I believe Google wants to kill off as many hosted blogs as possible. Why? To make more money but that's OK with me. I know that sounds strange coming from a blogger on hosted site but allow me to explain.
Hosted blogs are typically funded through advertising, often Google Adsense advertising. When a blog visitor clicks an Adsense ad like those on this blog, Google makes some money and a sliver of it ends up going towards funding the blog. It's through this scheme that many people fund their blogs. It is a mystery what percentage ends up going to the blog. It's small. Trust me.
I speculate that Google wants to entice bloggers to move their content into Google products, particularly Google Plus, and away from hosted sites. Why? To make more money. Google can reduce or eliminate the sliver Adsense payouts. What does that mean for their bottom line? Would they even care? Google's AdSense payouts totaled a whopping $1.7 billion (USD) in the first three months of 2011, according to Google's quarterly SEC report. If Google could move this traffic to Google and serve up ads that way, Adsense payouts can be recaptured by Google.
If Google can provide a robust platform and roll out new features over time for sharing ideas, pictures and all of the material that circulates in the blogosphere, I'd happily forego the inconvenience and hosting expenses of a hosted blog funded by AdSense. I attempted to move some of my content from this blog into Google Buzz... well, let's just say Buzz was what Buzz was. In any event, Google Plus is a completely new, more ambitious endeavor, and it is almost ideal for sharing ideas, pictures and videos and soliciting comment or sparking debates. Already, even during the Field Test of Google Plus, I see that my ideas make their way to a larger audience than they do through this blog and generate more discussion. I'm looking forward to allocating less time to maintaining a hosted blog. I'll be "blogging" through Google Plus. I hope you come along for the ride and continue to follow this "blog" by adding me on Google Plus: http://goo.gl/if4dx