Understanding Why All Your Base May Belong To Google

from the it's-not-that-complicated dept

There's a lot of talk today about the supposed leak of a product called Google Base, with plenty of people predicting that this is a shot across the bow of eBay or Craigslist. While that could be the end result, it doesn't seem like that's the real target for this offering at all. Years back (when I still remembered how to do database design and SQL queries) I needed to do a quick prototype of a web-based application, and came across a great little service (long since deceased) called ActiveSpace. It was, basically, an online database system with an easy front-end creation tool and a little bit of middleware magic. Basically, everything you'd need to quickly build your own web-based app without having to do any of the real dirty work or set up a real database yourself. That went away, but soon afterwards, Intuit launched a similar (though, not nearly as useful) system called Quickbase. All of these systems realized the basic fact that most software is really just a front-end stuck on a database, with just a little magic in the middle to help make the app do what it needed to do. By having a simple, easy to set up database tool online, with easy front-end development tools, you can build simple applications without too much trouble at all. It appears that's exactly what Google is trying to do with Google Base. It's not about taking on Craigslist or eBay -- both of which are more about the community than the technology -- but about enabling people to create their own specialized apps, using a simple online database powered with Google's search tools. If this sounds familiar, it's the whole concept behind situated software, where people are developing specific apps that fit their needs, rather than for a huge community. In other words, Google Base seems more like something that the folks at Ning and Jotspot should be concerned about, rather than anyone at Craigslist and eBay. Of course, what isn't clear is what kind of tools Google then provides for adding front-end capabilities to the Google Base -- but that would be the next obvious step if I were building the tool.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    valnur, 21 Feb 2009 @ 12:38am

    Comment

    We are in a similar market as Google Base but our product gives structure (while still not imposing any set of predefined categories) to our index and therefore makes it possible for users to not only perform keyword search but also browse hierarchically with the ability to specify unlimited number of filters to refine their search.

    Valnur
    http://www.valnur.com

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


    Add Your Comment

    Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



    Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




    Comment Options:

    • Use markdown. Use plain text.
    • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
    • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

    Close

    Add A Reply

    Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



    Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




    Comment Options:

    • Use markdown. Use plain text.
    • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
    • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

  • Follow Techdirt
    Essential Reading
    Techdirt Deals
    Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
    Techdirt Insider Discord

    Introducing the new Techdirt Insider Chat, now hosted on Discord. If you are an Insider with a membership that includes the chat feature and have not yet been invited to join us on Discord, please reach out here.

    Loading...
    Recent Stories

    Saturday

    12:00 This Week In Techdirt History: October 10th - 16th (2)

    Friday

    19:39 Trader Joe's Threatens Man Over Parody 'Traitor Joe' Political T-Shirt (11)
    16:10 Study Says Official Count Of Police Killings Is More Than 50% Lower Than The Actual Number (10)
    13:35 The Surveillance And Privacy Concerns Of The Infrastructure Bill's Impaired Driving Sensors (24)
    12:07 GOP Very Excited To Be Handed An FCC Voting Majority By Joe Biden (9)
    10:30 Plagiarism By Techdirt: Our Plagiarized NFT Collection Can Now Actually Be Bid On (1)
    10:25 Daily Deal: The Complete 2022 Microsoft Office Master Class Bundle (1)
    08:14 Clearview Celebrates 10 Billion Scraped Images Collected, Claims It Can Now Recognize Blurred, Masked Faces (16)
    05:10 Journalists In St. Louis Discover State Agency Is Revealing Teacher Social Security Numbers; Governors Vows To Prosecute Journalists As Hackers (49)

    Thursday

    20:37 Billy Mitchell Survives Anti-SLAPP Motion From Twin Galaxies A Second Time (28)
    More arrow

    This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
    Close

    Email This

    This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.