INSITEVIEW- - tom shugart's weblog

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Blogward Ho!

Back to blogging after a holiday hiatus. This past week has seen my lowest readership levels since I installed Site Meter back in the summer. My hits have been climbing steadily upward month after month, but in February, they’ve slipped into reverse. I’ve been in a funk, no doubt about it. Every February, I seem to suffer some sort of Seasonal Depressive Disorder. Last February, one of my motivations in launching my blog was the hope of providing myself with an antidote to these annual blahs.

It’s interesting how your tracking results reflect your personal state. It’s also ironic in a way because this week-–Friday to be exact—will mark this blog’s one year anniversary. I had hoped to be entering that milestone on an upnote rather than a downturn.

Oh well, I’ve seen so many bloggers—great bloggers—reach these impasses where they say they’re going to have to re-evaluate their relationship with blogging. Some of them even threaten to quit for a while. Some of them actually go ahead and do it. But in every case that I’ve seen—bingo--they’re back in the blogging game before you can say Small Pieces Loosely Joined.

So I guess I’ll spare you the mantra about “reassessing my relationship with blogging” and just muddle ahead as best I can.

My blogging funk and my blogiversary are occurring at an interesting time in the development of Web logging. I suspect that blogspace is going to be dominated for a while with speculation about the Google purchase of Pyra. The best of such speculation that I’ve seen so far is in Shelley Power’s blog—particularly the Comments to her post of Feb. 16—41 in all (41 comments—my God, that’s so far outside of my reality! Shelley must be the all-time comment recipient champion of the blogosphere. And why not? She's earned it).

Speculation seems to range from dark to exuberant. On the positive end of the spectrum, I particularly like Jeneane’s take on it. In her Comment to Burningbird, she says,

“The point is: We're driving it. And Google knows this. They're not looking to control--they're looking to enable. That is why this move is so fucking brilliant.”

Phil Wolff, imho, hits the nail on the head in his Comment, analyzing the business rationale for this move—a move that many are questioning. Phil observes:

“Pyra doesn't make any money today because it doesn't have a b2b product or sales / marketing / support organization. Google does, in the form of its Google Search Appliance products. With Pyra, they can walk into the Naval Academy, Chevron, or the CIA and offer a bundled search box and all the blogspace you can chew in the privacy of your own intranet. You might throw away Lotus Notes or the next Microsoft Office suite if all your people write to the web, if the content is linked and rapidly available through Google”

I also like the remarks of Dan Gillmor in his column in the San Jose Mercury:

"More than most Web companies, Google has grasped the distributed nature of the online world, and has seen that the real power of cyberspace is in what we create collectively. We are beginning to see that power brought to bear."

Hallelujah and Amen!


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