Google chasing Paypal’s Longtail?

Speculation is running rife about Google’s supposed paypal-like payment service not withstanding Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s denial. Forrester’s Charlene Li  has some real interesting ideas (Via Om Malik – read for some more interesting links). Given Eric Schmidt’s already professed love for Longtail Business Models, I am surprised Chris Anderson of Longtail fame has not commented on this yet. Interestingly,  Jason Kottke had written about the Longtail of Paypal a while ago. But he was expecting Paypal to solve the problem, but maybe Google will. As I was looking for some clues on the Internet, I remembered that Seth Godin had done an interesting project a while ago called “What should Google do”. I reviewed that project again and found that it has been uncannily prescient given the number of things from that project that Google has already done (Yahoo has done some as well). Here is a list of ideas given in the PDF that have been tried (or in progress):
page 11 micropayment using google toolbar
page 14 yahoo’s myweb 2.0 idea
page 23 yahoo’s subscription search
page 27 google mobile idea
page 31 google desktop search idea
page 49 google print idea
page 50 google micropayments again Typepad recently introduced a text advertising service that helps bloggers pay for their typepad subscription using the advertising revenue. This and Google’s Video service that can help publishers collect small payments for their videos has prompted people to suggest that Google will do something similar to enable such payments. I think micropayments is an area waiting for a break and maybe Google’s vaunted high IQ team will crack it. Can’t wait. References:
1. An interesting debate on whether micropayments will succeed or not between Clay Shirky (against 1  against 2 ) and Jakob Nielsen (for) – makes for a good reading to understand micropayments. 2. Nick Szabo’s Mental Accounting Barrier to Micropayments 3. The Digital Silk Road – excellent paper by Norman Hardy and
Eric Dean Tribble that kickstarted the idea of micropayment systems.