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Local Services and Google

It’s always interesting to watch Google and their ‘local’ initiatives. MSN and Yahoo! are making similar introductions too.
I love what is happening with Google Maps, and Google Local seems to be really moving forward. This is interesting in the context of public libraries and their relationship with their communities. Since the searches are optimized for local businesses with such things as yellow pages ads or InfoUSA type listings, then putting in search words for books or libraries turns up interesting results – and not always in the lcoal ibrary’s best interests. Add the 3-D mapping of San Francisco by Google and you get some really interesting foundations for local work (and some cool locally relevant gaming too!).
Also, take these recent examples into consideration to see inklings of Google’s ultimate local vision…:
Google seemed to dominate a certain Kansas City Royals MLB game this Spring. They gave out local.google.com giant blue hands and launched a local advertising and marketing initiative. How do local sites relate to this potential competitor?
InternetNews.com’s is reporting that Google will announce the acquisition of Meetroduction later this week. Meetroduction is a . This is Google’s second acquistion in the social networking/location-based services space in recent months. It’s also amazing that this service just launched on August 4th, 2005! Meetro also combines hooking people with similar local interests up with most major IM clients. In May, Google acquired dodgeball.com, a service that allows users to find “friends” and new friends using SMS text messaging. Find out more here.
Paidcontent.org had this to say:
“Google has historically been information-centric. The content and character of social relations don’t fit well into that view of the world, but matter, a lot, to users. … Dodgeball mingles informational and social aspects of a user’s life into something more valuable than either of those things in isolation.” So Dodgeball gets the concept, Google gets Dodgeball and we get to watch — and participate.”
Anyway, it worth keeping an eye on this stuff in the next generation plans for our search engines – it’s the canary in the mine for services that depend on local markets – public libraries and their branches, for instance.
Stephen

Posted on: August 9, 2005, 5:08 am Category: Uncategorized

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