Friday, February 21, 2003

Dave Winer has some thoughts on the Google-Blogger merger. His thoughts are that (a) this could be the start of a period like what happened to the Macintosh software market in the mid 1980s, when a large number of little companies who had developed compelling applications suddenly found themselves swallowed up by bigger companies as their applications became mainstream and the little Mac software companies got swallowed up by the PC world's giants. Winer also makes the obvious point that as far as indexing content is concerned, Google didn't need Blogger. The content is already publically available and they can (and to some extent do) index it already. Winer seems to think that the deal is about access to the code. If Google controls the code, they can licence blogging software to their corporate network clients, and these companies can then set up weblogs internally.

There may be something in this, but at least partly I think this is a "Buy it now because this is obviously a compelling web application and think about exactly what you are going to do with it later" situation. I think though that controlling one of the big blogging platforms gives Google the ability to fiddle, however. If they want to aggregate or index weblogs with a particular feature, then they can modify the blogger platform and then suddenly 200000 weblogs have that feature. This surely is useful.

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