If you aren't reading Dr. Michael Zimmer's thoughts “on the intersections of technology & values, privacy & surveillance, the Web & new media, culture & communication,” then you are missing out.
He's become one of the most reliably thoughtful voices in my newsreader.
Today's offering — just a routinely aha! comment — concerns Google & FeedBurner:
I haven't had a chance to think long and hard yet about Google's recent decision to acquire FeedBurner, and I'm sure most reactions will center on how this provides Google yet another medium to deliver contextual ads.
But my first reaction was slightly different:
What FeedBurner seems to provide Google — as much as an advertising medium — is an automatic feed of new Web content and an instant mapping of the all important links between pages. Now, instead of Google needing to rely on the efficiency of its crawlers to find these new blog posts, they will be delivered right to Google's front door every time we ping http://ping.feedburner.com.
I think this must be right. More generally, as one of the first adopters of feedburner, I have mixed feelings about this acquisition. I'm happy that the founders are being rewarded, I'm glad feedburner's long-term stability is assured, but I'm beginning to feel that there's going to be Google in everything I touch online.
PS. Congratulations on the new Ph.D, Dr. Zimmer.