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If I worked at MSN and Yahoo, I would be breaking out the champaign. Google is deciding to follow the pack instead of leading it. They've justed evened the playing field with this move.
Why in the world would they do this? Beyond me... honestly.
Google Inc. is introducing a way for consumers to create personal Web pages with customized news, stock prices, weather, and other information, marking a further foray outside the pure search business and competing even more directly with Yahoo Inc. and other Web portal sites.
Once upon a time, there was a department store called Cracy's. It was a beautiful store and people came from all around to just to marvel at all you could buy there. Beds, dishes, clothing, shoes...
These were grand stores that offered everything to everyone. But then one day, a dark shadow fell upon the department store. This was the shadow of specialization. Stores like sleapys, 7th avenue electrophonics, feetlookers and ambercroby and finches... (you might have to live on the east coast of America to understand these references...)
One by one the lights went out on these department stores because the people of the world had gone fickle. They wanted specialized stores where they could find sneakers or shoes. They wanted to look at 500 toasters and 3,000 televisions all at one time. Alas, Crazy's was an inch deep and a mile wide. People wanted stores a mile deep and an inch wide.
Here's another variation...
Once upon there was a website called Google, it was an inch wide and a mile deep and people flocked to Google because this is what they wanted. Then one day...
By the way, I should mention that I'm gonna be on vacation for a week, starting in around an hour. My sweetie (yes, GoogleGuy has a sweetie) has threatened to hide my laptop while I'm not working, so don't be surprised if my post count holds steady at 2750 or whatever it is for a while.
So, here's what we need next: I want to be able to "broadcast" a personal quote of the day, word of the day, or calendar item so that other people can subscribe and get this to appear on their Google home page. I know things like RSS exist - but as things stand that's all far too geeky for average users to pick up. Google's ownership of Blogger will be the key to this sort of personal and subscribable publishing - an option to "publish to Google homepages" will appear. Apple sadly (but not surprisingly) missed a big opportunity by not making a free and universal calendar server with iCal - Google can pick up that dropped ball also so we can publish personal "today in history" lists.
(And if Google would like to experiment with an interesting calendar of historical events, I have one to offer.... ;-)
different things for different folks, you know
OMG, now they are starting to listen to their marketing folks who are telling them how they can expand their reach by offering other products and services. I wonder how many marketing folks they had on board when they started Google.
Of course that's what the marketing folks think, that's called job security - for them! Personally, I call 'em as I see 'em. I used to run a marketing group and I was shocked at all the optimistic assumptions. I'm not going to kiss up to Google or GoogleGuy just for some brownie points.
They continue to move away from search. Obviously they are dedicating scarce resources to these projects. You want to be a portal, be a portal. I can get that from Yahoo or with my MSN account. Let's see, what could be down the road:
- Google Hosting
- Google Broadband
- Google Finance
- Google Shopping (they're bound to make a move with Froogle)
- Google Movies
- Yahoo Messenger... oops
If you are going to allow personalization, then allow personalization "as in different layouts". I have both Yahoo's "my yahoo" and "my google" opened and Google's has a ways to go.
- Allow different layouts. This is not the official Google page so let the user dictate how it looks.
- BBC and NYTimes are two good sources, but you need more.
- Allow for portfolio tracking in the stocks section.
- Google News allows you to perform searches, could you create a module that tracks a # of stories based on a search term. For example, you my want to track anything related to "my employer", so you put in your employer's name and the top 3,5, 10 stories will show. You might want to allow for more than one term also.
they are just doing it to give their users more options... some will use it, some wont, but at least they provide the option.
And the key word there is "options"!
I prefer just the simple search and will keep my homepage as such, but for those who wish to have additional "stuff", it is certainly the cleanest out there. Good job Google ... just don't go taking away my simple little search page OK? :)
By the way GG ... have a great time on your vacation! ;)