Evan Williams could not be reached for comment.
February 22, 2003 1:52 PM   Subscribe

Evan Williams could not be reached for comment. "Evan Williams, Pyra's co-founder, blogged his day-to-day life for the last three years right up until it got interesting. Williams pulled his blog offline earlier this week." Leander Kahney at Wired asks Why Did Google Want Blogger? and thinks it might have something to do with that slippery idea of a semantic Web.
posted by tranquileye (21 comments total)
Evhead you had too many w's
posted by JohnR at 2:11 PM on February 22, 2003

Grr. Yes. That extra W. He's offline though.
posted by tranquileye at 2:48 PM on February 22, 2003

I don't really see how this could be the step to semantic web. In order to do such a thing you need to incorporate news, weather, and thousands of other sites not weblog related in a smart search engine.

Unless of course the plan is to tie Blogger's servers into the google realm and use the bloggers themselves as a sorta 'human search filter.'

Thousands of bloggers jacked into a matrix like realm of google big wigs!

Woah < / keanu>
posted by KnitWit at 3:24 PM on February 22, 2003

Isn't the "semantic web" just what all those AT&T "You Will" commercials promised us in 1992 as being things we'd all have by 1997?

I'm still waiting for my little agent that looks like a puppy dog to scamper off my current webpage to follow a bone I threw (with my voice) and then see him come back a bit later holding a torn corner of moviefone.com's website in his mouth to let me know he got my tickets for the 8 o'clock showing of Tits McCurdy.

I mean, you know, this was stuff that was promised to us. My life was been awaiting this ease for quite some time now. Get to it, Googleblogger!

posted by WolfDaddy at 3:56 PM on February 22, 2003

Isn't the "semantic web" just what all those AT&T "You Will" commercials promised us in 1992 as being things we'd all have by 1997?

i'd forgotten all about those! i used to like those ads.
posted by donkeyschlong at 5:08 PM on February 22, 2003

Cut the guy some slack. He had a nice idea and he did blog everything for years. If you had a choice between stopping a blog or owning your own home what would you choose?
I always remember a quote from Michael Caine

"See that," he said. "Jaws IV". Then he pointed out the window at his swimming pool. "That was Educating Rita. And Miss Congeniality paid for the extension round the back. The point is Vinnie — take the money and run"

You can't eat kudos.
posted by Damienmce at 5:25 PM on February 22, 2003

The whole article sounds like a Rona Barrett Hollywood exclusive. Now if only MetaFilter itself could recognize that about this post, just imagine a little dachshund beagle mix pissing on a little corner of this page...
posted by yonderboy at 5:38 PM on February 22, 2003

When a public company buys another company, there are often periods of silence imposed upon the key players.

Just one of those things.
posted by silusGROK at 5:46 PM on February 22, 2003

Neither Blogger nor Google is a public company. When private companies buy other private companies, they rarely disclose anything other than the fact that the transaction occurred. Sometimes not even that.
posted by kewms at 6:24 PM on February 22, 2003

Our right to know supersedes ev's right to exist!
posted by Mick at 6:45 PM on February 22, 2003

Note to mathowie: Look forward to the same kind of treatment if/when you decide to retire from MeFi. Consider it in your decision whether to sell/give-away the site or just shut it down (at least if you pull the plug, the MetaTrolls will have to go elsewhere... but if you're thinking of doing it soon, do it the day Bush invades Iraq... JUST KIDDING!!!)

Or you could hand over the keys to the 'Filter to someone who really pisses you off... like me.
posted by wendell at 7:23 PM on February 22, 2003

Google bought Pyra? Why was I not informed...?!?!?! Sheesh, you would think *someone* would have mentioned this before now.
posted by davidmsc at 7:32 PM on February 22, 2003

Let's face it. Ev's blog wasn't all that insightful anyway. Selling out is tough work. Give the man a break.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 10:22 PM on February 22, 2003

Damienmce: Actually, you can eat Kudos.
posted by LimePi at 11:45 PM on February 22, 2003

man, talk about being thrown to the jackals. can't a man conduct his own business (or his own weblog) these days without being raked over the coals?
posted by Hackworth at 12:35 AM on February 23, 2003

Ohh, I'm sorry I thought this thread was about semantic web and improving search engines, not about shitting on Ev. Sorry, I'll try to keep up next time.
posted by KnitWit at 8:21 AM on February 23, 2003

What KnitWit said. No criticism of Ev was implied in my post; I just thought the article interesting. He worked hard on Blogger and stuck with it during tough times.
posted by tranquileye at 10:17 AM on February 23, 2003

Through an exhaustive bit of digging (which involved clicking the labelled link on the front page), I was able to find ev's weblog, which isn't offline, he's just not updating it. In fact, he's gone longer than this without updating it without it even being mentioned.

All of that being said, I think anyone who's maintained a weblog for years has had periods where they didn't want to do it, and it seems that Ev had hit that point several times in the past, but couldn't not have an active weblog because people would question his commitment to the company.

Now all he has to do is use his Google Toolbar and he's being a team player. See?

As far as the semantic web stuff goes, I think people are making a lot of assumptions about Google getting knee-deep into the Blogger code, which seems like a lot of work for a much lesser payoff than some might imagine. I'd be content if the whole deal was just to ensure the continued availability and improved reliability of Pyra's services.

That is to say, given the fact that Google's profitable, they might've bought Pyra just so that Sergey didn't have to wait so long for BlogSpot sites to load. And that's okay.
posted by anildash at 10:33 AM on February 23, 2003

It was updated today.
posted by waldo at 1:12 PM on February 23, 2003

Our fearless leader has pointed out on Blogroots that Google is selling textads on Blogspot sites. Seems like that's a good reason to buy Pyra right there, even if they don't do anything else with it.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 1:22 PM on February 23, 2003

When I first discovered weblogs, I was far more interested in the links than the commentary. I found one or two that reliably had interesting (to me) links and felt almost like I had a personal agent surfing the web for me and finding the stuff I liked.

What Google might be able to do that would be cool is find some way of matching people with bloggers (maybe something like Alexlit's Hypatia). It would be the opposite of search engines - instead of using bloggers to help people find what they're looking for, using bloggers to help people find what they're not looking for.
posted by straight at 9:29 PM on February 23, 2003

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