I’ll write about something other than Google soon.
Well, it looks like some sort of organization is begining to take shape. Here’s the My Account page. (This is secure so I’m not sure if it can be accessed by those without accounts already.) But here’s the Google Accounts page where you can sign up for one if you don’t: https://www.google.com/accounts/. This doesn’t mean people can get Gmail accounts (yet) but it’s unites Google Groups, Gmail, Google Web APIs and Google Answers. The sign-up page also promises AdWords will be folded in.
Clearly, this is a sign of Google’s “portalization.” Having people’s names and e-mail addresses (and passwords) in an accounts area is step one. Then there’s getting people’s credit card information. Google already has this, for a whole bunch of people, anyway, through its AdWords program. An upcoming development, surely, will be the creation of the Google Store. (I almost had a heart attack seeing “Google Store” on the accounts page, before I realized it was just the place where Google sells its logo-wear.) What I’m talking about is the equivalant of the Yahoo! Store — an e-commerce storefront for small businesses, which would serve as the destination for all those AdWords ads. I’m using and testing Yahoo! Store for Tinker Knitwear, and let me assure you… Yahoo! Store sucks. It’s very vulnerable, I’d say, to anyone offering a next-generation store building application.
Google already hosts — through its Local beta test — individual pages for every business listed. Letting businesses customize those pages (or at least link from them to their own sites) is a natural next step.
(Speaking of which, astute readers will note I signed up for the AdSense program, hence the ads to your right. Just testing it out to see how it works and what sorts of ads appear. No image ads for me, I must say.)
Interestingly, the “accounts” page reveals that company’s also launched a volunteer program called “Google in Your Language” where it’s trying to get people who speak unusual languages to help translate its FAQs. Only Google could get away with asking for volunteers, rather than paying someone. Such is the power of the brand.
Google is offering advertisers the chance to run images through AdWords, which will be displayed through its AdSense network of publishers. Sort of makes Google an ad network like any other, though it says its targeting will be what distinguishes the network. Will be interesting to see what the uptake is on this.
Oh, so it turns out those mugs of coffee I’m quaffing every morning aren’t the “best use” of caffeine. That’s the result of a new study which concludes we should be spreading our caffeine consumption throughout the day. I love how a sleep researcher says, “I hate to say it, but most of the population is using caffeine the wrong way.” Drug use tips always come in handy.
Evan Williams of Google’s Blogger.com made the first post and linked from his personal blog.
UPDATE: Ah… in a sign of corporate fear, the company’s already edited its one and only post (other than the intro post). The post originally defended Google’s opening of offices in India, saying it was no different than its opening new offices in Zurich. Apparently the company had gotten heat as part of the whole outsourcing debate. The revision also removed the one link to content that was outside of Google’s domain — a link to an outsourcing-related article at Fast Company. Now, magically, the “controversial” references have magically disappeared. Darn.