all google, all the time October 7, 2005 7:01 PM   Subscribe

(Links sequential, not contextual.) The above is an unscientific survey of one year's worth of FPPs just about new products and services and widgets and games and whatnot. Does not include FPPs with links to Google's hirings, firings, technology, strategy, IPO, criticism, parodies, video office tours (for what other company does that FPP not get a PepsiBlue callout?), competitors, acquisitions, subsidiaries, state of the industry, and on and on. I mean, its a good company and all, but for the amount of time this community dedicates to weeding out commercialism and bias (and not to mention one-link FPPs, which most of the "Check out this awesome new Google Do-Dad" posts tend to be), the ceaseless Google boosterism is pretty glaring. Take a look at some of the comments in the one of the only FPPs I could find within the same 1-year timeframe that dares (dares!) to post some links critical of Google.
posted by ChasFile at 7:01 PM on October 7, 2005

Yes goddammit.
posted by xmutex at 7:04 PM on October 7, 2005

I can tell you right now, that would be no, no for me.

The latest Google RSS reader is pathetic, quite frankly. I've seen badly written expensive shareware that does a better job. Maybe we should just post FPPs about the latest software that appears on Tucows.
posted by Jimbob at 7:08 PM on October 7, 2005

Need? No. Like? Yes. I'm not a subscriber to the Google New Features Newsletter, if there is one, and even if I was I'd sure like to know what other MeFites think of their new (free!) products and the company at large.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:08 PM on October 7, 2005

Wait, you just made a post with like fifty links (not to mention collecting those links) because you're worried about your time being wasted?

I understand everybody has their axe to grind about this or that garbage being posted on the main page, but since these MetaTalk call-outs accomplish nothing, isn't it even more noise?
posted by nanojath at 7:10 PM on October 7, 2005

but since these MetaTalk call-outs accomplish nothing, isn't it even more noise?

How do you know this is going to accomplish nothing?

Seriously, posts about truly novel, cool web services that no-one has ever seen before? Go for it. Posts about some new feature that's still in beta, or some company buy-out? Hardly.
posted by Jimbob at 7:14 PM on October 7, 2005

Are you trying to crash metafilter by having everyone click all these links?

I predict DOCUMENT CONTAINS NO DATA at some point before monday afternoon and it will all your fault.

but since these MetaTalk call-outs accomplish nothing, isn't it even more noise?

Eh, he's kinda got a point
posted by delmoi at 7:23 PM on October 7, 2005

I for one would welcome our Google overlords, but when Google turns evil, we are really screwed.
posted by eriko at 7:27 PM on October 7, 2005

"Wait, you just made a post with like fifty links (not to mention collecting those links) because you're worried about your time being wasted?"

But isn't wasting time what Metawhatsit is all about? Maybe he's worried his time isn't being wasted right.
posted by davy at 7:28 PM on October 7, 2005

Funny, I just did a search for Mefi threads tagged as "google" because I was intrigued by the discussion about the RSS reader and wanted to know what other google toys came out recently.

Putting fifty links in a metatalk post? Err.. I guess we're not worse off for having it here. But you might want to try a single link:
posted by Saucy Intruder at 7:33 PM on October 7, 2005

Don't you understand? Google is "the web."
posted by panoptican at 8:10 PM on October 7, 2005

I like posts about new stuff. It's better than bitching about the same old shit (war, bush, abortion, religion, etc).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:20 PM on October 7, 2005

Google is the all-software version of Apple, except they're lacking charismatic leader, and the competition. But the level of reality distortion field strength seems to be roughly similar.
posted by sfenders at 8:21 PM on October 7, 2005

eh, I like posts about new stuff, too. But I don't see how yet another RSS reader could count as meaningfully new.
posted by sfenders at 8:24 PM on October 7, 2005

*registers, puts Google Ads on it*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:27 PM on October 7, 2005 has been registered, however, is available.
posted by delmoi at 8:34 PM on October 7, 2005

Google licks your nads? Is that in beta?
posted by nanojath at 8:50 PM on October 7, 2005

In support of reading about stuff google is thinking of maybe doing being occasionally worthwhile, there is what may be the most ridiculously awesome press release ever.

Google will collaborate with NASA to work on "new sensors and materials from collaborations on bio-info-nano convergence, improved analysis of engineering problems, as well as Earth, life and space science discoveries from supercomputing and data mining, and bringing entrepreneurs into the space program."
posted by sfenders at 8:55 PM on October 7, 2005

uh yeah, I can't type straight. I blame Google.

“As Silicon Valley continues to lead in developing technologies that will guide our nation's economy in the 21st century, partnerships combining the best in public sector innovation with the cutting edge of private industry will serve as the gold standard in public-private partnerships for years to come. The technologies created by the partnership of Google and NASA Ames not only will enable and enhance further exploration of space, they will positively impact the daily lives of all Americans for generations to come," Eshoo said.
posted by sfenders at 8:59 PM on October 7, 2005

I should have put a [MI] in, and I appologize for that. As I tried to imply in the first comment: I didn't link to all posts tagged "google" because many of those posts aren't a problem. I just see those that are little more than text ads for new Google products on the front page as a problem. Were it any other company any one of those posts would get a PepsiBlue MeTa callout; because its google, we get dozens a year and nobody bats an eyelash.

I love the big G as much as the next guy, but I just think that's something of a double standard.
posted by ChasFile at 9:19 PM on October 7, 2005

Avoiding weighing in on the topic one way or another, I would just like to say that I was impressed by the sheer number of links in this post. Link - link - link - wait, that's a link, too - link - link - christ, that's even its own link? - link.

It just kept going. I am impressed by scale. I am also tired.

Game on.
posted by Stunt at 9:38 PM on October 7, 2005

it is a double standard, but it's one i can live with because these products are ones that we will probably actually use at some point - if not try.

i appreciate the threads because a lot of the mefites tend to be critical thinkers, so therefore if i read something on a blog that announces it and has a few comments, i am pleased to come to metafilter to get a larger sample of opinoins.

that way i dont have to go through the tedious task of trying it and thinking for myself.

for a bunch of liberals, this place tends to be quite conservative in its practices to its own detriment. i would rather have one more thread of questionable "merit" than one less that was deleted or never posted because someone was paranoid of being called out on the grounds of pepsiblue.
posted by tsarfan at 9:42 PM on October 7, 2005

What odinsdream said.
posted by soyjoy at 9:52 PM on October 7, 2005

only if it's cool
posted by filmgeek at 10:06 PM on October 7, 2005

I'm with you, Chas.
posted by klangklangston at 10:47 PM on October 7, 2005

honestly, I'm with chasfile, here. But for one reason only: the sheer number.

I don't have a problem with posting to interesting products from google in theory, but the sheer number of them has started to annoy. and it does feel like pepsi blue by now, because google is creating so many new products so quickly right now that not all of them are real winners. (google talk. google rss reader. google desktop.) these products don't seem interesting enough to deserve our attention, but they get posted before anyone's had the chance to try them and realize they're lame because of the excitement this company generates for itself.

i don't think anything should be deleted, but i do wish that people would post about google products less.

or, i could just post a link to the blue every time Microsoft comes out with a new or updated product. or every time the linux kernel gets a new alpha or beta release. that would be awesome.
posted by shmegegge at 11:04 PM on October 7, 2005

Metafilter userbase: originally a pack of web dorks, including plenty of people on the cutting edge of web technology

Google: Most prominent company implementing cool new web technologies in a way that shows they at least sort of "get it".

No, I don't see why group A would be interested in company B at all. Total mystery. Bring on more Flash games and Daily Kos reposts!
posted by darukaru at 11:05 PM on October 7, 2005

Oh boy. It's another one of those "Do we really need X?" callouts. I happen to agree with the spirit of this one, but you've gotta realize that you can't edit for content with a callout. And even if you could, I doubt that what we "really need" would be a valid criterion to apply.

I'm with ya. But it's for naught.
posted by scarabic at 11:11 PM on October 7, 2005

I do wish that people had the guts to say "I believe X is hurting MetaFilter and here's why" instead of posting "do we really need X?" Forming a question doesn't distance you from the fact that you are trying to assert your own editorial voice upon all of MetaFilter. The implict cowardice of doing it this way demeans any idealism you're bringing to the question of what MetaFilter is and Should Be. Speak your mind, if you think that's what MetaTalk is for, though you probably will see very quickly that it isn't (see my point?).
posted by scarabic at 11:13 PM on October 7, 2005

Let's just ask Google to stop coming out with new products.
posted by TwelveTwo at 11:16 PM on October 7, 2005

Well, people should realize that adding a new domain to their vertical search isn't exactly a "new product." Goole now searches movies!!! Next month it will be albums and I don't really need to hear about that, too. HFS!!! I can browse the Earth AND the Moon!!! Hey everbody!! Google MARS is out!!!

posted by scarabic at 11:23 PM on October 7, 2005

holy shit scarabic ... you have an axe to grind with google?
posted by AllesKlar at 2:03 AM on October 8, 2005

i could just post a link to the blue every time Microsoft comes out with a new or updated product.

I'm getting tired of this lame analogy. Love 'em or hate 'em, Google's technology has repeatedly revolutionized web searching. Apple's developments have repeatedly revolutionized personal technology. When was the last time Microsoft, the eternal "me too" player, revolutionized anything other than monopolistic distribution and new, exciting security flaws?
posted by soyjoy at 8:50 AM on October 8, 2005

Google reminds me of elementary school in a way. Every time there was a holiday, Ms. Capp would put up colorful decorations on the walls, windows, and doors of our classroom. Perhaps my 3rd grade teacher took a job as a designer at Google, because they're continuing the tradition just as she would have.
posted by gramschmidt at 9:50 AM on October 8, 2005

what if it were google AND apple, then would it be ok?

I approve of the google posts.... not a problem for me...
posted by HuronBob at 3:08 PM on October 8, 2005

soyjoy : "Apple's developments have repeatedly revolutionized personal technology"

I'm not disagreeing, this is just a straightforward question: What Apple developments have revolutionized personal technology? I know the GUI aspects of the Mac 128K revolutionized the PC human interface, but that was 21 years ago. What have they revolutionized since then?
posted by Bugbread at 5:19 PM on October 8, 2005

soyjoy - while Apple's product may rock your world, it's hard to make an argument that they've revolutionized anything besides the MP3 player in the past 10 years. I also think that their products are innovative and cool, but you can't go around talking about "revolutionizing" this and that as if they've actually taken the market by storm, gotten everybody on board, and changed everything. Yes, other developers have taken cues from them. Apple has also taken cues from Microsoft. And Apple has released several of their own "me too" products along the way as well. It's worth nothing that their very numeric insignificance is one of the things that allows them to innovate so broadly and quickly Microsoft has a massive userbase, peripheral industry, and support economy to consider before they do much of anything, because they actually have captured the entire market and set the direction for almost all of personal computing for the last decade.

I'm just saying don't consider Apple's "importance" to be self-evident. It's not.
posted by scarabic at 5:23 PM on October 8, 2005

I have an axe to grind with product posts in general, AllesKlar. I have already heard of most of the things posted here by the time they make it up, but I consider a MeFi post about something that's already got a massive marketing budget behind it to be a particular introduction of noise.
posted by scarabic at 5:26 PM on October 8, 2005

But, dude, scarabic, you have to admit, if Google Mars came out, that would be worthy of a FPP. Consider it the exception that proves the rule.
posted by Bugbread at 6:17 PM on October 8, 2005

What? How does an exception prove a rule?
posted by TwelveTwo at 6:48 PM on October 8, 2005

A handy Google search will tell us!
posted by hugsnkisses at 7:13 PM on October 8, 2005

it's hard to make an argument that they've revolutionized anything besides the MP3 player in the past 10 years.

They haven't even done that. The marketing of the players, yeah, maybe. But their technology lags far behind that of, say, iRiver's.

When was the last time Microsoft, the eternal "me too" player, revolutionized anything other than monopolistic distribution ...

Replace with 'Google' and 'advertising' (and even that's debatable, as all they did was industrial-size it), and you'd be equally correct. Google hasn't revolutionized jack shit since their world-beating search, and even that wasn't revolutionary as mush as evolutionary.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:25 PM on October 8, 2005

No, we don't.

(This post mustah been terribly difficult to make.)
posted by Count Ziggurat at 1:49 PM on October 9, 2005

While it is true that we don't need a new thread every time the Google "not evil not yet, anyway" machine burps out a new idea, at least they help to soak up some of the mess from those nasty political threads. Otherwise, we would be up to our eyebrows in it, instead of just up to our necks. It seems a shame that these are almost the only two choices*.

I know this is not true, but sometimes it seems that way
posted by dg at 2:53 PM on October 9, 2005

the exception that proves the rule.

Mmm, not really. If there were a guideline that said "Google product posts will be permitted," then that would imply that others weren't - proving the existence of a rule for this. But as it is now, there are no formal rules for product posts, expressed either explicitly or by implication. The fact that Google product posts survive doesn't decidedly argue that Google's are the exception, or that any product posts are allowed. You could maybe comb through mathowie's deletion reasons forever, trying to make sense of them, but in recent months he's taken to recording very little as his reason for deletion. Stuff like:




"Shit, horse shit, and bullshit!"

Still, I think the point of this post is taken, that Google (and Apple) barely have to wave a knife over the cheese before people are all abuzz that they've emitted the greatest fart ever squoze twixt human cheeks. If you actually judge their products by the same standards as everyone else's, this has in fact been out of hand here. Have some objectivity.
posted by scarabic at 3:05 PM on October 9, 2005

Unfortunately, objectivity and anything related to either Google or Apple are mutually exclusive.
posted by dg at 3:13 PM on October 9, 2005

Neither Google nor Apple have "revolutionized" anything. (Well, maybe Apple revolutionized the monetization of products with the iPod halo, but that was hardly their idea -- it was pitched and sold to them by an outside consultant, after all.)

Google and Apple are very good at providing an emotional impact for their most important target markets. Apple high-priests like Tog have even created theories of product design based on the way that Apple manipulates emotional content in design and marketing, and his theories are equally applicable to Google. Real content and value do not in any sense measure up to the hype in either case.

And yes: When Google turns evil, we really are profoundly screwed.

Also: It is possible and even valuable to "callout" without a specific remedy in mind. It is valuable to call attention to the fact that this site is rife with Google fanboys, without calling for some specific action on that fact. The appropriate action is for each person to decide on their own.
posted by lodurr at 3:37 PM on October 9, 2005

If I had to describe the Internet to an outsider, I'd say that it's a community which values (a) technical excellence and (b) giving things away for free. I think that's why Google gets so much attention on the Internet as a whole, and why so many Google announcements show up on MetaFilter.
posted by russilwvong at 9:00 PM on October 9, 2005

It's also worth mentioning that a significant chunk of Google's current business plan is focused on keeping its stock price inflated via a constant stream of "new! exciting! product!" announcements. It just makes sense, really. There was an interesting Marketwatch commentary from last February that discussed this kind of "innovation," in which companies rush out products (video yellow pages is a fave example) before it's clear there's much, if any, consumer demand for them:

When company innovation is driven by the desire to keep up with rivals -- and high investor expectations -- rather than what consumers need and demand, it's an invitation to trouble...

You're probably saying, "Shouldn't companies innovate?" Sure, I'm all for innovation. But investors shouldn't be basing growth trajectories on products and services that are ahead of their time. Such new services may require a lot of consumer education to persuade buyers that any of this stuff is even remotely necessary.

[...] it appears to me that many companies -- in their effort to keep up their expected growth trajectory -- are throwing service upon service at consumers. Some of these services are merely slight improvements over what's already out there. Some are services that consumers aren't even aware they need.

Despite the lessons folks say we all learned from The Bubble, the current climate is still heavily driven by emotion and stock price expectations that may or may not be realistic. Bottom line is there won't be any slowdown of Google "new! product!" announcements any time soon. Which means it might be cool for folks to exercise at least a *little* skepticism before posting every one of those announcements to the front page. It's not gonna happen, I know, but it sure would be nice.
posted by mediareport at 11:22 PM on October 9, 2005

I'm with you Chas.
posted by johnny novak at 12:57 AM on October 10, 2005

I asked the same question about a year ago.
posted by sciurus at 6:09 AM on October 10, 2005

Do we really need posts where every single word is linked to something different?

Seriously, in a few months there will be a post in metatalk for every single link on the front page (newsfilter! googlefilter! applefilter! flashfilter!).
posted by clevershark at 7:18 AM on October 10, 2005

just to warn you guys, i plan on posting a FPP about the new Apple announcements today. is 2-3 hours going to be enough time to work up a righteous froth of indignation?
posted by keswick at 7:52 AM on October 12, 2005


(thanks for the advance warning, kes, I almost shot my indignant load on this one)
posted by kcm at 9:10 AM on October 12, 2005

New stuff yay!
US politics boo!
posted by Joeforking at 9:20 AM on October 12, 2005

Metafilter: bitching about the same old shit
posted by tweak at 9:32 AM on October 12, 2005

But slashdot does it!
posted by JeffK at 9:51 AM on October 12, 2005

yes. what we don't need is a metatalk thread every time someone releases a new thing. just one man's opinion.
posted by n9 at 11:51 AM on October 12, 2005

For the gazillionth time - if you don't like a FPP, then don't read it.
posted by bshort at 12:09 PM on October 12, 2005

Damnit, how are we supposed to know if we don't like a post until we read it? We'll need a metametadescription field in the post form page to prevent the unnecessary reading of the link description of the post itself to decide if we like it or not.

Then we can use these handy metatags to just jump right to the discussion, the precision semantic hairsplitting, and the wrathful energetic monkey shit slinging without even having to read the post itself or seeing where the link goes. I'm totally seeing a dropdown menu.

Choose a metacatagory:

We could even implement a set of informative little gif graphics that go between the link and the link description for easy reference and catagorization.

posted by loquacious at 3:02 PM on October 12, 2005

loquacious wins
posted by tweak at 7:38 PM on October 12, 2005

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