I don’t use Google Chrome.
I’m told I should, but I don’t really want my entire internet experience mediated through Google (despite perversely sitting here using a MacbookPro laptop and Safari browser).
However, Google Creative Labs are doing some fantastic things to demonstrate the capabilities of their browser.
There were the lovely Speed Tests by BBH Labs.
Importantly, Google Creative Labs are also encouraging other creative developers to have a go and push their browser as far as they can in their Chrome Experiments. The Labs team created the very popular multi-window web music video, The Wilderness Downtown, for Arcade Fire. I didn’t really like it, because it felt a lot like early CD-rom ‘interactive’ work, but it certainly made me use Chrome and felt very native to the browser.
Yesterday, they used the accelerometer in laptops and Chrome to create an interactive Google Doodle celebrating Jules Verne.
You can still have a play.
My favourite Chrome Experiment so far is Ball Droppings. It’s a hugely addictive, generative sound composition toy. It uses physics engines and an MS Paint interaction tool to make minimal, looped music. It’s great.
It seems that the best form of marketing is to make good things that people want to use or play with, no strings attached. People will share them if they’re good enough.
The Times Online’s WordNerd compares poorly in this respect. It is a fairly meaningless viral thing (remember the terrible “I write like…”?), but people shared it a lot. As soon as you took part, you were launched upon with “follow these Times writers on twitter” and “buy a trial subscription, only £1.”
That sort of clamouring tackiness doesn’t tempt me to subscribe in anyway.
Do good things, you will make friends.