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google projectsIt has recently been announced that Google Wave‘s development will be coming to an end.  There are many different people giving their own opinions on why Google Wave didn’t take off.

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 4 New Features That Makes Google Docs Even Better 4 New Features That Makes Google Docs Even Better Read More ).  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.

Google Video

google projectsWhen 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.

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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).

Google Notebook

google projectsNotebook 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).

Dodgeball

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 How to Trace a Mobile Phone Location With Google Latitude How to Trace a Mobile Phone Location With Google Latitude Read More ).  Looks like a good replacement.

Jaiku

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.

cancelled projects

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 App Engine so I guess everything’s OK.  (Read Google’s announcement).

Lively

cancelled projectsFrom 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.

(Read Google’s announcement).

SearchMash

cancelled projectsGoing 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 Another Five Unheard Of Search Engines Another Five Unheard Of Search Engines Read More 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.”

Google Answers

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.

  1. Rug Cleaning Coral Gables
    November 3, 2010 at 8:38 am

    I love Google Notebook. I could take notes and continue brainstorming anywhere that had a browse.

  2. Samsung mobiles
    October 4, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Why Searchmash shut down?

  3. Dsharville
    September 29, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    Love Google Notebook and I still use it, mostly to refer to older notes. I don't want to lose them.

  4. Googler
    September 29, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Google Video is indeed dead but do note that "Google Videos" (just like Google Images, Google News etc.) is very much alive and is quite useful. It powers how you can find videos on Google.com.
    e.g. try [the simpsons], [nba games], [avatar] etc.

    -- Google employee

  5. Googler
    September 29, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Google Video is indeed dead but do note that "Google Videos" (just like Google Images, Google News etc.) is very much alive and is quite useful. It powers how you can find videos on Google.com.
    e.g. try [the simpsons], [nba games], [avatar] etc.

    -- Google employee

  6. Gal Baras
    September 22, 2010 at 1:27 am

    Amazing how a company can be so good at something and miss the mark so badly on others, but it makes for a much better world where everybody gets to participate.

  7. inspi
    August 21, 2010 at 4:43 am

    what about google buzz??....is ita success??

    • timmyjohnboy
      August 21, 2010 at 5:02 pm

      My opinion? No. I don't think it's "dead" yet though.

  8. robert3353
    August 20, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Hello,
    I enjoyed your article however perhaps I have lived in a cave because out of the list of projects you have mentioned I had only previously heard of Google Video. Maybe the reason most of them failed is a poor marketing job by Google. They could at least do an email announcement from time to time concerning their projects. Maybe you would consider keeping us Make use of readers informed from time to time about any new Google projects that they have in the pipe line.

  9. robert3353
    August 20, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Hello,
    I enjoyed your article however perhaps I have lived in a cave because out of the list of projects you have mentioned I had only previously heard of Google Video. Maybe the reason most of them failed is a poor marketing job by Google. They could at least do an email announcement from time to time concerning their projects. Maybe you would consider keeping us Make use of readers informed from time to time about any new Google projects that they have in the pipe line.

  10. Camainc
    August 20, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    I've used Notebook for a long time, and I still use it. I think it is a great little app.

  11. trippman
    August 17, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    I still use Google Notebook through a hack with firefox.

  12. Munkypint
    August 17, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Notebook can be brillaint. Though new Google products replaced it. I used to keep online bookmarks there. Very good when doing research as easy to do a collage of gathered info. Still use it.

    Google videos I always assumed was just a video search engine. Maybe that explains where they went wrong. Best location to search videos though.

    Wave, should have had links to gmail with updates, if not no one ever went to check it their 'inbox' and so died a slow death. Had potencial though.

  13. Munkypint
    August 17, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Notebook can be brillaint. Though new Google products replaced it. I used to keep online bookmarks there. Very good when doing research as easy to do a collage of gathered info. Still use it.

    Google videos I always assumed was just a video search engine. Maybe that explains where they went wrong. Best location to search videos though.

    Wave, should have had links to gmail with updates, if not no one ever went to check it their 'inbox' and so died a slow death. Had potencial though.

    • timmyjohnboy
      August 18, 2010 at 5:20 pm

      I think they learned some from it and even honed some skills while running it. I wonder what the next "Wave" will be.

  14. eBooksDatabase
    August 15, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Mm, I think all Google services are useful in their own ways.

    http://www.ebooksdatabase.org

  15. Tibbox
    August 14, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    i liked lively. everything was free unlike imvu and second life, and i thought it was more community driven. I wish lively would come back.

  16. Nat Jay
    August 14, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    I still have an account on Jaiku that I continue using. As for the rest, I'm glad Google chose to push YouTube over its own video platform. A notable part of Google's success can be attributed to platforms & technologies it has acquired over the years.

  17. Peter guszti
    August 14, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    there is one thing you forgot to mention which didnt do well as well, google tried to combine its youtube with travel, and got http://www.onlyrooms.com , but nobody knows what happened with that

  18. Peter guszti
    August 14, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    there is one thing you forgot to mention which didnt do well as well, google tried to combine its youtube with travel, and got http://www.onlyrooms.com , but nobody knows what happened with that

  19. murlidhar
    August 14, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Searchmash was my home page before they shut it down.
    It had a clear search results and was pretty much uncluttered. The flash version was also good...
    I really miss searchmash

  20. murlidhar
    August 14, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Searchmash was my home page before they shut it down.
    It had a clear search results and was pretty much uncluttered. The flash version was also good...
    I really miss searchmash

  21. timmyjohnboy
    August 14, 2010 at 6:03 am

    I'm not sure why Google chose to keep the limited time allotment for YouTube. Was it for legal reasons? I think YouTube kind of developed into more of a social thing. Some people see that as the amazingness of YouTube, how it brings people together.

    I used Notebook for awhile myself and liked it. Not sure why it dwindled. Sometimes I think Google starts a lot of projects to see where they go or to hone their skills.

  22. timmyjohnboy
    August 14, 2010 at 4:03 am

    I'm not sure why Google chose to keep the limited time allotment for YouTube. Was it for legal reasons? I think YouTube kind of developed into more of a social thing. Some people see that as the amazingness of YouTube, how it brings people together.

    I used Notebook for awhile myself and liked it. Not sure why it dwindled. Sometimes I think Google starts a lot of projects to see where they go or to hone their skills.

  23. Java Ninja
    August 14, 2010 at 5:18 am

    Ditto the Highlyeducatedredneck - When I accidentally discovered G Vids, I simultaneously stumbled upon "Howl's Moving Castle" - watched it start to finish, went out and bought it the next day. YouTube: meh.

    Were it not for a nifty little app called YouView, I wouldn't even bother to watch YT 'caz it all fits and starts. G Vids also provides/provided enough upfront info a viewer can detect fairly easily which vids were the actual footage desired and which were those tiresome "me, too!" tributes.

  24. Java Ninja
    August 14, 2010 at 3:18 am

    Ditto the Highlyeducatedredneck - When I accidentally discovered G Vids, I simultaneously stumbled upon "Howl's Moving Castle" - watched it start to finish, went out and bought it the next day. YouTube: meh.

    Were it not for a nifty little app called YouView, I wouldn't even bother to watch YT 'caz it all fits and starts. G Vids also provides/provided enough upfront info a viewer can detect fairly easily which vids were the actual footage desired and which were those tiresome "me, too!" tributes.

  25. Beelymagee
    August 14, 2010 at 4:27 am

    I had the same issue - loved the Notebook Firefox add-on and site. I transferred everything over to Evernote - they have a bookmarklet for Firefox as well as a desktop application for Windows & Mac (I use Linux.) Pretty nice and seems to have good uptime/availability. They do add new features and support smartphones.
    I have no affiliation with Evernote. Hope that helps!
    -*-Bill

  26. Highlyeducatedredneck
    August 14, 2010 at 2:55 am

    I don't have an opinion about most of the products you have specified here, but, for two specific products my guess is that you guys have completely missed out on a lot of points:

    * Google Video:
    1. The videos were (and continue to be) HUGE ... over an hour in a lot of cases. YouTube still doesn't allow that. If I get it right, Youtube allows at most 15 minutes of video, right?
    2. Most videos on Google Video "seemed" professionally produced, or were at least WAY better than most of the "social" stuff on YouTube.
    3. Google Video allowed direct download of the video in various formats (e.g. mp4 for iPod), provided of course the uploader wanted to let people have those videos for offline access. With youtube you have to install "hacks" in your browser or on your system to get the videos for offline viewing.

    * Google Notebook: if you don't know the difference between Windows Notepad and Google Notebook, I would assume that you never "really" used Google's Notebook. If you are an Evernote fanboy/fangirl, then Google Notebook did "in the web browser" what evernote does after installation. Why did Notebook fail? I really don't know. But, as a user, the UI for that fantastic piece of software SUCKED big time. I guess the only thing we can say is that the Prod Mgrs at Google SUCK big time.

    Just my thoughts.

  27. Highlyeducatedredneck
    August 14, 2010 at 12:55 am

    I don't have an opinion about most of the products you have specified here, but, for two specific products my guess is that you guys have completely missed out on a lot of points:

    * Google Video:
    1. The videos were (and continue to be) HUGE ... over an hour in a lot of cases. YouTube still doesn't allow that. If I get it right, Youtube allows at most 15 minutes of video, right?
    2. Most videos on Google Video "seemed" professionally produced, or were at least WAY better than most of the "social" stuff on YouTube.
    3. Google Video allowed direct download of the video in various formats (e.g. mp4 for iPod), provided of course the uploader wanted to let people have those videos for offline access. With youtube you have to install "hacks" in your browser or on your system to get the videos for offline viewing.

    * Google Notebook: if you don't know the difference between Windows Notepad and Google Notebook, I would assume that you never "really" used Google's Notebook. If you are an Evernote fanboy/fangirl, then Google Notebook did "in the web browser" what evernote does after installation. Why did Notebook fail? I really don't know. But, as a user, the UI for that fantastic piece of software SUCKED big time. I guess the only thing we can say is that the Prod Mgrs at Google SUCK big time.

    Just my thoughts.

    • timmyjohnboy
      August 14, 2010 at 4:06 am

      Perhaps the quality of the videos on Google Video had to do with the limited amount of people who actually took the time to produce and upload. Now it is so easy for some kid from nowheresville to just record directly to YouTube. Ease of access and popularity helped to mold YouTube into what it is today.

  28. annmariastat
    August 13, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    I love Google Notebook. I could take notes and continue brainstorming anywhere that had a browse. Since I have a bunch of computers I use in different places, it was great. Unlike a flash drive, you can't lose it. You don't have to log into it like a Novell drive. I've been looking for a substitute but haven't found anything I like so I still have Notebook, discontinued or not )-:

    • Beelymagee
      August 14, 2010 at 2:27 am

      I had the same issue - loved the Notebook Firefox add-on and site. I transferred everything over to Evernote - they have a bookmarklet for Firefox as well as a desktop application for Windows & Mac (I use Linux.) Pretty nice and seems to have good uptime/availability. They do add new features and support smartphones.
      I have no affiliation with Evernote. Hope that helps!
      -*-Bill

    • Jack Cola
      August 14, 2010 at 6:03 am

      Same here, I use Google Notebook to manage notes for all my websites and tasks I have to do. I hope they don't shut it down, and if they do, I hope they give us warnings about it as I don't want to loose all my notes!

    • Joe2me
      August 14, 2010 at 2:46 pm

      You can still use the Google Notebook Firefox extension, if you follow the instructions here:
      http://googlenotebookextension.blogspot.com/2009/06/google-notebook-extension-for-firefox.html

      Those instructions say to replace with 3.5.*, but instead replace with 3.*.*

      • Ck
        August 22, 2010 at 2:19 pm

        Hey, you can check out Zoho Notebook. Its layout is almost similar but in terms of features is much better than Google Notebook in my opinion.

  29. MUO_Fan
    August 13, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    Google Video wasn't really user-friendly and the layout wasn't too appealing either.

    Google Notebook was in my opinion quite useless, honestly: what is the difference between Google Notebook and Windows Notepad?

    Lively was a failed Second Life imitation which was choppy and laggy as hell.

    Google Answers was something I discovered when it was closed down, which is a pity cause it looked quite great.

    The article writer is completely right; the search engine of Yahoo! IS annoying, and the fact that lots of spammers use Yahoo's e-mail service made Yahoo! seem to me like a company/website to avoid till I discovered Yahoo! Answers, and I must say that it is the best answers service out there that will not get beaten by another one in the near future.

    As for Dodgeball and Jaiku and others: I never even heard of them. The cause could be bad advertising.

    Great article!

  30. MUO_Fan
    August 13, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Google Video wasn't really user-friendly and the layout wasn't too appealing either.

    Google Notebook was in my opinion quite useless, honestly: what is the difference between Google Notebook and Windows Notepad?

    Lively was a failed Second Life imitation which was choppy and laggy as hell.

    Google Answers was something I discovered when it was closed down, which is a pity cause it looked quite great.

    The article writer is completely right; the search engine of Yahoo! IS annoying, and the fact that lots of spammers use Yahoo's e-mail service made Yahoo! seem to me like a company/website to avoid till I discovered Yahoo! Answers, and I must say that it is the best answers service out there that will not get beaten by another one in the near future.

    As for Dodgeball and Jaiku and others: I never even heard of them. The cause could be bad advertising.

    Great article!

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