Google and the Programmable Web

John Musser at ProgrammableWeb writes an interesting commentary on a Forbes article by Quentin Hardy titled The Google Industrial Complex.

The Forbes article opens with the statement “Everybody works for Google”, and ends with “See, we all work for Google”. A provocative thought. Every day, when we do a Google search, we provide them with revenue and data.

For webmasters, running Google Adsense to monetize our sites, or running Google Adwords campaigns to bring traffic to our sites, is a part of our job with Google. We feed it data and money at the same time.

Then there is the mashup, and the whole notion of the programmable web. Google mashups began with the relatively simple notion that two web applications (including Google Maps) could be joined together to make more complex, and more interesting applications.

While the notion that the Google giant is feeding off of all of us sounds Orwellian in scope, I prefer to focus on the essential positive: What do I get out of it?

Tons of ways to generate interesting content. More and more ways will emerge for webmasters to generate more unique and interesting content. As Google, and others, make more and more data available to all of us, it will become increasingly harder to find the data you (as a user) actually care about.

There is a massive number of data analysis and processing opportunities that are out there right now. Gaining mastery of the available data in a particular space, and then delivering that efficiently to the market in a way that it is easily understood is something that has a lot of value.

It’s funny that the Forbes article cites an example of Virender Ajmani who is making “$400 from 30 mashups at his mibazaar.com. (He also has a $10,000 contract for a mashups book.)”. Absolute mice nuts. There are people out there making far more money than that by leveraging the programmable web.

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