The subject is largely up to interpretation and I’m sure you have your opinions, too. All we know is that it didn’t take off, Google is ending its development, and Google plans on integrating much of the tech behind it into other Google products (check out 4 new features that make Google Docs even better). Read the report yourself to try and get a grasp on what went down.
This heart-wrenching news brings us to remember the vast list of other Google projects that have also gone by the wayside. Check out ten more dead Google projects floating around in cyberspace and our minds.
When Google Video was around, they offered much of what YouTube did/does. Then they acquired YouTube. They attempted to rebrand YouTube into Google Video but to no avail. Now Google has effectively replaced Google Video with YouTube and the need for Google Video is lost.
The good news is that they are only ending the uploading. The videos already uploaded will remain there for now. (Read Google’s announcement).
Google Catalog Search
The Google Catalog Search project was Google’s scanning of product catalogs and using OCR to make the texts able to be searched. It started way back in 2001 and Google has been able to gleam much knowledge from the project and implement it into Google Books. They are blaming the need for closing it on the lack of popularity in recent years.
However, they are saying: “This was our first big effort to make offline information available online – and we learned a lot”. (Read Google’s announcement).
Notebook gave us a good way to take notes while web browsing. It hasn’t really taken off that much recently but there are still some users.
Google is stopping development for Notebook. They say they are going to continue maintaining it for current users but for how long?
A downside of this is that they are not going to support the extension. Access will only be available via the web interface, apparently. (Read Google’s announcement).
With Dodgeball users were able to text their location to the service and find out about friends and locations nearby.
Google has discontinued its use and effectively replaced it with Latitude (check out Ryan’s article about using it). Looks like a good replacement.
Jaiku is a micro blogging medium. It is similar to Twitter but didn’t take off with quite as much vigor. It looks cool but without a real user base like Twitter’s, it kind of loses its appeal.
Technically Jaiku is still open. Google itself stopped development of it and open sourced the code to let others work on it and keep it going. Now a team of Google Volunteers keep things running in their spare time. (Read Google’s announcement).
Google Mashup Editor
Google Mashup Editor was a place for developers to test and run what they were working on. Wikipedia doesn’t even have a full article on the project, just a stub so what does that tell you? Maybe not much. The reasons for stopping its development have more to do with having something better to offer. Google chose to replace it with their Read Google’s announcement).so I guess everything’s OK. (
From what I can tell, Lively isn’t very lively anymore. Lively was a social networking type of site, it used avatars and it allowed you to create stuff like rooms, clubs, space stations, and more. You could then chat with other users and I hear it was actually pretty cool.
The experiment was to help users find more ways of expressing themselves on the Internet. Why it ended I’m not sure. Maybe they weren’t making any money on it, who knows. (Read Google’s announcement).
Google Print Ads
Google Print Ads was Google’s way of bringing AdSense type of advertising to print publications. Google says that they attempted to do their part in helping the newspaper industry but that Google Print Ads wasn’t the right solution.
It is clear that the current Print Ads product is not the right solution, so we are freeing up those resources to try to come up with new and innovative online solutions that will have a meaningful impact for users, advertisers and publishers.
Going directly to the SearchMash website will not tell you much about the service. You can check out Will’s article about 5 unheard of search engines to find out a bit more.
I can tell you that it was a testing ground for Google to test some search features and such. In fact, Google didn’t even brand it as being Google’s. The only information you will find at the website is that it “has gone the way of the dinosaur.”
Did you even know Google had an answers community? Yahoo Answers took off quite well which is funny because I find Yahoo’s search engine quite annoying. Anyways, there are many answers communities out there and some even narrow in on specific topics (Like MakeUseOf’s tech-related Answers community).
Even though Google Answers is now retired, you can still search the database for answers already given. That is if you can’t find the answer you need from one of the many alive answers communities already out there.
Tell us which dead Google projects ones you (will) miss and those you won’t.