Two web apps, two blogs, two stories

One of the things that I wasn’t able to blog earlier this week was Google’s first official corporate blog, named the GoogleBlog (I guess I’ll have to call Aaron’s unofficial version the Google Weblog to keep them straight). The blog managed to stay out of controversy for one post. Mark Pilgrim and others observed that in the second post, which discussed Google’s offices around the world, a paragraph about outsourcing in Bangalore mysteriously disappeared.

This was a fairly foolish thing to do on several levels. First, what was Google thinking in the first place by starting an official corporate weblog during the quiet period before their IPO? Second, redacting an entire paragraph of content which was, frankly, not that controversial in the first place seems foolish if one is seeking to establish a legitimate weblog.

And it’s really not much of a weblog, either. No bylines (except on the first post from Evan Williams), no comments, no TrackBack. At least it has permalinks. (Dare Obasanjo covered some more of the GoogleBlog’s non-blogginess on Tuesday).

Contrast this with Kinja’s blog, which hasn’t had nearly as much fanfare. Bylines, personal voices, commenting on things their customers have written about their service (including, yes, something by me. Bias disclosed!). Which is more bloglike? Which is more interesting?

Believe me, as a Microsoft blogger (even if I’m not hosted at, I have a lot of sympathy for the Google blog folks. It’s hard to walk that line of being an “official” corporate blog, and the temptation to edit to preserve the company’s voice and image must be really high. Which is why I wonder: why did they launch an official blog at all? Weren’t they better off just having Evan blog occasionally about his day job?