Thursday, July 13, 2006

Of Blogger And Business Relationships

Blogger is a free service - anybody can have a Blogger account, and setup as many websites (aka blogs) as he / she wishes, simply by providing an email address for registration.

But - and don't be deceived here - Blogger is not a non-profit organisation. Blogger - and Google - is paid very well. From advertisements, that appear on our websites. Or in the browser display, on the computers of folks who are reading our websites.
  • We build and maintain the websites.
  • Our readers view our websites.
  • Our readers view the ads, provided thru our websites.
  • Our readers buy the products presented in the ads, provided thru our websites.
  • The retail companies pay their advertisers.
  • The advertisers pay Google.
We don't charge Google for our time building and maintaining the websites, and they don't charge us for the hardware and software that hosts the websites. It's a circular partnership.

And it's good that they don't charge us for support.

Charging for support would require a Service Level Agreement, either stated or implied. Here's a simple example of what you might expect to see, if you were properly acknowledged, as a business partner.
  • The system will be up 99% of the time during peak business hours, and 90% of the time during non-peak business hours.
  • If an outage occurs, the business partners will be notified when it is discovered.
  • When the outage is corrected, the business partners will be notified.
This is a very basic agreement, which might (no, should) apply to the relationship between Blogger (the website host) and us (the website builders).

Instead, what we have is the Blogger Help (right) Form, and the Blogger Status blog. And we have the Google Blogger Help Forums, where we (the unpaid staff) support ourselves. And occasionally, Blogger Employee drops by Google Blogger Help, like Christ on a magic horse.

It's a profitable business model - for Blogger / Google. If you want free website hosting, and can put up with minimal to no support, you come to Blogger, the K-Mart of blogging.

Several centuries ago, an American novelist wrote a tale about a young boy in the state of Missouri who, tasked by his aunt to paint the fence in front of their house, conned all of his friends into doing the work for him. Mark Twain's Adventures Of Tom Sawyer is classical American literature, and an example of the Google / Blogger business model.

(Edit 12/20): The new version of Blogger in beta is dead! Long live the new version of Blogger!

(Edit 12/15): And the unpleasant news about Blogger Beta continues to flow downhill, and we are in the valley.

(Edit 10/12): Today, we got some fairly unpleasant news about Blogger Beta.

>> Top

1 comment:

Melody Lam said...

LOL. I love your articles.

It's [Blogger] more like the Wal-Mart of blogging- drive all the small free (and not that easy to install) blog APIs (MT, Wordpress, LJ) away by offering an easy to use Blog API. (I would use MT or Wordpress except I don't have PHP/MySQL support on my ISP webspace.)

Man. I long for the days of Pyra labs and the Classic interface. I would love to have the calendar functionality and the jazz of Classic.

Blogger Help (yeah, right) is probably the worst support I have ever seen. And they don't even outsource to India and hire people who can fake an English accent and read from scripts!