Google Gears

Scoble covers Google’s latest offering, Gears.

They are showing me a demo of the new Google Reader using the new Gears plugin. After you load the Gears plugin you get a new icon at the top of your Reader window which enables offline capabilities of Google Reader. They showed how Google Reader then downloaded 2,000 feed items. They took the browser offline and it continued to work great.

It does work really well at enabling an offline usage mode for Google Reader, can only imagine where they are going with this as it relates to their other office productivity apps, as well as for other non-Google applications.

I did find it interesting that the access model for developers is essentially SQL. What I was left wondering is if this is in fact SQL light then does that mean one could use Gears as a proxy for other SQL data sources?

Keep in mind that this is a Firefox extension, which means most of the market can’t take advantage of it. Nonetheless, this is a really interesting development and I’m sure that we will see some innovative implementations of it in double quick time.

Lastly, there is an open question for Google over Apollo/Silverlight. While Google is clearly developing an offline capability, thereby flattening one of the objections that Google faces when pitching their office applications, but what is there answer on the question about rich non-browser based applications. Perhaps Google is a better acquirer of Adobe than Apple?


More on Evolution of Advertising

"I wasn’t impressed. See, a customer who actually flew the airline – and had a bad experience – made more of an impression on me than a series of (undoubtedly highly expensive) paid ads. (I would add that I’ve flown on Delta occasionally without problems, but that’s beside the point.)"

There’s nothing new here, but it did cause me to think of a recent restaurant experience. We went to dinner at Mantra in Palo Alto on Saturday night and proudly displayed was a poster highlighting Mantra being a Chronicle "top 100 Bay Area restaurant".

As we were sitting there having a cocktail I was quietly thinking to myself "so what? I really don’t care what the Chronicle says about a restaurant, I’m more interested in what Yelp or Citysearch has to say in the ‘people like me’ reviews". Why OpenTable doesn’t have user reviews is about as big a missed opportunity as I can imagine.

The real backstory here is not about restaurant reviews but rather how newspaper publishers no longer have a lock on telling us what is good and what is not. Witness the demise of movie critics, once the staple of movie trailer advertising, or perhaps the once mighty NYTimes bestseller list. If I am curious about a book I am more likely to go the the Amazon bestsellers list because there I can get reviews from people who have read (or claimed to have read?) a particular book.

How does advertising embrace user generated content? One technique seems pretty obvious, banner ads and search engines should have a flyover that highlights blog posts that are, ideally, favorable to the thing being advertised.

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BT Acquires TiddlyWiki, Name Change Imminent

Jeremy Rustin sold his company to British Telecom, which at first glance may seem an improbable fit but when you consider the BT Workspace initiative it makes a lot of sense. Also, the fact that the team he will no doubt be a part of is based here in Palo Alto, well it’s actually a very good fit.

I’m delighted to announce that the mighty BT has acquired my tiny little company Osmosoft Limited. I’m joining BT as Head of Open Source Innovation, and I’ll be building a crack open source web development team called BT Osmosoft. To say the least, this is big news for me personally, and I hope will have a positive and lasting impact on the future of TiddlyWiki.

Congratulations are well deserved, Jeremy did a great job building something that when you looked at Tiddlywiki closely is very disruptive. Jeremy really is a pioneer in the space of microcontent and the concept of a fully self contained hypertext document that could posted to a webserver or emailed around is pretty nonlinear.

PS- regarding my name change imminent comment… you really don’t expect a company as old school as British Telecom would keep a name as cool as TiddlyWiki.

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