Now before I
get too far into this post I want to make one thing clear, I know I'm part of the blogosphere and by merely talking about Google Apps
and the rumor mill in the blogosphere that I too am taking part in the hype. Forgive me for taking on that mentality just this once so I can make a few observations of my own about what the Google Apps launch means and what it doesn't mean.Google Apps Facts
1.) It's true that Google is offering private label email, instant messaging, calendar and web site creation & hosting by bundling a bunch of their online apps together and calling it Google Apps.
2.) This is a strategic move on Google's part to get individuals and very small companies to become more dependant on Google and the Google "web as a platform" software in an effort to generate more inventory for their ads and to get users hooked on Google on many levels. If a user or small company uses Google talk, Google Calendars, and Google email (GMail), then it's going to be hard for that entity to leave and go elsewhere because of all the infrastructure changes it would require.
3.) Relating to point 2, this is just the first in a series of moves to continue to pull more users away from Microsoft and it's Office 2007 and Microsoft Live product line. Google is trying to show they can launch apps quickly and void of the "beta" logo that made them so popular and that the apps are free and don't much of a download or install, if any at all. This is something MSFT has been playing catchup on for quite some time and the next 24 months will be interesting to see how much of the Microsoft small business market Google is able to take away.Google Apps Fiction
1.) It's not true that this is aimed at the Enterprise market. Why on earth would a large or even medium sized corporation (take Dell for example) open up their internal emails or much less, encourage their users to use Google's IM client? That makes no sense and is absolutely not true.
2.) It is not true that Google Apps will replace Microsoft Office in the next 12 months. Yes, they will make an effort to get people to use their spreadsheet app and other apps comparable to Microsoft Office but the robustness of features will not be there for quite some time and the 6 - 12 month prediction
of doom for MSFT Office Live will not happen. Personally I think Microsoft Watch & SEW
had the most accurate
synopsis of the Google Apps launch.Blogosphere Brown Nosers
When I was a kid playing soccer and my dad wanted to show me exactly how close I was suppose to guard a member of the opposing team, he use to use a phrase... (well he used many phrases but this is the one that's the most appropriate for this post)... My dad would say...
"Jason - I want you to be so close to that kid that you know when he farts before he does."
Now I know that's not the prettiest word picture but it is to the point. My dad wanted me to be all over the kid I was covering that I know more about him that he does... Well in this day and age, it often occurs to me that the blogosphere has their noses
so far up
that when Google farts, they're the first to spread the word.
There's something wrong with that picture... the blogosphere is for creating news, not regurgitating it, and just regurgitating Google's (or anyone else's) press releases drives me nuts... Many bloggers apply meaning but many more like WebMetricsGuru just regurgitate and that type of blogger is exactly who would have this type of IM conversation.Mock Example Blogosphere Conversation about Google
blogger a: Hey, did you hear that Google farted?
blogger b: No, are you serious?
blogger a: Totall Serious! Serious as a heart attack!
blogger b: huh uh! No Way!
blogger a: Yep, dude you're not gonna believe this either.
blogger b: What happened, come on, please tell me! I'll link to your post from my blog if you tell me. I promise!
blogger a: I don't know man, I haven't told anyone about it yet.
blogger b: Okay, I tell you what. I'll put you on my blogroll at the very top if you tell me before you tell anyone else about Google farting and I'll keep you there for at least a month, I promise!
blogger a: Okay, deal. But you can't post a word about it until after I post first and you have to link to my post and ping Technorati and Steve Rubel.
blogger b: Dude, done deal! Now tell me what happened!
blogger a: Okay, so I was at the Google Dance last night and there were people all over the place having a good time and I was just chillin taking in all the Google Goodness cause I'm like at the search Mecca of the world, right?! Well then I was walking around acting like I knew everybody and I stepped in this mudd, at least I thought it was mudd but it was really slimey and gooey and gross... And then I realized what it was.
blogger b: What was it?!
blogger a: It was Google sh1t!
blogger b: Nuh uh!!!
blogger a: I'm dead serious.
blogger b: How do you know?
blogger a: First off it smelled like sh1t but secondly because I followed the trail of Google Sh1t using my nose like a bloodhound, I mean I had it all over my face man cause I was commited to finding the source, and the trail led me to this huge server farm.
blogger b: No frickin way!
blogger a: Totally! And it was like 1 billion pigeons typing away on computers powering the Google Search Engine and there was so much poop everywhere that I thought I was going to die!
blogger b: Dude, you must've been so stoked to see the heart of Google's operations like that. That's like the story of a lifetime.
blogger a: Yeah, I was... Now I'm going to post it to my blog.
blogger b: Alright dude, don't forget to IM me first!
blogger a: aight later
blogger b: later man - you rock!
Okay so I got a bit carried away with the little example of a conversation between blogger a and blogger b but I'm just sick of how everyone has their nose up Google's butt... and everyone else's for that matter. And on top of that how they use distantly related stories to promote their own agenda.
Now, I know Michael Arrington must be a pretty good guy, otherwise my friend Steve Gillmor wouldn't have invited him to be part of the Gillmor Gang. But sometimes you gotta call good people out when they need some help seeing the light. Like today, at the end of the TechCrunch post
about Google Apps, Arrington promotes his advertiser (Zoho - who also has him on their blogroll
) by saying someone should buy them out soon cause they were in that space before Google Apps was launched... That's a bit of a stretch but now I have a good idea where that $60k
in revenue is coming from. Now I will say that TechCrunch does admit Zoho's parent company is an advertiser in one post but it took me 10 minutes to make the connection
between the two companies and determine whether or not Zoho had compensated TechCrunch in any way.
To Arrington's credit though, at least he did admit there was a relationship of advertiser / blog in a post on TechCrunch and once on CrunchNotes
. I know many people never admit the relationship and that's something that needs to be addressed soon. There needs to be a mechanism for allowing bloggers to get paid for blogging about the stuff they love while still maintaining a journalistic standard of conduct. Hmmm, I'm thinking sponsr. (Shameless self-serving plug - this is my declaration that Labitat - MarketingShift - Sponsr are all related entities).