Google Maps Labs Open for Business

Google continues to move forward with its work to improve the Google Maps experience as everything gets pushed further and further down to the local level in search. By opening the Google Maps Lab and allowing you to slap a beta logo on it if you please (a little humor from the Googlers, huh?) there is a look at what they are cooking up for the future.

The Blogoscoped blog reports

When Google wants to test new features, they call them Lab experiments, and make them opt-in. Now, following many other services, Google Maps received a Lab icon. Click the green flask at the top of Google Maps and you get a chance to enable features like the following:

Apple Will Take Google’s Money But Still Thinks They Are BS

There have apparently been some rumors (yes, there are rumor mongers in the Internet space which is SO hard to believe) that have been talking about Apple entering the search game with their own search engine. This whole game of Google v. Apple has lately been fueled by the rumor mill and comments like those made by Steve Jobs in giving his take on the “Do No Evil” mantra of Google. While that makes for some juicy headlines and speculation it is apparently not true about Apple’s attempt at search.

The Business Insider tells us the reasons why that rumor is not true.

The rumor that Apple is building its own search engine “isn’t credible,” according to a source familiar with Apple’s operations.

In Other News…Van Natta Out as MySpace CEO

Question: How long does it take for a new CEO of a social media falling star to get his walking papers these days?

Answer: If you are Owen Van Natta of MySpace it takes just about 9 months.

Wow, I wonder if the time went quickly? It seems like just yesterday that the announcement of the former Facebook executive’s hiring was the start of a new era at MySpace that would make its climb back to the top of the social media heap. Instead the only news the site seems to generate is just how poorly it has performed and how much of waste of money and time it has been for News Corp. who acquired the company back in 2005 for $580 million.

And Iran, Iran from Gmail

In case you are wondering about the title of this post, you need to do two things. Stop thinking about Google Buzz for a minute (please!) and also try to remember a song from way back when called “I Ran (So Far Away)” by Flock of Seagulls. Now sing the chorus using the title of the post and you’ll get it. See? Clever, right?

Anyway, it appears that while Iran has marked February 11th as a day of reckoning for the west (something to do with uranium which doesn’t matter to the Internet marketing world because we have to sell things, right?) I have to guess that their biggest announcement must have been how they are going to suspend Gmail services in Iran. Boy, if you want to hurt the west, screw uranium, go after Google. Now, that’s playing hardball.

The Wall Street Journal reports

McTweets: Over 1 Billion Served

So what’s the deal? Is Twitter slowing down or speeding up? Reports of slowing of growth in visitors and accounts of Twitter has created a stir for some. Unfortunately for Twitter that is the price of a ‘hockey stick’ growth pattern which is associated with rapid mass appeal. It’s every business’ dream but goes up must come down at least a little. Trouble is, that kind of growth is unsustainable and then the non-thinking nay-sayers come out of the woodwork with their doomsday predictions about the future (full disclosure: I suspect I have fallen into this category at times. Guilty as charged.)

Google’s Smartphone Gains Should Create Some Buzz

All the online world is buzzing about the introduction of Google’s Buzz yesterday. The competitor (or death knell) to FriendFeed has everyone wondering just how much of the social media market can Google ‘control’ by playing the intermediary. Considering how far reaching their other services are I think it looks more and more like Google could end up in the driver’s seat after all of this.

Another prong of their attack on Facebook, Twitter, Apple and the online world in general relates to the move into smartphones / mobile devices which are becoming a critical component of the social web. As more and more chances pop up to tell everyone about everything, those who feel the need will want to do this at any time so being able to use these services ‘on the go’ is critical. Google’s Android movement is now looking to be more and more important as the likelihood for Google apps to best work on, you guessed it, a Google device makes good business sense.

Google to Make Its Move on Facebook and Twitter?

UPDATE: Google Buzz is now live!

The buzz around the Internet marketing and social media circles is humming with the news (or the rumor, call it what you want) that Google is getting set to introduce a new feature to Gmail. No, it has nothing to do with your e-mail but rather your ‘experience’ with Gmail and in particular your social experience. Looks like Google is getting into the social game.  This comes on the heels of the talk of Facebook getting into the e-mail game as well. What’s going on? It’s like opposite day with Google going social and Facebook getting all e-mail on us.

The Wall Street Journal reports: