Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Google & Yahoo Discovery

Niel Robertson surmises in his characteristic articulate way that Yahoo is, for once, positioned well to fight Google:

"....Google wants to be the entry point for any discovery activity on the web. This would surely explain Google search, froogle, Google Scholar, Google SMS (assuming “web” is taken in a generic sense as “the cloud”), Google Maps, etc.. You could even posit that Google’s acquisitions hold up against this test. Consider Writely and Google Spreadsheets to be simply the input mechanisms to create document and spreadsheet content which is then discovered on Google. If you’re going to create a spreadsheet, it’s more likely you’ll put it somewhere that it can be shared and discovered if you do it on Google. Even something like their Dodgeball acquisition, which seems totally random at first blush, sort of fits this mold if you think of it as trying to “discover” the location of your friends. And of course, by mashing all this stuff up (maps, calendars, spreadsheets, payments, etc..) you simply add exponential utility around all the secondary and tertiary activities that come after discovery. First, search for a restaurant, then map it, and then go onto Dodgeball and tell everyone you’ll be there at 8:00pm.

.....an interesting question: what if the primary discovery mechanism people use today starts to shift away from Google?Keep in mind that almost all your discovery activities with Google are personal (and thus singular) experiences. You go to Google, enter a search term, get Google’s view of the results, then maybe you share. Well, what if it (and you) didn’t work that way. What if the first thing you did was interface with the web in a non-singular way?

And parenthetically, Yahoo has bought every single leading company in this space. What I’m talking about is discovery through tagging, which is a fundamentally community-centric activity (your context is what the community thinks the content is about) and not singular activities (what you think Google might think the content is about). To be less academic and cerebral about it, consider for yourself how often you now go to del.icio.us, flickr, or whatever tag-based system you like to search for something before you go to Google?

With that all said, I think there is a short window here where Yahoo is actually positioned well to fight against Google’s hegemony and to fundamentally shift the dominant discovery paradigm (sorry, I just had to say it) back in their direction. With their recent web2.0 tagging acquisition spree, Yahoo owns half of the equation (the tagging sites) but has yet to fulfill the other side (discovery)."

IMHO: Wonder whether Yahoo will (have they already??) wake up to this opportunity. Or whether Google will step up its social networking, community collaboration initiatives and open another channel for discovery. They have the Blogger platform, Orkut, and Picassa. And they are good at extending the utility of their basic platforms. Most importantly, they have the eyeballs.

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2 Comments:

Blogger cliff said...

Hi, I am Cliff from EditGrid. Besides Google spreadsheets, there are various online spreadsheets working in different directions, includes EditGrid beta 7 and Numbler which you may wish to try. EditGrid can get live stockquote and forex by our remote data function. Here is a demo stock portfolio valuation demo . Besides remote data, our API are now open, allowing you to build your own application using EditGrid.

Of course we wouldn't forget our fundamentals, for spreadsheet functions, drag and fill, advance number formatting is available from now on. Here is a comparison between EditGrid and Google. Thanks~

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Tyler said...

Apart from irrelevant results and Organic spam this is nice to hear google doing other things as well..
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3:41 AM  

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