Why Aren't Magazine Publishers Thinking About This Stuff?!
CEO Roundtable Panel from O'Reilly's TOC Conference

Amazon vs. Google

Boxing glove The Kindle 2 Review blog posted an article today comparing Amazon and Google.  It focuses on how the companies are going head-to-head, primarily in the book space.  I can't say I agree with 100% of the article but I'll admit there were pieces of it that made me think a bit further about the rivalry.

I'm still scratching my head over this comment about Google though:

The crucial thing here is that most people have no idea what the free services are costing them.

Come on.  I'm no Eric Schmidt fanboy (is there such a thing?!), but I get a chuckle out of conspiracy theories like this.  What exactly are these free Google services costing me?  It this is a hint that Google is to blame for the rapid decline of the newspaper industry, well, cry me a river!  I'm in the technology how-to book publishing industry and as I've often said, my biggest competitor isn't another publisher...it's Google.  But I'm not going to sit around and whine about how big, bad Google is forcing our industry to innovate.

I'm also not convinced that the book industry is a high priority for Google.  Would they like to participate in it more?  Absolutely, but it's not likely to become an enormous revenue generator for them, particularly compared to the money Google rakes in from search.  Then again, wouldn't it be interesting if Google were to come out with their own ebook reader?  Think about an open platform that encourages third-party app development and gives Amazon more than a run for its money.  Now that's something I could get excited about!

Comments

abhi

Joe, it all seems harmless now. However when we all live in GoogleNet 10 years down the line it'll be a very different proposition.

Amazon controlling publishing seems scary. Google controlling the Internet and MobileNet is infinitely more scary.

Book Calendar

The book industry is a big target for Google. This line sums it up. Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Books are an information product. I was sitting at the Open Access and Libraries conference at Columbia University and heard the simple line concerning Google's policy towards what it would add to Google Books. The basic idea is that if it is in a library somewhere it is worth adding to Google Books.

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