The downside of Google’s product development process: Google Notebook, Google Bookmarks, Google Share Stuff… ummmm which one should I use?!?!?

Google is a a great company and I use their products more than any other service on the web. I’m big on Google Reader, Google Docs, GMAIL, and Google Hosted Domains/Email. When the Google Browser and Google Operating System come out I’m sure I’ll convert quickly. you guys know about the browser and OS right?!?! 😉

Google’s pace for development is designed to be manic and to let a thousand flowers bloom. That’s why folks love working there and that’s why they have the best products in the market. When they focus things like Google Maps, Docs, and GMAIL change the market. GTalk and Google Video? Maybe not so much… you can’t hit home runs every time you get up to bat.

However, I’m starting to get confused by Google product offering now. It’s a first for me, I suspect because I’m a product junkie… I love web-based services and will take the time to figure them out no matter how confusing they are.

Bookmarking services at Google are going wild right now. I’m using *three* different bookmarking services with three different names at Google. I can’t figure out why these are three different products. The fact that Google has three products that are so similar and overlapping reminds me of… wait for it…. my time at AOL. Yep, when companies get really big ideas get sprinkled across various services (i.e. we had Friends at AIMPages and on Netscape and we were adding that concept to Weblogs, Inc. blogs).

Is it a product or is it a feature? is typically how these debates go. Of course, it’s a intellectual argument and the real issue is what your users think. This user is now confused.

  • What bookmarking service do you want me to use Google?!?!?!

So, to my peeps at Google… can someone explain what the difference between these three services are and why I need to maintain three set of bookmarks?

Here they are:

1. Google Share Stuff:
“Google’s social side is more visible every day. A new service called “Shared Stuff” lets you share interesting links with your friends and the entire world. You need to drag a bookmarklet to your browser’s link bar or to click on the “Share” button from a web page (the button can only be found at Google Video right now).”

2. Google Bookmarks: “Google Bookmarks is an online service that lets you save your favorite sites and attach labels and annotations. Unlike the bookmark feature from your browser, bookmarks are stored securely online, so they are accessible even if you’re using other computers.”

3. Google Notethis: “Search is all about finding the answers you need. Unfortunately, some kinds of questions–like where you should stay and what you should do on your Hawaiian vacation, or what kind of digital camera you should buy, or what the latest treatments for arthritis are–can’t always be answered in one sitting, or by visiting one site. That’s why we built Google Notebook–to give you an online “notebook” where you can organize all your research, add personal notes to it, and share it with others. Google Notebook surfs along quietly with you as you browse, letting you clip and annotate whatever text, images, and links that help answer your question, all without ever leaving the webpage you’re on.”

One thought on “The downside of Google’s product development process: Google Notebook, Google Bookmarks, Google Share Stuff… ummmm which one should I use?!?!?

  1. the questions and answers above are helpful. thank you both.
    to google i would say that appending a brief description of the purpose
    of the product (such as you have given above) might be useful
    to new or prospective users. you may think it is unnecessary, but i would point out that smart users like calacanis wouldn’t have to ask the question if the answer was obvious.

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