The Cruel Drama 2.0 says "there's nothing quite like kicking a company when it's down," so with this week's Review, I thought I'd do something different by adding insult to all the injury Google suffered this week.
Since I'm on the record as being "anti-Google," this past week, which has been filled with less-than-positive news for the online ad giant, has been entertaining for me.
- Bloggers brought down to earth
I'll start off the Google-bashing by pointing out that an increasing number of people, like Rick Aristotle Munarriz of The Motley Fool, have started to develop a healthy dose of scepticism about the company.
Despite Google's involvement with NASA, its management has apparently refused to recognise the laws of gravity here on earth. What goes up must come down. That includes its stock price.
- Google Health remains in gestation
It wasn't only the news of a possible decline in Google's paid clicks that had people criticising the company this week.
Even TechCrunch, which has historically (if not recently) been more pro-Google than anti-Google, is apparently getting tired of the hot air the company continues to put out about Google Health, the service which seems to be in a perpetual "almost ready to launch" state.
Of course, I am just one of many to have expressed scepticism about whether it will go anywhere and Erick Schonfeld notes that, ironically, the supposedly less-innovative and slower-moving Microsoft has already launched its health service.
Fortunately, Eric Schmidt has announced that Google Health will not be supported by advertising.
This is wise and shows just how forward-thinking the company is - at least one Google product manager apparently had the sense to realise that his bosses probably didn't want to see Viagra and Cialis ads upon logging in to their newest revolutionary service.
- Google Sites yet to win over enterprises
Google's launch of Google Sites, the redesigned enterprise wiki platform it obtained when it acquired JotSpot in 2006, has been dubbed a "Microsoft Sharepoint killer" by Google’s Product Management Director of Enterprise Matthew Glotzbach.
Unfortunately, not everyone agrees.
From complaints about usability to the observation that "Google is oblivious to the enterprise need for proprietary control of its own data, but Google is crystal clear on ITS determination to control the proprietary data of the world’s enterprises," it's clear that Google has a long way to go before it kills anything in the enterprise applications space.
- Google gives voicemail to San Francisco homeless
Google is putting the Grand Central telephony service it acquired in 2007 to great use - some of San Francisco's homeless will receive free phone numbers and voicemail.
I'm sure that people that lack the basic necessities of life, such as adequate food and shelter, will be more than satisfied with a phone number and voicemail.
According to Craig Walker, a senior product manager at Google:
"We're firm believers in the power of technology to improve the daily lives of individuals and communities as a whole, and we recognise that access to phone and voicemail services is one way that Google can help San Francisco's homeless stay connected with family, friends, social workers, health care providers, and potential employers."
Contrary to public perception, Drama 2.0 is not against philanthropy and charity (I donated to a Free Paris Hilton fund), but anybody who actually believes that the statement above is anything but feel-good bourgeois liberal BS might want to encourage Google to buy Habbo Hotel for $1 billion so that it can provide free virtual homes for all of the world's homeless.
I'll personally donate my line of stylish Habbo Hotel furniture for free.
- Google to help build undersea 'Unity' cable
If Google's failed (but perhaps successful) attempt at securing wireless spectrum wasn't enough to convince observers that the company has about as much focus as a child with ADD, the news that Google is going to help develop a undersea high-bandwidth cable connecting the US and Japan should do the trick.
Fortunately, Google has reassured its investors that this will be its one attempt at "Unity." According to Francois Sterin, manager of Google's network acquisitions:
"We're not competing with telecom providers, but the volume of data we need to move around the world has grown to the point where in some cases we've exceeded the ability traditional players can offer."
Somebody call Ted Stevens quick! The entire time it was Google clogging up his own personal internets!
As fun as it's been to watch Google's struggles, hopefully news about Google doesn't clog up the feed reader I don't use next week.