Very quietly, last Friday afternoon, Google sent out thousands of notices (if not many, many more) to bloggers that it shut down their ability to post until such time that they could identify if blog spamming had occurred. The lock-down began as a trickle in mid-July, several weeks before the surge at the end of the month.

Of particular note was the theme of blogs that were affected. While anti-Obama blogs were the first and loudest to cry foul, many political, adult and left-wing blogs were trapped in a Google-esque loop with no human connection. Political blogs, Gossip Blogs, left wing blogs, religious blogs, Peace blogs were all on lock down with the same "spamming" notice as excuse, and no extra explanation or help from the Google mother ship.

Conspiracy theorists suggest that this had something to do with either Google censoring anti-Obama blogs or a bad beta test of the software they will be using to censor the coverage of the controversial Chinese Olympics. And while there was the odd "arts and crafts" blog that got censored too, the big majority of the blogs shut down were blogs that at one time or another had negative things to say about both Obama or the Olympics, or posted porn.

Needless to say, bloggers were not a happy lot and (competition to Google's Blogger) benefited with a surge of new sign-ups.

In the words of one blogger....."Without any notice, apology, or explanation, my posting privileges have (sp) been reinstated. Blogger's "guilty until proven innocent" approach is appalling. As bloggers, it is a good thing we still have choices, and I have exercised my choice to leave Blogger and establish a new home at Wordpress. (I have been advised that Wordpress investigates charges before taking action.

What was Google thinking?!

Let's take this "exercise of power" one step further into the realm of media and advertising control. Assume for the moment that Google wins the battle to manage, sell and control how all media channels are priced, parceled and invoiced. As the single largest player in the game, pricing is no longer demand driven. It's dictated. It becomes inelastic. Brands that cannot afford or are ill-equipped to find other communication outlets will pony up and adapt to the price shock. Combine this hold on media with the enterprise software that agencies utilize to manage and pay media invoices (did someone say Donovan Data Systems?), and both brands and agencies will find themselves under the same thumb that bloggers "gently" felt.

Most of the blogs have been opened to posting and any scenarios as to the cause may be simply speculative. But the toys still belong to Google and they get to make up and change the rules whenever they want.

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