Today was one of those days when you take a quick peek at the calendar just to be sure it still isn’t April fools. Given the world of PR pain that Google has gotten themselves into as of late (with Google class, multiple cases in various EU courts questioning their honesty or money, the growing suspicion that they have been backing truckloads of data to the NSA), you might think they would steer clear of anything with any kind of creep or “ick” factor. Apparently not.
The latest offering from Big Brother is either their attempt to follow the Pinterest path, or evidence that someone over there has been hitting the sauce a little too hard. The word is that Google is now testing something called Google Mine. This has nothing to do with big data; rather the theory here is that it lets you catalogue your stuff, post pictures of it, review it share them with your friends through Google+ and even give that stuff away. It also allows for a wish list of stuff you only wished you had. Imagine if Craigslist hooked up with Facebook, and after a drug-fueled night of sexual abandon nine month later this popped out. I can imagine it being very useful to nosey friends or burglars… but apart from that… I’m not buying it.
As you may or may not know I’m not a huge fan of social media and would rather put a pin in my eye than use Pinterest… so I’m probably not the target demo… but seriously how self obsessed and vein would you have to be to think that the world cares about how great your vinyl collection is or how many shoes you have. Having said that I realize that Twitter is proof that there really are that many self obsessed people out there with enough free time to indeed catalog their sock drawer and share it with their friends. It’s all too easy to accuse Google of, once again, missing the boat and playing catch up by throwing their strangle hold on search behind their latest me too product. When they do stuff that leverages their strength and offers real innovation and utility (like the crazy clever Google Now feature), they don’t always get the credit they deserve… other times they get picked on because nobody (especially the EU) likes a winner. We will see how this latest me too project turns out.