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Google Profiles: Watch This Space

By - December 17, 2007


As TC reported earlier, Google is rolling out Google Profiles. From the description:

A Google Profile is simply how you represent yourself on Google products — it lets you tell others a bit more about who you are and what you’re all about. You control what goes into your Google Profile, sharing as much (or as little) as you’d like.

But the page that describes what it is doesn’t let you set one up, odd. And it’s apparently only available for Maps and Reader, for now.

One of these days, Google is going to *have* to get some branding blood into the company, because these names are simply…boring.

Anyway, what folks are saying is this might be a backdoor to competing with Facebook. And sure, if it takes off, it might be. But for now, it feels like more spaghetti against more walls. For now.

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7 thoughts on “Google Profiles: Watch This Space

  1. yitz.. says:

    I just wanted to let you know about potential privacy issues with the new Google Profiles..

    They just added ‘friends’ to google reader, basically people you communicate with via email or google talk can share rss items and their friends can see them. In one particular case, this feature exposed a person’s real name to me, someone who was intending to be anonymous.. it’s still unclear where the username they are using to display ‘friends’ name’s came from–ie. he doesn’t know how to hide it so that others wont see his real name. More to the point, there is no setting to say that you don’t want to show up on other people’s friends list. (that we have found yet)

  2. Les Scammell says:

    I fear Google are getting to the point where they have taken on so much and complicated what was once easy that a crash and burn may happen – probably later rather than sooner. As they complicate their house, the potential for errors increases and it will only take one or two serious errors with legal outcomes to start the downward spiral.

    the radical blogger from myradicalblogs

  3. JG says:

    When has spaghetti ever stuck to walls? Unless you’re talking about cooked noodles, straight out of the pot. But any spaghetti worth its sauce has, well, sauce. And that makes it slippery.. it will never stick.

    It’s a bit of a strange analogy, if you think about it. What’s Google trying to say, by continuing to use that analogy? That it ain’t got no sauce?

  4. John says:

    > One of these days, Google is going to *have*
    > to get some branding blood into the company,
    > because these names are simply…boring.

    I disagree. These names are chosen to be able to creep into everyday speech with as little hassle as possible.

  5. JG says:

    But John, didn’t the word “Google” itself creep into everyday speech with no problems? As in, “to google something”? If the product is good enough (if it’s got that “sauce”), then a distinctive name creates both branding and loyalty.

    But with a generic name? “Google Profiles”? That invites anyone else to come along and copy the idea, and leaves Google with little distinction. Yahoo could create profiles. Facebook could create profiles. And when people start talking about “creating a profile”, no one will know if it is a “Facebook profile” or “Google Profile”.

  6. ariel says:

    This is just the tip of the iceberg – there’s such a huge potential for the portable profile, and users will find one to be incredibly useful as more sites enable their usage – and although Google’s house of activities where their profiles is actually quite large w/gmail. Anyhow, is a privacy minded, independent company who is delivering portable profiles via widgets for now, because we see a huge future in this space.

  7. Mike Mothner says:

    Although it’s in interesting addition to Google’s growing empire, I don’t believe that it will catch on since there is already an overwhelming number of social networking sites that already satisfies their user’s need for an online profile. Furthermore, in no way do I see this posing a threat or even potential competition for Facebook.