Today, while I was searching for my name in Google, I saw that towards the end, it showed my Delicious bookmarks in the search results. There is definitely no occurrence of my name in the pages that were listed in the search results and the only connection I could see between ‘me’ and the search result is that I have bookmarked these links in Delicious.
About a couple of years back, I wrote about how Google had a tight integration between its various services, and how Yahoo lacked it.
However when I made that entry, Google had very few services and Yahoo had lots of them. In fact, Google was primarily a search company and Gmail and Calendar were just new arrivals in the scene.
However now that Google has already been Yahoo 2.0, it's time to look at Google's offerings again and see how they have fared.
The first impression is that Google has done tremendously well. Although they have acquired several companies in the last couple of years, they have been very quick in integrating these applications with their portfolio. Orkut, Gmail/Gtalk integration, Gmail/Google docs integration, Google Mashup Editor are some examples.
However on second thoughts, it looks like there is a lot that is still to be done.
What kind of integration can we expect?
- You bookmark resources in various services
- Starring entries in Google Reader
- Starring posts in Google Groups
- Starring Google search results
- Noting down items or clipping entries in Google Notebook
- Indicating your favorite books in Google Books.
- Social network everywhere
- Presence awareness everywhere
- Uniform look and feel
- Attention profiling
It is a complex problem to solve. You don't know what the various interaction points between the various services are or what the various dimensions are for these applications. However, we learn some of these over time. For example, it looks like social networks and attention profiling are here to stay. So if you are building an application, ensure that it is integrated well with some social network and also takes into account the attention information of a user.
In continuing with my observations made here, I wonder if the following way of preventing someone from spamming a commenting system really helps:
____________ Spam protection: Sum of II plus III plus IV ?
If I really want to spam this site, I can write a simple routine to scrape the string matching 'Sum of ___ ?' and then feed that into Google like this:
Google search: II plus III plus IV
And there you go! You are spammed!