Friday, January 19, 2007

Can Google convince the Publishing industry it's up to no evil?

Yesterday I attended an interesting event organized by Google Books. It took place at the New York Public Library and had a great roster of speakers featuring Chris Andersen, Seth Godin, Tim O'Reilly and Cori Doctorow as well as several publishing executives. The two broad themes for the day were:

1) The Long Tail is real and needs to be addressed (and several publishers are doing it successfully) and
2) Google Books is good for publishers and we can prove it (that's what the publishing exec speakers were in charge of).

Overall the event was very interesting, fairly unbiased (no open Google glam session) and attended by interesting people. I got a chance to talk to Marissa Mayer briefly after two Chinese students took fan pictures with her and asked her about the future of Google Reader. She said she didn't really see it as a long-term standalone but rather as something that would merge with Gmail and/or their custom publishing platform (Jotspot, Blogger, Writely) in the mid-term.

Good luck Google!


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