Study: Google Positioned to be Major Player in 21st Century Media

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"Google: The Digital Gutenberg" offers critical analysis and information to anyone connected with traditional media enterprises and to anyone charged with calculating threats and potential for media companies in book and magazine publishing, directory and guide compilation, television and video.

When Gutenberg 'invented' printing, scribes were put out of work. New jobs were created, but the dislocation for those skilled with hand copying was severe.

A new in-depth search industry monograph released today examines how Google's highly sophisticated technical resources could position it to become a formidable player in 21st Century media.

"Google: The Digital Gutenberg" offers critical analysis and information to anyone connected with traditional media enterprises and to anyone charged with calculating threats and potential for media companies in book and magazine publishing, directory and guide compilation, television and video. It is authored by Stephen E. Arnold, http://www.arnoldit.com, an expert in search, content processing and text analytics. Arnold will present the results of the study today at Ibreakfast's "Google and the Future of Newspapers" seminar (http://www.ibreakfast.com/).

The challenge Google represents to current media in particular and to traditional media such as newspapers in general is an old story. Arnold offers this comparison: "When Gutenberg 'invented' printing, scribes were put out of work. New jobs were created, but the dislocation for those skilled with hand copying was severe."

Arnold explains in the monograph that Google is a type of large-scale disruptor. "It's the poster child of larger changes made possible by technology, infrastructure and user demands," he said.

Google continues to push products and services into different business sectors, and media is an obvious target. These waves can be disruptive and often the cause of surprising reactions; "Google: The Digital Gutenberg" explains the current industry climate surrounding Google and will help the traditional media industry understand how the technological landscape is changing as led by Google's charge.

Google is best known as a Web search vendor and an online advertising system. But Google as a publisher is a relatively new concept. The company already offers a number of revenue-generating opportunities such as the AdSense program to publishers and business at-large.

But Google is now moving to also offer video content organization, actual advertising sales and Google search within sites, among other functions. The monograph closes with a discussion of the Google App Engine, which offers users the ability to build and host web applications on Google's infrastructure. Essentially, the partner who uses Google as a back office can negotiate revenue splits with Google, making it an effective shot in the arm for failing traditional media revenues.

The study reviews Google's content automation methods, dataspace functions and the company's increasing impact on education, scholarly publishing, and commercial online business as Google positions itself as a major player in the media industry.

"If my research data are correct, Google could be more active as a content generator than it has chosen to be. Google, for this reason, has 'potential energy'; that is, without much additional investment, the company could produce more content objects.

"Google, as I said in my 2005 monograph 'The Google Legacy', is a company skilled at applying technology in clever ways," Arnold said. "Google doesn't invent in the Eureka! myth. Google is more like Thomas Edison, an inspired tinkerer, a person who combines ideas until one clicks. That's the reason for Google's beta tests and stream of test products and services."

Arnold ends by summarizing "Google: The Digital Gutenberg" in three words: Surf on Google. For those who choose to ignore Google, they risk being left behind as Internet technology forges the new media of the future.

The monograph is published by Infonortics, http://www.infonortics.eu/publications/index.html. Orders may be placed online at https://www.infonortics.com//https/goog-ord.html or by mail using the order form at http://www.infonortics.eu/publications/google/google-order-3.pdf. A table of contents is posted at http://www.infonortics.com/publications/google/google-gutenberg.html.

About Stephen E. Arnold

Stephen E. Arnold monitors search, content processing, text mining and related topics from his office in Kentucky. He works with colleagues worldwide on a wide range of online and content-related projects. The company's Web site is http://arnoldit.com, and the Beyond Search blog is at http://arnoldit.com/wordpress/.

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