: I’m disappointed that Google’s next big thing is just email. This is only another step in the portalization of Google. It happened to Yahoo (where Jerry Yang once said that it was his job to get you into and out of his service as fast as possible; he stopped saying that). It will happen to Google. They call themselves a media company. They’ll start adding content. They’ll start competing with the content companies from whom they gather content and on whose sites they’ve started selling ads. They’ll add more services, like mail, aimed at trying to get you to stick on Google longer. Very predictable.

I was hoping for something unpredictable. For example, I’d love a Google search application that would do a better job of searching my laptop and my favorite sites and such; that would be true to Google’s organizing-the-world mission. But, instead, they just did what everybody else has done but they tried to do it bigger.

: Drudge tries to make hay out of Google “reading” your email:

Privacy advocates are concerned that there’s one big flaw with Google Inc.’s free e-mail service: The company plans to read the messages.

LA TIMES reporting on Friday: The Internet search firm insists that it needs to know what’s in the e-mails that pass through its system — so that they can be sprinkled with advertisements Google thinks are relevant….

The TIMES adds: The electronic letters won’t be read by Google employees; computers will handle that chore. Nonetheless, the spector of seeing an ad for an antacid beside a message from a friend complaining about stomach pain is enough to make some people nervous about the e-mail service.

Uh, well, Matt, under that view then every spam filer “reads” my email. AOL “reads” my email. Yahoo “reads” my email. No big.

  • I disagree with you on this one, Jeff. You cannot dismiss Google’s “reading” of email as equivalent to a spam filter. I think the fact that you heard it first from Drudge is coloring your usually sound judgement.

  • Tom

    I’d have to say that a majority of services “read” your email, so Drudge is just making an issue out of something that isn’t necessarily new.
    Hell, the government reads every single one of our emails, and “we” say it’s okay in the effort towards National Security. Google’s only getting the second or third crack at it.
    Oh – and if you posted from work, they probably logged your keystrokes as well, so mark that down too.

  • sol

    I don’t think google is doing this in the context of unimaginativeness and portalization of their company. I think it is simply a recognition that email is the number one activity on the internet (as search is the number two) and it is natural for them to provide a service. And the service they’ve announced is – anybody would have to admit – striking in its dimensions. The next thing google should do (that I can think of) is to further the digitalization of books (public domain and copyrighted) so actual books can be searched (what amazon is doing, but I mean really further that job).

  • From a strategic standpoint Google couldn’t just sit there idle and let the competition attack their turf. They had to take the fight back to Yahoo and MSN territory and the way they do it has the potential to hurt Yahoo significantly. It proves Google is no less machiavelian than anyone else in this business.

  • CharlesWT

    I wish Google would install a few of these and allow searches using Regular Expressions.