As those participating in the lively and interesting discussion in the comments, Google Reader comments and (maybe) Google Buzz surrounding my last Google-related post know, I am pulling for Google.Me. I think it is facing a monumental task in trying to divert the flow of attention from Facebook, but I hope it succeeds.
But the more data points that trickle out about Google’s forthcoming Facebook killer, the more concerns I have. A combination of one thing we think we know and one thing we know for sure is driving me crazy. Conventional wisdom is that Google.Me will launch in the near future, perhaps even imminently. We know that Google has been on a buying spree, most recently buying something called Jambool, for a measly (in this messed up industry) $70M. Just the other day, Google bought something called Slide (at least it has a name that doesn’t make me want to club a kitten to death). There have been others, and there will certainly be more.
How can you assimilate the mad buying spree and the pending launch and not be afraid that Google.Me is going to be another tossed-together mishmash? Like Google Apps, except worse. The biggest problem Google has across all of its non-search apps is inconsistent (in function and looks) design and an almost complete failure of consistency.
How can the same company create something as elegant as Google search and as inelegant as just about every other product? I don’t get it.
TechCrunch leads the Jambool story with this sentence:
Google continues to gobble up companies that will form the backbone of its new social strategy and the upcoming war with Facebook.
It’s really, really (like almost impossible) hard for me to envision an elegant platform arising out of cobbled together parts. I’m looking for Jessica Biel and they’re gearing up to give me Frankenstein.
Granted, Facebook is not the most well-put-together web site in the world. But I want this to be a race for the top, not a race to avoid the bottom. I’m just not sure buying a house room by room is the way to go, if you’re really striving to turn heads (and the herd).
I’m still hoping Google can pull it off. But I’m getting a little concerned.