Google on the Brain

I was a bit surprised today when I saw Matt’s Jaiku post about Google buying Jaiku. (See Jaiku’s announcement and Google’s blog post.) Now, I know this is a conversation that’s been going on a long time now and has been a concern for many, but it still just really amazes me and kind of catches me off guard at just how much of my everyday online experience occurs on a google.com domain or through some site that’s owned by Google.

And these are just a few of the things I/we do every day. I’m impressed that Google went with Jaiku instead of the much more publicized Twitter. Proof (to me, at least) that they’re going for quality. With this in mind, I’m wondering what’s next?

  • Will Google snatch up its own share of Facebook — just enough to edge out Microsoft? Sure Google has Orkut, but Facebook is huge … and growing exponentially… and follows the same clean and simple design that Google’s known for.
  • Will Google somehow woo Flickr users to its own online photo storage tool? (I’m just not a fan … currently … of Google’s Picasa. IMHO, Yahoo’s Flickr is still the powerhouse in this arena.)
  • Will Google overthrow the metaverse by releasing its own virtual world, eclipsing current favorites such as Second Life? Heck, we’ve already been building that virtual world for them. Check out all the cities, buildings, structures, etc. that have been built in 3-D by you and me using Google’s Sketchup software.

Wouldn’t it be great to sit in on a meeting at Google where they’re discussing all their upcoming projects/mergers. I wouldn’t be surprised if we found out our future includes:

  • Google Weather – They already have the maps. Now they just need to buy out The Weather Channel or Intellicast and overlay their weather maps.
  • Google Vacations – We (you and I) are already adding in the user reviews into Google Maps for hotels, restaurants, and attractions. Google already has a way to purchase goods/services via Google Checkout. Now all they need to do is buy out Expedia, Travelocity, or Priceline.
  • Google Movies – Google already can distribute media via Google Video or YouTube. Now they can buy out Netflix so they have the video-on-demand capabilities. Definitely subscription-based.
  • Google Library – This one’s a little tricky. Like Google Movies, would probably be subscription based. (Plus they’d have to figure out a way to restrict printing/saving/etc.) Google’s already scanning library upon library of material. Now just make it available to users to read books cover to cover. Throw in the ability to search news/journal databases, and college students worldwide would sign right up.
  • Google Conferencing – Combine Google Talk with plugins that enable a collaborative whiteboard, group voice chat, and application sharing, and you’ve got your own web conferencing tool. Watch out Elluminate Live and Horizon Wimba.

But enough dreaming. You guys can continue speculating in the comments. (It’s actually really fun pondering what Google will do next!) Needless to say, I’d be very interested in seeing this mythical Google phone we keep hearing about. Surely this device will give users very easy access to Google services… which is pretty darn impressive considering what we’ve just talked about. Steve Jobs might be a little concerned about this, come to think of it.

Katrina Adams
Howdy folks! I’m an Instructional Designer at UT Dallas. I have a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Angelo State University and a Master’s in Computer Education and Cognitive Systems from the University of North Texas. I’ve been working in edtech for 11 years. Hmm… what else? I’m a *huge* fan of that little Irish band called U2, and I’m a bigtime Firefly/Serenity advocate.

4 thoughts on “Google on the Brain

  1. Matt Crosslin

    I am hoping for a Google Virtual Earth – maybe even something that integrates with Second Life (i.e. – keep your same avatar, teleport between the two). It would be really interesting to see people develop a historical view in GVE. In other words, you go check out Washington D.C. today, and some where you have the option to switch views to see what it looked like at key points in history. That would be a great education tool.

  2. We are a nation of Google Heads :-)

    I wonder when Google will just go all out for education and create a Learning Management System.

    I’d love to see Google go this route!

  3. Matt Crosslin

    I would love to see them go this route, too. Knowing their pattern, they will probably buy a leading learning management system :) But the thought of Gmail, Google Talk, Docs, Spreadsheets, Blogger, etc integrated into a LMS sounds like a great idea.

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