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From Jeff Jarvis' BuzzMachine:

WWGD? - The book

I'm delighted to tell you that I just got a contract to write a book: WWGD? - What Would Google Do?

I'm reverse-engineering Google, taking the lessons and rules I find in their singular success in the internet economy and applying them to other companies, industries, and institutions. And then I'll pontificate about the greater importance of Google and links on society and life.

The book will freeze-dry onto paper many of the ideas we explore here. And I'll continue to explore them here as I write. I decided to approach the book/blog relationship that way, rather than putting up finished chapters and asking you to react to them. It's more interesting and more valuable to me to have a discussion about our experiences as part of the process. So I'm grateful, as always, for your sharing your thoughts, perspective -- and corrections. That's one of the lessons in the book: It's a gift economy.

Considering all I've written here about the digital future of the book, it is ironic that I'm killing trees. I blame Seth Godin as my nudge-muse, who sat me down at lunch sometime ago and said I was a fool not to write a book because it is a vehicle to get ideas out (and get speaking engagements in). Seth's only written three or four books since he gave me that advice. So I'm slow to pick up. But it's good advice.

Of course, I'll also be applying Google rules to books in the book.

The book was bought by Collins, an imprint of Harper-Collins. My editor is Ben Loehnen and my agent is Kate Lee at ICM. It'll be out next spring.

Now I have to get to work.

Jeff's news comes on the tail of two other announcements I know of.

Randall Stross has a book coming out from Free Press about Google's success. It will be called Planet Google.

And the big one: Stephen Levy will be writing a journalistic book about Google for Simon and Schuster. From Publisher's Weekly:

S&S publisher David Rosenthal has acquired a new book by Steven Levy titled Searching for Google; Flip Brophy at Sterling Lord sold world rights, and senior editor Bob Bender will edit. Levy, chief technology writer at Newsweek, will tell how Google manages to realize its ambitions and how it generates new ideas and maintains a startup mentality in the face of explosive growth and increasing competition. The book has the full cooperation of Google’s top management. Levy is the author of numerous books, including Hackers, Insanely Great (the story of the Macintosh computer) and, most recently, The Perfect Thing, a look at the iPod. S&S has the new book scheduled for late 2009.
Interestingly, both Levy and Stross are publishing competing books with two different arms of the same publishing conglomorate: The News Corporation.

In addition, both Levy and Stross have had substantial access to the company. And Jarvis is clearly a cheerleader. So I have a lot of work to do to clear space for my own arguments.

This is going to be very exciting.


Comments (1)

Jeff Jarvis on March 22, 2008 1:56 PM:

Good luck with yours! We have Google covered, eh?

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A book in progress by

Siva Vaidhyanathan

Siva Vaidhyanathan

This blog, the result of a collaboration between myself and the Institute for the Future of the Book, is dedicated to exploring the process of writing a critical interpretation of the actions and intentions behind the cultural behemoth that is Google, Inc. The book will answer three key questions: What does the world look like through the lens of Google?; How is Google's ubiquity affecting the production and dissemination of knowledge?; and how has the corporation altered the rules and practices that govern other companies, institutions, and states? [more]

» Send links, questions and ideas:
siva [at] googlizationofeverything [dot] com

» Visit my main blog: SIVACRACY.NET

» More about me


Other books by Siva:


Rewiring the Nation: The Place of Technology in American Studies (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007)

The Anarchist in the Library (Basic Books, 2004)

Copyrights and copywrongs cover

Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How it Threatens Creativity (New York University Press, 2001)


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