So I was lucky enough yesterday morning to get in and create a Google homepage before they shut off access. You can see the results here, but keep in mind I haven’t had more than about five minutes to play with it. I’m not going to repeat what others have said about this being an AJAX equivalent of GeoCities since they’ve said it well enough. What I do want to comment on is how the limitations of the service show just how much Google doesn’t get integration, though.
First off, why can’t I put headlines from my Blogger-based blog in a nav-bar? Why can’t I get visitor traffic automatically from Google Analytics? Why can’t I publish AdSense ads? If I have items up for bid on Google Base why can’t I integrate that into the site? In short, why can’t the myriad of other Google services talk to this one? Sure I can link to these things but what’s the big deal about that?
Actually this is a complaint I have about Google in general. Google Base should have been able to talk to Blogger and allow for someone to easy grab code to have their items listings dynamically refresh on the their blog. Google Reader should have been able been an add-on to Gmail instead of a completely separate service. The company is very good at creating things but not at having a vision of how those gadgets fit together and it makes for a frustrating experience, at least from my end. I’d like to be able to sign into Google and, from their customized home page, access Blogger, Pages, Base, Reader, Gmail and my AdSense account.
So I might expand the page a bit to be a clearing house for all my online efforts but there’s a level of functionality the Pages service just doesn’t have and until it does I certainly can’t see this becoming something that catches on in any meaningful way.