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Software The Internet

Google Helps Offer Blogger Pro For Free 277

Khazunga writes "News.com is reporting that the Google-owned Pyra are releasing the formerly-$35/year Blogger Pro weblog service for free. This is backed up by an announcement from Evan Williams at the Blogger Pro site, as well as a list of the newly free Blogger features. It's the dot-com frenzy all over again! Free services with no business plan... run for your lives!"
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Google Helps Offer Blogger Pro For Free

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  • by Pandora's Vox ( 231969 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:03AM (#6928507) Homepage Journal
    1. release formerly profitable software for free
    2. ???
    3. Profit!!!

    are they doing tose little google text ads or what?

    -Leigh

    • by ErixTr ( 601648 ) <[erixtr] [at] [gmail.com]> on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:10AM (#6928533)
      No. The reality is;

      1. Profit
      2. ???
      3. Release formerly profitable software for free
    • 4. Other people choose free blogging rather than the pay service. 5. Go Bust 6. 'Would you like fries with that?'
    • by Spy Hunter ( 317220 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:42AM (#6928655) Journal
      I think Google, being in the unique position of controlling what most people see on the web, sees anything that improves the web in general as improving their service. In particular, blogs are a great source of links to popular and useful sites for Google's PageRank algorithm to work with. That means more accurate and relevant Google results. As crazy as it sounds, this may just be a move by Google to try and make blogging more popular, because it has the side effect of improving their service. Also, blogging involves people in the web community, where they will inevitably come to rely on Google as we all do.
      • Re:business plan... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by pyrros ( 324803 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @03:42AM (#6928780)
        Blogs could be bad for the quality of google's results: because of blogs linking to eachother, the get a bigger pagerank than thy should, and therefore more influence on google than they deserve. I'm afraid that getting more of the unwashed massed to blog would be a bad thing. Ofcourse google could change the way pagerank works so that blogs have a reduced pagerank or something to that extend.

        Salon article about blogs and their influence on google [salon.com]

        Excerpt:
        You'd be hard-pressed to design a system that gave the blogging community a greater impact on Google's results. Because bloggers by definition link far more than your average Web page, and because they also tend to link to each other's sites (most blogs feature a now standard list of comrades in their margins), a page that attracts the attention of a few bloggers will quickly shoot up the Google rankings. Do a search on Larry Lessig's book "The Future of Ideas" -- a hit with the blogging community -- and a review from a blog called Sopsy Digest shows up 15 notches higher than an article from Business Week. (Or at least it did the last time I checked; Google rankings are hardly set in stone.)
        • Re:business plan... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by tiled_rainbows ( 686195 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @05:29AM (#6929054) Homepage Journal
          a review from a blog called Sopsy Digest shows up 15 notches higher than an article from Business Week.

          Maybe that's because the Sopsy's Digest review was better than the Business Week review.

          I've heard this argument before, but IMHO it just boils down to journalists whining that "amateurs" are scoring higher on Google than they are.

          But it is, in part, precisely this egalitarian, anyone-can-get-exposure nature of the Web that makes it so cool. If you don't like it, stick to the print media.
          • Good point. My worry is not about "amateurs" scoring better than the pros. It's about bloggers scoring better than everybody else, pros and other amateurs included.
            • Re:business plan... (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Spy Hunter ( 317220 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @06:40AM (#6929254) Journal
              The point is that when anybody can have a blog, there is no "everybody else" to worry about. Everyone can post whatever they want, and blogs act as a sort of collaborative filtering method to bring the good links to the top of Google searches (and other blogs), and therefore into the public awareness.

              This is totally different from the old way of content filtering, where we pay companies (with money or with eyeballs on ads) to sort our content for us and present only the good stuff. There may be a bias against non-bloggers (I don't see why there should be, since blogs can link to other deserving sites as easily as to each other), but since anybody can be a blogger with minimal effort it shouldn't be a problem. The only real problem is that this system has the potential to take over certain functions now performed by newspapers, magazines, radio stations, music companies, and other "content filterers"; some people don't like that.

        • Wasn't Google planning on making a blog tab? If they're still working on that, they could be trying to make Blogger dominant enough to let them invent all kinds of blog standards to make all the cool features they've come up with practical.
    • by jsse ( 254124 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:58AM (#6928698) Homepage Journal
      I know it might sound a bit strange to you, but:

      2. Increase the market share by flooding the market with free software.

      This business model works when you can find a way to extend your other business in the new market share conquered. A typical example(but not very successful) is Netscape. Hotmail is always free and it's good to remain free for the sales of other products, e.g. Outlook.

      Some business still execute this kind of plan even after the big boom. Those companies which failed with this business model during the boom is due to the fact that they don't have any concrete plan to make use of the advantage of high market share earned. (or the VC money arrive before they could make a plan ;)
  • by OMG ( 669971 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:07AM (#6928519)
    From the free features list:

    Spellchecking: Fewer typos. Look smarter.

    I say: Spellchecking is for wimps. Be smarter. ;-P
  • Google Can afford it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by abhikhurana ( 325468 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:08AM (#6928522)
    I suppose google can afford to offer such serivices for free. Just look at google groups. But I won't be very surprised to see context specific ads on the blogs as well. The strategy google is following is targeted advertising. So if some blogger writes about say IBM Vs SCO, you can expect to see an ad of some Linux solution on top of that blog (Or worse, an MS ad saying you won't have any IP problems with MS). I think its a good idea because like search engine, you know who your target customer is for blogs. So there is indeed a business plan behind this.
    • by Jotham ( 89116 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:41AM (#6928652)
      Also one of the main problems Google is currently having with their search results is that too many blogs are ending up in the top results, often ranking higher than the primary site that contains the information that the blogs refer to (due to many blog-users who heavily cross-linking amongst themselves which ups their rating).

      To combat this they've already discussed creating a seperate category for blogs to help seperate these.

      Good to see them taking a proactive stance -- get enough people using your service and you're suddenly got a category of blogs already identified and indexed.

      I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt as they've always been quite responsible with ads and while its a potential revenue stream I don't think they'll ever be as intrusive as other free sites/services.

      • To combat this they've already discussed creating a seperate category for blogs to help seperate these...

        Okay, I don't quite understand the logic of this though. If Pagerank(tm) is supposed to be built off people linking a site because they recommend, aren't blogs a key tool in it? I've always seen Pagerank and a very grassroots tool; it uses people on the Web to suggest things. If thy separate blogs from searches and presumable Pagerank also, who's left to link sites for Pagerank, the corporate business

      • I can understand Google having too many blogs in their search results in most cases. What about cases involving technical questions, such as web design, where the blogs are the best place to look and should be dominating the search results?

    • The advertising would only affect those who choose to let Blogger host their weblogs on the BlogSpot servers - if you choose instead to have the weblog pages published to your own existing webspace, they are currently ad-free. I'd be interested to see if this changes in the near future. Currently, Google doesn't offer their text-ad service for personal pages.

      MT.
  • No Business Model? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:08AM (#6928524)
    What about disecting your blogs and turning it into digestable infor they can sell?
  • by RevDobbs ( 313888 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:08AM (#6928526) Homepage
    It's the dot-com frenzy all over again! Free services with no business plan.

    Who needs a business plan? Just make sure that the numbered item before "profit" is "???".

  • Yeay! (Score:5, Funny)

    by qmrq ( 648586 ) <qmrq@hotmail.com> on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:09AM (#6928528) Journal
    Now we get to listen to all the little teenie bopper girls out there talk about makeup problems, who the cutest boy in class is, who kissed who behind whose back..

    We also get to listen to middle-aged women who do the blog thing bitch. Woo!

    • Now we get to listen to all the little teenie bopper girls out there talk about makeup problems, who the cutest boy in class is, who kissed who behind whose back..Yeah... and with spellchecking, this time we'll actually be able to understand them.
    • funny, except... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      ... the joke is getting old. The blogs I read are written by .) An important book publisher (O'reilly) .) cartoonists whose cartoons I read (Penny Arcade, Tom Tommorrow) .) Famous Political Comedian (Bill Maher) .) a Bagdad resident (or two) DURING the war...

      I save that last one because that's the real deal... say it was teenage girls talking about makeup. That's real information for someone around the world wondering what is really going on. They could see how decadent and comfortable Wesertern miserie
      • Re:funny, except... (Score:5, Informative)

        by RobotWisdom ( 25776 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @04:53AM (#6928966) Homepage
        A web journal is not the same as a weblog.

        Weblogs are annotated logs of web-reading, and are therefore outward-directed, with lots of links. Web journals are just self-directed diaries that happen to be posted on the Web.

        The explicit original purpose of weblogs was to make the process of finding good reading on the Web more efficient. Unintentionally, the main current purpose is probably spreading news items that the mass media self-censor.

        Wallowing in narcissism has nothing to do with weblogs, although the mass media have been propagating that slur since the earliest days.

        • Same difference. You have so much overlap between the two that it doesn't really matter. Unless you're Anne Frank, you're not publishing a journal on the web without acknowledging other web sites. And no blogger does anything but relating links that he personally enjoyed.

          Blogging isn't some selfless public service. It's just as narcissistic as any other personal site. Bloggers are promoting their own interests through the words of others. Maybe it's more interesting to read than someone just promotin
        • by ryantate ( 97606 )
          Wallowing in narcissism has nothing to do with weblogs, although the mass media have been propagating that slur since the earliest days.

          Does having a popular weblog somehow give _you_ the right to define what weblogging is or should be, what is included and excluded? Or are you basing this on some survey of weblogs out there?

          I certainly don't consider your non-personal blog any more authentic than things like this [links.net] that were exploring personal topics eight years ago. Dave Winer has been posting [userland.com] psuedo-di
    • No worse than having to look past similar categories of dead tree publication--actually better, because you can let a search engine filter for you.
  • But hey... (Score:4, Funny)

    by squaretorus ( 459130 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:10AM (#6928530) Homepage Journal
    ... as long as there are a stack of short term, overpaid, worthless stock laden jobs up for grabs who's complaining!!

    Let the good times roll (briefly) (again) (maybe)
  • Squatters (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Catharz ( 223736 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:10AM (#6928534)
    It's only a matter of time before people start squatting on people's names for their "blog" space. As the post said, it'll be the .com frenzy all over again.

    I used to work for a well known Australian domain name registrar. Some of the stupidity of the .com goldrush was remarkable. One of our sales guys asked for a list of all .com names (up to 6 characters long) that "haven't" been registered. It took one of my fellow developers (one with the patience, determination and ability to keep a straight face) to explain to him and the general manager that it would take at least a month of processing time to generate the list (by which time it would be useless).
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:21AM (#6928573)
      Reminds me of the story I heard about a company that wanted a site developed called News Exchange. The domain name they wanted? newsexchange.com.au
      The developers made the company realise the folly of the plan by making the title of the site "NewS exChange"
  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:12AM (#6928543) Journal
    At least thats where the bigest amount of blogs are.

  • by Empiric ( 675968 ) * on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:13AM (#6928545)
    Random, haphazard thoughts on this...

    It'd be really nice to have some kind of comparison list for various blog sites out there. I note from the blogger.com information, that they're still not making RSS part of the free service level, something which (ahem) LiveJournal offers on their free accounts.

    I wonder if blogger.com has a client app... Semagic will autocreate your HTML and other handy stuff (including spellcheck) to make posting as easy as sending an instant message.

    They also have friends lists, communities, and a bunch of stuff I haven't had time to check out.

    Which brings up a core question... why have the blog format at all? In a lot of cases, it seems to just be a higher-tech version of rants written in a personal journal (as browsing some of them indicates), but I think eventually widespread adoption will happen simply because people will want some some way to tie their writing back to themselves. For most community sites/systems (Usenet, IRC, ...Slashdot... as prototypical examples), everyone could just be named a variant of joe13234, and it would make no functional difference. Some people (lawyers, politicians, analysts, etc.) are essentially paid for their comments, and a weblog can be seen as an extension of their work that provides a meaningful tieback to themselves.

    On the dot-com thing... it seems like everything on the net, private IP or not, is being forced into a shareware model, in effect. Some fraction of the public using a system will toss a few bucks in the direction of the provider, and IMHO people will need to realize that they need to do this occasionally or we'll end up with extremely high-bandwidth connections to nothing. Even if you don't pay for everything, paying for something, even semi-randomly, helps keep the wheels of the net turning.

    I now submit my comment to the traditional, ritual Slashdot assault.
  • Former members (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Flingles ( 698457 )
    What happens to the members who just signed up? I would feel pretty bad if I payed my $35 to find out it's free 2 months later. Do they have any advantages over free users?
    • Re:Former members (Score:2, Informative)

      by Timesprout ( 579035 )
      Google said it would give Blogger Pro subscribers either a $24 Blogger sweatshirt or a prorated cash refund. That offer is good through Oct. 1.
    • Re:Former members (Score:5, Informative)

      by sinserve ( 455889 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:25AM (#6928585)
      RTFA. It says "Google said it would give Blogger Pro subscribers either a $24 Blogger sweatshirt or a prorated cash refund. That offer is good through Oct. 1."

      • Hmmm.... and how much is a Blogger Pro subscription?

        Blogger Pro users still get some additional features (RSS, Email stuff). If the Blogger Pro subscription is $24 as well, you can essentially get the additional features for free (sign up, pay the money, get the money back by refund).

        Which would open up the question: Why make a difference between Blogger normal and Pro?
    • You know who's going to feel real bad? The guy who wins the lotto on the day before the end of the world. See, the stuff that comes out of the end of a cow, it happens...

      Seriously, there's nothing to be done. Prices on processors drop seconds after some poor fool purchases them. Same with RAM, hard drives, etc. Mortage rates go down two days after refinancing a home. That's what economics is all about.
    • by nacturation ( 646836 ) <nacturation AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:26AM (#6928588) Journal
      I would feel pretty bad if I payed my $35 to find out it's free 2 months later. Do they have any advantages over free users?

      Sure there are advantages, like the new built-in spellchecker which would tell you that there's no such word as payed but that you're likely looking for the word paid.
  • This worries me... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by shadowcabbit ( 466253 ) * <`ten.enoyrrufeht' `ta' `xc'> on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:20AM (#6928572) Journal
    One of the main reasons I use Blogger on my site is because it makes it easy to alert visitors to the latest things I've put up. Rather than hack away at HTML and PHP, which I do enough of already, I just pop open a BlogThis! and go. The automation and ease of use are what I really like (and it has sort of tempted me to blather on like an idiot about random crap, but what's a blog for if not that?).

    Now they're removing the barriers between the paid service, which I did not subscribe to, and the free service. They say they're doing this because Google owns them, and there's no reason to have people pay them. Aside from the fact that that sounds completely nuts, I wonder what's going to change. Other folks here have mentioned text ads-- well, I don't want that. So far my site is ad-free, and I'd prefer to keep it that way.

    Alternately, what if BlogThis! goes away-- or worse, requires you to view an ad before it'll open? This seems like the more likely scenario, because in this case the targeted audience isn't the people reading the blogs (think about it, how many hits does Aunt Mabel's Church Society blog really get?) but rather the people writing the blogs. Fill out a survey when you sign up and you too can blog for the low low cost of nothing plus time to read the same advertisement for scotch tape that you've read on every other site!

    Of course, none of that is confirmed yet. But it'll happen, I bet.

    (and no, this is not a thinly-veiled attempt to get people to visit my site)
    • So far my site is ad-free, and I'd prefer to keep it that way.

      People pay for convenience. Ever buy milk at a 7-11? If you want to run a site completely on your own terms, you have to run your own site, which means a few bucks here and there for things like hosting and a domain name.

      Google has a business plan, unlike 97% of the dot.bombers, and one way or another, they need to pay for that gigantic farm of servers and spiders. They'll make money from Blogger, count on it. And if that means inserting ads

    • by rmohr02 ( 208447 ) <{ude.uso} {ta} {24.rhom}> on Thursday September 11, 2003 @07:07AM (#6929380)
      Alternately, what if BlogThis! goes away-- or worse, requires you to view an ad before it'll open? This seems like the more likely scenario, because in this case the targeted audience isn't the people reading the blogs (think about it, how many hits does Aunt Mabel's Church Society blog really get?) but rather the people writing the blogs. Fill out a survey when you sign up and you too can blog for the low low cost of nothing plus time to read the same advertisement for scotch tape that you've read on every other site!
      Considering Google's track record, this seems highly unlikely. Google has found that targetted text ads to the side of the page work much more effectively than popups or annoying banner ads.
  • by acegik ( 698112 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:22AM (#6928576) Homepage
    If you take a tour on their site you will find out that they do make money - its not that obvious like on any other banner/pop exploded site, but they put small ads here and there, they offer PRO services for businesses where they sell servers and services... They make money without annoying the surfers and its very rare thing to find on the net.
  • by SynKKnyS ( 534257 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:23AM (#6928579)
    After all, LiveJournal is completely Open Source [livejournal.org]. Subscription only gives you added features, but the free version does not even have ad banners. The site is completely funded by subscriptions and donations. A few other sites have spun off thanks to the freely available code, including DeadJournal [deadjournal.com].
  • Smart move (Score:5, Insightful)

    by insecuritiez ( 606865 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:28AM (#6928600)
    Google has quite a following but this sure as hell couldn't hurt their image. There are so many users that default to MSN search because that's all they know. Getting their name out there for more that just searches to the common users is going to help them establish even more dominance.
  • by teamhasnoi ( 554944 ) * <teamhasnoi@nospAm.yahoo.com> on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:33AM (#6928619) Homepage Journal
    Here's a picture [blogger.com] of the Blogger guys making fun of a poor handicapped person at Google. Geez, they think they own the place.

    I am so going to blog about this.

  • by eric2701 ( 231977 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:33AM (#6928621) Homepage
    I bet google has modified this software ( or is planning to in the future,) so that doesn't clobber there search results as much. Maybe they are building in tags and such so that there regular bots won't be as confused by all the links between blogs. Since this is a growing problem for them, it would make sense to try and preempt it.

  • Has google ceased to index blogs with the rest of the web? I know there was some grumbling in the past months about this.
    I just got an account on the freeware blogger from google. The PRO was down. I don't think I would have paid for the "pro" features. Just like I wouldn't pay for a free email box.
    Blogging is the online method of talking to the bartender. It's kind of relaxing... until you realize you have no idea who you are talking to.
    • Has google ceased to index blogs with the rest of the web? I know there was some grumbling in the past months about this.

      Indexed? Yes. Mine certainly is. Perhaps you're thinking of PageRanks for weblogs. Can't comment on that, as mine is only a couple of weeks old, hence not linked to much as yet (*hint*).

      MT.
  • by dw5000 ( 540339 ) <{dylan} {at} {clientandserver.com}> on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:40AM (#6928649)
    At least, that's what the e-mail I got from Evan Williams said. His explanation:
    Pro subscribers helped keep us going as a struggling start-up, when servers and bandwidth were at an extreme premium. We wanted to keep basic Blogger free, but we needed to start charging in order to keep the lights on. So we built new things that would appeal to some Blogger users....

    Today, as you may know, Blogger's situation is much different. For one thing, we're part of Google.... Google has lots of computers and bandwidth. And Google believes blogs are important and good for the web.
    So, apparently, they have the money to offer the feature set of Pro to everyone. Good for them. (I moved to MT [moveabletype.org] a few months ago for a number of reasons.) Those of us who paid the $35 got a nice parting gift. :)
  • blargh. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by edrugtrader ( 442064 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:50AM (#6928675) Homepage
    maybe they just want the content...

    bloggers create thousands of well written reviews of software/hardware/music/movies/porn, and google could index it, figure out what people like and sell that data to advertisers...... they bascially own the output of thousands of wanna be writers for a drop in the bucket.

    sure, a normally company to offer these services would be a horrid business model, but already profitable google only needs a few more comodity servers and probably no more techies to maintain this... why not...

    plus google text ads will probably be there.

    personally i use marketbanker.com to sell and display text ads (which, incidently, google has removed from their search index... monopoly anyone? that was the first "evil corporate move" i have ever seen google make.)
    • Uh, This [google.com] marketbanker.com? If you view the source, they could use a meta tag or keywords or something...and marketbanker isn't really a name that I think of when I'm looking for text ads. I tried a few other things but it won't come up.

      A link(client/customer) of theirsPassthison.com [passthison.com] made we want to kill and kill again, however. There's some javascript popup alert that comes up every time you roll over it. I happened to have the offending link positioned under the box, so every time I dissmissed it, ano

  • by t0qer ( 230538 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:52AM (#6928677) Homepage Journal
    What are the TOS for this? Do they own your comments/Blogs?

  • Why a cliche? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by iamacat ( 583406 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @02:52AM (#6928679)
    Whoever said a business must charge everyone for everything in order to make money? I can watch some free shows on antenna or download some Linux ISOs, but UPN and Redhat are still around

    I would guess either Blogger Pro didn't have that many subscribers or they have plans to get free users pay for other things later. Maybe even sell books based on highest-moderated posts. Like every business decision its a gamble, but we don't have enough information to assume that Google is run by a bunch of idiots.

  • by golgotha007 ( 62687 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @03:00AM (#6928701)
    i don't understand how people will use some commercial website to put down personal information.

    there's 2 good reasons why anyone would want to have a blog or diary:

    1. one of the reasons i keep a journal or diary is because at some future point in my life i would like to look back and have memories brought back to me that i may have forgotten.

    2. another reason is i am constantly moving around the world and i like to have a central place where my friends and family can keep updated on my activities.

    using a commerical blog application satisfies requirement number 2, but what about number 1?
    blogger won't be there forever, one day they will disappear. it may not be this year, or next or even in the next decade, but they will disappear or change in some way at some time.

    when this happens, what about all your data? how is your data formateed? will they send you your data back to you in some comma delimited format? who knows?

    that's not good enough for me. i wrote my own to satisfy my own requirements. if you don't want to write your own, there's plenty of free and open ones on sourceforge.net.

    remember, when using a public service to keep your personal information, think about the future for that information.
    • by shadowcabbit ( 466253 ) * <`ten.enoyrrufeht' `ta' `xc'> on Thursday September 11, 2003 @03:47AM (#6928788) Journal
      when this happens, what about all your data? how is your data formateed? will they send you your data back to you in some comma delimited format? who knows?

      If you use the Blogger tool to update a non-blogspot site-- such as, say, a personal site on a registered domain-- the text of the blog, formatted exactly as it appears on your page, is stored on your server. Within blogspot, I dunno, but if you decide that all the advertising you want to do for Blogger is a little icon on an otherwise ad-free page, then you still have a copy of all your data. I would assume that that includes the fact that you have all the rights to it, but IANAL and nor do I really care-- for the most part, there's usually nothing on a blog that's worth copyrighting anyway.
    • Seems you don't know much about Blogger. Blogger allows you to keep your stuff (all files, including web pages) on your own server. It actually encourages you to do so. Blogger basically just generates your html for you (and spell check and allows posting via a toolbar etc). You can arrange web space if you need it. Which is cool. No real risk if you don't want it.
  • by KNicolson ( 147698 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @03:01AM (#6928707) Homepage
    Cuz lst tym 1 luk'd @ rndm blogz 90% wuz thiz kinz f shizz.

    Ugg, even more painful to write than read!
  • by kfg ( 145172 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @03:08AM (#6928726)
    It's called "vi."

    KFG
  • by lewp ( 95638 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @03:36AM (#6928765) Journal
    How many companies just do downright nice things anymore? Wild speculation aside, until there's a reason for me to feel otherwise, I fucking love you, Google.
  • by juuri ( 7678 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @04:21AM (#6928854) Homepage
    Firstsly, personally I am not really into the "blogs". Despite my thinking that the whole term is retarded; the segregated and "showtime" nature of that particular slice of the net doesn't apeal to me much.

    However sites like Livejournal rock. Sure there are tons of young girls and boys out there looking for an outlet for their typical teen angst and there are just as many people using as a hookup service (luckily friendster is taking over that function nicely).

    The saving grace is for groups of friends. Thanks to my working in the Internet world as do many of my friends we have found ourselves scattered all over the place. By using livejournal as a replacement for the group emails we have now made easily searchable, archived places to communicate. This works out a lot better than lists ever did because people are more open on something they can call their own private place. Comments allow easy flow of conversation and links back. Also it removes the time constraints found on emails, usually if someone doesn't reply in a day or so no one else is even following that thread anymore. Finally the whole friends of friends thing has introduced me to a lot of great new people who I never would have met before.

    Most of those who are so quick to pan are the typical elitists who can't find anything good in a thing unless it is something they personally use or participate in.
  • Don't forget about the recent link to Yahoo exploring blogs [slashdot.org]. Along with being a great source of information, blogs are methods to meet others of similar interests online. Quite a few people in this day and age have tried chatrooms, Match.com, Friendster, ... This is perhaps another avenue and adds one further layer of emersion.
  • Smart Move (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @05:36AM (#6929076)
    Obviously no company will give something away unless there is something in it for them. I think that Google has something up their sleeve.

    Couldn't they data-mine the blogs to get really accurate, really contemporary search results? They - for very little money - would have a legion of people out there categorizing the web for them. Who needs an easily-fooled bot when you can have a bunch of bloggers doing all the work?

  • by polyp2000 ( 444682 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @06:32AM (#6929220) Homepage Journal
    Maybe this is google's response to Google bombing. Since weblogs seem to be the breeding ground for google bombs, maybe having more control over them might be the solution to cutting down instances.

  • by EnlightenmentFan ( 617608 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @07:31AM (#6929500) Homepage Journal
    Is anybody else reminded of the way Microsoft "outcompeted" Netscape's much better browser software? First it started giving away its browser for free, and when that wasn't enough to switch people away from Netscape's (then better) browser, it went on from there.

    Google bought Blogger, Google controls Blogger, and Google has an obvious stake in getting people to use its very own software. Is Blogger the best blogging software you can use? Consider this unscientific "Google research" of various strings:

    "I hate xxx" + weblog

    xxx = blogger 121
    xxx = radio 39
    xxx = manila 0
    xxx = movable type 0

    "I love xxx" + weblog

    xxx = blogger 233
    xxx = radio 212
    xxx = manila 101
    xxx = movable type 160

    "xxx is down"

    xxx = blogger 760
    xxx = manila 1

    "something is wrong with xxx"

    xxx = blogger 27
    xxx = radio 0
    xxx = manila 0
    xxx = movable type 1

    "xxx just ate"
    xxx = blogger 279
    xxx = radio 2
    xxx = manila 0
    xxx = movable type 0

    "xxx sucks"

    xxx = blogger 1070
    xxx = radio (here I added "userland" to eliminate stuff like "Denver radio sucks") 136
    xxx = manila 45, many of them referring to a city in the Philippines
    xxx = movable type 58

    I've used both Blogger and Manila, and let me make that 1071 for the next google search: Blogger sucks.

  • by sjanes71 ( 2217 ) <simon.janes@gmail.com> on Thursday September 11, 2003 @07:57AM (#6929650)

    This doesn't make any sense, to take a small, profitable bit of software (not profitable enough to offset bandwidth charges perhaps but it was making money) and then start giving it away-- this is obviously a move to kill the marketshare of products like Movable Type [movabletype.org] which has a commercial and non-commercial license and Radio Userland [userland.com] which I think is purely commercial-- so that users will use Google's blogging system in preference to probably AOL Journals, another free system that seeks to wipe-out the marketshare of another popular blogging or "Journal" system, LiveJournal [livejournal.com] .

    I'm not saying that competition is bad-- but history has shown us that anyone [microsoft.com] giving something [microsoft.com] away of a class [netscape.com] that was previously valued for real money is typically doing it for anti-competitive reasons. It might not be long before something [usdoj.gov] like:

    1. Background. In 1998, the United States sued Microsoft, alleging violations of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. 1, 2.(1) After trial, the court found Microsoft had violated Section 2 by unlawfully maintaining its monopoly in the market for Intel-compatible PC operating systems ("OSs") and by unlawfully attempting to monopolize the market for internet browsers, and that it had violated Section 1 by illegally tying its Windows operating system and its Internet Explorer ("IE") browser. The court ordered Microsoft to submit a plan of divestiture that would split the company into an OS business and an applications business, and ordered interim conduct restrictions. Microsoft, 253 F.3d at 45.
    becomes something like:
    1. Background. In 2006, the United States sued Google, alleging violations of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. 1, 2.(1) After trial, the court found Google had violated Section 2 by unlawfully maintaining its monopoly in the market for personal content management systems ("blogs") and by unlawfully attempting to monopolize the market for search engines, and that it had violated Section 1 by illegally tying its search engine and its journaling ("blog") software. The court ordered Google to submit a plan of divestiture that would split the company into an search engine business and an applications business, and ordered interim conduct restrictions. Google, 253 F.3d at 45.

    The collective Internet should reevaluate models like Freenet [sourceforge.net] and make a "weaker," more light-weight distributed peer-to-peer information distribution system-- its weaker because you simply don't need the overhead of hardcore anonymity and privacy because pretty much all of the users will want to be "found" by those reading on the Internet. Google's got enough brains to figure out how to make that searcable so we need not worry about that.

    • I very much doubt that Blogger & Google together could become the dominant force in the weblogging world. The appeal of Blogger is its simplicity and the fact that you don't need to have your own webspace up-front. MovableType is aimed at people who want to put a weblog onto their own webspace that runs from the webserver. Radio Userland, although it can give you webspace if you need it, will happily let you publish your weblog to your own site, with the content stored on your PC (I'm using it for my site). LiveJournal (the site) works in a similar way to Blogger, but you can take LiveJournal (the software) and use that on your own site.

      The idea that Blogger can somehow 'lock-in' the majority of content of the weblogging world is, to my mind, a bit of a stretch. It would require breaking the existing API, and possibly interfering with other technologies such as RSS, and would do more harm than good for both Blogger and Google.

      MT.
  • by cyranoVR ( 518628 ) <cyranoVR AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday September 11, 2003 @08:36AM (#6929928) Homepage Journal
    When is slashdot going to let us link to images in our journals? I don't want to go over to blogspot or *shudder* livejournal, but every time I see one of those pages I feel a pang of jealousy.

    At least add one or two more features! At least we could be allowed to choose what section (and thus color-scheme) our journal goes under?
  • by hatless ( 8275 ) on Thursday September 11, 2003 @08:48AM (#6930024)
    Movable Type--which has comments, RSS and Trackback by default--is free for personal use as long as you can do your own hosting. If you want a remotely hosted blog on their recently-launched TypePad.com site, you pay $5 or so a month.

    Blogger is now making comments, RSS and such free as long as you do your own hosting of the generated files. If you want a blog with these features hosted on their Blogspot.com site, you pay $5 a month.

    It's called responding to competition. With more and more blogging systems offering things like RSS and comments for free to people who posted to their own existing webspace, Blogger had to add those features to its free offering. The revenue is in hosting and ads and maybe in commercial licenses and services. I don't imagine that bring-your-own-hosting Blogger Plus was drawing too many new subscribers in recent months.

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