Thursday, October 27, 2005

All Your Base Belong to Google

What is up with Google Base (2)? People are speculating that it's an eBay killer. Between Google's Google Talk (targetting Skype) and the Google Wallet (no pal to PayPal), it seems like a pattern is emerging. Google for all of its size and power is still a B-level player. We don't need them like we need Microsoft. What else is of the size of a Google? eBay. While every is expecting AJAX to power an application turf war between Google and Microsoft, what if that were the master of a all feints? Word processing-- with spell checking, formatting, piping content to the printer, etc.-- is still pretty processor intensive. Anything delivered to the desktop will have to be bulkier and sloppier than compiled code, otherwise you have to issue platform specific apps. In this era of paranoia, few people are going to accept downloads from anyone, even if its Google.
So, what requires sharing? What is it that people love? What is it that people want information about as soon as possible? Money. You need other people to give you money and you need goods in exchange. We love money. We want our money as soon as we can get it. eBay has a lock on the online auction world, but it never has nailed the real time auction. Remember when Google entered the search engine market? Back in 1998, Northern Lights was the rising star and Altavista was the hulk. Northern Lights in a footnote and Altavista is a shadow of its former self. If Google can have auctioneers, financial traders, hog farmers and flower ladies vending their wares realtime, eBay will become so much pig latin. How could they try to get ready for such a move? Release something like GMail to test near realtime transmission of information. Expand on the concept with GoogleTalk. Now, Google Base where you can post anything. Once they ruggedize the fast indexing, people will be allowed to comment of items, rate their validity and put their money where their mouth is: they'll be allowed to bid on items or commit to purchase them, opening their Google Wallet and plunking down some hard earned AdSense money. Best of all, Google could continue their march of AdWords: run a scroll beside the content and you, the seller or buyer, won't have to pay listing fees. That means that Google won't have to generate bad will by cancelling deadbeat accounts; or handing a huge bill to a seller who was lucky. On top of all this: Google Base could allow for the sale of content: you list the synopsis and for some cash, you can have the media. Why, you could store a link to it in your Gmail account so that you pay for it once and you can use it as often as you wish. How could eBay and Craigslist compete with that?

BTW, who is Gabbo?

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