Google is the Talk of the town

August 24, 2005

Yes I know, what a cheesy post title :-p

I’m not entirely sure what my opinion of Google Talk is yet… is it genius because of it’s simplicity? or is it a weak offering in an already overcrowded industry?

Or perhaps it’s a just another place where Google can grab more of your personal information and use it to build up a profile about you. Check out this quick analysis of the privacy policy.

Specifically this part:

We may record information about your usage of Google Talk, such as […] the contacts you communicate with.

Ah, so Orkut wasn’t working so well eh? Google Talk may be just what they need to augment users’ profiles with social network info.

And of course, Google’s using Jabber, but they haven’t opened up server to server communication yet. Although John Battelle links to a Businessweek article where Georges Harik claims they are working on it.

So we’ll see what happens… maybe developers will latch onto Google Talk and build up a little ecosystem of cool IM apps. Maybe that will cause the other IM networks to stand up and take notice, open up their walled gardens, provide SDKs and web APIs, and finally federate their networks.

Or maybe Google Talk will fall flat just like some of these other services

I’m hopeful that the more competition there is, the better it is for the end-users πŸ™‚

By the way, where is Scoble or Zawodny on this?


No Responses Yet to “Google is the Talk of the town”

  1. Randy Says:

    Haven’t seen a post from either Jeremy or Robert as of yet, but I had some observations for what it’s worth…

  2. Ron Says:

    Skype just opened up for an API:
    “SkypeNet API will enable developers to access our IM and Presence system and bring it into new applications without needing to have the full version of Skype running on the machine”
    Pretty neat.

  3. david yang Says:

    yo mark – nice collection of links on googletalk. I think that gtalk is most likely just something google deved for internal use, decided to release publicly and in the process it got way overhyped – it’s not revolutionary in any sense but does show that trademark simplicity that google applications are known for.

    what I find interesting and perhaps you can shed more light on this is how google views its 2-5 year relationship with microsoft… do they want to coexist with msft or do they plan to eventually provide applications for all users’ needs on the desktop (office apps too?). perhaps a gbrowser that can download components to dynamically transform itself from browser->office app->search tool->chat program.

  4. R Says:

    Does anyone else find it irritating that Mark comments on every piece of Google news in a smarmy, condescending way?

    Mark, we know you got fired from Google. Life goes on. Every time you bring up Google, you subtly try to insult them. The thing is, using smiley faces doesn’t make it any less apparent. It just looks sad and desperate.

    Google’s got some cool stuff. And, of course, some of it is not so cool. But your one-sided opinions are getting old. Please give it a rest.

  5. markjen Says:

    Interesting read R… I’m not sure if you noticed, but this post is actually moderate on Google Talk. I’m not sure if it’s revolutionary (because Google has an open Jabber server) or if it’s lame (because there’s nothing new in the client). Contrast that with some of the links I pointed out, and you’ll see that around the blogosphere, people are much more polarized about the product.

    If you read back through my posts without projecting your assumptions upon my writing, you’ll realize that I’m just writing my observations and opinions on news in the industry. If it comes off as an insult, I’m sorry; it’s just my sense of humor. I have respect for many people at Yahoo!, MSN, Amazon, and Google – not to mention that many of my friends work at these companies.

    And of course, I’m not sure why you would think I’m “sad and desperate”… I have a much better job now than I had at Google.

    Anyways, you’re free to unsubscribe or never visit my blog again. Don’t worry, you won’t hurt my feelings πŸ™‚ I’m just putting my thoughts out there; I expect some people will agree and others will disagree – hopefully we’ll have a conversation about it either way.

  6. markjen Says:

    Hi David – Unfortunately, I’m not able to talk about what Google’s 2-5 year plan is (or was 7 months ago when I was there πŸ˜‰ ). We’ll all just have to wait and see πŸ™‚

  7. david yang Says:

    mark – I guess they made you sign away all rights to talk when you left the company… you could always fight them on first amendment rights, but I wouldn’t want to pit myself against their new $4b bankroll.

    speaking of which, saw an pseudo-obvious article in WSJ on their stock offering. the basic gist: brin and page are going to milk the masses and their optimism. if people want to believe that google will grow at 35% per year until our grandchildren are around, why shouldn’t they profit off of it?

    the article explicitly stated that this was in no way a negative move on behalf of google but more so on the people who continue to pour money into their stock at 285+

  8. Adam Says:

    > you could always fight them on first amendment rights

    Sorry, as a former law student, this is a pet peeve of mine. The 1st am. protects you against *governmental* abridgement of your speech. It does not govern non-disclosure agreements between corporations and private citizens.

    For instance, if I told you about all the cool things that Mark and I are working on here at Plaxo, my boss would kill me. Okay, beyond that, I’d have no “free speech rights” that’d protect me. In exchange for getting moolah and lots of yummy free food at Plaxo (consideration), I have agreed to keep my trap shut regarding proprietary information.

    Now, Plaxo wouldn’t have the right to forbid me to talk about my favorite chocolate (Hershey sucks!) or music (Coldplay sucks!), but anyway, you get my drift πŸ™‚

  9. markjen Says:

    It is true that I am free to tell all if I want, but they are also free to sue me for breaking the confidentiality agreement I signed. Regardless, leaking confidential information or trade secrets is not what I’m interested in anyways.

    David, thanks for the note about the WSJ article as well. As I noted in a previous post, if I were them I’d also be unloading shares as fast as possible πŸ˜‰

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