New Google Toolbar "BlogThis" Button Upsets Weblog Tool Developers
atNewYork.com has done a nice roundup of an emerging controversy over the Google Toolbar 2.0 Beta. At issue is the so-called BlogThis button which allows users to automatically start a posting on their weblogs about the web page they are currently viewing.
The problem with this feature, from the perspective of competing weblog tool developers and users, is that the BlogThis button only works with Blogger. Google purchased Blogger back in February. As Dave Winer noted on Scripting News yesterday, the BlogThis button could have been implemented with the Blogger API.
The Blogger API has been implemented by several competing weblog developers to facilitate the development of user-level publishing tools. If Google had chosen to build the BlogThis functionality atop the Blogger API, it would have allowed users of Radio Userland and Manila from Userland, Movable Type from Six Apart, and P-Machine to leverage this new feature as well.
There's nothing stopping Google from modifying the BlogThis button in subsequent betas of the Google Toolbar so that it works with the Blogger API. But, by releasing it without true API support, they have raised suspicion in a community that has been one of the keys to their past success.