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Google Base as a platform

Our story today about Google Base was edited down for space reasons, and some of what got cut were Charlene Li's thoughts on Google Base as an open platform. Li sees the possibility of Google developing Base APIs, allowing developers to build applications or services on top of the Base data, in the same way they do with Google Maps. "It's not about controlling the information, it's about collecting it and leveraging it,'' she said. "It says, here's the data, if you want to build applications, go for it.'' Li writes more about this at her blog. Note that Google made no mention of APIs in our talk with them yesterday.

It's not hard to imagine Base quickly becoming something quite big. Think of all the people who want to be found or have information they want to share with the world. Li, for example, entered her profile into Base. If we click through on the "people profiles'' link, we're taken to a Google-mapped page of profiles that we can refine by marital status, gender and more. Suddenly, we have the start of an online dating or social networking service.

Something tells us this is going to grow very fast, in ways we can't even imagine yet.

(Also, this is kind of interesting, though we're not smart enough to know if it's a big problem. Anyone?)

UPDATE: This has the potential to be a very useful people-finder. When we first posted this entry this morning, the link above took us to just four people profiles. Now we see about 800. Understandably so. If you want to be found on the Web, the relevancy algorithm in Page Rank often works against you. If I Google myself, for example, on some days this blog will be the top result. On other days, the top result may point to something I've written that was heavily linked to. Either way, I have no personal control over how people find their way to me and my information. I'm at the mercy of Google and the webmasters who link to info about me. Google Base potentially changes that, allowing me to own my own profile and influence what people find about me (either my profile itself, or a link to a Web page of my choosing). And from a searchers standpoint, I'll be able to easily find people who meet a certain criterion, such as "people who (allegedly) work at Google.''


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Comments

google base decievingly looks simple but can cause ripple effects in the entire industry as it grows.

First fall out might be vertical search portals (indeed, oodle etc.), next in the line are listing sites such as classifieds, jobs, auctions etc.

We might soon see tons of mesh up sites which make use of google base apis (if and when they are available)

bala on November 16, 2005 10:35 AM
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Oh sure, go after the big name analysts and ignore the little guys. ;) We said Google Base was a platform for app development a month ago (http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20051025/1641244_F.shtml) and everyone ignored us. Anyway, the surprise to us is that Google didn't announce APIs with it. That's what would make this useful. It's sort of silly without them.

Mike Masnick on November 16, 2005 11:15 AM
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Indeed, (well not for the company with name "Indeed":)this is a great development assuming they make the APIs available.. Google search is so useful because they have behemoth of data crawled from every corner of the world and updated continuously (which is very resource intensive job) and then they have ability to rank that data..
Now if all is well then everyone will get access to semi-structured data (which is gone through Google's editorial review) and developer's can build excellent value added/analytics focused applications..So oodle can still survive but then they have to add more analytics..think of next generation tools for users rather than just filtering..
Now sites should not boast on how much data they have it is more like I will give the users what they want in one click/one page/savings..the real value that matters to the user..

Obviously some will question ..what happens to publishers, original content creators, classified sites, microsoft, yahoo etc. Well, everyone has to innovate and come in terms with the revenue associated with services model..Don't ever think of making money from "platforms"..

getvendors on November 16, 2005 11:40 AM
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It appears that they've fixed the cross site scripting vulnerability. But it speaks to a larger issue, which is that Google rolls out these endless betas of so many different features, but do they do anything about the security? It doesn't appear to be a very significant concern for them.

Kevin on November 16, 2005 12:00 PM
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The important part of it is, that the companies and individuals will be UPDATING the info about products/services, etc. hence the 31 day. THAT is the idea of the platform as a whole! Whatever "Big G" is building it will be 'based' on the data updated by IT'S OWNER himself ! Smart!

Alex Fedotov on November 16, 2005 2:08 PM
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Kevin, a potential XSS vulnerability was fixed in less than 24 hours. Why do you say security is not a concern? Are you thinking of some other notable breach of security?

Paul on November 16, 2005 2:12 PM
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The XSS issue reported was fixed sometime this morning.

avro on November 16, 2005 3:24 PM
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Comment to your Update:
It's not a question of whether the information on the web IS actual, it's a question how frequent it is reviewed and revised by the 'owner' as you call him. Right now it's the frequency of web-site updates. By this data-'base' we are offered a totally different model: you are in control of this frequency which is >= than the frequency of your web-site updates. Less work (less people involved), higher efficiency - voila! people will like it, because IT INDEED SOLVES their problem. As to the application - I disagree, - the main application will be Amazon-like aggregation of business-offerings, services in the first place (we live in a post-post-industrial economy, remember? services or semi-services represent the main part of our GDP). You can also notice a kind of 'socket' for G-wallet there too ! Write one more Update! :)

Alex Fedotov on November 16, 2005 4:44 PM
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I guess I'm the only one who doesn't see a whole lot of substance here. Ok, so I can find information from user's post. So? If I want to look for classifieds, a classifieds site will do a better job ensuring I find what I want. If I want product reviews, I'll go to a site that has some real value.

C'mon, a social networking site? How is this possibly going to do more for that than what's been done? Just because Google made it, doesn't mean it's gold.

Vin on November 16, 2005 6:36 PM
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I suspect it will be through a PayPal replacement. That's the missing piece in turning this into a truly useful platform. If you can create a website that uses Base for the database and the payment system, creating online shops, dating sites, meeting organizers, etc. will become incredibly easy. And by taking a slice of payments, Google can pay for all of it without ads.

At which point they could easily get rid of the rest of Google, and essentially make Base the new internet.

(not to pimp my own stuff, but I went into detail a while ago on jjeffryes.blogspot.com )

JJeffryes on November 17, 2005 1:17 PM
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The problem with google is that as soon as you get a high ranking they change the rules and down you go. On the other hand MSN has their act together!

Hoodia on November 24, 2005 6:35 PM
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nice site..buts whats all this abt??..

naz on December 13, 2005 1:49 PM
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The googlebase interface looks just like craiglist or tribe.

craiglist geek on January 23, 2006 8:53 AM
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