My colleague Dave Briggs has put together an excellent summary of the various Google social media applications on his LGNewMedia blog. Things like Reader, Google Groups, Docs and Spreadsheets, Blogger, Googleâ€™s customised search service, Google Maps, Gmail, Googleâ€™s calendar, iGoogle, Google Apps, Notebook etc.
I think most Web 2.0/social media gurus will be familiar with the breadth and depth of Google’s freebies, but Dave also identifies the various rival products. Whether or not we consider the Google versions to be the best of breed, there’s no escaping the fact that you’re likely to get a far better and more consistent user experience through the seamless integration of many of these applications than many of the rival products. Particularly so if you’ve also personalised your browser with the various buttons and plug-ins available, such as the Google toolbar.
Yes, Google’s softly-softly, stealth-like approach is gradually taking over the user’s desktop, and personally, I don’t think it is such a bad thing.