A couple of years ago, I had a feature on this blog called “Robopundit” that went out and aggregated RSS feeds from some of my favorite blogs into a cute little sidebar so you could see summaries of recent entries. I also engaged in a lot of speculation about what it would take to automate the function that Instapundit played on Sept. 11, 2001, and concluded it wouldn’t be all that hard. Nick Denton sent me an e-mail saying he wanted to pick my brain on the future of blogging, but we never connected. So now we have Nick’s new venture, Kinja, the weblog guide, some sort of lame attempt at aggregating blogs and making them more accessible. With all that Nick’s poured into this venture, both in time and money and buzz, I expected a lot more than this.
But the pattern is pretty familiar — I’ve noticed that people who steal other people’s ideas seldom get the vision right, even if they do get some of the details more or less in order, as was the case with my wireless MAC protocol that 802.11 picked up from Greg Ennis — the one that was finally corrected and completed by my buddy Srini as 802.11e.
Nick’s partner, Meg Hourihan, is leaving this unfortunate venture shortly, apparently in an attempt to preserve some reputation. With a little follow-through on Nick’s part, this unpleasantness could have been avoided, but now it’s his cross to bear.