2 Weeks with Google Chrome

Most people are creatures of habit.  Just look at almost any Analytics report now days and you’ll still see that around 20% of most “average” web visitors still use Internet Explorer 6… a browser that was released in 2001 and is EXTREMELY out of date.

So, in an effort to change some of my own habits and try something new, I decided to try setting my default browser from Internet Explorer 8 to Google Chrome.

The following paragraphs are a few of my observations on the browser and how well it performs in everyday environments.

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Brilliant Move by Twitter: Allowing Big 3 to DataMine

It came to light today that Twitter is in talks with Google and Microsoft (and by default, Yahoo!) that would allow open access to Twitter’s Data feed.

The aparent non-exclusive deal that Twitter is signing would allow the Search Engine Heavyweights to display and monetize twitter results along side of regular search engine results.

This is an absolute brilliant move by Twitter on multiple fronts; Establishing a foothold in the “real time” search realm, monetizing their extremely popular service, and also reducing future possible development costs.

 

A Win-Win for both sides

As I’ve said before, Twitter’s strength lies in Search and real time data.

Up until now, in order to take advantage of it’s unique position, Twitter would need to develop a very intuititive – and expensive – search algorythm Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! have spent years and billions of dollars developing.

On the other side of that coin, the big three search engines would need to invest an equally large amount of money creating, marketing, and maintaining a service in size and scope to match Twitter.

Now, with this agreement, both sides can take advantage of this new found arena of search… real-time.

A monetization method for Twitter

In addition to the market share Twitter will be receiving from this deal, it also answers the very old question of  Twitter’s monetization strategy. 

This is something that Twitter has been grappling with for a while… how to monetize it’s vast amounts of data and subscriber base WITHOUT alienating it’s users by placing ads within the content.

The monetization of this deal will come two fold:  First, there’s the licensing fee from the search engines which will probably total in the Millions of dollars.  Second, Twitter will more than likely construct a deal that allows them a share of the ad revenue other sites would use to display the service.

So, in a sense, Twitter would be making money off advertising, without having to worry about those pesky ads.

Bing’s Smoke-In-Mirror Growth

In the month’s since Microsoft’s launch of their new search engine Bing.com, much has been said about it’s amazing market share growth.

Some even proclaiming a 10% market grab since it’s launch. However, much of that is smoke in mirrors and not “real” traffic…

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Is Twitter the Google-Killer we’ve been looking for?

Twitter Replacing GoogleThere are literally hundreds of thousands of articles on, about, or around Twitter.  Most of them have to do with the communication side of things.

It is a change-agent to the way we communicate and consume information from person-to-person.

However, what most people don’t realize is Twitter’s real future, may lie in search… in one form or another.  More info after the jump.

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Google Earthquakes

I recieved my monthly Google Friends newsletter today and noticed an interesting new feature… Google Earthquake.

Like other built in search functions like showtimes, stock quotes, and definitions, by simply typing in “earthquake” into the search engine, it returns the most recent, measurable earthquakes across the globe.

The data is provided by the United States Geological Survey (www.usgs.gov) and includes the magnitude, the location, the time, and even a cool little link to a Google Map of the epicenter.

This might not be something extremely useful, but it’s still kinda cool.

Google EarthQuakes

Work for Google… Sort-of

Google today announced a new reseller program that allows “qualified” individuals and businesses to resell Google Apps.

What I find interesting about this move, is that it’s one of the first steps Google has taken to move it’s marketing and business outside of the automated route it normally takes with applications like Google Adsense and Adwords.

As I had mentioned in a previous post, Google seems to be working it’s way to becoming a major player in net based operating systems.  Obviously, this can’t be successful without the support of business clients as well as personal accounts.  Since most real business is still handled face to face, this is a natural move.

How it works

The premise is pretty simple… Google will offer the services to qualified resellers at a 20% discount.  This means that the normal charge of $50.00 / account / year would be offered for $40 to resellers.  Then, the resellers simply keep the profits above and beyond the standard charge.

Essentially, Google bills you… then you bill the customer with a markup.

The business opportunity here is interesting, because it’s one of the first offerings for a cloud based application with a business level of service.

I do have to wonder though, if the $10 profit per year, per user would be enough to support a full time job, or if it would just be an add on to an existing business.  I guess we’ll have to see.

Brick and Mortar?

An interesting idea and one that we might see in the near future, are these services being offered in brick and mortar retailers like Best Buy.  It would be interesting to see a nice, clean box with a Google logo on it sitting right next to boxes for Lotus and Microsoft Office.  Or, maybe even a card similar to to the itunes cards you see at the checkout lines at your local Walmart or convenience stores offering yearly subscriptions, or monthly for that matter.

Google Chrome – It’s Not a Browser… It’s a Revolt.

By now, most of you have probably heard of the release of Google’s new Web Browser called Chrome. You may be thinking… big whup, another browser to account for when designing a site. Well, the big picture is actually much larger than that.

The Following paragraphs will demonstrate how this just isn’t a simple new application in the market place – it’s the tip of the spear in an assault on how we view and interact with a computer.

The Revolution Will be Streamed

Before I can talk about the application itself, I first need to discuss a relatively new concept in the industry called “Cloud Computing”.

Cloud computing is essentially a theory that instead of having your applications, files, and documents all housed on your local computer, these services and storage capabilities are all handled by online SaaS (Software as a Service) applications.

A perfect example of this would be Google Docs. Google Docs is a free online office suite that includes a word processor, spreadsheet, and other business applications. So, instead of creating your documents and storing them on your local machine, it’s all done online.

Over the past few years, Google has been slowly gobbling up startups and creating applications associated with productivity and business needs. Examples of this are Gmail, Google Docs, Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager, and many more.

The Browser that will one day become an OS

While Chrome in it’s current release is just another browser… what you may not realize is that it is in fact a new operating system. From the interface design to the back end programming and architecture, everything is set up to run as an operating system.

One can foresee in the not to distant future, hardware created around Google Chrome that consist of essentially a monitor and a modem with limited computing power and local storage.

Essentially, everything you do on a computer would be access through the browser.

OK, But What About Offline Access?

The answer to this question is simple… Google Gears.

Google Gears is an open source application introduced by Google to improve several things:

  1. Provide offline access to applications such as Gmail, WordPress, and Google Docs.
  2. Improve performance by storing certain online components to your local machine.
  3. Running Javascript applications in the background to improve browsing speed.

So, if you’re off-line on say an airplane or camping and don’t have access to the internet, Google Gears will allow you to work on your documents and will automatically upload any changes once it detects an Internet access.

In hindsight, this was one of the building blocks of Google Chrome and a component that will be essential to any online operating system.

Security and Reliability

Security and Reliability are major hurdles to overcome. The security aspect is more of a mental barrier than a technical one, but it’s still a concern when important and sensitive information is stored online.

The privacy and security issue is something Google (and every other major online company) has been fighting for years. Right now, the fight is centered around the government wanting access to anonymous search records. But, imagine of the same laws were used to grant the government access to your documents and files without you knowing? It’s a scary prospect to say the least.

Another concern is reliability, because after all… if one component on the cloud fails, it’s not just your local machine that’s down… it’s everyone using the system. Entire companies and even industries can be affected by a single technical error.

Final

In my opinion, this is a very exciting development and one that may change the way we do business, interact with friends, and go about our daily lives in the very near future.

Many people will probably have an issue with this, however if you think about it… many things you do today are already “in the cloud”. We store our photo’s, write novels, and interact with friends online all the time. This is just one more step in a completely connected world.

Any thoughts, concerns, or observations you have, please feel free to comment below.