Google launches MyGoogle

Some folks were smart enough to review the web-cast preso slides ahead of the presentation (they seem to be offline now), thereby learning about “MyGoogle”, which is expected to launch as a Labs offering by days end. (Surely others are embargoed as well.)

SEW has the early coverage. I’ll update later today/tomorrow when I’ve had a chance to play with it.

UPDATE: It’s live now (as a Labs offering), so go play with it and form your own opinion!

Note, officially it’s not called MyGoogle, but I’m sticking with that for this write-up…

MyGoogle is part of a “Fusion” initiative at Google, which aims to integrate various Google offerings, and put them under user control in a way that makes sense for said user.

In the case of MyGoogle, that means the ability to customize a Google Homepage (while still having one click access to the default Google “Classic” Homepage). Items that can be added include:

  • Gmail
  • Stock Market (including indexes and ad-hoc listings)
  • News, including Google News and primary sources like the NY Times, BBC and Slashdot
  • Weather
  • Movies
  • Driving Directions
  • Quote and Word of the Day

Once customized, users can manipulate the UI via:

  • In place editing
  • Drag & Drop content component re-ordering/placement

Pitching the product, Marissa Mayer emphasized:

  • Ease of setup – I actually had a bad experience here. I chose to create a new account instead of using an existing Google account, which resulted in my customizations being lost. However, re-entering the customizations was easy, and I quickly got to a happy new home page…
  • Easy to read – Agreed, for the most part. I like that the page is liquid instead of frozen, so I can take advantage of my laptop’s widescreen (WUXGA) format. I don’t like that I’m forced to have all of my customized content below the Google search box (padded with a ton of whitespace), though I certainly understand why its implemented that way from a revenue perspective.

Speaking to the future, Marissa said that “Universal RSS” support would be available in 1-2 months, allowing access to any source instead of the chosen few listed above.

Later, Steve Gillmor asked about support for RSS Enclosures; the answer (paraphrased), “we don’t know, but if there’s user demand, we’ll go there.”

Asked by Pamela Parker if Google would use its broad knowledge of user interests and behaviors across Google properties to render targeted ads on MyGoogle, Marissa said, no, not at launch, but that they’d reserve the right to do it in the future.

More notes from the Factory Tour here and here.

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