Some Comments on "The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transforme

Submitted by Bibliofuture on Tue, 11/22/2005 - 16:58

An LISNEWS reader sent these comments on the book, The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture
I have read through chapter 10 in the book. Battelle has definitely written a fascinating glimpse of Google and a few of its rivals. Some things that have stood out to me:

The majority of the quotes from Google executives come from Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt; there are hardly any from Larry Page. However, Page has a self-confessed reticent nature (p. 68) so that probably is enough explanation.

It is interesting to read about how hit levels in Google effect businesses, small ones in particular (Chapter 7: “The Search Economyâ€). It makes sense that there is such a strong correlation, but I had never quite realized the impact before reading the story of Neil Moncreif’s specialty shoe business.

The controversy of Google Print and publisher’s concerns is barely covered, but give the recent and evolving nature of the issue, that is probably understandable. Unless I missed it, there is also not a direct reference to librarians’ concerns over Google and Print.

I did find an interesting reference to libraries and privacy on page 193 and 194. Battelle mentions a book by sci-fi author Piers Anthony. The book is entitled Chthon and was originally published in 1967. The apparently undated future is a “dictatorial future†where all knowledge is stored on computers. The protagonist who is “tracking down a mysteryâ€, decides to do all of his research in libraries where he know that his trails won’t be found and that he won’t “alert the authoritiesâ€. Interesting twentieth century speculation of our present day online privacy concerns.

In Chapter 10: “Google Today: Google Tomorrowâ€, Battelle offers an interesting comparison of Google and Yahoo’s cultures and practices. How their intended end results are the same yet their approaches to those have been quite different. Yahoo has made no bones about equating search results with commerce and media delivery. At least in the past, Google’s Page and Brin have been reluctant to tie search and commerce so intimately. However, that has been changing over the last couple of years and is sure to continue to change. Battelle makes the point that Google is looking to be an all-purpose content delivery company.