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Cruising Through Google Notebooks

David A. Utter
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-12-27

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The useful little application called Google Notebook allows people to take notes from web pages they visit and have those notes published online; these Notebooks can be set to private, but many are left public and make for a fascinating trip through the minds of Google users.

The Google Labs project called Notebook delivered a compelling way to keep track of things observed online. Browser extensions for Firefox and Internet Explorer open a small window where content can be added and shared online.

Notebooks can be set to private, but that would not be very much fun for us. For those public notebooks, Google has set up a Notebook search that queries through them just like a typical Google search.

Without knowing how many Notebooks have been set to private, it isn't possible to tell just how greatly the market has embraced the service. If you go by public Notebooks, it looks like the service has not reached anything near the critical mass of Google search.

But it is a resource and resources are always worth a look to see what others have noted as interesting. Those items could contain a useful nugget of information that may not turn up in other searches. There's also the usual curiosity factor involved.

Under a query for search engine marketing, 271 results come back. Some users have created Notebooks as collections of articles about SEM, while others made Notebooks about themselves.

Sometimes a result brings back a familiar name. Aaron Wall's Notebook has references to his SEObook.com and Threadwatch sites, as well as interests in Seth Godin's marketing ideas and Noam Chomsky's politics.

The query for search engine optimization brings back about half the results of the SEM query, with many of the same results repeated there.

Searching for marketing delivered more results, including one public Notebook that collected a number of innovative advertising approaches appearing on multiple blogs into one Notebook.

More general queries into currently popular topics, like the PS3 and Nintendo Wii gaming consoles, only returned a few dozen responses each. Scanning a few of those entries did not show anything posted after each console launched.

As useful as Google Notebook can be, it may have been a too-late entry to a market where social bookmarking solutions like Delicious and a slew of others, with features like user comments, sharing, and tagging dominate the scene.

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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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