Click to viewDigg users should be glad merger talks with Google have cooled, writes Slate's Farhad Manjoo. Had Digg fallen into Marissa Mayer's frosting-laced clutches, the site would have probably become another startup lost in what Manjoo calls "the Google Black Hole." It happened to FeedBurner this week. And the RSS ad network, was just the latest, following Jaiku, JotSpot, Dodgeball, GrandCentral, and Measure Map. Their tales of doom in the Googleplex, below.
Acquired in October 2007, Twitter rival Jaiku still doesn't accept new users. Its current ones complain of system slowdowns and malfunctions. On May 30, 2008, founder Jyri Engeström wrote:
Contrary to some voices out there, we DO have plans for future development and we will involve our developer community as much as we can. Just to reiterate, we are working very hard to ensure you have a useful and usable service. We feel the short term pain, too.
Acquired in October 2006, JotSpot is Google Sites now, and according to longtime users, it's not what it used to be.
Purchased in 2005, it took Google six months to assign any new engineers to the project. The founders quit in 2007, and one, Dennis Crowley, will tell any entreprenuer who will listen to reject Google's siren song.
Google acquired GrandCentral, which provides a suite of telephony services, in July 2007, immediately closed it to new users and hasn't opened it since.
Google acquired Measure Map in 2006, hoping to incorporate its features into Google Analytics. "And we did that," reports Google VP David Lawee. Too bad for bloggers who missed Measure Map's blog-specific features and don't use Google's Blogger.