I am one of the apparently lucky 1 percent who have had Goggle’s new tool Buzz added to their account today. This marks Google’s entrance (well officially) into the social networking scene. We all know they have been cleverly looking through mySpace, Facebook and Twitter details for ages to allow us to see what is going on around the web, but with this foray into the arena on its own platform, will this quietly be Google’s biggest winner in terms of what has come out of the labs in Mountain View?
Google makes its money through sorting, filtering and presenting information to people. It is extremely good at doing this, as is highlighted by the popular term we have all used - “let me Google that”. Google has seen its dominance threatened through the arrival of social networking (Facebook routes more people to US news sites than Google News does) and the (attempted) revival of Microsoft and Yahoo which has lead Google to ensure it keeps on its game (such as this deal allowing Google to search Tweets like Bing). Make no mistake that Google’s position has changed from being the guys who were in front to the guys that have to stay in front.
I love Google, I think they are an extremely well run and well organised company who have managed to make the transition from market member to market leader very well. Whereas I have seen certain former VP’s of certain other large companies (ex-MS guy Dick Brass) mention how innovation in such a large entity is a problem (we all remember the MS eyes taken off the Internet ball) Google maintains its position at the cutting edge with such innovations as these that not only integrate it quickly with relatively new ideas but also support its key business.
I think Google’s entrance into this arena - if it is successful - will be brilliant for the web and the way things are presented to us. If the world starts to talk about something, Google can help people to find relevant information about it. Think about how much good having the Google databases pointing people to useful resources could have been in the first hours after the recent Haiti earthquake. I am someone who is predicting that early next year, momentum towards cloud migration for the business will occur, with companies beginning to scrap expensive, power hungry PCs with their software and costs for cheap lightweight cloud terminals that let you login to Google docs and the internet to start doing your work. Microsoft have made a semi-shift for Office 2010 in cloud provision, and if Google give ChromeOS a good marketing push, they will markedly increase the volumes of data they can use. You running your world through Google will help it to provide you with the best information for whatever it is you do or want to do. This could really give Google back a massive market edge again, through a very clever system that has been released at what is the right time for Google. It does more than Twitter does and is more professional than Facebook for a business to use. A very well thought out business idea.
Their universal translator however is just cool.