February 9, 2006

  • New Gmail Features About To Launch?

    Garrett Rogers at ZD Net was nice enough to link to our almost one-year-old What is Google Caribou? article in his very interesting speculation that Google is testing added Gmail functionality. Rogers speculates that Google may be following Yahoo in offering a domain-based version of Gmail for site owners and corporations.

    Google’s GMail has been firing on all cylinders, but it could be on the verge of getting even more horsepower. Based on information found buried deep within the javascript source, we can start to see the bigger picture for GMail — what else could they possibly add to this mail client? Their next big move will likely be GMail for domains — a powerful way for anybody who owns a domain to utilize GMail as a mail server, not just a client. Yahoo has their own small business mail product which does precisely this, and now evidence suggests Google is planning the same.

    While he notes that this is speculation it is a logical step forward for Gmail (one I’ve been waiting for) and the case he makes by poking around in Gmail JavaScript is compelling. Would you move your corporate e-mail to Gmail if you had the option?

    Update: This story is getting real traction and right now (very early Feb 9th) it is number 4 on Memeorandum. Ironically I wrote Gabe Rivera earlier last night suggesting he take a look at One Degree and consider adding it to the Memeorandum feed pool.

    Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on February 9, 2006.

August 22, 2005

  • What You’ll Be Talking About This Week

    I guarantee that if John Markoff’s article about Google in the New York Times is correct this is what much of the blogosphere will be buzzing about this week:

    On Monday, Google is planning to introduce a second-generation version of its downloadable computer search tool, Google Desktop. It will come with both personalization and software “agent” features — learning capabilities — plus an invitation for independent programmers to develop small programs to extend the capability of the system. Both capabilities are likely to be seen as further competitive threats by Microsoft, which is focusing on similar information retrieval and organization advances in its long-delayed next-generation operating system, Windows Vista. “We’re really trying to make this into a platform,” said Nikhil Bhatla, product manager for Google Desktop. As with Apple Computer’s popular Dashboard feature, the idea is that it will be simple for programmers to extend the reach of Google Desktop by adding custom applications, known as live content panels. Google executives say they plan to unveil on Wednesday a “communications tool” that is potentially a clear step beyond the company’s search-related business focus. While executives would not disclose what the new software tool might be, Google has long been expected to introduce an instant messaging service to compete with services offered by America Online, Yahoo and MSN from Microsoft.

    My advice to Internet marketers? Don’t get sidetracked by reading the tea leaves about new Google products — leave that to the pundits.

    As with everything Google does, it will attract incredible amounts of ink but it will take time and reflection to understand the the direct impact on how you market online. If you think about it, how have the introduction of Orkut, Gmail, Google Maps, or other recent Google roll-outs directly effected your Internet marketing strategy? Unless you are competing in these spaces, it probably hasn’t changed much.

    None of this is to say that you shouldn’t pay attention to what Google and the other big players do. It’s just to point out that letting the dust settle first and then digging into the deeper impact of their strategy on your strategy is probably a smart move.

    Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on August 22, 2005.

July 21, 2004

  • Thought

    You need to look at the GMail Utilities page over at Aimless Words, even if you don’t have a Gmail Account yet (let me know if you know me and would like one, I’ve got a few still).

    Gmail is still only a few months old and the online gift/DIY community has already made a ton of improvements to the service via bookmarklets, scripts, web service hacks and the like. While Google may not like all of these “enhancements”, the power of many bright bulbs working on small improvements like this is wonderful to see. (via urlgreyhot)

March 8, 2003

  • Thought

    A ClickZ article called “Context Is King, or Is It?” follows-up nicely on my “context is the only way” comment yesterday.

    The article talks a lot about the Google “Content-Targeted AdWords” program. This new program allows advertisers to use content sites Google partners with to run AdWords-like ads within those sites. The thing that makes this different from an ad network like DoubleClick, is that the ads published on those pages directly relate to what the page is about. By using Googles massive and intelligent search algorithms, the AdWords on the partners pages are always relevant (i.e. in context for the user).

    One example Google provides is of the “How Automatic Transmissions Work” page at howstuffworks.com. The page includes Adwords from Google that sell rebuilt transmissions, etc. Of course the live execution of the page doesn’t quite live up to the mock-up because the funnel is not full of willing advertisers yet.

    The article also is the first to (kind of off-handedly) mention what I think is the real reason Google bought Blogger — big heaping wads of context to put Content-Targeted AdWords in. I think a lot of the blogging community looked at it as a technology purchase rather than an ad placement opportunity. Follow the money.

    Google is brilliant. By purchasing Blogger and implementing Content-Targeted ads within it, they have cut the two biggest costs associated with running an ad-based content site — the cost of selling the ads, and the cost of creating the content. The process is essentially automated with Google left to manage the infrastructure and cheque credit card deposits.

October 16, 2002

  • Thought

    Usability (and Google) fans might enjoy this Good Experience interview with Marissa Mayer, Product Manager at Google. She was their first full-time usability person and offers interesting insights into how Google has managed to stay simple while adding features.

August 7, 2001