So the much-rumoured Google Base has finally launched.
Looks interesting, but I’m not entirely sure what it actually is (as in, what the proposition is exactly). Seems to be reminiscent of a “free-for-all” wiki (where you can put up whatever you want), but as Peter Day recently said:
Does Google know what it’s doing? Probably not. And therein may lie its genius.
From what I initially heard about Google Base, I thought it might be a publicly accessible database – which it sort of is. But I expected a standard database install running on a common db port (3306, say) which your scripts and applications could connect to. I didn’t think it would be an “end-user” facing service.
Google describes Base as:
Google Base is a place where you can easily submit all types of online and offline content that we’ll host and make searchable online. You can describe any item you post with attributes, which will help people find it when they search Google Base. In fact, based on the relevance of your items, they may also be included in the main Google search index and other Google products like Froogle, Google Base and Google Local.
You can also upload content via RSS, CSV and other similar data formats. You can also FTP.
My final take is that Google are trying to get into the listings games (Craigslist, etc) but are doing it in a way that scales for them to search and manipulate that data. They achieve that by forcing you to enter data in categories (fields) rather than as free text. I think that’s kind of cumbersome for the end user, so it will be interesting to see whether Base ever makes it out of the lab…
I’m going to continue to play with it, because I think there maybe more to this than I’ve got so far…