While the question may be ironic on this blog (note the domain), it looks like Blogspot may be having some problems, there’s a number of blogs I can’t access today, inlcuding http://ohiomedia.blogspot.com. Indeed Google’s very own blog Buzz seems to be down. Here’s hoping I stay up long enough to send the word out…
Note: I couldn’t use Live Writer to send this… and it took forever for the dashboard to come up….something’s wrong..
With yesterday’s post from the googlereader blog detailing how they’ve added the new personal stats feature, a number of people have speculated on Google releasing the information in an aggregate form. As speculated earlier on this blog and others, Google may be in a position to compete in the social web with the likes of Digg. Of course this would require aggregate data on individual posts (which I’m sure they’re gathering). Another site that Google could easily compete with would be Technorati, the stats that they’re currently showing are for individual feeds, which usually correspond to an individual site. It would be trivial to provide a listing of most read and most shared feeds, those would be some interesting stats I think. Maybe call it Feedorati? Regardless, I’m expecting with 2007 to be the year of the Social Web that Google will be adding alot more social aspects to their services, and this is likely a step in that direction.
With the recent talk about Google perhaps replacing Digg as a social news/link site, a lot of people made the point that you can’t share non-feed items through Reader. While it’s true that you can’t click on a URL and add it to Reader, there is a work around. Admittedly it’s technically a feed…but it’s your own personal feed of links.
The first thing to do is to setup an account on del.icio.us (note: Originally I wanted an all Google solution, if there was a way to embed HTML in Spreadsheets (or if notebook had RSS feeds) then del.icio.us wouldn’t be necessary, and if Google Bookmarks ever becomes shareable with an RSS feed then watch out), this will be where all the non-feed items you want to share will be put. After you’ve registered browse to your bookmarks (http://del.icio.us./username) at the bottom of the page they’ll be an RSS icon, right click this icon and select copy link. Since Google Reader doesn’t like del.icio.us feeds for some reason, we have to burn it. Go to FeedBurner and follow the directions on burning your feed. Add the FeedBurner feed to Google Reader.
Now, here’s where the trick comes in, once it comes up in Google Reader, Click the Add to folder button and select new folder. Let’s give it a good name like…Shared-Links. You should now have a folder that contains the feed of your bookmarked items. Now in order to share it just go to your Settings, click the Tags tab and you’ll see a list of all your folders, including the newly created shared-links. There’ll be a grayed out RSS icon and the word private in the third column. Simply click the icon and the folder will become public.
Click on the “view public page” link and you’ll be given the URL for those items, in my case it’s http://www.google.com/reader/shared/user/17930628540914156026/label/shared-links . As you add items to your del.icio.us account they’ll appear on that page. You can then spread both your Link Blog and your Bookmark Blog. Enjoy!
Steve Mermelstein of /usr/bin/geek asks what would happen if Google started using some of the stats in their Google Reader app to pull up the most popular stories of the blogosphere (ie techmeme, technorati, et. al.). A couple of others have also picked up on it now. Google Reader’s shared items and starred items certainly seem ripe for the picking, I’m surprised there’s not already a “Most Starred” and/or “Most Shared” story page. Could Google Reader really be a stealth entry into the user-generated news business? With Blogger recently adding an easy way to put AdSense on their user’s sites, you can definitely see Google wanting an easy way to draw people to their user’s blogs. Remember, Google’s primary business is Advertising, a site ala Digg, using blogs from their Blogger Service has the potential to draw a lot of revenue. Of course not everyone uses Blogger, but how many people use AdSense? It’s really in Google’s best interest to be driving as many people to as many blogs as possible, and putting a user-generated news aggregation service on their front page would sure do that, and nobody would even have to work that hard! No more “digging” just hit “s” or “shift-s” as you’re going through your feeds. And there’d be no overhead for Google, everyone is responsible for their own blog! It’s a win-win.
Christmas was very enjoyable. Since Marissa doesn’t have to be on the apnea monitor 24/7 any more we got to take her out an about. The resulting activity caused her to sleep very well over the night! I also got my first chance to play the Nintendo Wii first hand, it really is a different experince. Wii Sports shows off the console and control schemes very well I think. It’s also quite a work out in the end! Twillight Princess is enjoyable, but not quite as revolutionary as Wii Sports I think. The channels show real promise, but there’s not alot there, browsing with the Opera browser (trial edition) is suprisingly enjoyable and functional (Youtube on the TV is a sight to behold).
In the Technology arena we have the whole Wikiasari news hitting, seems the founder of Wikipedia is setting out to revolutionize searching. TechCrunch posted a screenshot that purported to be an early beta of the service, but Jimmy Wales denied it’s related to Wikiasari. Has one of TechCrunch’s readers pointed out to them, the screenshot seems to be from this site. As Michael Arrignton asks, if WikiSearch isn’t Wikiasari…what is it? And will Wikiasari contribute to the end of the Google Era? 2007 looks to be the year alot of sites go mainstream. Youtube get’s sponsored by Chevy, and Myspace get’s used by the Colts. The next week or two should be interesting…
There’s been a lot of buzz in development circles lately about Google deprecating it’s SOAP Search API and replaced it with an AJAX widget. Dave Megginson laments the End of Open Web Data APIs, I’m not so sure about that. I think it’s a bad move for Google, in that it 1) Makes it less easy for windows developers (as Scoble points out), and 2) It’ll make developers less trusting of Google in the future. Obviously Google doesn’t want to loose ad revenue, but that might be easily fixed by requiring AdSense on a hosting web page. Or via some other method. Good news though, some people are fighting back. I’m sure EvilAPI will be getting a C&D letter soon, but it’s a valiant effort. Google is really shooting themselves in the foot here, Microsoft also still has their SOAP search API. I’ve recently started really drinking the Google Kool Aid (tm and all that) from an end user stand point, but now I’m really questioning taking the leap as a developer. My instincts say to stay with the 800lb gorilla that can’t afford to drop things on a whim. In addition to that news, there’s also word that Google is starting to deceptively advertise it’s own products (specifically the one that this blog is hosted on) with the ads disguised as “tips” while you search. Maybe they forgot the “Do No Evil” part? It’s looking like the honeymoon may be coming to an end. If developers jump ship, and people start writing more apps that utilize Windows Live services….Google may just fade into the background like Pets.com. As the man said, “Developers, Developers, Developers!”. Microsoft loves them, Google can obviously care less. Regardless of what actually happens to Google in 2007 (I doubt they’re going anywhere anytime soon), I get the distinct impression a line as been drawn, and perhaps an era has come to an end.