"Because in Cyberspace, no one can hear you scream."
Friday, March 04, 2005
Google is perhaps one of my favorite companies on the web. Of all the companies on the internet, Google has probably redefined how the net is organized more than any other business out there (including Microsoft). With such innovative features as Gmail, Froogle and Blogger (which Google bought out) you think they would be beyond their competition in every field--especially when one looks at their corporate history.
But as the internet wars intensify, one has to wonder whether Google will be able to face the next generation of "cyber corps" that are biting at their ankles.
Before you declare me of committing digital heresy take a look at the facts. Gmail may be beating the competition but Google's other services are in danger of being "out done."
Take for example Orkut, which basically is an online community that connects friends, family or whoever together. You need an invitation to get inside and once invited wandering the limitless forums is great (when it is up). Orkut, although a community I love and enjoy has been out done by Wallop which is owned by their rival Microsoft. If you don't believe me take a peak inside both and you will see what I mean (also requires and invite but keep searching and you'll find one).
Another arena suffering defeat is Google Images. Google has done a great job of organizing the web's photos and making it easier to search through all of our favorite pictures. But Yahoo Images seem to have surpassed Google in this arena. Just searching the word "kitten" (with safe search on both) I find Yahoo! brings up more relevant images than Google. Yahoo's Image search even has more images with 1.5 billion indexed compared to Google's approximate 1.2 billion (as of this blog post).
Last but not least one of Google's greatest gifts to blogs around the net, Google News which may become a relic of the past in the next couple of years if they do not keep up with the competition. What you say could make Google News extinct? Google's refusal to incorporate RSS feeds into their news search engine. Although Yahoo already has this feature into their news site, Google News will most likely lose to a new and upcoming star called Topix.net which not only has RSS feeds for practically every topic under the sun but also scans twice as many news sources as Google News (as well as having it's "front page" machine generated like Google's).
Although I am still a Google fan and enjoy many of their products ranging from Hello (Google Chat), to Picasa to Key Hole (which blows Map Quest out of the water) I pray that Google will be able to reclaim their position as the leader in their industry as they are one of the few companies out there that can effectively put Microsoft in it's place. If Google continues to lose ground to the competition, they may take their place along side of Netscape and other great companies that brought about innovative products but eventually got left behind leaving the scraps to the Microsoft Empire. And that is something all freedom loving net users do not want. Selah.
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