Google’s Microcontent Engine

Google’s apparently releasing While some see it as a Craigslist play, it’s a lot more than that: Google has seen the future, and the future is one big mashup of microcontent. “A” microcontent is a small chunk of information, typically with its own URL, but not actually a web page. It’s not a web page because it’s raw content, without being wrapped in navigation, disclaimers, etc. As some of the Ajax portals show, there’s a confluence here: Ajax allows for easy manipulation of microcontent. Tiddlywiki is based around the idea of microcontent, and allows you to conjure up some microcontent by clicking on a Microlink.

Classified advertising is the most obvious path to revenue, so the screenshot emphasises commercial applications. But a classified ads is just one special case of Microcontent. As they say: “Google Base is Google’s database into which you can add all types of content”. Sounds a lot like a repository of general-purpose microcontent.

Ladies and Gentlemen, get your mashup on! I’m betting on a Maps-Base mashup about 90 seconds after Base goes live. Google probably won’t bother integrating Maps themselves – they may as well sit back and see what works before buying one or developing their own solution.

In other Google-Ajax news, Jonathan Boutelle points out that Google’s foray into mobile is full-on motivated by Ajax: being offline is a big objection to migrating desktop apps, so Google wants to render that a non-issue.