It's interesting to see how a company like Google could change the way people create sites.
You don't even need to know HTML or to buy expensive software like Dreamweaver to build a simple site: Google Page Creator can do it. If you have pictures and want to share them with your friends, you don't have to spend hours building a gallery - you have Picasa Web Albums that hosts your photos, creates very nice slideshows and it's easy to set up. You don't have to worry about embedding videos: what format to choose, who will see it, how to balance the stream rate? Google Video, YouTube and many other sites take all the burden.
Blogs give you more freedom of expression and Blogger is the perfect complement for Page Creator. Share the latest news, talk about what's on your mind and get feedback. If you want to expand the discussion from your site, it's not necessary to setup a complicated forum: Google Groups might be all you need. It's easy to manage and it lets you rate posts, upload files and create wikis.
Google Docs & Spreadsheets lets you collaborate with you friends or partners and it's a good way to host documents and spreadsheets. If you write open-source software, Google is nice enough to host all your files and give you access to all their versions.
If your sites grow, Google Search comes to the rescue and lets you create a custom search engine. You can also keep track of your visitors with a professional solution like Google Analytics and monetize your sites using AdSense.
If you happen to have a store, Google can put you on the map, host your database on Google Base, make your merchandises visible in Google Search or in the sponsored links section and process the purchases (for free in 2007).
So it's astonishing to see how many things you can do without paying for hosting or learning to code. Google tries to connect the dots in Apps for Your Domain, by integrating all these services in a meaningful way.
Some will say it's not smart to depend too much on Google, others will want to stand out and build their own custom pieces, but the thing is that it's really easy to create a site and only focus on content.
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