Chowing down on dogfood

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There’s a saying in the software industry — it’s always good to eat your own dog food. Wikipedia has a great article about this:

“… the company has not merely considered the value of the product for consumers (that is, whether the dog will eat the dog food), but actually is a consumer of the product. When properly executed, this can add a new level of sincerity to advertising and customer relations, as well as helping to shape the product.”

Blogger is quintessentially Google dogfood. We use it to publish the main Google Blog, ad-related blogs like Inside AdWords and AdSense, product-specific blogs like those for Reader and Book Search, and even language-specific blogs like Google 한국 블로그 and Google Россия. At last count there were 37 Google blogs powered by Blogger, and even more are in the works.

So when I see posts like these from Michael, Phillip or Juan Carlos, I get somewhat disheartened. They may be missing an important point: because we are eating our own dogfood, Blogger becomes a better, more secure product.

The issues they raise (like the fake Google Blog post, which involved an API bug) typically get fixed and pushed live within hours of their discovery. The Google Blog deletion that Michael mentions was the result of an automated anti-blogspam process and a double-corner case involving a feature of Blogger we discontinued many years ago — no actual users were affected. Andrea’s accidental post on Blogger Buzz was simple human error. Those of us with multiple blogs have probably all made the same mistake at one point or another (Danny even mentioned doing it not too long ago):

“I can completely sympathize with this. About two weeks ago, I posted something to the Search Engine Watch Blog that I meant for my personal blog Daggle. Both use Movable Type, on completely different systems. But I had browser windows open to both of them and just picked the wrong one.”

In conclusion, dogfood = yum, even when it has bugs! Blogger is powerful, secure, sophisticated — and yet a tremendously easy to use tool that enables millions of people around the world to share their lives with each other on the web. And it’s only getting better with age.

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