Oh, surely not…

According to this Dan Gillmor column, Google has bought Pyra. As in, Blogger being run by Google. I looked at the date three times, and it’s not April 1st. But surely not…

For Williams and his five co-workers, now Google employees, the immediate impact will be to put their blog-hosting service, called Blog*Spot, on the vast network of server computers Google operates. This will make the service more reliable and robust.

Heh. That rings true.

It would certainly explain the near-total lack of any communication out of Pyra HQ lately, the unreviewed items in Blogger Control, the lack of replies in the Pro Yahoo Group, and the lack of posts on evhead and saladwithsteve, though: if you are negotiating a buyout with Google, you don’t have a whole lot of time to answer user questions, I guess. Still, this smells fishy to me. Until I see some confirmation that isn’t published with a blogging tool, I’m going to assume that it’s somewhere between a prank and an experiment (“notice how in the Blogosphere, the wildest rumor will be passed around without question if it starts from a noted blogger”). Well, even though I don’t trust Ev any further than I can throw him (what, you exected respect just because he works for Google now?), if Jason says it’s true, I believe it now. As much as I can, anyway. Guess I’ll have to rethink that whole “Google may not set cookies on my computer” thing, eh?


Comment by ruzz #
2003-02-15 22:20:49

uh. shit. I cant speak my jaw is on the floor. Ev just put an ambigious post on his site about dans article.

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2003-02-15 22:32:00

Dunno, now that Jason’s saying it’s real I’m more inclined to believe. Odd, though, very odd. Makes me kinda wish I’d taken that job as customer service rep. Phil Ringnalda, Google employee, has a nice ring to it.

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2003-02-15 22:59:49

Hrm. And the 18 digit item ID numbers in the new version make a little more sense now, too. Might be needing that many after all.

Comment by KafkaesquĆ­ #
2003-02-16 06:03:16

Certainly is interesting news if correct.

But doesn’t this shoot a small hole in the prevailing wisdom about Google being smart in sticking to its core business markets? I’m a fan of blogging and all and can’t see any downside short-term to a deal of this nature, but I have to admit it’s not a direct adjunct to the search and information portal services its known for.

And more importantly, what does this mean for the redesign? (!)

Comment by Phil #
2003-02-16 08:41:32

Maybe K. Conboy (what an intriguing name) is a Google employee? Maybe I should stop thinking like a conspiracy theorist?

Comment by Gerald #
2003-02-18 05:17:24

At Jeremy’s blog Simple Reasoning on Google/Blogger I suggested two possible business ideas that may lie behind googles acquisition – ”related searches/links” and (related?) google news feed. Makes this sense? If I were Google I would do it this way.

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2003-02-18 07:53:46

Hrm. I’m not sure. I have a lot of trouble telling ideas that I would hate but others would like from ones that just wouldn’t fly, but back when the Google API was the hot new thing and everyone was putting in related terms search links and the like, I just didn’t get it at all. Not one bit. And I still don’t think I’ve seen a workable thing along those lines. It’s incredibly unlikely that you can automate searching for ’more like this’ and have the result be better than what I’d get myself, because I’m really a pretty damn good searcher, and automated searching really isn’t all that good (though a latent semantic analysis search of the most recent two or three hundred thousand blog posts might be better than me, at that), so I think if Google is going to provide search related services to blogs, it has to somehow be able to tell me things that I didn’t know that I wanted to search for. So far, I’ve seen that done maybe twice, with search results returned from long and cutesy post titles that brought up serendipitous results.

If I had to lay my money down and bet on what’s in it for Google, I’d say long-term the idea of a Google appliance with a copy of Blogger installed to give it something to index sounds reasonable (ought to be ready about the time that the target enterprise market is ready for weblogs), and short term it will make it a little easier for them to use blogs to point Googlebot in the right direction for fresh content – I can picture it going 1) Dave Winer explains how useful it would be if Googlebot used weblogs.com pings as a cue to crawl, 2) Google says ”yeah, but where are the pings from Blogger, the 800lb gorilla?” 3) Ev says ”if I send pings from every Blogger blog, weblogs.com will explode, and every time I try to run my own search or directory sort of thing, I explode my own computers” 4) Google says ”hell, we can spare a few hundred servers, if that’s all you need.” But that’s just speculation. I just think that the people who are dismissing any possible benefit to Googlebot from having a bunch of blogs published in-house are maybe underestimating how expensive and difficult it is to index all the time: I don’t think that Google only indexes most of the web once a month just because they don’t think anyone needs to see fresher results.

Comment by Gerald #
2003-02-18 10:11:21

Probably – with the existing google search technology – related searches would not be very convincing. But what’s about associative/semantic/neuronal search technologies? IMHO Google makes efforts in this direction, and using such technologies at news or blog content would certainly give really good results. Autonomy or Brainware search results are quite convincing when applied to restricted content like news.

Trackback by inluminent/weblog #
2003-02-15 22:01:09

Blogger bought by Google?

So says Dan, [via Phil] The buyout is a huge boost to an enormously diverse genre of online publishing that

Trackback by Among Other Things #
2003-02-15 22:21:27

Googler? Bloggle? Goobler?

Phil Ringnalda says it best… ”notice how in the Blogosphere, the wildest rumor will be passed around without question if it starts from a noted blogger” But for once, with something like this column by Dan Gillmor, I’m really not surprised. Here’s th…

Trackback by DiC 3.0, The #
2003-02-16 05:52:24

Google Gobbled Blogger

Wow. Wasn’t exactly expecting that. Okay, sure, something similar was going to happen eventually, and Pyra has a database of a couple hundred thousand active users. But Google? (courtesy of Phil)

Trackback by andersja's blog #
2003-02-16 06:55:04

Blogging hits critical mass

One thing seems clear; Blogging, having long time been a kind of egaliterian, independent-style form of publishing is going mainstream. Big time!

2003-02-18 01:07:08


Google buys Pyra, the company behind Blogger. Dan Gillmor: Google Buys Pyra: Blogging Goes Big-Time Tony Pierce: Account of the

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