You know, just because I’m not posting every day doesn’t mean I don’t think about search engines obsessively. Just because I’m spending more time playing with a pallet jack than a keyboard doesn’t mean that I don’t have endless discussions with my husband about which search engine should buy which company (well, at least until his eyes roll back in his head. I usually stop then.)
So I’ve been devoting a lot of brain cells to the Google/FeedBurner rumors. Turns out they were true; FeedBurner confirms that it’s been purchased by Google; the blog post is a lot more interesting than the FAQ. (And has a sadly corporate giant-company ring to it; I can imagine FeedBurner answering the “What are the terms of the acquisition? How much did Google pay?” question with “Oh no you didn’t! Sorry, we’ve written it all down in our Hello Kitty diary and thrown away the key.”)
In a way this was absolutely unavoidable. FeedBurner is one heck of a company; SOMEONE was going to acquire it if at all possible . However if I were someone trying to make a living off my blog this might make me uneasy. I might see selling RSS ads to FeedBurner and putting Google ads on my site as making sure I didn’t put all my eggs in one basket. And then Google goes and buys the other basket….
What surprises me, after a little poking around, is how much FeedBurner/Google integration there is already. Feedsparks is a Google homepage gadget that shows trending for one or more Feedburner feeds with arrows to note trending up and trending down. The Google Code repository has several FeedBurner-related projects, though most of them do not specifically integrate with Google.
Blogosphere reaction has been interesting, with Andy Beard looking at both sides of the question, Search Engine Land filling in a few blanks, and Brad Feld, an early investor in FeedBurner, taking a look at it from that point of view .
What’s left right now? Putting aside the fact that it’s just about time for a new crop of gotta-see sites to come up, I’d say Technorati and IceRocket. There are sites like Zuula and Sphere that are interesting but just haven’t been around long enough. I don’t know why more people aren’t using IceRocket. Its blog search is quite good and the trending tool is awesome.