Always out of town when the cool stuff happens

Such an innocuous post from Evan Williams, founder of Pyra Labs, creators of Blogger:

Holy crap. Note to self: When you get off this panel, you should probably comment on this.

A little disingeneous, because Evan, I’m sure, knew quite well that his company was going to be bought by Google. But I guess he had to set it up for the attendees of the blogging panel. (Aside: with all the hoohah, no one has had much to say about the actual content of the panel.)

So. Google has bought Blogger. Now, as they say, it gets interesting. All of a sudden Google owns the pipes through which a lot of fresh, independently produced content flows. Google now has a community. (Not that it didn’t before, but this one lives on its servers.)

And Google now owns two of the major web service APIs for blogging. (For those counting at home, those would be the Google and Blogger APIs; so far, the Metaweblog API, the Ping API, and the Trackback Ping API remain in different hands.) What does this mean for the average non-Blogger blogger and customer of Google’s search services—like, say, me? If Evan’s discussion is anything to go by, it shouldn’t lock anybody out. But I would bet that this could spur a little bit of healthy creative tension between the blog side of Google, who want benefits to accrue to their customers, and the other services, who need to stay neutral across the whole web.

Finally, this is funny on a personal level. A friend of mine who’s in online business development has been predicting for a while that Google would become a portal, with the implementation of Google News and Froogle. The irony is, it just made a big content acquisition—and it’s all end-user produced content. Google so gets the Web.