Google's purchase of Blogger is exciting news for blogdom even if it raises concerns about how the move might affect the extra-Blogger blogosphere and steer the direction of the blogging phenomenon as a whole. The burning question is what does Google have planned for Blogger? How will this move shape the future of blogging? of searching? of the general flow of information on the Internet? Will amateur journalism overshadow mainstream media (will Dave Winer win this bet)?
A couple of interesting takes:
Well, buying Blogger - and accepting update pings from other weblogging software - means they'll now have a ready-made annotation system, with millions of people ready (and some even paying) to annotate the web for them. So that's what they had in mind all along...
Matt Webb's speculation is incredibly insightful:
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.