Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Why Blogger?

So you may be wondering what platform I decided to start this blog on. I was actually looking at a few options. I considered using Squarespace (like Nathan's wonderfully slick Ohm Image) or Wordpress (like Tom's sweet site CYMBACAVUM). I still think both of these are great options for media rich webpages with great extensibility.

I even considered using Tumblr, because that is an easy and fun platform for curating content and blogging, as any budding social justice warrior might know.

In the end though I've elected to go with Blogger, simply because it was easy. I didn't need to make a new account, I can access it whenever I'm already signed into my Google profile on Chrome, and a traditional blog format will probably make sure I don't bite off more than I can chew.

It also helps that Blogger is a Google product and as such is obviously integrated into the whole Google+ social mesh. This is actually pretty important from my perspective, for a number of reasons.

First, it helps to understand that as a result of the entire Youtube / Google+ transition, Youtube accounts are also Google+ accounts. If you have an account on Youtube, it's either a Google+ page or a personal profile. This means that if you're a subscriber to my Youtube channel, you'll be able to see what's going on here and to leave a comment without signing up - or even signing in!

Also important is the fact that I've already put up a lot of content on my Youtube channel (which is also technically a Google+ page). I am guessing that Google will weigh everything associated with that Google+ page with increased search engine relevance, since lachlanlikesathing sure seems to talk an awful lot about headphones. At least, that is how I hope it works, since who really knows what is going on in that black multicolour box?

Note that this integration is exactly what annoyed so many people (including myself) at the end of 2013. The transition wasn't explained well, the benefits for content creators weren't clear, and in the end people felt like Youtube/Google was trying to trick them into something they didn't want. After using the new system as a content creator for a while now, I have to admit there is a certain terrifying elegance in the way Google is hooking this all together, like some kind of octopus with a computer science degree.

I have also noticed that negative comments on my Youtube videos do seem to have diminished over time, presumably because Youtube accounts are now less anonymous. While I always welcome helpful criticism and feedback, having racist and homophobic slurs thrown at me all the time isn't all that fun. So I guess there's that.

The funny thing is, I barely even remembered that the Blogger platform existed. It was only after visiting Google's own blogs that I even remembered that Google bought Blogger way back in 2003.

So I'm typing this up sitting in a park, on my HP Chromebook - way down the rabbit hole. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has said that Apple's traditional strength is "vertical integration", but I wonder if we just don't see how high Google's tower goes because it's in the clouds?