elephant

Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, he addressed the Newspaper Association of America’s annual conference.
I hate Google, in a more rational way than you realize. even if I have a gmail account and use gchat. because yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s a great point you make, I’m a hypocrite. and yeah, no shit, the game is changing, and papers are going to have to get the fuck over it. but I don’t care, and it doesn’t matter. stop cheerleading. most of the newspaper industry isn’t the New York Times or Rupert fuckin’ Murdoch, and the wonderful pandora’s box of humanity that is the internet is killing my line of work.
I love the freedom of the internet. it’s fucking great, man, it’s a great tool. it’s an encyclopedia with a pulse. it’s a portal. this is a portal. and the porn, oh god, the porn! … but the computer I’m using cost about $600 in 2006 dollars, and I pay probably $50 for monthly internet access. and someone is getting rich off of this stuff. hell, I just used Google’s news aggregator to find that article above. hrmm, I think it might be them.
so look straight ahead, because this is it. the vicious free market is playing out, about a foot and a half in front of your face, and underneath your fingertips. send me a dollar in the mail.

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5 comments so far

  1. Mary on

    I can’t remember if we talked about this last night or not, but IU makes a lot of money on a deal they have with Google. Google borrows thousands of books from IU and digitizes them. When I kept drilling my supervisor with questions about this, she said, “Oh, you’re such a library science student. Whats the big deal? They’re just books.”

    As Mom would say, WTF?

    Also, I thought you’d be interested in some of these clips. Netiquette, Matt! Netiquette. Do you remember that internet place in Bulgaria? It was in a basement and was full of little Bulgarians playing online games.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/view/korea.html?id=frol02c223fq806

  2. Smith on

    I think you need to explain why it is a big deal, because I certainly don’t see anything wrong with offering books via the web. The more people read, regardless of the format, the better.

  3. Mary on

    You’re right about the format. I guess what bothers me is this sort of monopoly of information that seems to be growing out of Google. If all the books at IU, for example, are digitized by Google, we won’t need a library at IU anymore. We can just do all our research through Google. And also, whole sections of the stacks are removed at a time, an indefinite time, so when a student comes looking for a book, we have to tell them Google has it and there is no way of knowing when it will come back. I suppose it isn’t the format issues that bothers me as much as the slow weeding out of diverse research facilities and the creation of one controller of information. Maybe Im getting a little too 1984, but it creeps me out.
    P.S. I have gmail. Guilty as charged!

  4. matt on
  5. Smith on

    I do understand the apprehension. But I think in this case the market is driving Google instead of them using their size and power to drive the market. An opposite example, in my opinion, would be what Microsoft did when they were forcing their Internet Explorer browser onto every Windows compatible computer beings sold. For me, the difference relies completely with the consumer having the choice. In that case, the choice was made for us. In this case, it is up to me whether or not to go to the library, use Google, or another online competitor – which there are plenty.

    I do agree that it will be a sad day when physical libraries start going under due to digitized books, and as your future profession I can see why this would freak you out, but being able to easily access a research article, novel, magazine, or text book is for too beneficial for it not to be adopted.

    I would also disagree somewhat that there is a “slow weeding out of diverse research facilities”. I believe we are only seeing a migration to other different and newer forms of such facilities. Google might be the most popular portal for most research, but they are definitely not the only option. In fact, Google is not even close to the leader of digitized books; that honor would go to ebooks.com. As long as there are diverse options available, it makes no difference if the medium is digital or physical. They do not write the articles, they only compile them, and they are not the only ones doing so.

    I guess it boils down to the fact that I have never had as much of a problem with Google being as dominate as they are in the search and information market, because it has always resulted in more information being provided to the public in an easier, user-friendly format. It might take a while, but Google will begin to see their market share chipped away by better products, the problem is that there is not much out there that would be considered better.

    That being said, a healthy dose of skepticism is usually for the best.


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