Google Blogoscoped

Monday, April 28, 2008

5 Years

On a Monday, the 28th of April 2003, this blog saw its first post. So happy birthday! Like then, today I’m sitting in an internet cafe on vacation (back then in Malaysia, but now in the Netherlands). That first post, by the way, was not about Google, but just consisted of a couple of pointers to movie trailers. However, preceding the blog post there were a couple of Google and search-related articles at the technology section of (consequently, this blog originally started out at

In 2003, I was using Google’s to FTP-transfer posts over to this site. In 2003, uploading an image from the internet cafe to the server of “Googlosophy Blogoscoped” (as this place was briefly called) often meant installing a downloaded FTP client by trying to find some way to get to Windows Explorer... by using the “Save” dialog of Internet Explorer and locating the Explorer EXE, as usually you weren’t allowed to even right-click the desktop, let alone expand a Start menu.

Google changed a lot in the meantime, and the Google-covering news scene also changed incredibly. Not only does Google now have dozens of blogs themselves as they have so many more products, but there’s also many daily tech blogs which cover Google and search, as well as a couple of Google-specific news blogs (in 2003, the top Google news blogs were Google Village and the Google Weblog, but at the time they weren’t really as frequent as you might have wished for). Today, if you’re blogging an important news on Google a couple of hours after it broke, you’ll probably be the 50th or so news source to cover it; often, it also only takes an hour or so for a news to be on the frontpage of a social news site like Digg. To get something first, you need to be really quick, or do original research. If mere quickness fails, then you can take the time to provide analysis and commentary instead. Then it can help if you take more time and connect bits and pieces. For me it’s great to take as much time as I like on a blog post as I’m working for this blog and some other sites full time since 2005.

Something else changed with Blogoscoped since 2003; these days, there’s a great forum here where many of us hang out, cover news, and write our commentary on the world of Google or technology. Originally the forum was added because Blogger didn’t provide a comment functionality for posts which were FTP-transferred. But then the forum as another location to break news turned out to be really great, thanks to all of you participating. And not only do so many people help crunch Google news in the forum, but there’s also a great amount of tips sent in via email. These days, there’s even a co-editor – Tony Ruscoe – who helps out.

I’m looking forward to see how this place evolves. There’s been some visible change in the last years (like the PageRank going from 0 to 7 and then 8 for a while, to now be back to 6 – or the several redesigns) as well as a lot of less visible change behind the scenes (like the style of research involved to create posts, which changed around every year or so as new approaches and sources become meaningful – e.g. Friendfeed replacing Digg, reading the forum replacing visiting the frontpage of a technology news site and so on). Keeping it dynamic means keeping it fun. Thanks to everyone for hanging around, reading or writing – I hope you’re having fun too and gain information and perspective from the discussions here.


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