"Irrational Exuberance" Over Google Checkout

Craig discusses Google Checkout here and seems somewhat impressed by it. I just have a few things with which to retort. You may also see this appear in the comments. Since he’s moderating comments, I felt like posting it here as well so it doesn’t get “lost”.

Re: HTML. You’re ‘game over strategy’ link is dead.

Re: hating them. I think there is already a large portion of us that already hate them for much better reasons (secrecy, bungling of click fraud, failure to respond powerfully enough to link farm spam, etc) ;-)

Re: GC. While the experience may be better than any others, I still fail to see how this can be realistic. I’ve heard a lot about the “e-wallet” over the years and I keep thinking “If that was the way it had to be, we’d all be banking at one bank”.

There’s no way in hell I want Google to know about everything I purchase. What’s to stop them from misusing that information? And what’s my recourse for when I decide that they are misusing it (b/c they will). If all they are going to do with it is target ads to me more “effectively”, then no thanks. My life consists of more than being sold to.

What is the obsession with SSO schemes, anyway? They are almost entirely mitigated by a good client password locker program (either in the browser or on the desktop) and serve only to create a middleman where there formerly were none. Everywhere you look on the Web, greedy middlemen are getting the hammer. Why insert them between me and my behavior? What’s the benefit for me other than saving 20 seconds filling out a form? (which, by the way, Firefox does almost entirely for me, anyway)

What I don’t see anyone talking about is that this is a pretty bold move for Google in the war against click fraud. Observe: you click on an ad after a Google search and then buy something on the site with your GC account. Definitely not click fraud and easy to grep out of the logs over there on that big ol’ GFS cluster. So that event can be factored out of the fraud calculations, making the job of determining fraudulent clicks easier in proportion to the number of transactions brokered by GC. Plus, they’re making money on both ends of the tranny. That’s just ingeniousical.

P.S. I am fully aware of the percieved antagonistism involved in posting this rant in reply to the officer of a company who’s in the ad game. I come in peace. Take me to your leader :)