The Raw Feed
Where technology and culture collide

Friday, August 14, 2009

Google's new 'Timeline' Social Gadget is idiotic

Google rolled out some "Social Gadgets" yesterday for its iGoogle start page. I wrote about it here. Google tested Social Gadgets in Australia, then started a phased roll out in the United States this week. My Social Gadgets just went live today.

The Timeline gadget, it turns out, is one of the lamest things I've ever seen out of any company. It's supposed to be -- or, at least, could be -- a competitor to Twitter or to Facebook's status updates. Its claim to fame is that it takes your activities and shows pictures of them. If you're reading a specific book, for example, if will show a picture of the cover of that book. It also places your status updates into a timeline, so you can see what you've been doing over time. Cool!

Unfortunately, Timeline is unusable.

You're limited to only three possible activities: "I'm reading," "I'm listening to," and "I'm watching." In other words, the gadget assumes you're nothing more than a full-time consumer of media. You don't have a job. You don't talk to people. You don't create anything. Google assumes we're all like those tubby weaklings in "Wall-E," who fly around on levitating chairs with a screen in our faces all day, consuming media and large beverages.

All Google had to do was create an option to type anything you want, and this gadget would be a really cool alternative to Twitter and Facebook. But without that tiny option, it's perfectly useless.

Comments:

Blogger Jonathan said...

When Google starts offering the levitating chair and the "meal-in-a-cup" that's when we know we're in trouble! ;)

It's interesting that MySpace does the same thing when you post a blog; it asks if you're watching a movie, listen to music, etc. and doesn't give you the option to say "none of the above" or "I'm posting a blog you idiot!"

Friday, August 14, 2009 1:49:00 PM  
Blogger Geoff T said...

This is exactly what I was thinking and was looking around to see if anyone else felt the same way. Glad I found this post.

Friday, August 14, 2009 4:44:00 PM  

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