I have no idea what Google gets from buying Blogger that they couldn’t get for free. Judging from the response, I’m not alone. Blogging will never be a mass-market phenomenon (Blogger has 200,000 active users). The protocols that underlie blogging are so open that there are no obvious technical synergies. Giving preference to Blogger customers would throttle Google’s golden-egg-laying goose.
Dave Winer says it’s Google can offer blogging to their enterprise customers, but it’s not clear to me why that adds value to Google’s enterprise services. Mitch Ratcliffe says “The acquisition of Blogger gives Google a channel to put its automated searching capabilities into people’s hands…[it] also raises Google’s potential to reshape the Net by focusing on how links are made and managed.” But I don’t understand why they have to own Blogger to do that. Three years from now, Blogger will be a neglected subsidiary–not a strategic asset.
There are plenty of interesting grass roots efforts to make sense of blogspace, but we haven’t seen anything yet from the masters of extracting information from links. Buying Blogger seems like a step in the wrong direction.