Wednesday, February 27, 2008

For what it's worth...

OK - Not that Google have asked me or anything, but here's what I think they should do...

(Incidentally, why do I think they should do this? Because it would make my life easier. That's it. That's the reason. I am a selfish reprobate, whose only serious thoughts centre around his own comfort.)

Currently, I'm a Google-whore. They own me. Google's got my emails, my documents, my calendar, and my photos. They're even hosting this blog. And for as long as they'll continuing offering good products to me for free, I'll continue to be their whore. Their filthy whore.

However, the last couple of years have seen very few really exciting developments in Google's products outside Google Maps. Earlier this year, I was approaching the point where I was reaching my storage limit in GMail - I was seriously going to have to consider *shudder* a different webmail account.

But they fixed it. Suddenly, I, and everyone else, has lots of storage, and I don't wake up in a cold sweat, worrying about how to archive everything in a .CSV file.

Unfortunately, I'm now most definitely at that point with Picasa. Picasa is a good product, and the storage it offered along with the application made me use it for as long as I could, over Flickr, or any Adobe product. However, even storing photos in a web-ised state, at nowhere near their full resolution, it's full. No room at the inn.

I've now got six times as much storage for my emails as for my photographs. Which sucks. I need it for the photographs. However, I'm not an unreasonable man, I just don't want to pay for storage which might, even then prove inadequate in the near future.

Yes, I'm aware of the free storage available from other people, but I liked being able to get photographs off a camera, manipulate and organise them, and then store and email them all using the same free application. I'm not going to be able to do that any more.

So here's what i think Google should do:

Give you the option to make photos in your Picasa account returnable as search items in Google Picture Search, and give you free storage for them if you do that, geotag them, and add meaningful tags. Google thus gets to add to the value of its core search proposition (Picasa could even include a CC license so that people could reproduce photos from Picture search safely) in exchange for hosting a file.

And that, because I really like storing my photos for free, is what I think should happen. Any photo which you tag, geotag and open to public search should be stored for free, as Google then use it to drive their search engine. I could keep adding photos. Google's search could keep getting more useful, more tied to geographical data, and more meaningful.

Anyway, just thought I'd throw that out there.

Mr Google, are you listening?


MikePearce said...

My advice would be to pay the £10 a year it costs to buy extended Google storage, this'll give you 10gb to use across all your Google services. I'm that much more confident that my photos will be around in a year, 2 years or 10 years from now if I'm actually paying for the priveledge - Google can't switch anything off then say "Sorry, you got it for free, so you can't really moan."

To address your post though - I don't think it could work. Google Image search, is, at best, just a tack on feature. It doesn't have many uses bar the ability to look at photos on the web. I would NEVER trust any kind of CC attribution on any image I found on the web, unless I could verify that it was being delivered to me by the original artist. (any muppet could put one of my images on their Picasa or Flickr stream with a CC licence and someone else could use my image, complying completely with the CC licence, but I didn't give it, so I could sue them.)

Google don't monetize the image search results - there's never any PPC advertising with the image search results. So, to them it would mean very little in terms of making them money.

You can already set your images as public on Picasaweb for anyone to search on keywords/title/description. Are they not already added to the image search? Might be worth finding out.

I too am a Google whore, but I took the next step ... I bought that for a dollar! (or 20, to be more precise!).