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Google Buys Pyra: Maker of Blogger Software
The popular weblogging software Blogger will now be a part of Google

 6:54 am on Feb 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Weblogs are going Googling.

Google, which runs the Web's premier search site, has purchased Pyra Labs, a San Francisco company that created some of the earliest technology for writing weblogs, the increasingly popular personal and opinion journals.

The buyout is a huge boost to an enormously diverse genre of online publishing that has begun to change the equations of online news and information. Weblogs are frequently updated, with items appearing in reverse chronological order (the most recent postings appear first). Typically they include links to other pages on the Internet, and the topics range from technology to politics to just about anything you can name. Many weblogs invite feedback through discussion postings, and weblogs often point to other weblogs in an ecosystem of news, opinions and ideas.




 4:45 pm on Feb 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ah ha! you may have it there ego...

maybe they are going the alexa way. and maybe the cache pages in future will also have "user comments"

good thinking 99!

brotherhood of LAN

 5:13 pm on Feb 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

PR + IR + BR (blog score?)

A frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts and Web links.

So they are not someone thinking they are in a forum speaking to a mirror....which is what i always thought it was ;)

If a "geocities google" had x blogs about microsoft, average the general opinion and add to PR/IR score.

All those below the coefficient saying "microsoft go to hell" are ignored, while any blog serious enough to praise MS will also be discounted. You could be "top blogger" by being the average :)

wrote this offline, I guess im hedging with what egomaniac has said.

troels nybo nielsen

 5:17 pm on Feb 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

> maybe the cache pages in future will also have "user comments"

That might be a reason for allowing them to cache my pages again.


 5:27 pm on Feb 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

> PR + IR + BR (blog score?)

What is IR?

brotherhood of LAN

 5:47 pm on Feb 16, 2003 (gmt 0)


It's been banded round here a bit, and im sure its on a g/stanford PDF => basically all the factors "on the page"

Apart from entertainment value of blogs, i guess their is that value of turning blogs/opinions into votes.

jeremy goodrich

 5:52 pm on Feb 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think the annotations idea is probably part of this - it's one of the features that Alexa has that Google doesn't...and from what I can tell, Alexa is gaining in popularity...so it would make sense for Google to do that.

Aside from that, though -> I'm a bit confused by this move as well...will be interesting to see what they do.


 6:11 pm on Feb 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google always has something up their sleeve. I think they are wafering between being a portal and maintaining simplicity.

They are managing to keep the mainpage simple, but if you look at all the services they offer, they are indeed becoming a portal. The only thing they haven't offered is: yourname@google.com

This is a great acquisition by google. While I'd like to think it is mostly a philanthropic decision to help facilitate goodwill on the web we all know that while google has traditionally been a "non-evil" business, it is, in fact, still a business.

Several good speculations have been made about what google will do with Blogger. Site Comments? Decentralized News? Branding?

Anyway that they go this was a good decision.

99% of blogs are garbage, but they are also a way of finding out news JUST A LITTLE bit sooner than anyone else if you go "straight to the source". I.E. to a developer or CEO's blog. Nanopublishing provides a quick and easy way for intellectuals to share their thoughts. Very similar to this forum, but in a more one-sided fashion.

Blogs are a quick and efficient way of sharing information, just like so many other successful inventions of this century.

End ramble.


 6:13 pm on Feb 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I wonder what DayPop is thinking...


 6:31 pm on Feb 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

dcheney > Am I the only Internet user that finds blogs utterly inane and boring?

Nope. This notion that Willy Widget's opinion is interesting simply because Willy has an opinion is, IMHO, inane.

mat_bastian > regurgetating each others stuff


Brett_Tabke > where does a community site stop and a blog start?

Trade in hard cold facts, with citations, and I'll pay attention. Otherwise, it's regurgitation. As far as inanity is concerned I think the line between Community and Blog is somewhat blurred. Uninformed opinion has a way of creeping in under the door. My good friend, wife, has a phrase for it - "brain fart".


Learning Curve

 7:09 pm on Feb 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Am I the only Internet user that finds blogs utterly inane and boring.."

Thus, the term "cat blogs." People have blogs about their cats. Really. And there's a lot of them, too.


 7:34 pm on Feb 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

>People have blogs about their cats. Really. And there's a lot of them, too

ahem, i'm in the process of setting up a pet blog ... no laughs please :-)


 8:33 pm on Feb 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Am I the only Internet user that finds blogs utterly inane and boring

That is because you've yet to read my new and hilarious Blog which starts next year. Look! See how an Englishman weened on tea and crumpets copes with living in NC, USA! Watch! As his waistline gets bigger! Laugh! As more people ask if you can get to England by train and what language do they speak over there?

Okay, perhaps it will be a little inane then....


 8:37 pm on Feb 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I suppose that blogs could be a good source of fodder for Google Webquotes (one of their public "labs" projects).


 11:57 pm on Feb 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm kind of puzzled over this development, it feels like a piece of a puzzle but I just can't make it fit any of the big holes.

> wonder what DayPop is thinking...

My thought, too. I've always felt that the blog indices like daypop were filling in a gap that crawlers were missing. I do think that daypop, blogdex, and even fark represent areas that google may need to engage/attack as they continue on their un-portal-like path to portalization.

Also, remember the google api and how that was immediately drawn into the blog world? Hmmmm....


 12:12 am on Feb 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Perhaps Google might be setting up a searchable blog archive similar to "Google Groups"?



 1:36 am on Feb 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

dcheney, I agree with you. This can serve as content to feed their Web Quotes (Beta). Instead of scouring all over the internet to find out relevant comments on a web site, you can get feeds from Blogs. Thats what they for!


 2:01 am on Feb 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

But do you really need to own the blogging software to get content to feed a Google Quotes-type system?

Re using the blogging software itself, I can see getting registered users to "vote 'n' quote" about results, though I imagine Google wouldn't want to relate these easily-manipulable datapoints to a page's ranking. ...OTOH, maybe if the system required the use of the Google toolbar, they could relate browsing activity to the voted-upon pages and subsequently drop any blog records which seemed too intimately connected with the voted-upon pages.


 2:48 am on Feb 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Clearly google is doing this for portalization. The google programmers could write better software in one day. The asset is clearly the user base. I bet google will do something good with this short term. But looking into a crystal ball, I think google is heading downwards very long term out.

I imagine the chief yahoos who founded yahoo are cringing every time they visit their creation and are greeted with a popup ad. The IPO made yahoo eventually be taken over by soulless imaginationless people. But to console the founders they can look at the billion in their bank account.

Larry and Sergey may or may not realize just how much freedom they will lose, but nothing will bring them money faster than an IPO, so I'm sure they're willing to sacrifice their creation for that loss of self determination. But it's just a matter of time until things will change a lot @ google and I agree with those who view Google Blogger eventually looking like Yahoo Geocities does now.


 3:08 am on Feb 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm a blogger (no don't switch off :)

I think blog news in general still uses mainstream news items to comment on.

Yep. As do forums.

As you know journalists have a lot of training in writing and they have to develop a network of credible sources, plus sophisticated information rertreival skills and feeds from the newsagencies.

Some journalists are credible. Some journalists are lazy hacks constrained by the demands of advertisers.

It takes a LONG time to write 500 words of perfectly grammar and spell checked original material which is based on facts rather than just opinion.

Rather like forums ;)

What is "fact"? What is "opinion"? (rhetorical - these arguments are hardly new to the media world)

I dont think blogs can ever replace journalists or mainstream news, but i think they are a very valid form of "new journalism" - a new form of journalism and news gathering that is just maturing as the cream struggles to the top.

Agreed, it's an addition, not a replacement. I like certain bloggers the same way I like certain journalists and will seek them out because they interest me and offer informed opinion.

As for the rest, who cares? :)


 3:27 am on Feb 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Has any one thought that G might have purchased pyra to prevent someone else form doing so (eh em yahoo eh em)? companies use this all the time... now if someone wants to use this technology they will have to buy it from G or more likely they will have to "rent" it from G.
Altho it would be nice to have comments on web sites from the people who use them, instead of having to beleive the seo's opinion (as valid as it might be, it's still biased).
I don't know how you could use it to rank a site but if you just included users opinions and let people make up their own minds it would deffinatly help. If it was used in the ranking algo you would have to really watch it because it would be way too easy to kill your competion's rank.

That's my story thanks for listening...


 2:51 pm on Feb 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

the user commenting idea sounds vaguely familiar - any one still have those two little experimental voting buttons on their google toolbar...?

mind you i really can't see how they'd make a site commenting system without opening the door to huge abuse by webmasters given the lengths people will go to to spam the index already.

how would they moderate comments for every site in the index?!


 3:45 pm on Feb 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

..but providing necessary services for news on the net as Google needs it.

What I meant with that is, for the immediate future, I just think Google wants to make sure those most active and high qualty blogs keep providing daily links for their index/algo/freshness at no charge and on a stable basis.

If someone else took over, that blog/link base stability would be out of Google's control.


 4:12 pm on Feb 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

I agree vitaplease. As mentioned, google programmers could whip out "blogger software" in no time. I think it is more of a matter of the userbase, and keeping blogger sites from turning "evil". It may also be their attempt at an engine like blogdex and daypop.


 5:48 pm on Feb 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Take 200,000 blogs (not the bloggerpro version who are without ad) multiply by 25 visits/day (very very conservative digit) to it, divide by 50 (2% clickthru on adwords) and multiply by 0.15 a click and multiply by 365 day and you got almost 5.5 million $ a year.
In bonus you got free feed to Google Quote.

After that you focus on the market of free page hosting like Tripod, Wanadoo, etc. How many personal pages, and trafic did you think that can make?


 6:26 pm on Feb 17, 2003 (gmt 0)
This could be pretty cool. I have a blog myself, and i understand the issue of quality vs quantity.

Personally I like having a free site, then i can focus on content and having valueable content to make money with.

I have had coldfusion sites before, and it is nice to have all that functionality. But it costs so much.

Here's my blog for what it's worth.

Exploring The Truth


 6:59 pm on Feb 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>I just think Google wants to make sure those most active and high qualty blogs keep providing daily links for their index/algo/freshness at no charge and on a stable basis.<<

But blogger hosted blogs represents a small proportion of blogs on the net. Speaking personally most of the high quality blogs i follow use Mt, Greymatter, Radio and are usually hosted on their own server.


 7:02 pm on Feb 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Any patents owned by Pyra?


 8:09 pm on Feb 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

> Any patents owned by Pyra?

Excerpt from shellen.com [shellen.com]
While at Ev's apartment working on the new Pentium 4 killer, patent-pending Pyra V chip, we took a break long enough to have a picture snapped with some friends.

As for those befuddled by the buy, consider the fact that Pyra runs pyRads™ which just happens to be a perfect match for AdWords.

pyRads™ is a service for purchasing, managing, and serving micro advertising on web sites. Micro advertising is different than most banners and other forms of advertising you see on the web in that: 1) It's quick, easy, and low-cost for advertisers (and usually more effective). 2) To the audience, it's unobtrusive and can actually add value to a site, rather than annoyance. 3) It's usually text, rather than graphics (because that's what people read).

When you consider how important AdWords is to Google's profitability, the Pyra purchase makes perfect sense.


 11:04 pm on Feb 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Based on the context, I believe the Pyra V chip thing is Jason Shellen joking around. The pyRads thing, though, is really interesting and definitely related to AdWords (heck, the pyRads site [pyrads.com] even mentions AdWords as a microadvertising example).


 11:42 pm on Feb 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

From what I could tell, the pyRads hardly brought in any money for blogger comparitively. Most of the time they were running pyra ads (defaults) and alot of the ads seemed to be the one off giveaways they offered when you bought the advanced blogger service. Ultimately, I can't see google buying pyra for the pyrads. There are numerous other companies running small text based ads out there. Just do a search for 'text ads'. Fark, Metafilter, etc. all use them.


 11:52 pm on Feb 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

I see it as diversification and clean portalization, with Google wanting to own properties much like someone from Yahoo said they wanted to last year in a press release or interview at the time they bought some property. I think it was the job search Yahoo had purchased at that time, and the intention was stated that more could be expected. Which has happened.

Point of order: where does a community site stop and a blog start?

Some of the means and types of communication that are found in a blog to a limited degree may also be found within a community site, but beyond that similarity I can't see any resemblance whatsoever between a blog and an online community. None.

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