Tuesday, April 1, 2003

Google Acquisitions Create "Movable Bloggerland"

Mountain View (CA) April 1, 2003 (Routers) – In a move that surprised citizens throughout Blogistan, Google continued its acquisition spree today. Spokesmen for Google confirmed the acquisitions of Seven Together (makers of the popular weblog application Movable Type) and Userland (creator of Radio Userland). Plans are to combine the operations of the two companies into the existing Blogger operation. The combined entity will be known as Movable Bloggerland.

Word first broke, predictably enough, at evnoggin.com, the weblog of Blogger’s founder Evan Williams. “Holy shit. This is really, really, really big. Even bigger than the last time I said it was big. Way bigger.” evnoggin.com then immediately went offline.

The post, made while Williams was a panelist on a session at the CDExpo weblog conference moderated by Robert Scoble, created a stir in the audience. Within minutes, rumors were confirmed. A press release from Google explained the motives behind the purchases. “Since these companies are decidedly not evil,” said Google founder Sergey Brain, “it seemed an appropriate next step. We are folding the Movable Bloggerland operation into a new division within Google, the Axis of Non-evIL apps.” Sources close to Brain indicate that Google’s ANIL group will be headed by none other than well-known blogger (and presumably non-evil) Anil Dash. “With Anil on board, we’ll be even less evil,” continued Brain. “Evil evil evil.”

Dave Whiner (founder of Userland), contacted at Harvard, was thrilled at the news. “Well, as you know I’m at Harvard now. Which only makes sense – I invented weblogs, and Al Gore invented the Internet here. And I like spicy noodles. But not the ones in Cambridge. Palo Alto – now there’s some good spicy noodles. And one other thing – I like Google again.”

Seven Together’s founders, Ben and Eenie Gallop, were returning from being voted Blogistan’s cutest couple when the news broke. “We couldn’t be happier at this development,” said Ben and Meenie in unison. “It’s a further validation of our belief that Perl is a superior programming platform. Perl rocks.” When asked what their first project would be at Google, Minie suggested that details were sketchy, but it might involve rewriting Google’s search algorithms in Perl. “As long as, you know, it’s not evil,” continued Moe.

Industry analysts were mixed on the news. A Jupiter analyst predicted that the combined companies would add “trillions” to Google’s valuation in a much-anticipated IPO later this year. Most everyone else in the industry disagreed, but few would go on record with a number. One chastened analyst stated, “We never knew what we were doing back in the 90s. We just added commas to numbers and people bought it. How do you expect us to know what the hell this means?”

News of the deal rocked blogshares.com. Trading was halted as the BSEC requested more details from all parties. One trader, who preferred to remain anonymous, had this to say of the news: “All I know is, this should catapult my share price to at least a dollar. Whatever that means.”

Asked whether this was a shot across Microsoft’s bow, VP of Microsoft’s Platform Group Jim Allnose said “Absolutely not. People are already blogging with Microsoft software. You just download the .NET framework, install some service packs, grab a few things from MSDN, install Sharepoint Team Services, and upgrade everything to Office 2003. Once you do that and upgrade to Windows Server 2003 which ships in the next few weeks, you’re ready to go. It’s simple, and we think it represents the future of consumer-based blogs.”

Details of the transaction were not disclosed. Representing Google in the transaction was the law firm of Russell & Tate, a firm that rose to prominence when it represented Visa in its acquisition of The Internet in 1999.

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