You know things are bad when even the mighty Google
Google is cutting "approximately 100 positions" from its human resources department. It's the appropriate starting point. With the economy showing few signs of life, Google isn't going to go on a massive hiring spree. It had already been winding down its contracts with external recruiters. Where it goes from there is the really scary part.
The cuts may soon begin trickling down into other departments, especially since the company is already beginning to cut back on several smaller online offerings. Through several announcements yesterday:
- Google will no longer be accepting uploads to Google Video.
- Catalog Search, the offering that allows visitors to dig into scanned product catalogs online, is going away.
- Development will cease for Google Notebook, the authored page tool that counts fellow Fool Tim Beyers as a big fan. Sorry, Tim.
- Its nascent Dodgeball mobile social networking platform is getting whacked.
- Mashup Editor, which never left its limited private beta, is going Obit City.
- Its 2007 purchase of Finnish microblogging site Jaiku -- already being ported to Google App Engine -- will also meet the knife, with Google no longer actively developing the Jaiku codebase (though it will live on as an open-source project).
Some of the moves appear inevitable. Just as Yahoo!
This doesn't mean that I agree with the pullback. For the most part, I think it's nuts. So what if Jaiku is no Twitter? Notebook is a venture that could have easily been monetized along the lines of Knol. More importantly, Google’s having all of these pet projects open -- in theory -- has to be giving Microsoft
Google's Chrome Web browser is joining Firefox and Apple's
Then again, if it really has come to that, maybe we're all in a bigger funk than anyone else seems to think.
Other ways to spin the content bottle: