Google Pages launched
February 23, 2006 12:31 AM   Subscribe

Google Pages is basically Geocities 2.0. You get a wysiwyg editing interface, a bunch of templates to pick from, and the ability to make as many pages as you need. Time will tell if this revolutionizes the web the way Geocities did (aside from all the obvious crappy pages from Geocities, it did give thousands of new writers and designers a place to start), but it's certainly a cool set of tools to do something mundane like start a website. [via waxy]
posted by mathowie (88 comments total)

 
My first attempt (copied and pasted a bit from The Smoking Gun's weekly email).

I'd love to see an open source clone, maybe done in PHP. Something I could upload to my own server and use to edit a few static non-weblog pages that i have lying around.
posted by mathowie at 12:32 AM on February 23, 2006


hopefully it has support for "spinning under construction gif 2.0" and "metallica midi 2.0".

Your site comes up as a 404 to me, matt. I'll have to give this a shot.
posted by thanatogenous at 12:37 AM on February 23, 2006


Post an example that works, someone, if you get it to not 404. I'm curious.

Although really, it seems like Google ... doesn't need to get into this business.
posted by blacklite at 12:41 AM on February 23, 2006


The Make magazine blog has an example with a screenshot of the process.
posted by blacklite at 12:45 AM on February 23, 2006


it seems like Google ... doesn't need to get into this business.

This actually seems like the type of thing that google would definitely do. They appear to be getting their feet wet with all sorts of ideas and see which ones stick.

I kinda wish Google would do a sleeker, more conservative sort of myspace thing. The current "myspace" and "friendster" just appear chaotic to me, but I like the idea.
posted by thanatogenous at 12:48 AM on February 23, 2006


The fact that MySpace is so unredeemably hideous and cumbersome yet so unfathomably and spectacularly popular makes me worry much more about today's youth then any alleged underage drinking and nudie pics.

I can't see your page either, Matt.
posted by loquacious at 12:52 AM on February 23, 2006


I tried making a page, and the link they gave me 404-ed as well.
posted by charmston at 12:54 AM on February 23, 2006


Anyone else suddenly get flooded with memories of editing their aol.members homepage?
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:55 AM on February 23, 2006


or was it members.aol, oh memory is a fickle thing.
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:56 AM on February 23, 2006


It's weird, if I sit and refresh my google page, it eventually comes up. I assume their caching servers aren't quite up to speed yet.
posted by mathowie at 12:57 AM on February 23, 2006


Sweet, I see it now. Yeah... geocities 2.0. I'll have to mess with it when I wake up in the morning.
posted by thanatogenous at 1:01 AM on February 23, 2006


It must be a powerful feeling to be a guy at Google. I think this was launched about an hour ago.

My comment about them not needing to get into it -- I thought they wanted to organize the world's information, not make it easier for people to host crappy little templated bad websites. But, I dunno. I suppose they know what they're doing.

I'm just looking forward to the Google Space Elevator.
posted by blacklite at 1:03 AM on February 23, 2006


The fact that MySpace is so unredeemably hideous and cumbersome yet so unfathomably and spectacularly popular makes me worry much more about today's youth then any alleged underage drinking and nudie pics.

Myspace is almost like a flashback to ten years ago (back when Geocities was still Beverly Hills Internet), with the "pimped out" backgrounds and embedded music and whatnot. Certainly as loquacious alludes to above, the interface itself is problematic. Yet everyone goes there because that's where everybody is. Funny how that works.

I'm surprised Google wasn't doing this already. There is always a need for something basic in web publishing. For exaple, somebody posted this link in another thread, and like others I've been reading all the fascinating stories there. The design is obviously some generic template thing, but the content is what's important, and this cat recorded a lot of stuff that normally would have been lost forever, as oral history tends to do. No need to learn Dreamweaver or Frontpage or whatever, really.
posted by First Post at 1:14 AM on February 23, 2006


"But, I dunno. I suppose they know what they're doing."

I was going to say that it's about the advertising money yet I don't see any ads on the page I created nor on Matts.
posted by JakeEXTREME at 1:15 AM on February 23, 2006


I suppose they know what they're doing.

I doubt it. A more likely explanation is that they have an excess of talented geeks. I'm not crazy about this project; they way they let you choose exactly what font, font size, font style, etc. you want for every character of text reminds me of the worst days of web 1.0.

Google's scattershot approach to product development is starting to worry me. They have good geeks, so projects like this probably cost very little to produce, but its becoming more and more obvious that the Master Plan that the world (and the stock market) wants them to have simply doesn't exist. Their plan now seems to be to do great search, and use the profits to launch hundreds of experiments like this in the hope that something will stick. Unfortunately, other than GMail (and to a lessers extent, Maps), nothing is sticking. Even GMail has been successful only because they're offering tons of disk space, which is cheap now, but will inevitably become much more expensive 10 years down the road, when everyone has multiple gigabytes of archives (it probably already is becoming more expensive... notice the recent addition of a "Delete" button to the main interface). Every time I see them release a mediocre project like this, or Base, or Reader, or Ride Finder, or Froogle, I become more pessimistic about their staying power.
posted by gsteff at 1:36 AM on February 23, 2006


From the list, they've got about 20 projects, total.

It is getting kind of ridiculous. Google Transit is crap, no one actually uses Suggest, I fainly remember Google Sets but, uh.. yeah..,
posted by blacklite at 1:46 AM on February 23, 2006


it probably already is becoming more expensive... notice the recent addition of a "Delete" button to the main interface

I don't think this implies that they were running out of disk space--rather, I believe they said somewhere when the delete button was introduced that it was "by popular demand." I for one requested it at one point via their feature request form because I saw no reason to archive most of the stuff I get via gmail and didn't like navigating through the drop-down menu every time I wanted to delete something. I guess the conspiracy theory was that they wanted us to save all our email so they could get as complete a database for selecting personalized ads as possible.
posted by epugachev at 1:48 AM on February 23, 2006


It can see that this might be quite handy, but where do they get revenue from?
posted by johnny novak at 2:15 AM on February 23, 2006


It is quite handy, but I'm kinda missing a link to Blogger. This would be great if you could somehow mix static pages and blog entries in one location.
posted by sebas at 2:18 AM on February 23, 2006


agreed about Blogger sebas,

I would have thought they also might have an easy way of including ads, which is the obvious revenue stream, (the reasoning behind gmail), but then are these pages the kind of thing that would generate enough traffic?
posted by johnny novak at 2:22 AM on February 23, 2006


I've said it once, I'll said it again...

Google is God.

And don't you forget it!
posted by HuronBob at 2:28 AM on February 23, 2006


I wonder how fast Google picks up the content in it's search engine. I have made a page containing the word smurtwuffle and wonder if Metafilter or my new homepage will be picked up sooner.
posted by sebas at 2:42 AM on February 23, 2006


I never did get around to getting a gmail acct so I can't play with this one.
posted by acetonic at 2:43 AM on February 23, 2006


acetonic : Looks like there are gmail signups available from the front page.
posted by punilux at 2:51 AM on February 23, 2006


This has a very "Pop Will Eat Itself" feel to it.

Google releases a web application for creating webpages that are then indexed, cached and used by the Googlebots for further algorithmic regression leading to even more populating of my Google search by pages created by a Google web application, that allows one to create a webpage that is indexed, cached and used by the Googlebots.

And that's not counting in the reciprocal linking between pages, a la Blogger. Nice job overall, though.
posted by gsb at 2:51 AM on February 23, 2006


Google already owns a Social Networking site, thanatogenous. It's called Orkut.

I hear that it's super popular in Brazil. I also see that it's still invitation only. Anyone wanna invite me in there so I can check it out?
posted by redteam at 2:55 AM on February 23, 2006


Yeah, if only there were a gmailmenot.
Are there still G-invites drifting, increasingly unfashionable, through MeFi?
posted by NinjaPirate at 2:55 AM on February 23, 2006


I remember reading somewhere that all Google employees are allowed to use 20% of their time on independant projects. Doesn't have to lead anywhere, can be pie-in-the sky brainstorming sessions, new features, personal inventions, crazy hacks, whatever. Considering they have so many brilliant people working there, it is a great idea, and undoubtedly where many of their new projects are coming from.
posted by sophist at 3:10 AM on February 23, 2006


yay for mine!
posted by lemonfridge at 3:11 AM on February 23, 2006


I think it 404's briefly after publishing (or editing), but appears shortly after.
posted by lemonfridge at 3:18 AM on February 23, 2006


"The fact that MySpace is so unredeemably hideous and cumbersome yet so unfathomably and spectacularly popular makes me worry much more about today's youth then any alleged underage drinking and nudie pics."

From time to time I consider taking up MySpace. The consideration usually goes something like this:

Pros: Could possibly help me get laid.

Cons: Not sure I want to get laid by people who use animated gif backgrounds, marquee tags, and embedded midi.

I mean, there's things at MySpace such that, until I saw them there, I had been blissfully unaware that web browsers could display such horror.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 3:45 AM on February 23, 2006


blacklite: "From the list, they've got about 20 projects, total.

It is getting kind of ridiculous. Google Transit is crap, no one actually uses Suggest, I fainly remember Google Sets but, uh.. yeah..,
"

Most of my best work came from just doing shit and making it public. Why should they take down little lab one-offs if they aren't 100% awesomely amazing? I'm certain that the feedback they get is worth the negligible costs of keeping Google Sets up.

(BTW, Transit is only crap because you live 170 miles from Portland, I have several co-workers that have Suggest as their home page, and I use Sets on (at least) a weekly basis. Unuseful-for-you doesn't equal crap.)
posted by Plutor at 3:59 AM on February 23, 2006


The thing that's alwyas marked google above the competition is the sheer simplicity of its interfaces, and this is no exception.
posted by hnnrs at 4:10 AM on February 23, 2006


(BTW, Transit is only crap because you live 170 miles from Portland, I have several co-workers that have Suggest as their home page, and I use Sets on (at least) a weekly basis. Unuseful-for-you doesn't equal crap.)

Transit's a bit of a sore spot for me, because I was working on, basically, exactly that, until Google came along and released Transit and then we sort of ended up shutting down. It seems to be missing some nice features, and not be completely accurate -- although I admit this is all based on my initial impressions from December.

I didn't actually realize anyone used Suggest that much, though. (I do talk to other people, it isn't all based on personal preference.) I did not realize anyone had ever used Sets for anything other than 'huh, cute'.

Good to know, though. What do you use Sets for?
posted by blacklite at 4:11 AM on February 23, 2006


You need a mobile phone to sign up for gmail? WTF?
posted by effwerd at 4:13 AM on February 23, 2006


blacklite just fed me, headfirst, into the GMachine and then

1) it didn't like my browser
2) this is just AJAX PowerPoint, isn't it? But without the irritating swooshes - I assume they'll be added shortly.
3) I was working on something very similar to this project last year, but I gave up as someone else was bound to have done it better. Clearly I should pick up the keyboard again.
posted by NinjaPirate at 4:17 AM on February 23, 2006


Timeouts all over the place and drag-and-drop WYSIWYG page editing generating crufty HTML tag soup with FONT elements... it was so wonderful it brought a tear to my eye. Seriously, it's going to be so great. COME SEE MY HOME PAGE ON THE WEB NOW!
posted by brownpau at 4:57 AM on February 23, 2006


Strict XHTML to keep up with all teh h0t bl0grr k1d5, I see.
I hope Google's underemployed free-thinkers aren't the future of the web.
posted by NinjaPirate at 5:35 AM on February 23, 2006


Seems cool to me. You don't *have* to use it, and I guess most the people who do use it will be happy with it.

I'd be happier with being able to put plain ol html in right at the beginning - then you'd have 100mb of hosting.
posted by carter at 5:53 AM on February 23, 2006


Now it's down with 404s and a "Google Page Creator is having a little trouble right now" error. That's some quality hosting right there.

You know what would be great? In Settings, a little text input checkbox and text input field: "Check here if you have a domain. Enter your domain name. Your nameservers are ns1.googlepages.com and ns2.googlepages.com. Enjoy!"
posted by brownpau at 6:11 AM on February 23, 2006


You need a mobile phone to sign up for gmail? WTF?

They REALLY want to prevent spammers from signing up tons of accounts.
posted by smackfu at 6:16 AM on February 23, 2006


Are they ever going to do anything with calendar? There was a big brouhaha about it when the subdomain became active, and then nothing ever happened with it.
posted by boo_radley at 6:23 AM on February 23, 2006


Sorry, your web browser is not yet supported.

Our programming wizards tried their darndest to get Google Page Creator to work with as many browsers as possible. But alas, even the most expert practitioners of web sorcery must sleep now and again, lest their JavaScript magic run dry.


Not working on Safari.
posted by evoo at 6:27 AM on February 23, 2006


I've been playing with it and it's rough right now but I see some great potential.

- I'd love them to integrate google suggest into the html edit view so it had a code tip/autocomplte function like homesite.

- Allow developers to upload locked templates for clients and then let clients use google pages as the crm

- Allow upload to third party servers
posted by Mick at 6:33 AM on February 23, 2006


And yet it just about works on Camino...
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:35 AM on February 23, 2006


First Post wrote "Myspace is almost like a flashback to ten years ago (back when Geocities was still Beverly Hills Internet), with the 'pimped out' backgrounds and embedded music and whatnot.

It may be Web 2.0 for us, but it's always going to be Web Pre-Alpha for the kids.
posted by VulcanMike at 6:46 AM on February 23, 2006


I wonder if this is the start of the much-rumored Google software rollout, designed to compete directly with MS Office? First they pick off Frontpage, the weak member of the pack, then go after the rest of the office suite.

[Miguel! You back or just taunting us with a whiff of cigars and port?]
posted by LarryC at 6:48 AM on February 23, 2006


Anyone else getting this problem where their page is always "locked by another user" and then Google freaks out when you try to "break the lock"? Guess I won't be using this for the moment.
posted by selfnoise at 6:49 AM on February 23, 2006


"My first attempt (copied and pasted a bit from The Smoking Gun's weekly email)."

OMG haxxor3d
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:51 AM on February 23, 2006


I could swear I just had a Migs sighting.

*fans self*
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:51 AM on February 23, 2006


PowerPoint via AJAX - pretty good description. But as noted above, what sets it apart is (a) it is pretty damn simple to use, and (b) it's GOOGLE, dammit.

Critics be damned, Google continues to delight me.
posted by davidmsc at 6:51 AM on February 23, 2006


And yet it just about works on Camino...
posted by MiguelCardoso at 3:35 PM CET on February 23 [!]


!!!
posted by mr.marx at 6:56 AM on February 23, 2006


MIGUEL! Guess I've got to get drunk now. Then I'll create a googlepage. This oughtta be good!
posted by WolfDaddy at 7:02 AM on February 23, 2006


Well, a relief to see that the cats are unharmed (no sign either way of spilled martinis...).

Oops - back to the Googlecities thread.
posted by hangashore at 7:10 AM on February 23, 2006


So this 'Delete' button Google offers --

Is it safe to assume that it just hides the item from you but leaves it usable for their data mining and correlation service?

Otherwise they'd be deleting possibly vital evidence, if it turns out later that you're a terrorist, right?
posted by hank at 7:11 AM on February 23, 2006


OMG!!!! It's like a general on the battlefield, or an angel walking among us!!!!!

OMG!!!!

< ! i wonder if commenting works in posts aardvark>
posted by drezdn at 7:17 AM on February 23, 2006


Oops
posted by drezdn at 7:17 AM on February 23, 2006


Miguel! : >

This is great--anything that makes the process easier. I've also become a fan of Magnoto--very easy, cute fridge-door type posting.
posted by amberglow at 7:41 AM on February 23, 2006


hey Miguel,

you're needed in a thread about Henry Jame's testicles.
posted by johnny novak at 7:46 AM on February 23, 2006


I now have a strong urge to listen to Nirvana and wear an old flannel jacket for the rest of the day.
posted by jeffmik at 7:49 AM on February 23, 2006


Wow, Google Pages brought Migs out of lurker/hiding mode!

SUCK IT, GOOGLE H8TRZ!

Part of me loves the increasing ease of use of web tools, but they never seem to lead to better web pages, just a higher volume of bad ones.

BTW, I think Google's plan is to place Google Ads on these pages based on content.
posted by mkultra at 7:49 AM on February 23, 2006


Thank you for your interest in Google Page Creator! Google Page Creator has experienced extremely strong demand, and, as a result, we have temporarily limited the number of new signups as we increase capacity. In the meantime, please submit your email address and we will notify you as soon as we are ready to add new accounts. Thank you for your patience.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:02 AM on February 23, 2006


I kinda wish Google would do a sleeker, more conservative sort of myspace thing. The current "myspace" and "friendster" just appear chaotic to me, but I like the idea.

They have a thing called "Orkut" which was done by an employee in his 'personal development' time, but it was taken over by BRAZILLIANS. Other then that, though, it totaly sucks.
posted by delmoi at 8:05 AM on February 23, 2006


At some point Google should stop being surprised at the demand for their new services.
posted by smackfu at 8:16 AM on February 23, 2006


Amber: Thanks for the link to Magnoto, that is really cool!
posted by LarryC at 8:58 AM on February 23, 2006


wtf? someone hacked my page?

How the hell did that happen?
posted by mathowie at 9:10 AM on February 23, 2006


This has been done quite a while ago by Piczo.com. Though as usual, google's implementation seems a bit slicker.
posted by Freen at 9:12 AM on February 23, 2006


wtf? someone hacked my page?

Heh - I didn't know that it had wiki functionality.
posted by carter at 9:14 AM on February 23, 2006


How the hell did that happen?

Obvious password to your gmail a/c?
posted by carter at 9:18 AM on February 23, 2006


wtf? someone hacked my page?

Not the most auspicious start then....
posted by brettski at 9:55 AM on February 23, 2006


For a brief time this morning, I was able to change anyone's Googlepage simply by changing the username in the page edit URL. I sent a bug report, and they seem to have fixed it now.
posted by brownpau at 10:01 AM on February 23, 2006


Matt! brownpau did it!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:19 AM on February 23, 2006


All you guys ragging on myspace should remember that it's not the only social site out there, Facebook is very popular at many schools and that interface is clean and refreshing...

like pepsi blue.
posted by WetherMan at 10:20 AM on February 23, 2006


People choose ugly page designs when given the choice. They're blind or something. I don't know if you can blame that on myspace. Look at a random LJ and you'll see the same hideousness.
posted by smackfu at 10:39 AM on February 23, 2006


delmoi - How many is a brazillion?
posted by S.C. at 11:06 AM on February 23, 2006


wtf? someone hacked my page?
How the hell did that happen?


Welcome to my homepage! I kiss you!
Someone put up a pic of mathowie in a speedo.
posted by scarabic at 11:24 AM on February 23, 2006


Great FPP Matt. Thank you. :)

There's also Bravehost's free webpage maker.

First Post, I forwarded the link to this thread to Bill Gann, the author of the site whose content you said had fascinating stories and oral histories and he was so pleased as a result he decided to join MetaFilter. :)

Freen, thanks for the useful link to Piczo. I liked their demo page.

posted by nickyskye at 12:25 PM on February 23, 2006


I, for one, welcome our new Miguel Cardoso overlord.
posted by Drexen at 1:03 PM on February 23, 2006


And yet it just about works on Camino...

Eight words. From Miguel. Now you're just teasing us.
posted by gsteff at 1:15 PM on February 23, 2006


HA HA brownpau that site is hideous and I Laughed So Hard My Body Almost Turned Over On the Carpet (LSOHMBATOOTC)
posted by uni verse at 1:26 PM on February 23, 2006


Thank you for your interest in Google Page Creator! Google Page Creator has experienced extremely strong demand, and, as a result, we have temporarily limited the number of new signups as we increase capacity. In the meantime, please submit your email address and we will notify you as soon as we are ready to add new accounts. Thank you for your patience.
posted by fixedgear at 2:16 PM on February 23, 2006


Hi fixedgear.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:42 PM on February 23, 2006


Brownpau, that was brilliant.
posted by LarryC at 7:43 PM on February 23, 2006


How sad. I still think Google blows goats at everything but search (I include their news tool in that) and maybe mail. They bought everything they've got that doesn't look and work like ruminant ass, in my humble.

Video? Ass. Newsreader? Ass. This thing? Goatse-riffic. I could go on, but I've been annoying enough already, no doubt.

Also: Migs!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:57 PM on February 23, 2006


Also also: well played, brownpau!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:57 PM on February 23, 2006


Eight words. From Miguel. Now you're just teasing us.

For a brief time this morning brownpau was able to log in as any MeFi account and comment on FPPs.
posted by jimfl at 6:32 AM on February 24, 2006


Sorry, goodnewsfortheinsane, guess I should have read the whole thread.
posted by fixedgear at 7:56 AM on February 24, 2006


They bought everything they've got that doesn't look and work like ruminant ass, in my humble.

At least they're showing the good sense to purchase things not of the ruminating-ass variety. Think positive!
posted by cortex at 2:21 PM on February 24, 2006


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