While browsing the winners of the Web 2.0 awards I came across a retail site called Threadless.com. I'm very familiar with Threadless and I'm delighted that it's on this list. I highly recommend the site to anyone who reads this. It's a tshirt store that uses designs submitted by regular people. The designs are submitted and voted on and some are eventually printed. I've purchased tshirts for myself and many friends and family members for about six years, as I discovered the site when I was a college freshman. They often sell older designs for $5, and any hip cheap tshirt is very attractive for a poor college student. This sort of company just wouldn't work as well in a physical store, so I wanted to bring Threadless up as being an example of the web helping certain companies exist, who might not have had a chance otherwise. Go buy a tshirt!
Looking over all that Google offers in terms of tools, it seems as if there's nothing that Google doesn't now offer, or aims to offer in the future. The first tool I looked at was Google Offers. I turns out that this is exactly like Groupon, only you use your Google account. This tool, however, is in its beta stage and is only available for the most highly populated areas of the country like New York and LA. While living in Buffalo, I can't take advantage of this. However, my parents live very close to NYC and I used to work in midtown. When I'm back there visiting my parents, I can use these coupons for food, drinks, and entertainment. And hopefully Buffalo will soon be including in Google Offers. This could be very useful for libraries. Even though libraries aren't selling anything particularly, I think that Google Offers could make people aware of the events that may be going on at their local library.
Then I chose to re-examine Google+. When it was first announced, I was very enthusiastic and eager to receive an invitation. Now that it's open to the public, it's hard to remember why I wanted an account so badly. I find myself wanting to search for my Facebook friends in order to grow my community on Google+. I know that there's the +1 on everything on Google, but I have yet to really experiment with this. It seems like a social network that is much cleaner and maybe even more innocent than Facebook has become, but since it's built as competition for Facebook, that won't be for long. So today I took the account I created months ago and really made it a profile. Now I feel sure I'll be engrossed for hours in my +1s. Libraries could use Google+ as they do Facebook. There must exist Google enthusiasts who prefer it to Facebook somewhere, right?