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The Real Question is "What did Jarvis do?"

  • Aug 26, 2010
Rating:
+3
Books like What would Google Do? frustrate me. They are contradictions.

Take an author, in this case Jeff Jarvis. He models a new world. In this case, the world created by Google. He, with his unpaid internet collaborators, develops 40 rules for operating in this new world. Then, because he does not like the fact that the new rules will not pay him, he returns to the old world rules to ring the register.

You could not make up this scenario. Yet, it is accurate rendition of the promises and perils of the "New Google Age." Viewers do not want to pay for content. They expect it for free. I have always hated the term "freelancer." I would politely remind clients what I do is not "free." On the contrary, my service is very expensive. It took me time, money and lots of sweat to develop my domain knowledge. In the "New Google Age", however, it is indeed free. In the last decade we have chosen to turn our backs on centuries of Intellectual Property law, tradition and practice.

Jarvis understands my frustration. He came up with a great idea: a blog chronicling the rise of Google, the fastest growing company in history. Smart people helped him develop those ideas by freely posting their insights. Volumes of research demonstrate this is the most effective way to develop an idea. Yet, when Jarvis cannot monetize his site, where does he turn? You guessed it. To the very "old media" he devotes countless pages of his book pronouncing dead. To his credit the author sheepishly admits this contradiction somewhere in the back pages of his treatise.

I read every page of the book. The 40 rules are consumer driven and solid, but the author fails to answer this "New Google Age's" deepest question: how do we compensate the content creator? If Jarvis's actions with this book are a model, then the "New Google Age" requires serious revision.

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More What Would Google Do? reviews
review by . September 20, 2010
Books like What would Google Do? frustrate me. They are contradictions.      Take an author, in this case Jeff Jarvis. He models a new world. In this case, the world created by Google. He, with his unpaid internet collaborators, develops 40 rules for operating in this new world. Then, because he does not like the fact that the new rules will not pay him, he returns to the old world rules to ring the register.      You could not make up this scenario. Yet, …
review by . August 02, 2009
WWGD - What would Google Do - is a book about the new ways that internet is changing our lives, and how the best to benefit from it. Despite its title, this is not a book about Google, at least not in a sense that it makes any effort to deeply analyze and try to explain in nonobvious terms the source of Google's success. Recently I came across a picture online which depicts a small store somewhere in India that without any shame or sense of propriety named itslef "Google." Google has indeed become …
review by . January 31, 2009
Until you read this book, it is reasonable for you to question the title. As it is written, it appears to be a book about different problems and solutions presented in terms of what would the Google company do. Fortunately, it is much more than that because the usage of the term Google in the title is more in the nature of a process rather than the specific company.    Jarvis uses the Google model of disbursement and the soliciting of comments from the crowd as his fundamental mechanism …
review by . March 18, 2009
The new publishing gold rush seems to be to pseudo-scientific books that "simplify" complex subjects. Chris Anderson's "The Long Tail" which tries to mate the Paretto Principal with the bell curve to form a new marketing paradigm and Malcom Gladwell's simplistic deductions so masterfully skewered in Judge Posner's review of Gladwell.     Jeff Jarvis joins the parade and now suggests that if only you managed like Google, you too would be a billionaire or, as Jarvis explains on …
About the reviewer
Craig L. Howe ()
I count among my worst faults an insatiable appetite for knowledge and meeting people. It was only natural that I gravitated toward journalism.      Since 1987 as the Principal Consultant … more
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This scattered collection of rambling rants lauding Google's abilities to harness the power of the Internet Age generally misses the mark. Blog impresario Jarvis uses the company's success to trace aspects of the new customer-driven, user-generated, niche-market-oriented, customized and collaborative world. While his insights are stimulating, Jarvis's tone is acerbic and condescending; equally off-putting is his pervasive name-dropping. The book picks up in a section on media, where the author finally launches a fascinating discussion of how businesses—especially media and entertainment industries—can continue to evolve and profit by using Google's strategies. Unfortunately, Jarvis may have lost the reader by that point as his attempt to cover too many topics reads more like a series of frenzied blog posts than a manifesto for the Internet age.(Jan.)
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ISBN-10: 0061709719
ISBN-13: 978-0061709715
Author: Jeff Jarvis
Genre: Business & Investing
Publisher: HarperBusiness
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