A letter to Google, my Information Overlord

Dearest Google,

You are my Information Overlord(term c/o @ncc1701p). You control my schedule, my email, my voicemail and SMS… You control the horizontal and the vertical. I like your Kool-aid, and it tastes better and better the more I drink. That said, there are glaring flaws and gaps in your systems that need to be mentioned.

I use my bensbrowning.com mail heavily. The login there works for Mail, Calendar, Groups, and many other items…. but not all other items. Analytics, for example, must be tied to an @gmail.com account. So also Google Voice. This is the first failure- I require One Login To Rule Them All, And In Teh Internets Bind Them. At present, instead, I juggle 2 @domain logins and two @gmail logins- not counting the one I maintain for Victor. On  top of that, I must export and import addressbooks to keep Voice updated with the contacts I sync between my Blackberry and my bensbrowning.com contact list. That, frankly, sucks. Google, you need to tie this all together nicely and simply make bring-your-own-domain login support a standard feature in all of your apps.

iGoogel is poorly implemented for domains. There is a “portal page” feature for domains that sucks next to iGoogle. iGoogle is the logical place to tie all of your offerings together, but its lack of domain support hamstrings it in this endeavor.

The second failure is Google Sync for Blackberry. I LOVE Google sync. Unfortunately, I feel it falls short in a few key regards. Number one, Tasks. How is it you can sync my calendar, but not my tasks? I’d think Task support would be trivial compared to the issues of calendar sync. It would make me love you all the more if I could only manage tasks without loading the (garbage) Blackberry web browser.

As I see it, your offerings have a few pieces of glue needed to make you guys a one stop shop for a lot of businesses and would make for a serious Exchange/Sharepoint competitor, which I think we all know is what you have set your sights on. Here’s the list as I see it:

  1. Improve BYODomain login support for branded access to all your products
  2. Make iGoogle into weGoogle. Add support for “required” widgets by domain admins (EG a bookmark list of company specific resources or whatever) and make it support domain logins. This will tie in things like Calendar, Tasks and Mail into a simple interface,  which will speed adoption of your apps.
  3. Create a project management app with task and docs integration and assignment(EG allowing people to add things to other peoples task lists).
  4. Group-based permissions for file sharing in Google Docs. This ties in with 3.
  5. Google Voice needs a fax-to-pdf gateway. Perhaps even on the same Google Voice number as your main phone(EG detect handshake during the greeting). Also make it work the other way- send a PDF/doc to a fax machine.
  6. GooglePBX, to help group people together into arbitrary phone organizations
  7. Tie Chrome, iGoogle, and Firefox together with bookmark and maybe config  synchronization plugins, so I can have several computers and have a unified web experience wherever I go.

I see these things as your next logical steps. Do with them what you will.

Leave a Reply