Trying to make sense of a recent addition to the Google Maps API at eleven fifteen at night isn’t the best policy. I was tired, a little annoyed and not really in the mood for trying to figure out how to create a KML file. Bed seemed like a good idea, so off I went…
Fast forward a little to right now, and here I am, armed with a mug of tea, a fresh head and some good music, I’m reading my way through a brief article on how Google might not actually be working on their own mobile phone after all:
“We spoke with one person with knowledge of the situation, and believe the SideKick hires were 5 to 10 people, with a focus on software,… We believe Google is building mobile applications for search and location that will work with the iPhone, and other mobile phones.”
This certainly jives with my own thinking.
What we do know is, Apple have a Googler on their board of directors, and with the iPhone as a potentially new platform – something slightly adjacent to the Smartphone platform that people continually try to shoehorn the iPhone into – both Google and Yahoo! have joint first-movers’ rights.
Not only do both Google and Yahoo! get to shove their mobile applications in there, but there also seems to be the perception that the iPhone changes the advertising landscape somewhat:
“We were surprised at the OMMA conference how important the iPhone is viewed by advertisers. Advertisers at OMMA believe the iPhone marks a fundamental change in targeting the ‘third screen,’ that is advertising to the mobile word.”
And guess what? I reckon they’re right, too!
But it doesn’t end there.
The mobile you, in sync from wherever, whenever
Being on the move is great. Having a home computer, like my MacBook Pro, and then having a workstation, like my G5 means that I can work from the places I’m to be found most often.
For some, though, being sat in an airport departure lounge is possibly the third place they’re mostly to be found, with some anonymous boardroom being fourth. So it goes that these people would have some handheld or portable computer with them to get some work done while on the move, or just to keep in touch with the people in their world.
From an advertisers point of view, you might as well as be three different people for all of the good it would do them and their marketing dollars.
So what about something like Google Browser Sync becoming an adoptive protocol for browser synchronization?
Something like that would make enormous sense, both for you, me and the marketeer, too. Which sort of brings us back to the Google Maps API:
“To start we now support GeoRSS as a data format for geographic content in Google Maps.”
They go on to say more, but that one sentence pretty much encapsulates what I’m driving at.
For the likes of Google, and also Yahoo! the localization of search is the next big thing. You only have to look at Google Maps Local and Yahoo! Local, and more recently, Yahoo! OurCity – which is in beta phase out in India, which I’ve recently covered, incidentally – to see the direction our main protagonists are going.
So imagine aggregating all of your personalized content together and tethering the whole thing to not only your various geographical locations, but also to one identity no matter where you are or what device or web browser you happen to be using.
Unless we see Google pull their collective fingers out and make some compelling applications work around this geo-targetted API, I think Yahoo! could well beat them to it, especially with them really stealing a march on Google in the Mashup stakes.
Right now, Yahoo! and myself are thinking along the same lines: forget about that one big excellent idea, look for lots of really small but really good ideas, instead. Spread the risk and by virtue of the numeracy of your smaller, more agile ideas, you increase your exposure.
It’s a global village we’re now living in, and there’s a lot of people who want to be global on a local scale…