Google and Publishing

January 5, 2009

Two articles appeared in my newsreader. Both discuss Google and its impact on publishing. I won’t spoil your fun by summarizing these write ups. I want to highlight each and make one observation pertinent to search and content processing.

The first article is by the New York Times (a troubled ship is she too). The author is Motoko Rich and you can read “Google Hopes to Open a Trove of Little Seen Books” here. The subject is Google Book Search, the scanning project, and the usefulness of the service to the curious.

The second article is by an outfit doing business as Ohmy News. Its article is “The Web Is Winning the News War.” Peter Hinchliffe (Hinchy for short I think) points out that Web services are a challenge for the traditional news outfits. Hinchy does not mention Google, but the shadow falls over the story.

My observation is a modest one. Google disintermediates people, streamlines production, and relies on digital distribution. Books, news–whatever. The writing is on the wall. The Google is a disrupter and the implications have not been converted to learnings.

Stephen Arnold, January 5, 2009


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