For having posted just less than 1,000 posts, this blog has gotten a lot of attention in just the last one or two years. It used to be when I posted something I would get few comments (I still wish I had more), little traffic, and I knew it was only going to perhaps a few hundred eyes at most in an RSS Reader somewhere. But it took off. I’m not saying this to gloat, and I accept that I’m nowhere near a TechCrunch or a Mashable in terms of readers or traffic, but I’ve quickly learned that some times when I say things here it seems to have a lot of influence. Some times my articles end up on Techmeme. Some times people like TechCrunch and Mashable mention what I say. Some times Google employees talk about them. Not only that, but it goes out to near 25,000 people on Twitter, thousands on FriendFeed, not to mention the thousands of subscribers that read this in their RSS Reader. I tend to forget that when I talk here, it has the potential for a lot of people to read what I say. It’s not the old days of when I would just strive to get someone to read my stuff. For that, I apologize – I’ve been a little negative on Google lately without realizing the implications, and I want to make ammends.
The truth is, I like Google for a lot of stuff. My main e-mail client is Gmail.com. In fact I also use it as my FriendFeed, Facebook, and Twitter client. Despite my frustrations, I still use Google Reader as my main RSS Reader, not because it’s Google, but because it’s still by far the best Reader out there. There have been various Chrome releases that have been by far the fastest and best browser out there. Google Calendar is my favorite scheduling application – it’s the best of any tool I’ve come across. I’ve replaced the phone icons on my iPhone with Google’s http://voice.google.com Google Voice client.
Truth be told, I still love Google. They’re an amazing company. They’re a company full of amazing talent and smart people. Perhaps I hold them to a higher standard, and hence my criticism.
I think it’s obvious that I also have a bit of a Facebook bias. I’ve written many apps both for myself and others on the Facebook platform, wrote two books about it, and I’m very close with many of their team over there. Most of my business is to help other businesses integrate Facebook technology into their products – with over 400 million users and still growing, a very accessible API, and a lot of rules that go with that API, my help is often needed, and I’m happy to provide. I’m just as passionate, if not more about Facebook as I am Google, but I think some of that gets to me at times.
I am also passionate about open standards. I admit Facebook is not open across the board as others like to define it, but neither is Google. Ideally, I guess I’d like to see a web that is completely free of the big guys like Facebook and Google – sure, they’ll still have a presence, but the user will be in control, not these companies or even developers. There is no one perfect solution right now. This is why I talk about Kynetx a lot. I don’t think any of the open standards available right now completely tackle this, so I get passionate, perhaps too passionate about it at times.
So, to Google, DeWitt, and any of the team there I may have offended, I apologize. I’d like to make ammends. Sure, we may disagree at times, but as my Mom always taught me, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. I’m going to be much more careful with what I say online from now on, especially when I disagree. I’d like the things you take from here to be positive. I want to influence, but in a good way. To start the mending process, I’m re-creating my Google profile and re-opening my Buzz account, which you can find here.
Let’s open the air here – what else can I improve about this blog and what I share online? Am I making the right choice in backing down in my criticism?
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