Journal: News & Comment

Tuesday, February 25, 2003
# 10:08:00 AM:

It's true! But that's okay!

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Evan Williams, who founded Blogger, the online service that maintains these journal entries, just sold the company to Google, and he now works for them. Good for him and his co-workers.

But he seems ambivalent about that, writing that when someone says that Blogger has sold out, it makes him sigh, as if it weren't true. But it is.

Blogger sold out. That's okay. It's good, in fact. The stereotype is that being a sellout is bad, but it isn't always. Even in music, where the term is resolutely pejorative, I'm proud to say that my band is the ultimate sellout. It's why we make money. We give people what they want, and they have fun. We have fun too. Artistic integrity and creative vision are not part of the plan -- they aren't considered in our calculation of success, and shouldn't be. We're not that kind of band.

If Blogger and Google create a service that gives people what they want, and if the companies make money at it, and everyone's happy, great. Selling out will have been for the best. If they screw up and Blogger folds and all of us go on to use Radio UserLand or Movable Type or Textpattern or something else, well, it'll be a bit of a pain, and too bad for Blogger and Google. But the sellout wasn't the problem.


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