google spreadsheets i still dont get it

Cool post on Google Spreadsheets via Dave

Maybe I’m dense but I still have exactly zero idea what the heck Google is doing. OK they’re building an “operating system” for the web. They’re building “Office” for the web. I just don’t get why????

Google makes all it’s money from search ads. Free Office products won’t help it generate revenue. I also highly doubt that ads in the office products will lead to any serious revenue. Search ads work because I’m actively searching for something and an ad helps me find it quicker. Showing me an ad while I’m editing my spreadsheet isn’t going to work because I’m not in the same frame of mind when editing a spreadsheet vs searching.

Second, I doubt this will have any true impact on Microsoft. GE isn’t going to tell all their employees to go use Google Spreadsheet and oh yeah if you have problems ask the nonexistent Google tech support. Come on that’s now how the real world works.

So even if this did hurt Microsoft I don’t see how it helps Google. Any ideas?

bubble burst

“Well, the inevitable is starting to happen – a few new web startups are starting to close up shop as they find that building an application is a lot easier than getting users to try it out and keep coming back” – TechCrunch

Um, of course it’s not really the fact that they can’t get people to try it out, it’s that they build things people don’t want and never wanted. They don’t solve any problems people have and they’re merely technology showcases. Are we supposed to feel sad these things are going under? I think not. Better they go under now while the repercussions are low than later when a new bubble forms and they drag the rest of us down with them.

form spam

It appears I’m not the only one coming under generic form spam over the past few days. I caught this post by Sam Ruby the other day. It appears to be a totally generic form submission bot, but it’s pretty good. It’s been hitting the HelpSpot forums daily and making lots of work for me 🙁

My solution will be to add Bayesian filtering for the forums into HelpSpot. It’s already used for email and should work pretty well for the forums, though I’ll need to use a new table to store it to keep the word lists separate since it’s a different type of spam than email and I’ve noticed a different set of words/links being used.

I’m curious why more weblogs don’t use Bayesian filters. They work really well because at the end of the day the spammers must link to their bogus sites and the filter uses that to weed them out. It’s pretty easy to code. The hardest part is figuring out the odd Lisp language Graham used to prototype it.