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Friday, September 21, 2012

The story behind blogger

Suddenly, blogger has become a lot harder to use.

Fonts are not nearly as cooperative, and it is a lot harder to check before and after publishing.  And, if you add a caption to an image, the whole damn post goes into the tiny caption font.  Centered.

Someone has been fidding with something that didn't need any tweaks at all.

Naturally, I wondered why.  So of course I did a Google search.

And came up with an interesting background story, as well as the probable answer.

Here is the story, told by the folks who thought up Blogger in the first place:

Blogger was started by a tiny company in San Francisco called Pyra Labs in August of 1999. This was in the midst of the dot-com boom. But we weren't exactly a VC-funded, party-throwing, foosball-in-the-lobby-playing, free-beer-drinking outfit. (Unless it was other people's free beer.)

We were three friends, funded by doing annoying contract web projects for big companies, trying to make our own grand entrance onto the Internet landscape. What we were originally trying to do doesn't matter so much now. But while doing it, we created Blogger, more or less on a whim, and thought — Hmmm... that's kinda interesting.

Blogger took off, in a small way, and eventually a bigger way, over a couple years. We raised a little money (but stayed small). And then the bust happened, and we ran out of money, and our fun little journey got less fun. We narrowly survived, not all in one piece, but kept the service going the whole time (most days) and started building it back up.

Things were going well again in 2002. We had hundreds of thousands of users, though still just a few people. And then something no one expected happened: Google wanted to buy us. Yes, that Google.
We liked Google a lot. And they liked blogs. So we were amenable to the idea. And it worked out nicely.

Now we're a small (but slightly bigger than before) team in Google focusing on helping people have their own voice on the web and organizing the world's information from the personal perspective. Which has pretty much always been our whole deal.

And there is the answer, too.

Beware of what happens to your product when a huge IT conglomerate takes over ownership, as people in huge IT conglomerates love to tweak. It justifies their salaries.

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