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"my"Google

By - May 19, 2005

GooglepersonalizedMarissa Mayer is announcing a new initiative at the moment…Fusion, the first product from which is a new personalized home page. This “strategic initiative” aims to “fuse together Google’s functionality into a single unique way to interact with content.” It can be found in the Lab area, but don’t be fooled, this is an all out response to the success of Yahoo and others in the personalized/RSS space.

This is nothing new, Excite did this in 1996. But I am quite sure it will be much better – after all, there’s nine years of innovation behind it.

Mayer claims the difference with this personalized home page is that it’s very easy, it’s very crisp and “Googly”, it integrates across all Google products. It includes feeds from Wired, Slashdot, BBC, and others, and soon full RSS support…hmmm…MyYahoo RSS, anyone?!

In any case, it’s great to see Google doing this, and I am sure there will be much to say once the dust settles.

News link.

Update: I wrote the above while watching Marissa unveil the news, and the response so far has been less than overwhelming. Mostly “and….?” and “so what took you so long.” But this is interesting to note: Google is not driven by the media gene, and to make a move like this is unnatural, it represents something of a breakthrough for the company. I once asked a Google exec why it didn’t have a music play, like Yahoo, AOL, and MSN. The answer: “Sergey doesn’t listen to much music.”

So for Google to in fact implement a “my” page, and for Google to call something, *anything*, a “strategic initiative,” well, I think that is a turning point.

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10 thoughts on “"my"Google

  1. Adam says:

    Hmm. Clearly just a placeholder at present (e.g., personalization is actually not working). Bummer.

    And the placeholder doesn’t seem like a very radical / revolutionary departure from My Yahoo, but perhaps I should be patient… :)

  2. Tony Gentile says:

    John, some additional details for hungry Searchbloggers:

    http://www.buzzhit.com/2005/05/google-launches-mygoogle.html

  3. MikeM says:

    Long way to go to match MyYahoo. I added some content and it is a jr. high project next to MyYahoo. Only Google could muster this amount of attention for such a release.
    They need RSS support in a quick hurry to be taken seriously with this.

  4. Brad Hill says:

    I’m astonished by your upbeat report. IMHO Marissa Meyer seemed awfully foolish talking about the “strategic initiative” of building a single page for Google-wide content, an idea nearly as old as the Web. Given the extremely modest (one might say rudimentary) first effort, Google looks kind of retarded about all this. You seem optimistic, and I don’t doubt that Google will get an act together with this and other Fusion products, but wow–they are late to the party. And how lame is it to not have a handle on RSS yet? Is it so hard? Yahoo! is thrashing Google in this department, augmenting its first-mover advantage more with every passing day. This thing (and why doesn’t it have a name??) is a weak offering, and needs ongoing rapid development just to save face.

  5. colin says:

    my start page builder sucks even worse than google’s, but hey, at least i built it myself and it supports rss… :P

  6. ZF says:

    It really is fascinating how Google gets a pass when it introduces things which really suck, like the early versions of Froogle (is it any better now? I can’t bring myself to look).

    I think the reason a lot of people are willing to wait for Google to work out their solution is that they know that when it gets here it won’t be dressed up with advertising like a fully-loaded Christmas tree. Nor will it feature such a labyrinth of options that by the time you’ve learned to navigate the interface you feel you’re inside a ‘walled garden’, or that dealing with their latest UI redesign is like installing a Microsoft Service Pack.

    Customization is great, but in Yahoo’s case they might do better if it included options to take out the great majority of stuff which you are never likely to use.

    Greasemonkey, anyone?

  7. This is soooo old hat… Here’s a little history to put things in perspective:

    http://www.tnl.net/blog/entry/Google_Personal_Page_and_History

  8. Irie says:

    These posts got me to thinking. Why doesn’t Yahoo just offer a streamlined version? Call it Yahoo Slim. slim.yahoo.com . Get rid of all the annoying pop-ups and animated ads as well as other superflous content. That way they can capitalize on that share of the market that Google holds. Don’t get me wrong, Google is a great search, but Yahoo does a lot of the other things better. It is a proven fact that there is a huge market for nice simple design (Apple, Google), why don’t the execs at Yahoo realize the potential. I mean, Bill Gates et al realized this; just look at Windows. Windows is a lot more streamlined, userfriendly, cleaner, better. I mean, why let Google go after your cutomers without going after theirs. What that would mean for the rest of us is improved products due to competition. I personally would use Yahoo if it weren’t so cluttered. I like many of their products, but not as much as I like clean, userfriendly design.

  9. selvakumar says:

    what is chemo/bioinformtics, jobs, tools evertything containg this site
    http://www.informatic.up.to

  10. Ruth Dern says:

    Why did you change the Google home page? I want the old one back!!!! I want to have Bookmarks where I can go into Oprah and Dr. Phil to see if the day’s show is a re-run. I also want to instantly find the weather channel to check on upcomping thunderstorms. This is NOT fair!!!!