Google has opened base.google.com for public use. This is a new do-it-yourself online database to which people can submit just about anything. The site lets users submit information to be stored in Google Base, which the Web page describes as "Google's database into which you can add all types of content. We'll host your content and make it searchable online for free."
The search giant is soliciting items from a "description of your party planning service" to "articles on current events from your website" to "listing of your used car for sale." It even lists a "database of protein structures." Users can describe any item by filling in a series of forms; they can upload or link to pictures, and provide an address or telephone number.
Early users seem to be using Google Base for classified ads. Want to buy or sell an automobile? The site says that items may be included in the main Google search index and other Google products like Froogle and Google Local.
It looks like Google Base could be the place for the Internet community to buy, sell, distribute, publish, or conduct other transactions. Google Base seems to be a new way to list your "classified ad" at no charge. However, that is only one of probably thousands of possible uses.
Google Base also seems like a natural to post "looking for" and "wanted" ads. I have to believe this could put a crimp in both eBay's online auction service and Monster.com's job listing service.
I have been trying to get on Google Base for the past few hours but have had very sporadic access. Sometimes I could log on, but then timeout errors would appear as I tried to search for items. At other times I could not even get to the log-in screen. I suspect the site is bogged down with lots of users. I imagine Google will be adding more servers and optimizing the software in coming days.
If you would like to try Google Base, go to http://base.google.com
Now, who is going to be the first to write a genealogy database application for Google Base?