• The beauty of engineers: Google
  • Inter-operative bookmarking; Gracenote for books.
    Shared bookmarks are one of the primary drivers of conversation and socialisation on the web. Simple pointers to information are the basic currency of networked communication, and one of the most desirable functions of the future book. But, in the book, they’re pretty hard to achieve. I’ve hit this problem already on bkkeepr, and that’s […]
  • Google lies – but you knew that already, right?
    Re: today’s announcement about Google and Sony. It doesn’t appear to be a deal as such, but what’s clear is that half a million scanned books from Google Book Search will be made available as epub files, with millions more to come. Epubs. Ebooks. Now, cast your mind back, if you will, to the London […]
  • Errata as Metadata
    Too long and too important for a Stop Press post: Google is throwing away information that is fundamentally characteristic of books—metadata that describe and even determine what books are, as simple and trivial as volume numbers, or artifacts of type design, editing, and artistic production. Books are not, in other words, mere bags of words, […]
  • Printing the Obvious
    So, what a surprise. Amazon has announced that it’s starting a Lulu-type POD system, through its wholly-owned subsidiary CreateSpace, which has been churning out self-published CDs and DVDs for several years now. The difference to Lulu being that products of said service will be searchable and buyable through the mighty, making them much more […]
  • Friday light relief: Google Fan Fiction, always up-to-date with the latest online literary microtrends, is proud to bring you a new subgenre: Google fan fic (or should that be fear fic?). Enjoy. Google Interiors by Sandra Niehaus: I realized with a shock that George’s hat was a dense cluster of tiny cameras, forming a rounded beehive of angled, glittering eyes. […]
  • Google Book Search: Obfuscation & Mystification
    I’ve written about Google Book Search before, but it’s time to do so again – particularly after their PR barrage at the London Book Fair, some aspects of which I wrote up at the time. For a while now, I’ve been broadly in favour of GBS, at least in as much as it’s forcing publishers […]
  • Unbounded Coverage
    In what should be the last of the round-ups of the Google Unbound conference, but probably won’t be, some more commentators: Why don’t people care enough about literature to steal it? by Stephen Leavitt at the Freakonomics blog Quit Marketing By the Book – a comprehensive write-up by Rebecca Lieb at How to be […]
  • Guarding the legacy
    Today’s Guardian has a short piece with more Google follow-upping: The iPod has done it with music, Flickr has done it with photos, MySpace has done it with bands and Saatchi is doing it with paintings. The question is: can Google do the same thing with books by creating an international online market place for […]
  • Information vs. Knowledge (the Times they are a-changin’)
    Lots of recent activity in the British press concerning future books: last weekend’s Sunday Times contained not one but two pieces on the subject. The first piece, Google plots e-books coup, reports on the Google Unbound conference we mentioned last week. Unfortunately, it’s all fairly techless, reporting that “the internet search giant is working on […]
  • Google’s Un-Bound
    This looks like it should be very interesting: Six centuries ago, a German metalworker tinkered with a wine press, metal alloys and oil based ink, perfecting one of history’s great inventions: the printing press. With the rise of mass publishing, more people than ever were able to access information. Books proliferated. Today, digital technology offers […]
  • Epstein on the future of books
    The latest New York Review of Books, a special edition of which is produced for the book fair, carries an article by Jason Epstein, venerable founder of the NYRB and husband of crusading refusenik Judith Miller, entitled Books@Google (it´s also available online). A flavour of Epstein´s wonderful prose can be found in the following analysis […]
  • For Hire is the blog of James Bridle, a book and technology specialist with specific expertise in planning and producing web and new media projects for clients in publishing and the arts. If you'd like to hire me, have a look at my CV and portfolio, and feel free to get in touch.

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