Who will win . . . google or linux?
I just came across this google base stuff. I wonder what ever became of it, this is the first I have heard of it.
Google Base = Google Borg
Insert your own all your base are belong to us joke here. In all seriousness though, that’s exactly what Google Base seeks to do: own all others. One Wing to rule them all! (…because the ‘all your base’ thing came from the game Zero Wing, and Tolkien’s one ring to rule them all … um, yeah, not all the jokes can be winners, work with me here…)
According to Google’s official Blog, Google Base is a “way for content owners to submit their content to Google.” Analysts speculate that this is going to be a new aggregation of content that runs the gamut. I expect that we’ll see many, if not all, of the following:
- Individual items for sale
- Flight prices
- Job postings
- Real estate
- Uploads database
And you can guess that if Google wants you to submit it now, they’ll be spidering it all themselves in short-order.
What’s Old is New Again
Remember how, in the late 90s, everyone talked about the internet being a “global village”? If it feels like an outdated concept, then I hope you like nostalgia. Possibly soon to come: the new global village, complete with gated communities and spear-headed by Google Base.
John Battelle of BattelleMedia.com has a great write-up about how Google Base and the Craig’s List vs. Oodle conflict tie together to forecast a dark possible future. Summary: Oodle is indexing all of Craig’s List and Craig’s List has asked them to stop. Fair enough, right? I guess so, but if we’re being consistent with the standards we’re allowing Craig’s List to maintain, then Google Base should be allowed to keep other people from indexing its content also.
“Wait a minute,” you’re saying, “Google wouldn’t restrict such a repository. They are all about indexing and sharing. Google is about access.”
Oh really? To me this all feels like a resurgence of portals, again: from the late 90s. (“Web 2.0” my a** – this is 1996 web 1.0 all over again!) Yes, users would be getting access, but why would Google share all of this unique content with their competitors? Google could create authentication-requiring personalized portals. Google could give users access and freedom, but restrict competitor bots and spiders.
The perfect beginning to the perfect monopoly.
Ground Control to Major Tom
Ok, let’s reel it back in. No need to go too far out into space with this speculation. Such could draw out into some wild paranoia about an exclusive Google web (especially when you combine Google’s potential with their hypothesized global fiber-optic network.
While I’m not going to make Google out to be empire-building oppressors, I do think that there are some legitimate concerns about some walls being erected by Craig’s List right now. Also, I do believe that Google Base is likely to follow suit. If all other mass-listing sites start to do this too, the web would become highly segmented in a very bad way.
Who Will Be Assimilated by Google Base?
Is there any site that Google Base can’t dethrone? Orbitz, eBay, Craig’s List, MySpace – All are viable targets. Google Base could potentially replace any comparison engine, any online social network, and any portal.
How many heads does the Google hydra have these days? Webmail, news aggregator, news search, map service, online catalogs, desktop search, video service, SMS queries, comparative shopping engine, IM client, Blogger, photo editing, buying thousands of miles of dark fiber, becoming a domain registrar…
I even heard a rumor that they provide web search.
With all of this under their belt, what industry will Google play with next? Will they stop reinventing the wheel? Or if they insist on making more me-too products, can they at least provide some good affordable competition to existing products? I know they said they have no plans of doing this, but what about following through with the rumored MS Office alternative?
Movie poster (via flagrantdisregard.com)
Lots of coverage on the web in the past 2 days on a suppose leak of a product by Google. The url http://base.google.com is apparently still down.
I just can’t resist creating a movie poster with the ‘All your base’ theme.
More Google related links . . .