“Ugh. I can’t keep up. Have you heard me say ‘I hate Google?!’ ” This was the frustration-laden email message from a client as she reached out to get our take on the latest from Google: Hotpot (announced on Tuesday).
Hotpot is a location-based recommendation engine that’s “powered by you and your friends,” according to Google. It allows you to rate and review restaurants, search service providers and other businesses. Her business has multiple locations across the country and local search marketing is huge for her. Just as she’s getting comfortable with the latest improvements to Google Places, Hotpot comes along.
I’ve been living in the digital world longer than I care to relate (think Apple Newton and Aldus PageMaker), and recently have been wondering what really useful, need-to-have app has been introduced that justified the hype and R&D spend. It reminds me of the endless software upgrades we saw to popular word processing programs. Many of those “upgrades” were more “side-grades” or actual regressions in functionality and productivity. More of a JOE (justify our existence) project for developers than real improvements in the software. I really love having to learn new keyboard short-cuts, don’t you?
Google seems to release a new Product-O-Day with startling regularity. On Wednesday they introduced Boutiques.com (pictured above). It’s a fashion-focused website where you enter elements of your style profile and get personalized fashion tips. “Do these shoes clash with this dress?”
Do we really want Google dressing us? Tim Gunn, are you listening?
I applaud Google’s innovation, but they seem do be doing their best to remove any need for independent thought in their users. C’mon Google, give us something truly ground-breaking, like an app that reviews apps that allow us to think for ourselves.