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I have a pretty good list of people I would like to interview for this book. It's on a note card on my bulletin board in my office. I have done a few interesting interviews already. I am in the process of scheduling many more.

I have the usual suspects on my wish list: Hal Varian, Jimbo Wales, Brewster Kahle, Michael Gorman, Clay Shirky, etc.

But who am I missing? Could y'all help me with some ideas of unusual suspects? "People of interest," one might say.

Who is doing some really cool thinking about Web 2.0, Web 3.0, search technology, information science, AI, the semantic Web, etc?

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Comments (8)

Jardinero1 on March 21, 2008 9:50 AM:

I can't come up with any specific names offhand, but I would consider interviews with ex-google employees very insightful. Exes have better insight into their previous employer than any current employee would. You should also interview anyone you can find from the competition who will speak off the record. Please consider Google vendors and clients. Vendors and clients can make or break a company. Their insights and attitudes can provide a view to the future for a company.

Ryan Shaw on March 21, 2008 10:23 AM:

Fred Turner
Paul Duguid
Michael Buckland
Stefano Mazzocchi
Helen Nissenbaum
Robert Cook

Leslie Johnston on March 21, 2008 10:34 AM:

Folks from the library community:

Peter Brantley, director of the Digital Library Federation

Lorcan Dempsey from OCLC

Tim Spaulding from LibraryThing

Seth Finkelstein on March 21, 2008 12:38 PM:

Nick Carr (see his piece "The Amorality Of Web 2.0"

Jaron Lanier ("Digital Maoism")

See Jon Garfunkel essays on civilities.net
(I can't give lots of links here)

TALK TO SHELLEY POWERS ABOUT SEMANTIC WEB! (burningbird.net)

Eszter Hargittai for her user-search research, of course

Gary Price of resourceshelf.com and Ask.com

Danny Sullivan of SearchEngineLand.com


Umm, me? Old interview: http://sethf.com/essays/major/greplaw-interview.php

Michael Zimmer on March 21, 2008 7:40 PM:

Off the top of my head, I can suggest the following:

* Terry Winograd, for insights into early Google days, and even some perspective on current ethical issues they face.

* Trebor Scholz, for critical views on Web 2.0

* Vint Cerf

Karen Coyle on March 23, 2008 12:48 PM:

It might be nice to interview some folks who are actively DOING something. There's Tim Spaulding at Librarything.com; just about any of the speakers at code4lib2008 (http://code4lib.org/conference/2008/schedule); the "Biblioteca 2.0" crowd (http://biblioteca20.ning.com/), esp. Bonaria Biancu; and many others.

Jenna Freedman on March 24, 2008 1:39 PM:

I noticed that women are quite in the minority of those suggested. To remedy that, I suggest looking to librarianship:

  • Barbara Fister
  • Dorothea Salo
  • Eli Edwards
  • Fiona Bradley
  • Jessamyn West
  • Jill Cirasella
  • Karen Schneider
  • Meredith Farkas
  • Sarah Houghton-Jan
  • Shinjoung Yeo

(alpha by first name, in feminist fashion--and those were just the first ten I thought of off the top of my head)

Jon Garfunkel on March 24, 2008 10:44 PM:

Seth-- thanks for the heads-up!

Siva-- you might start here with The Search For News, my response to John Battelle's book...

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A book in progress by

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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]

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Like the Mind of God (22 posts)

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What If Big Ads Don't Work (10 posts)

Don't Be Evil (9 posts)

Is Google a Library? (43 posts)

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The Dossier (19 posts)

Global Google (3 posts)

Google Earth (3 posts)

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


The Anarchist in the Library (Basic Books, 2004)


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

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