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Scoble’s views on Google Talk August 19, 2006

Posted by sk in Computers & Internet.

This is going to be another quickie (a “short post”) from me. I don’t think I can write essays. I did write one though, yesterday, about Robert Scoble’s comments on Google Talk and Outlook Calendar and why he loves those two applications. I wrote this directly on the WordPress web interface and it somewhow, mysteriously and automatically deleted all paragraphs (not that my co-blogger’s name is contained in this word :-)) but the first. Strange!! So, I deleted the entire post and kept you from reading what could have been one of the most objective essays I’ve written about a non-Microsoft software. 🙂

Let me summarize my post for you anyway. Scoble’s Google Talk article can be found here and the Outlook Calendar one, here. For those of you who are new to this area, Scoble is a an ex-Microsoft Geek Blogger and now, simply a “Tech Geek Blogger”, after he left Microsoft earlier this year and joined a startup. His blog is probably one of the most read in the tech industry. Coming back to my comments on Google Talk, I think Scoble is right. Google Talk offers a couple of things that Microsoft and Y! don’t in their messaging clients, simplicity and elegance. For those of you who’re looking for a messaging client and nothing more, it’s a perfect solution but if, like me, you have most of your contacts on Y! or Windows Live (WL), you’re screwed. Our group recently had a discussion about why Google Talk was floundering in the US. There were a couple of valid points raised:

  1. Inertia: No one likes change. People are comfortable with their current messaging clients, AIM, Y!M and WLM and see no reason to switch. Most of my friends who’ve switched to GMail still use Y! messenger.
  2. Lack of killer features: When you’re launching a product years after competition, you need killer features. GMail initially did have a killer feature – a 2GB hard drive. Google Talk offers a simpler interface, but that’s not enough.
  3. Google Talk is not as feature-packed as the other messaging clients. It shouldn’t matter, but it does. People here want their messaging clients to do more than just allow them to chat. They want to be able to play games through it. They want avatars, themes, shared playlists, etc.

Well, that just about summarizes my observations. I’m using Live Writer today, so I know that a draft of my post will be saved on my computer and won’t get deleted like it was, yesterday. Oh, and by the way, here are Scoble’s thoughts on WL Writer.

Turns out this wasn’t a quickie after all. Sorry for the misleading statement in the first paragraph.


1. tismarkhan - August 20, 2006

yes Gtalk is cool because its light and elegant but since I dont have to carry it on my shoulder lightness may not always be my top priority.

There is one thing I like abt Gtalk though which is too detailed and may not matter much to everyone.
New email notification is muted and is integrated with the IM icon very elegantly as opposed to yahoo IM default ‘you-must-check-this-now’ kind of sound and an additional shining-envelope icon on the side.So unless I turn off both form of notifications in yahoo (which I do), somehow it tempts me to check my email immediately only to find a ‘reduce this-enlarge that’ kind of spam which annoys me to death.

Its not so compelling when Gtalk notifies me abt new email and also, it lets me preview the new email with in the IM so that I can check that only if it is important enough.

oh yea, from one of the comments from scoble’s blog on live writer, I downloaded blogdesk and it indeed has better tag features and it would let you edit images within the editor. Its surely worth a try and I might just do that next time and compare all kind of blog editors I have.

2. shravankrish - August 20, 2006

One of the main reasons that Microsoft is able to sell software is developers. They’ve used the same strategy with Writer by releasing the SDKs. Now, as with Windows, Writer should be compared to its competitors on the basis of its current features and additional plugins. Smart move!

3. sriram - August 21, 2006

Hey Shravan,

The team of bloggers, which you are a part of, is quite good and productive! Kudos.

Btw, Scoble will be here in Chennai shortly for some blogging summit!

4. shravankrish - August 21, 2006

Hey Sriram, Thanks for taking a look at the site. Glad you liked it. I’ve been having an argument with Scoble by the way, as are a lot of other people about his definition of a “blog”.

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