Google Cannot Fix Twitter

Jeff Jarvis thinks that only Google can fix Twitter’s woes.

Google hasn’t fixed Blogger since acquiring it in 2003. In fact, it’s a spam sieve full of usability issues and lack of innovation. Meanwhile, Movable Type and WordPress keep plugging away at innovative approaches to blogging platforms.

They haven’t innovated on Jaiku since acquiring the Twitter competitor late last year. Jaiku-since-Google is largely a FAIL, though it might still be too early on this.

Feedburner has become thoroughly Googlefied, going from one of the easiest, brightest and best companies to work with to arguably the worst of all the Google properties. Responsiveness has dipped to near nothing. Innovation has ceased. And I knew it was going to happen, but was soundly told that I was smoking crack, or something to that effect.

Google is not a sexy company. At all. They know how to do innovative things that I liken to trinket teasers. Others might call it “Shiny toy syndrome”.

Microsoft is also, not an innovator, to be fair. Their Windows product is largely a conglomeration of technologies inspired or directly acquired from other companies. Their was a Novell Netware long before there was an Active Directory, for instance.

Not the point.

Jeff, besides the feel-good story that Google reuniting with Evan Williams, the creator of Blogger and now Twitter, what can you point to that aligns well for a Google acquisition of Twitter? There’s not a lot of evidence that Twitter will be better if acquired by Google. Sure, it’ll probably be more “up” than down, but really… Google?

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Operation: 1000 Subscribers

There is a major milestone approaching here at Technosailor, and since I don’t really feel like writing anything of any real substance tonight, I figure now would be a good time to point out that we are approaching 1000 RSS subscribers here at Technosailor. In fact, I’ve made it easier than ever to subscribe to three different feeds here at Technosailor – the English language feed (which is also the main one), the Spanish language feed, and my Google Reader Shared Items feed – by providing those options in the sidebar.

Notably, however, I’m also displaying how many active subscribers there are (according to FeedBurner) in the sidebar as well. For me, it will be a monumental milestone when I break that elusive 1000 subscriber number. Help me get there if you aren’t already subscribed. :)

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Google Reader Stats Still Pretty Useless

Did you know this blog has only 7 subscribers? Me neither. In facts, I’m solidly in the 800 subscriber range according to all authoritative stats on such things. However, Google Reader is reporting 7 subscribers. Keep in mind that these are subscribers to a feed using Google Reader, so expect some skew. But a 793+ subscriber skew is beyond a skew and more in the neighborhood of Clinton’s “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Monica Lewinsky”.

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Oh wait, I have 55 subscribers to my Atom feed as well. Doesn’t really matter since all my feeds redirect to my FeedBurner feed anyway. How are these feeds different? Why doesn’t Google Reader respect 301 redirection which explicitly says “this feed no longer exists and is moved to this other location” (i.e. FeedBurner). Web browsers and in fact search engines including Google see this standard code and respect it. Google and the search engines purge all references to the old URL and index the new one. Browsers don’t cache 301′d pages. Yet Google Reader is handling all these feeds as different feeds. Why?

If you look at Mike Arrington and Robert Scoble’s posts where are they are fruitlessly frittering away at trying to track the nuances of these numbers, you’ll notice a couple more problems with this whole Google Reader subscriber number problem.

Everyone is having to tally up subscriptions. Why can’t it be boiled down by host names for a total. And even worse, Mashable does an uber-nice hatchet job on the stats pointing out that many of the top blogs are top blogs because they are default feeds in feed readers.

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