Wednesday, November 16, 2005

All your bases belong to Google: the beginning of the end

The net shook this morning as Google dropped the hammer:
Official Google Blog: First Base

Right now, there are two ways to submit data items to Google Base. Individuals and small website owners can use an interactive user interface; larger organizations and sites can use the bulk uploads option to send us content using standard XML formats.

Rather than impose specific schemas and structures on the world, Google Base suggests attributes and item types based on popularity, which you can use to define and attach your own labels and attributes to each data item. Then searchers can find information more quickly and effectively by using these labels and attributes to refine their queries on the experimental version of Google Base search.

This beta version of Google Base is another small step toward our goal, creating an online database of easily searchable, structured information...
Meanwhile, in Redmond, insiders are dumping their shares ...

The initial version of Google Base is entirely public. Too bad, I'd have liked to create a private list of contact information for our cub scout troop. There doesn't appear to be any access restriction, it's very much designed to create public knowledge. Some of the templates they provide compete directly with Amazon, eBay, Craig's List and (above all) newspaper classifieds, but they've yet to provide commercial transaction services (that's next week). Other templates are for recipes, reference articles, course catalogs and other shared knowledge. It appears one can use XML structures to create one's own templates (vendors bidding for software projects?). The intersection between formally structured and emergent metadata is intriguing.

Elsewhere, Google writes "content providers who already have RSS feeds can easily submit their content to Google Base without requiring much additional work". This is the original vision of RDF metadata as first presented in Apple's mid-90s "Project X" and the more recent vision of the "Semantic Web".

Google Base is a component of potential web services. Google will use it, so will others.

Now we await the micro-commerce transaction system that will transform Google into a multinational financial powerhouse.

This is fun. Scary, but fun. A bit like inline skating downhill ...

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