Google Base

Google has a new product, called Google Base.

Here's a bit of their description:

Google Base is Google’s database into which you can add all types of content. We’ll host your content and make it searchable online for free.

Examples of items you can find in Google Base:

• Description of your party planning service
• Articles on current events from your website
• Listing of your used car for sale
• Database of protein structures

This is fascinating stuff. They haven't really said where this is heading, but it seems like an implementation of the idea I talked about a while ago, of separating out a web site's UI from it's data.

If Google lets you post your data in a structured form, and then exposes it through OPML or some other standard XML based format, then I could choose my front end separately from my back end. For folks running their own servers this isn't an issue, but being able to use Google Base to host my blog content, but use Movable Type as my front end, would be a revolution.

Using a standard format for RSS items (something I talked about here) would let you easily hook a different front end up to the storage back end.

It looks like you define a schema, and a form (maybe only they can define a form, maybe they let you), and then other users can come along and use the form to submit content. Sounds a bit like an implementation of the LiveCycle / Acrobat Forms stuff I work on.

Or it could be something completely different. We'll find out when they release an API.

One cool thing (for Google) about them hosting content, is that they can control the usage terms such that they have the right to republish it on their other web properties. This could be a big deal for them.

I don't believe the talk of Google taking on eBay...

(It's not responding right now, but you can see screenshots here).