Serendipitous search

Recently, Mashable (“the social media guide”) featured a post by Yuli Ziv, the founder & CEO of Style Coalition, covering “5 Reasons Google and Search Won’t Dominate The Next Decade“.

While I wasn’t sure that Ziv’s observations constituted fundamental weaknesses or the evolving nature of search, her thoughts got me thinking about the things Google still can do well …

Since Ziv’s post, Google put a few more bones on the structure of Google Editions, its plan to sell book content both directly and through publishers’ web sites. Although Google Editions has long been a bit of an open secret, CNET provides a good perspective on the most recent announcement, while PC World offers a somewhat more tongue-in-cheek review.

Following up on the initial coverage, Internet Evolution’s Robert McGarvey, who earlier this year interviewed me about piracy, called to ask about the potential of Google Editions. By the time he spoke with me, Yuli Ziv’s assessment had started to sink in. I told McGarvey (in part):

“Amazon is good at selling us books when we look for books, but Google may be positioning itself to sell us books when we are not looking for a book, just for information on a topic.”

That is, books return as an act of search serendipity, and Google solves a problem in a way that I didn’t necessarily think of in advance. If you read our blog much and think this rings a bell, you’re right: it’s the basic premise for lean consumption.

About Brian O'Leary

Founder and principal of Magellan Media Consulting, Brian O’Leary helps enterprises with media and publishing components capitalize on the power of content. A veteran of more than 30 years in the publishing industry and a prolific content producer himself, Brian leverages the breadth and depth of his experience to deliver innovative content solutions.

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