 languages to do over a billion translations a day. Just tell Google to “translate 10 years into German” and see this magic in action.

3. Directions and traffic: Search used to be just about webpages, but our amazing Maps team made it possible to search the real world too. Now you can ask, “How far is it to Santa Cruz?” and with one tap you can open walking, biking, public transit, or driving directions—with the fastest route so you avoid traffic.

4. Universal search: Sometimes the best answer isn’t just text—if you’re asking about JFK’s “Moon Speech,” you probably want to watch John F. Kennedy deliver his famous speech. We’ve made that possible, blending different types of results so you get the most relevant info, no matter the format.

5. Mobile and new screens: No matter what device or platform you may be on, whether it’s a tablet or a smartphone (or even a watch!), you need information and answers. So we’ve adapted Search to all these new devices. This includes redesigning our mobile products to help those who weren’t born with the fastest typing thumbs! 

6. Voice search: Gone are the days of typing queries as clunky keywords—you can now ask questions by voice in the Google Search app. Instead of typing [weather chicago], just say “Ok Google, will I need an umbrella tomorrow?” We’ve invested years of research into speech recognition and natural language understanding, and voice search works in 38 languages today.

7. Actions: With the Google Search app you can quickly text, email or call someone without digging and typing. Just say: “Ok Google, send an email to Jason: do you guys want to go to the beach with us for a picnic this Saturday?” You can even set sophisticated reminders like “Remind me to pick up coffee filters next time I’m at Target,” and Google will buzz your phone when you get to any Target.

8. The Knowledge Graph: The world is made of real things, not just text strings. So we built the Knowledge Graph to show how things are connected—ask “How tall do you have to be to ride the Cyclone?” or “Who’s in the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy?”, and then click to explore across the web. 

9. Info just for you: If you’ve got a flight reservation saved in your Gmail, you can ask the Google Search app, “What gate does my flight leave from?” and get the answer directly. You can also ask about shipments ("Where's my package?") or for appointments (“When do I have yoga?”). All this is private of course, visible just to you. 

10. Answers before you have to ask: If you have the Google Search app on your phone, you'll get automatic help with everyday tasks. Google can automatically show you your plane, bus, and train reservations right when you need them; warnings when traffic is bad to your next appointment; reminders of bills coming due; a best guess at the last spot you parked; and much more.

And all that is just a sample of the work we’ve done since 2004. We made more than 890 improvements to Google Search last year alone, and we’re cranking away at new features and the next generation of big bets all the time. We've come a long way in 10 years -- on Google and so many other general and specialized search apps, it's now so much better than just the 10 blue links of years past. In 2024, the Google of 2014 will seem ancient, and the Google of 2004 prehistoric. 

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If you are as old as me, you may remember making a cassette tape recording of the newest songs to be played on the radio - well before they hit your local record ship. This story from WW1 singles out the first man to do it.

"The statement that Mr. Apgar can record messages sent out by wireless on a phonographic cylinder is hardly worth discussing. That is physically impossiblle. I haven't ever heard of it being done. If Mr. Apgar has accomplished it he should get his idea patented and perhaps we will buy it."
The wireless telegraph station in Sayville, New York was one of the most powerful in the world. Constructed by the German company Telefunken in 1912, it served as a transatlantic relay point for diplomatic messages and business communications. It was a beacon among amateur wireless enthusiasts around the United States who could tune their home-made sets to the station's nightly press dispatches. All of this changed when one of those amateurs unco...

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"And this is when I found out that Bill Watterson is not comfortable with scanners or Photoshop or large email attachments. In fact, by the end of the process, I was left with the distinct impression that he works in a log cabin lit by whale oil and hands his finished artwork to a man on a pony."

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"In Chatham, Ont., one winter pothole went so deep, it revealed the city’s original yellow brick road."
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I think Winnipeg got more than 50 days of -30 C this year! Brrr

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Those who know how often I drive to Rochester NY, and how I like info graphics, will appreciate "Come to Rochester"
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Public policy wonk, research leader, social media advocate

Public policy professional with 15 years experience researching, interpreting and communicating complex economic and social policy issues to diverse audiences.

Research and advocacy specialist with experience assessing and communicating the impact of new technologies to diverse audiences.

Significant experience evangelizing social media technologies and philosophies, including their implementation.


Strategic planning and execution, policy analysis, science and technology issues, privacy and data protection, stakeholder relations, social marketing, social media, and Government 2.0

  • University of Toronto
Basic Information
Public Policy Wonk, Research Leader and Social Media Advocate
  • Google Canada
    Public Policy - Canada, 2011 - present
  • Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
    Director, Research, Education and Outreach, 2007 - 2011
  • Industry Canada
    2002 - 2007
  • Transport Canada
  • Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Ottawa, Ontario - Toronto - Milan - New Delhi - Hong Kong - Kingston, Jamaica
Colin McKay's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Google Maps

Download the latest release of Google Maps, and never carry a paper map again. Get Google Maps with Navigation (Beta), Places, and Latitude

Google Canada

Official Google Canada page with news and information about Google

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I took the SAT a grand total of one time when I was in dipshit prep school. This was 1993. Like any other kid, I wanted to do well on the te

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Lo, in the twilight days of the second year of the second decade of the third millennium did a great darkness descend over the wireless int

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Doing more with the +1 button, more than 4 billion times a day. 8/24/2011 10:21:00 AM. In June we launched the +1 button for websites, makin

Looking to add some spice to your meal? This fantastic little store carries it all - jellies, sauces, dried peppers and a world-spanning range of hot sauces. The owner is on site, and was extremely helpful - suggesting brands and flavours and encouraging sampling.
Quality: ExcellentAppeal: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
From initial contact to final drive away, very professional, upbeat and helpful. Arrived well within the appointment time, offered an immediate estimate, and took everything away at a reasonable price. Including a piano!
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago
2 reviews