Tuesday, June 19, 2007

People Like You: By Google

Google has an opportunity to create the "best" version of myspace ever. Some sort of natural selection for finding people who are just like you.

The Google Analytics are pretty nice for free, and coupled with the Feedburner stats (which I hope will not go away now GOOG has acquired Feedburner) you can find out a lot of good info. I saw on Google that somebody searched on destructive capitalism and found part 1 of my rantings on that topic. And I'm pretty sure they read the whole thing because they spend 15 minutes on the site. But here's the really neat thing (and Google Analytics doesn't include this functionality yet though, at least not in this way, it certainly has the data to do so) in Feedburner I could see where the person came from, how they accessed and what browser they used.

They used the browser in the Wii to do a Google search on destructive capitalism!
I have not done a Google search on the Wii yet. I haven't on the XBOX 360 either. I have done it on the PS3 (and on the PSP). But anyone out there with a game console, surfing the Internet and doing Google searches on destructive capitalism -- that's someone I want to know. I'm not sure I need any other piece of data at all. In the future, Google will have some way of connecting anonymous random strangers with each other in a way that MySpace, Facebook, never hope to. I know there are all kinds of privacy issues, but Google really can broker the anonymous connection.

That's power and power that still hasn't quite caught up to the legal system. Microsoft felt it needed to settle an antitrust claim Google placedt by making some changes to Vista regarding Google desktop. What the problem is though is lost on me because the only machine I have with vista on it, came with Google desktop preloaded on it and it seems to work with Vista just fine.

The Google desktop, aside from being a good search tool for the stuff on your computer is similar to Microsoft Vista's "Sidebar". Vista and Google's sidebars have gadgets, can pull RSS feeds, and display quite a bit of info. It's a lot like the "Dashboard" products that were available for earlier versions of windows. Only Google's and Microsoft's versions are both, much, much better.

It wasn't any harder for me to figure out how to bring Google's sidebar up than it was to figure out how to get Microsoft's sidebar off my desktop. But you know what? I don't want either of them on my desktop. I have a 24" widescreen monitor so I have plenty of space. But I don't like these tools being on my screen at all. I'd much rather use Google's browser based counterpart and I am very quickly becoming a huge fan of iGoogle. Not just because they too are capitalizing on Steve Jobs by stealing his small i. It's the best "my" page I've ever used. Weak on sports though. Yahoo is still better for presentation of sports score data on a personalized home page in my opinion.

I don't like the sidebars on my desktop because I find them distracting and invasive. I don't use either of them. I feel like I have full control in the browser and it's not invasive. I love the gadgets though from both companies and use some of each. But both Google and Microsoft know that "what's default" is king in the matters of the desktop and once your sidebar is up, it's going to be a little hard to get it off – even if they want it off. I may or may not be in the majority when it comes to whether people want tons of information on their desktop, but I know I'm still in the minority (less than half) when it comes to people who alter the default settings. I can live with being in the minority.

My media card reader is broken (shakes fist at air), but here's a recent picture of my desktop with some of the gadgets.

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