Sparklin’ Google

Well, it’s been a while. Working on a project in New York for the month of June. Little time. Whatever.

But, I just would like to share a comment on Google’s activity, since it seems it is going to propose itself as the real consolidator of not only information, but also of web services.

We already knew about the calendar (calendar.google.com). Before, there was the buying of Writely (www.writely.com, a word processing web service that is being integrated into G’s platform). Now we’re talking about web publishing (real no-fuzz web pages to be created in instants: pages.google.com), online spreadsheets (spreadsheets.google.com), and… yes, the cream on top of it all: note-taking: the Google Notebook -www.google.com/notebook. This is in my opinion the jewel of the crown (at least for the moment). In fact, Google is even integrating all this tools into one “personalized web page”. The idea is not new (Yahoo! had it first). But Google is the first to add personalizable services, beyond information.

Let us see: with Goggle Notebook you can:

Add clippings of text, images and links from web pages […] without ever leaving your browser window. You can organize your notes. You can create multiple notebooks, divide them into sections, and drag-and-drop your notes to stay organized.” Plus, you can -of course!- share your Google Notebook with the world by making it public.

It sounds too good, and it certainly is. 

Now let us consider it all: Google is transforming itself into a magical desktop of information and tools/services, all web-based. This means we won’t need to leave our browser (good news for Firefox, its open architecture is just done for this!). Of course this are great news for Google itself, since it is gaining access, gratis, to our lives, our private information, our writing, our ideas, whatever flows through our minds. Can you figure myself doing my taxes spreadsheet on Google? What if that information goes into the wrong hands? I might not get that mortgage I’d like! Or worse.
So, the whole picture is missing some big words here: trust. What is Google willing to do to deserve (really deserve!) our trust?

Actually a lot, lately. I read about a Sergey talk on the idea Google might suspend its deal with China, regarding censorship. I don’t know if ot will happen, but it is a discourse worth following.

About Antonio Vantaggiato

Professor, web2.0 enthusiast, and didactic chef.
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