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27 October 2005

Google to help with recipes

Epicurious and Recipe Gullet had better watch out.  It seems that Google is on the recipe case.  According to leaks from the mighty campus, Google is testing a new product, currently called Google Base, that will be an über-database.  It seems from various blogs and screenshots that Google wants punters to upload any data sets they want and this information will then be searchable based on Google algorithms. 

Google Base has a number of pre-defined categories, one of them being recipes.  It will be interesting to see how this works.  It could be a nightmare free-for-all where ounces and kilos mix with abandon.  Or, if Google manages to pull another stoncker out of the hat, it could be a dream.  Afterall, despite eGullet's opinion of itself, it doesn't have anything even approaching the reach of Google.  Which means, there is much greater opportunity of finding that rare recipe for the dish you ate on the road between Jaipur and Agra.

Although there has been a lot of noise that this is Google trying to compete with eBay, it seems to me that this is more likely to be Google trying to create an alternative to individual webpages and blogs.  I think Google's offering could be attractive to those out there who want a way to sort and share their information, are comfortable with the Google interface but spooked by anything more technological.

Currently, it's offline, but the screenshots linked to above (from Google Blogoscoped) all originated from base.google.com.


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