Tubes and Pipes

    February 9, 2007

Google’s confirming publicly that they believe the current Internet may become choked by online video. This is related to a barrier to Google’s growth — one of the only serious ones — that has been nagging at me for some time: globally, they don’t own the pipes. Big utility monopolies still hold a lot of cards around the world. The smart money would likely partner with them. (We’ve noted in the past that this has been one of Microsoft’s strategies globally — taking stakes in utility companies.)

G’s massive investment in infrastructure in the US is no doubt partly going to address this. It’ll be fascinating to see how it unfolds. Net neutrality is at least a debate in the U.S. today. In some nations and economic zones, there are very different terms for the debate.

Meanwhile, Yahoo has released a mashup service extraordinaire, called Pipes. It’s going to be worth a lot more study, but basically it provides an easy way for the layperson to pull disparate data sources into a web page — like a smarter more agile feed reader? Kinda makes my head hurt: does it compete with Google Reader or supersede it? Some commenters are saying it’s really nothing too new, and other products like RSS Bus would be better for those who are technically inclined. Stay tuned. (If you really know what you’re doing: Jeremy Zawodny points to something called GData.)

And meanwhile meanwhile, over at Techcrunch, Arrington does something we apparently no longer make time to do: reviews and compares new Hotmail, new Yahoo Mail, and Gmail. All of these web 2.0 apps get the thumbs-up, but Google comes in at #1. That’s about what I’d say. I actually use both old Yahoo Mail and Gmail, and don’t particularly enjoy new Yahoo Mail. I’ll likely consolidate everything in GMail, a decision I think you eventually have to make (one way or another, with Y or G) so you’re using the same calendar and IM app and not confusing the hell out of yourself.

Mail, at least, we already use. Both Google’s Co-Op and Yahoo’s Pipes probably deserve weeks of our time, and here we are blogging about engagement rings and Ted Stevens. Time to tackle the to-do list. Also, posting will be light for the next week due to SES London.

Other random thoughts to wind up the week:

And Technorati’s edgecraft: is it just me, or is calling a "buzz description" a "WTF" (as in "write a WTF for this query") pretty edgy? Edgy, I think. As I’ve told a few of you, my office building is owned by a commercial real estate company called WTF Group. Seeing that logo on the wall has gotten me through many a day.


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About the Author

Andrew Goodman is Principal of Page Zero Media, a marketing consultancy which focuses on maximizing clients’ paid search marketing campaigns.

In 1999 Andrew co-founded, an acclaimed "guide to portals" which foresaw the rise of trends such as paid search and semantic analysis.