Esto no es todo, amigos

La compra de Boggler por parte de Google sigue dando mucho que hablar. En parte, supongo que se debe a la gran incertidumbre sobre las razones y también, no lo dudo, a la sensación de que una compañía dirigida por ingenieros tendría interesantes razones para realizar semejante adquisición. En cualquier caso, hay mucho, así que empecemos ya:

Evan Williams da a entender que la compra ha sido muy meditada y que hay buenas razones, aunque no las revele:

To address a couple of things people are wondering: Yes, it is a «good thing.» It wasn’t a case of needing to sell, we were doing well and getting better. It was actually a difficult decision, given my fiercely independent nature and some of the exciting other options we were considering. Also, I’m usually skeptical of acquisitions. I was only convinced after brainstorming with our people and their people about why and how we could do much cooler things for our users and the web at an incredibly large scale by being part of Google. And, importantly, by the Googler’s integral nature and becoming convinced that the view from the inside was as impressive (if not moreso) than from outside. Uh-oh, do I sound like I’ve drank the kool-aid already?

Y poco después tranquiliza los temores de que Google vaya a dar preferencia a las bitácoras de Blogger sobre todas las demás, aunque, nuevamente, sin mojarse demasiado:

A lot of people are wondering if the Blogger/Google thing will mean a disadvantage to any non-Blogger user in terms of getting their content indexed (in the regular index, or a blog-specific one, or whatever). We haven’t talked about it. (I doubt it even occurred to anyone internally.) But I don’t think it will. Before the Google thing even started happening, we were planning a blog directory that was going to be open to non-Blogger users. Of course, Blogger users would have been automatically included in such a directory, and others would have either had to go to some effort, or have software that did it for them, which we can’t control. But it just makes sense, if you want to create the most value, to be comprehensive. This seems to have always been Google’s approach, and, if anything, we («we,» being Blogger) have the ability to be more open than ever now, because we’re not as concerned about protecting our position.

Los creadores de Movable Type, que de pronto se encuentran compitiendo con Google, parecen estar de acuerdo:

If I were Google, getting access to the weblog content of Blogger users would be just a start. To truly integrate weblog metadata, Google needs to expand that content base. And in fact, Google’s acquisition of Deja, and subsequent creation of Google Groups, may provide a model for that: When Google acquired Deja, they only got access to about 6 years of Usenet history. But with the help of Usenet archivists they were able to piece together the entire history back to 1981. Of course, that’s a slightly different situation — there they were working with old, never-changing content, whereas in the case of weblogs, they’ll need continuing access to new content.

Es decir, parecen confiar que Google hará lo posible por integrar también cualquier otro elemento que se pueda considerar una bitácora.

The New York Times (hay que registrarse) también trata la noticia en Google Deal Ties Company to Weblogs y Google Buys Web Publishing Tool Blogger aunque sin demasiada imaginación. No se plantean la pregunta clave (¿por qué?) y se limitan a hacer una pequeña exposición de qué es una bitácoras y su breve historia. Los periodistas parecen estar todavía más confundidos que el resto del mundo.

Marc Canter ve la adquisición como una oportunidad para la innovación:

What I hope that this encourages more investment in personal publishing and that VCs and the investment community realize that the web is still the hotbed they always thought it was.

Take away the johney come latelies (who have all left BTW), the get rich quick enterprise and B2C plays, the meteoric IPOs (which the VCs brought on themselves), the slimey money people and lawyers and all that came with the dot com era – and what you have left is Evan Williams, Dave Winer, the Trotts and Brad Fitzpatrick.

Innovation is alive and well and living in the living rooms of entrepreneurs like Noah Glass, Eric Norlin and Adrian Scott. Innovation is not about how many patents have been applied for (as Bill Welty recently said.) Innovation is about not being afraid to think uniquely and stand by your beliefs. Serge Brin did that, Jeff Bezos did that and Marc Andressen did that.

Diego Doval no ve la cosa clara, pero considera que Google intenta destronar a Yahoo y que la guerra de portales se iniciará de nuevo:

Personally I’m on the «what exactly are they thinking?» camp, but it seems clear that whether you agree with it or not they do have a strategy, possibly something to do with taking Yahoo! off their pedestal as the biggest «independent» portal. They’ve got Deja, and subsequently Usenet archiving, they’ve got the biggest/most used search engine, they’ve got Google News, and the Google Directory (direct competition to Yahoo!’s main portal) and now they’ve got the biggest centralized blogging system around. Yahoo! must be a bit worried. Clearly they could see this enroachment on their turf coming from their recent Inktomi purchase. Now if Microsoft is still really serious about MSN, the portal wars might be about to heat up again. Which would also mean that the search engine field could get competitive again, since Google couldn’t really be trusted by the other portals since they’re competing with them…

Cosa que yo no creo. Google ha tenido muchas oportunidades de convertirse en Yahoo, en Altavista o en cualquier otra cosa. Hasta el momento las ha resistido todas. Desde mi punto de vista, Google aspira a ser el bibliotecario de la web y esta compra hay que encajarla en ese modelo. Si eso implica que desea tener acceso a la mayor cantidad de contenido fresco y ya, digamos, preordenado, o si aspira a crear la web semántica, es una cuestión a discutir.

Eso sí, en Monkey X también parecen considerar que por ahí van los tiros:

Google has the brand, the technology and has been working on the content aggregation. Now it has the content producers and the client side tools to proliferate. It can build an incredibly scalable media business which brings to question the value-add of existing media publishers. Furthermore, if its success in the search engine market are an indicator it may be the dominant media portal on the web. In effect, Google could be what AOL wanted to be but without the prohibitive insular network. Where previous commercial portals want to keep you fenced into their network, Google’s aim has always been to be the starting point for the wider Net. The user’s return journey is guaranteed by quality of service not false obstructions.

Matt Webb va más allá y considera que Google are building the memex:

They’ve got one-to-one connections. Links. Now they’ve realised – like Ted Nelson – that the fundamental unit of the web isn’t the link, but the trail. And the only place that’s online is… weblogs.

There are two levels to the trail:

1 – what you see
2 – what you do
(«And what you feel on another track» — what song is that?)

And the trail is, in its simplest form, organised chronologically. Later it gets more complex. Look to see Google introduce categories based on DMOZ as a next step.

So, the GOOGLE TOOLBAR tracks everything you do on the web, giving you low-level anonymous trails tying the web together. These are analagous to the strings of physics, or the rows and columns of Excel. This is 1, what you see.

Now there’s the semantics, the meaning extracted from these, and that’s done with the human mind. This is 2, what you do. What you choose to elevate. Now these trails are the basic units.

The combination of the two is startling.

Oh, and you can analyse how people search to add extra data. Stop and start points.

Imagine, searching at Google, and then:
– this trail is highly followed
– do you only want to see what people suggest, or where people went?
– here’s a worn track in the interweb. Follow the Google Pixie!
– this trail is uncommon, but made by someone we see (by your weblog) that you value

And next, it’s the true Memex. The Google appliance based on microfiche, punchcards and cameras…

Jeff Jarvis tiene claro que Google creará, o debería crear, un api para informarle de cuándo se ha actualizado una bitácora.

: What Google will need — and what will benefit all blog tool makers and bloggers — will be open standards for data: If Google can incorporate Blogger links sooner thanks to its relationship, it is to Google’s benefit — and, obviously everyone else’s — to create a standard for pinging Google and everyone will do it. If data becomes deeper, more descriptive, and three-dimensional — as it must — then Google will depend on the ability to search and serve that data across weblogs — and websites — from any source and to get that juicy data, Google will need to publish an API and hope that people use it.

Nick Denton opina exactamente lo mismo y propone dos puntos para que Google garantice que no va a abusar de su posición:

There’s an easy way for Google to show that it won’t abuse its new power in weblog content: support an open standard for weblog updates and indexing. What does that mean?

1. Treat all weblog publishing systems equally. Google should undertake to refresh the index for a Movable Type blog, for instance, as rapidly as it does for a site produced by Blogger. Google could do this easily enough by tracking pings to, and sending out a crawler in response to the signal that a particular weblog had updated. Let Blogger compete on its own merits as a publishing system, not on an unfair advantage in access to Google’s index.

2. Gloogle should itself ping a central directory such as with a details of all new posts within Blogger. Few Blogger sites have RSS feeds, or announce their updates. Google will control all this information, centrally. By sharing it with the community, Google can ensure that tools such as NetNewsWire continue to innovate.

Sam Ruby desciende de nivel y se concentra en los datos en sí en Google loves metadata:

Suppose there is other metadata that Google would like to standardize so that everyone can benefit. What’s the path to making such a standard a reality? Compelling apps are not enough: one needs to be able to ensure that there is plenty of content.

Does this necessarily mean that I’ll host my weblog on Google’s servers? No. Does this necessarily mean that I’ll use Google’s software? No. But, does this mean that I’ll support widely adopted standards for metadata? Absolutely.

I can’t wait.

De pronto, parece que Google tiene poder para crear muchas cosas: un api que usemos todos, metadatos que usemos todos, etc… ¿Se está acercando la sombra de un monopolio? ¿O estamos a las puertas de las creación de un conjunto de herramientas definitivamente estandar que hagan explotar el fenómeno de las bitácoras?

Hay otras posibilidades para la compra. Según Phil Wolff: «Watch for their Google Search Appliance to come bundled with a version of the Blogger Pro server».

Kevin Lynch comenta que para mucha gente Google y bitácoras se han convertido en las dos principales formas de obtener información en la web:

The two main ways I find information on the internet today is by searching and reading blogs-blogs are another view into the world’s information and we’re just starting to understand how we can best visualize the connections across blogs and track relevant information as it’s happening, whether it’s through DayPop, Technorati, blogdex, or maybe something along the lines of power curves. Blogs provide the serendipity that is largely missing from search, while also providing the consistency of a single, current stream of thinking from a variety of points of view.

¿Qué pasará ahora con la apuesta remota?:

In a Google search of five keywords or phrases representing the top five news stories of 2007, weblogs will rank higher than the New York Times’ Web site.

¿Se cumplirá? ¿Y antes de lo previsto? Henry Copeland opina que :

Google serves far more than the 150 million searches a day it admits publicly. And Google already serves far more people seeking New York information than does the New York Times.

Processing more than half all Internet searches, Google already has cornered the demand for information; with Blogger, it has a chance to dominate the supply as well.

Blogging… no… Internet publishing now moves beyond the beta-test.

Y ahora, volvamos al origen de todo.

Brad DeLong resume algunos comentarios de Larry Page, uno de los fundadores de Google. Dice una cosa muy interesante:

Larry Page: «It wasn’t that we intended to build a search engine. We built a ranking system to deal with annotations. We wanted to annotate the web–build a system so that after you’d viewed a page you could click and see what smart comments other people had about it. But how do you decide who gets to annotate Yahoo? We needed to figure out how to choose which annotations people should look at, which meant that we needed to figure out which other sites contained comments we should classify as authoritative. Hence PageRank.

«Only later did we realize that PageRank was much more useful for search than for annotation…»

¿Pero qué son las bitácoras sino anotaciones al contenido de Internet?

Y Mitch Ratcliffe nos cuenta una conversación con Sergey Brin (otra alma de Google):

I remember sitting at the table with Sergey Brin and Dan Gillmor during Supernova in December. Sergey was asking a lot of questions about blogging and now Dan reports that Google has purchased Pyra, creator of Blogger.

Y ahora las notas «ligeras». se las arregla para no entender absolutamente nada en Cómo lograr millones de lectores. El comentario escrito por Luis Ignacio Parada me haría llorar si no me provocase un ataque de risa.

Y una buena razón para irse a trabajar a Google: el menú que sirven en el almuerzo. ¡Yo también quiero!

Y la maravillosa Cowgirl Susannah Breslin (una de las anfitrionas de Live from the Blogosphere donde Evan Williams dio la noticia) no podía dejar de ofrecer su punto de vista:

2. the big news of night was that Evan Williams announced he sold Pyra to Google. i wanted to know if Evhead wanted to have sex with me. not on a literal level, just on a metaphorical level. i am that way. this was an important issue. to me, at least. so, did he? i couldn’t tell, exactly. due to an excessive amount of cock-blocking going on throughout the evening, it was hard for me to make a final call on the matter. if he did, though, how much money did he make off the deal? this could directly influence how much i might metaphorically want to have sex with «The Blogfather» in return. Clay Shirky, i think, is going to use mathematics to figure all of this out very soon.

Categoría: Silva

Pedro Jorge Romero

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