The Internet? You Mean That Old Thing Google Bought?

The news yesterday evening: Google will buy RSS publisher Feedburner for $100 million. What to call it? Googburner? Feedboogle? Fondleburger?

Whatever. Let's just call the Internet Google and get it over with. That's only half a joke: Google buys or invests in growth trends online. Whatever technology has the potential of bringing more people online (mobile ads, video) or manages their online experience (blogs, iGoogle, maps) is a target for acquisition.

Hence Feedburner. While Forrester says only 29% of large companies use RSS today (2006 stat), 48% of current RSS publishers are overspending on the trend, to the tune of $250k each per year. Everybody wants RSS to blow up.

Other reasons Google is scooping FeedBurner up:

  1. Analytics. One place to get combined page views and feed views.
  2. Access to reading and viewership trends of a schload of major publishers like USA Today and MediaVillage.
  3. Cross-analyzing readership trends for better targeting of ad data. Duh.
  4. Advertising in feeds. Also duh.
Of course here's ye olde note of caution: The Internet is quickly becoming Google's company town. And here's ye olde dose of reality: Not much you can do about that.