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Saturday, April 02, 2005

Google Gulp

Google are carrying on two of their favourite traditions
  1. April fools announcements of new services
  2. Doing it a day late

The joke

Google Gulp, a new fruity drink with a DNA reader that indexes your genetic code and modifies the drink to change your hormonal state to produce optimal effect.

This reminds me of the other DNA's description of the Sirius Cybernetics NutriMatic Drink Dispenser

The way it works is very interesting. When the 'Drink' button is pressed it makes an instant, but highly-detailed, examination of the subject's taste buds, a spectroscopic analysis of the subject's metabolism, and then sends tiny experimental signals down the neural pathways to the taste centres of the subject's brain, to see what is likely to be well received. However, no one knows quite why it does this, because it then invariably delivers a cup-full of liquid that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.

Make sure you read the FAQ, it's hilarious, but oh-so-true.

A day late

Yes, it's already the second of April here. Google are obviously keeping US time, which for a service based in the US would normally be reasonable, except that I'm reading this page on google.co.NZ, a site that they run which masquerades as a New Zealand site and customises its view for New Zealand readers, so it would be expected that they used the New Zealand time zone for their jokes.

I remember from childhood that jokes were OK until Noon on the first of April, after that the trickster was the April Fool, not the victim. So April fool, Google!

On the other hand, Google have built a massive business on not being first to market, but on coming into an existing markets and doing it so much better that they sweep the former incumbent aside. I remember the old search engines from before Google. You do a search and their databases were so confused by keyword stuffers that you had to look through 10 or 11 pages before you found what you were looking at, as time went on this got worse and you had to look for more pages, tell it to exclude certain terms, etc. With Google, if what you are looking for isn't on the second page, you've asked the wrong question.

Another good example is adsense. I used to see ads as a browser, but they were never terribly relevant to me, and as a small publisher it was difficult for me to get relevant ads on my site. With Adsense I see ads relevant to the page I'm looking at, and customised for the fact that I'm browsing from New Zealand. As a publisher I can place ads on my sites and have Google's software select the ones that are most likely to be relevant to my content.

So let's just be charitable and assume that Google have spotted the business advantages of being in the April Fools industry and are simply coming into the market with a better version. Nah!

Last word, a Gmail reference?

From the Google FAQ:

I mean, isn't this whole invite-only thing kind of bogus?

Dude, it's like you've never even heard of viral marketing.

1 comment:

Liz said...

The GULP was actually online a day before (NZST) April fools, perhaps their advertizing it was americanized?