Making stuff as a founder of Avocado. Former music-maker. Tuna melt advocate. Started Google Reader. (But smarter people made it great.)

A Garden of Pearls

One of our products at Google has updated today: Blogger.

The news that will cover Blogger's update may not include "accelerated pearl farming and culturing" - but I'd like to think it could.

What?...that's silly. Yeah, of course, but I can explain: Divers searching for marine pearls have had to overcome habitat dangers to farm a random distribution of oysters and manually check each shell for the hope of a pearl. More recently, elaborate culturing techniques have reduced both the risk involved in harvest and the time taken to retrieve some x amount of pearls.

In other words, pearls can be beautiful and valuable but remain difficult to find.

Were I an oyster-and-pearl discovery strategist, I'd probably approach with the following:
I'd like to find them.
I'd like to create them.
I'd like to distribute them.
I'd like to deliver a better experience for others who'd like to find and distribute them.
And I might turn to technology to help improve the process. So, a good day's work might include a paper whose title could be "Maturation, Mercury, and Find Ratios: An Incremental Approach to Farm Technique Adaptation."

It's not sexy sounding. It presents a slowly perfecting series of improvements.

And, to abandon the clumsy mollusk metaphor, it can work. Blogger is working on the following: Consolidating our interfaces to provide better support and features at a faster rate. Providing richer communication in weblog form to publishing contexts. Helping users create space for features they'd like to have. Recognizing the difference in goals between any two users of our service and then accommodating all of them, as fast as we're able. Providing context and power to the posting experience. Making the service accessible to a wider audience in terms of computing experience and locale.

It is all there, right now? Not at all. At least, I hope not. I'd be bored - We'd have nothing to improve. :)

But each step goes toward giving an online voice to as many as could want it. I think the following idea is exciting: that we can contribute to your crafting your expression. A pearl for every shell.
posted at May 10, 2004, 5:12 PM


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