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Google and Libraries: Getting along

Don’t you just love Google’s Principles? Consider Principle #2:
2. It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
Google does search. With one of the world’s largest research groups focused exclusively on solving search problems, we know what we do well, and how we could do it better. Through continued iteration on difficult problems, we’ve been able to solve complex issues and provide continuous improvements to a service already considered the best on the web at making finding information a fast and seamless experience for millions of users. Our dedication to improving search has also allowed us to apply what we’ve learned to new products, including Gmail, Google Desktop, and Google Maps. As we continue to build new products while making search better, our hope is to bring the power of search to previously unexplored areas, and to help users access and use even more of the ever-expanding information in their lives.

The second sentence in this principle used to say “Google does not do horoscopes, financial advice, or chat.” Hmmmmm – wondered why they edited their principles? (Thanks Aaron)
You can find their 10 things they really really know here.
Why did I go back and look at this? In the past few weeks we’ve seen Google launch or be rumoured to launch:
Google Talk (here)with a rumoured potential for conference chat and videoconferencing.
Google Finance (here)
The Google Sidebar which has the potential to ultimately be a quasi-operating system (OS)
Google Wallet and e-commerce innovation.
Google broadband and wireless through the wires and investment in here.
Add this to large investments in China and a growing language capability… and ask yourself just what won’t they be involved in?
And what’s the library story? The big question is who or what drives Google? Who is paying the piper? It’s a public company and needs to keep shareholders happy. It needs revenue and that comes from advertisers, of course. Who and what drives libraries? The public, the user, our learners and supporters, of course. Is that focus enough of a strategic differentiator to live alongside Google in the global competition for attention?
Let’s talk about it. Register for my session about Google and libraries in the SirsiDynix Institute. You can do this here. It’s free (just like Google).
Stephen

Posted on: August 23, 2005, 2:24 pm Category: Uncategorized