Marissa 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.
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.