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The Proud Legacy of the New Web

My weekly column for the Loose Wire Servce. A few things I had to do this week brought me to the same conclusion: Companies that don’t get simplicity are struggling. First off, I have been writing a paper on social media. What we used to call Web 2.0, basically. Now that everything we do is Web 2.0 it’s kind of silly to call it that. And nerdy. But next time you use Facebook, or Twitter, or any web service that uses a clean, simple interface—nothing ugly, no bullying error messages—then you can thank Web 2.0. Every time you are pleasantly surprised when the service youContinue readingThe Proud Legacy of the New Web

Web 2.0 or Social Media? It Depends on the Year

A client asked me the other day what the difference was between social media, new media, digital media and Web 2.0. I told him: time. To see what I mean look at the following timeline from Google Trends: The blue line is searches of “social media” since 2004, orange is ”new media”, red “web 2.0” and green is “digital media”. Of course digital media can also include things like games, Flash and things where media is defined not so much as a means of delivering information but of a platform of expression. I guess the same could be said of new media. But what’s tellingContinue readingWeb 2.0 or Social Media? It Depends on the Year

Books. The New Google Juice?

Increasingly I find that if I enter a search on Google for something that I need explaining to me, the first result is a book. Of course, the book is in Google’s Book Search, but chances are the search is in a page that has been scanned and is available without having to buy the book. What I’m not clear about are the implications of this. (The above example is from me finding myself watching a UK quiz show from 2001 on the BBC’s Entertainment Channel, which I noticed is free this month on our local cable network. As a long-term expat I find theseContinue readingBooks. The New Google Juice?

Getting Communal With Books

It’s always hard to explain to people why sharing stuff online is so powerful. For one thing it’s getting easier, with del.icio.us etc. But the real power is in being able to harness the wisdom of others in finding stuff. Simply put, it’s the online equivalent of asking among your most knowledgeable acquaintances for helping in finding things — from a good barber to a good book, a good CD to a good funeral home. Anyone who has read The Tipping Point will know the importance of mavens (or was it connectors?) so it’s not rocket science that this is an amazing use of theContinue readingGetting Communal With Books

Google and The Future Of Libraries

Will all libraries eventually be digital? Seems a pretty obvious question (answer: yes) but the process is surprisingly slow. I do research online and use databases like Questia but there’s still a hell of a lot that hasn’t been made available. And a lot of what is scanned has not been scanned well, unless the original material contained a lot of misspelled names. Anyway, here’s a glimpse of what may be happening soon. From the excellent OnlineJournalism.com Newsletter — the daily news Weblog of the USC Annenberg Online Journalism Review — is a link to a report from CyberJournalist.net, which in turn “keyed in onContinue readingGoogle and The Future Of Libraries

Google Blurb Search

Here’s another whacky trick that Google have quietly introduced, adding to the impression they are fast cementing their role as one-stop portal: Book searching. According to SearchEngineWatch (via the excellent TechDirt), Google Print is an experimental service that “indexes excerpts of popular books, blending the content from these works into regular Google search results”. These excerpts are usually the blurb, for now. True to its apparent intention to make itself indispensable before it starts collecting cash, Google says book sellers pay nothing for links from these search results, and it is not benefiting if you make a purchase from one of these retailers. It’s likelyContinue readingGoogle Blurb Search

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