This week, an internal Google video labeled “Nooglers And The PDB: Reactor” was made public temporarily via the Google Video service. The video higlighted Google’s plans to create a standard for feed aggregation and greater social integration within Google Apps.
While the video has since been removed, Phillip Lenssen at Google Blogoscoped got the inside word on the video from a reader and provides a good debrief on the footage contents. Google is yet to confirm the contents of the video, however Ben Darnell (featured in the video) works for Google and the projects labelled “Maka-Maka”, “Mocha” and “Mustang” are confirmed Google projects.
The core project discussed was:
Google Feed Standard
The video higlights plans to create feeds based on various Google Apps – “Activity Streams” (using Google Reader) so that subscribers can see what “friends” are working on. The plans are apparently inspired by the feed tracking provided within Facebook, where members can see what their friends have been upto within the network – be that new friendships, groups joined, images uploaded and so on…
The Google Apps involved include Google Docs, Google Calendar, Gmail and Orkut to name a few. Orkut has already introduced new feed tracking similar to its Facebook counterpart.
Many are suggesting the plans to socialize the Google Apps is “too little too late” considering Facebook and alike have already established a strong user base and created a legion of loyal fans. Depending on the effectiveness, usefulness and privacy of the feeds – it could help Google Apps get a long overdue push – as more online app competitors continue to emerge.
For many of us, apps like Google Docs, Gmail and Calendar have already proven to be useful tools, so the enhanced socialization of the services will enhance their collaborative functionality – using a “push update” approach.Increased adoption of the apps will be the litmus test…if it fails – Google will still be floating in “social neverland”.