Google and Blogger = What?

Combine metablogging and Google and you have a link bomb; such is the case, this weekend, with Google buying Pyra (and Blogger and Blog*Spot).

Putting Blog*Spot on faster, more reliable servers can’t help but be good, and I imagine the Pyra crew is happy about steady paychecks. But darned if I can figure out what Google hopes to get with all of this. Eventually, Google must make some form of profit from this move, or they’ll go out of business. But how?

They’ll obtain Blogger, but Google is more than capable of building a weblogging tool of its own. They are getting the Blogger name, which counts for something, and they’re getting Blog*Spot with a built-in client base. Still, this just means they’re getting pre-existing clients, most of whom aren’t paying a penny. This doesn’t mean they’re getting ‘content’.

First Google buys, a source of collected Usenet data. Next, it started Google News, a portal into current news stories. Now it’s purchased a major weblogging tool and host, Blogger, and Blog*Spot. Seems to me that Google is centralizing the data in addition to centralizing the data search; controlling both a source of the data as well as a source of the dissemination of the data. This centralization seems a contradiction to the ‘distributed nature of the online world’ that Dan Gillmor writes about:

More than most Web companies, Google has grasped the distributed nature of the online world, and has seen that the real power of cyberspace is in what we create collectively. We are beginning to see that power brought to bear.

Personally, I’m glad I’m using Movable Type. Now if only I could afford my own server…

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