Friday, June 04, 2004

EvenMoreGoogle: Results, remixed.

"Great artists steal", Pablo Picasso said, and I remember Steve Jobs quoting him. (I'm a big admirer of both of them; the only picture I found worth decorating my living room with is Picasso's "A Dog", and I own a Picasso portrait print from Apple's "Think Different" campaign).

Christina Wodtke, former Yahoo! Search design lead: "Good artists borrow, great artists steal: If the old saw is true," she writes, "then MoreGoogle is great." Thanks :)

I had a short e-mail discussion with Philipp Lenssen, who runs FindForward and Google Blogoscoped. He writes that MoreGoogle would "hijack" Google results.

Of course, I have a different opinion on this issue. Probably the last thing the world needs today is Yet Another Search Engine Based On Google. FindForward, as many other Google based Search Engines, uses Google's results through the Google API, but has its own user interface. And it removes Google's advertising. Instead, it displays its own ads. Duh. Now... if the term "hijacking" is appropriate at all, one might wonder who's the real "hijacker" here :)

The most interesting view though comes from techdirt: It appears that there are a lot of folks out there who are trying to "remix" Google's interface. Remixing - this is it. Results, remixed!

I prefer to see MoreGoogle returning "annotated search results" - much like you ask someone to do research on something and get back a pile of paper with sticky notes on it. And, technically, this is what MoreGoogle does: you get 100% of Google and when the result pages is loaded, MoreGoogle adds more information.

The whole point of it is this: Google is the search engine today, and all these Google-based ones just add a few new aspects or (worst case) modify the user interface. So why develop a "new" search engine if you basically just want to add one new aspect? Adobe and many other Mac companies recognized years ago that there is so much potential with Plug-Ins. There's a whole Plug-In microeconomy for Photoshop, Illustrator and GoLive. You can find hundreds of Plug-Ins for WinAmp. And it makes so much sense: focus on core competencies! Many small companies only exist because they develop add-ons for Adobe. Others just write WinAmp plug-ins for the fun of it. Let's "Just add value" :)

The possibility to enhance a product with new custom features basically transforms that product into a platform. Why not let people customize Google? How about custom Google skins? There are a couple of sites out there that compute a site's PageRank - why not make that a Google Add-On? And who says that this is limited to Google? Why not add stuff to Amazon, eBay or any other site? There are many online phone directories that don't have an "Add to my address book" button. And guess who added one to his favourite directory? Correct :)

Now, add a few buzzwords to all of this, like Web Services, XML, Semantic Web, etc... that's what MoreGoogle is all about. Results, Remixed.


At 2:04 PM, Blogger said...

I agree. No monopolies either. Creativity rules.


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