Giving it away: Lesson learned

I'm putting this here because it feels a little too grumpy for Walt at Random...

Early last year, I was coaxed into doing an article for Google's fledgling Librarians Newsletter. No pay but presumably lots of publicity and all the resulting wonderful things that would come from being associated with Google.

The article was a little tricky. I had some issues with how Google was handling Google Book Search at the time, and included those issues in what was otherwise a favorable piece. The folks at Google didn't use the article right away. They suggested using it in some other arena; I suggested taking it back and using it as I saw fit. Eventually--several months later--they did use it, and added a comment noting that they were fixing some of the issues I'd raised (which they did).

OK, fine. I got some nice comments about the article. I have no particular indication that there were any other direct or indirect positive results. The piece came out right around the same time as the OCLC-RLG merger, a time of some considerable personal uncertainty (which continues), so maybe I missed them.

More recently, Google gave up on the Newsletter (as far as I can tell) and started a blog (instead?).

The blog has a sidebar with blogs that Google recommends.

It's an interesting list, both for its inclusions and its omissions.

In the future, I will be more mindful about contributing free writing to a commercial organization.


maybe you should have asked for an honorarium in the form of stock?

It was pretty clear that there wasn't going to be an honorarium, stock or otherwise. Amazingly, I still have trouble saying "No" except in the most outrageous circumstances (or in cases where I've learned my lesson).

I did look at the blog the other day, although I admit I spent more time looking at the picture and especially the blond who runs the show, I did notice a few things.

The first was the lack of what I would consider good librarian blog links. I would not consider mine a good librarian blog, but there are plenty of apolitical librarian blogs, W.A.R. among them, as well as LISNews if one could broaden the term blog to incldue it, I would.

I also noticed the lack of comments, which they have now enabled. Librarians are ones for discussing things and it seemed odd that one had to email comments. I wonder how long it will last before they are closed because of some flamewar.

Several years ago when google was in its infacny I did something for them, filled out a survey or something inconsequential and they sent me stickers and a spiffy t-shirt. This is before google had ads. Now I'd like securities.

Oh, and this is what google looked before it went commercial and still was