As most of you have probably heard by now, Google last week officially launched Google Base, a service allowing anyone to submit structured information to Google.
Aside from the fact that Google Base looks strikingly similar to ROR, we think these kinds of services and formats will change the face of the Internet, especially now that Google is embracing the concept. Finally the Internet is no longer just about text and searching for keywords, it is now also about data and meaning, and searching for complex information. See also the March 3rd issue of the AddMe Newsletter: Help Search Engines Get Smarter!
But there is also a big philosophical difference between Google Base and ROR. Unlike ROR, Google will not share that huge amount of data with the rest of the Web (search engines, applications, etc); Google wants you to submit it directly to them, they'll even host your data for free, if needed. It's as if the only way to submit a website to Google was to upload all the pages stored on your computer, instead of just submitting the URL. This 180-degree turn is alarming to say the least, especially coming from Google. Could this approach mean that soon searching Google will really mean, well, searching Google Base, not the Internet? Hmmm!
The trick.... is to make sure that each limited mechanical part of the Web, each application, is within itself composed of simple parts that will never get too powerful.
A quote from Tim Berners-Lee, Weaving The Web