Friday, 31 December 2010

Googled by Ken Auletta and Here Comes Eveverybody by Clay Shirky

This is far the best book I have read about Google and it's founders. Amazon lists the book as 25 Feb 2010, so it's quite new. Ken Auletta talks at length about the ideas - he comes across as humble and genuine.

Have you read it? Tell me what you think. I don't see Google as a company that chases the $100 billion. Or how Google is in the news for all the wrong reasons i.e. China, News aggregation, rows with Apple. I see it as two guys who had a project to download the whole internet twelve years ago and filled up a house with computers in the process. They were $25 million down  before they had a clue how to make the first cent.

Auletta weaves interesting fact with the thoughts and behaviours of Sergey Brin and Larry Page. There was a freaky moment while reading the book where I thought that any web page is just an advertisement for something else - well is it? Go read it and find out for yourself.

I first heard of Clay Shirky from WWGD do? by Jarvis with the idea that people can organise themselves while using the internet to get off the internet (see Meetup and the witches). This book is a harder read, but is worth it, even to understand how Wikipedia was a failure at first (Publish then Filter solved that).

Key ideas like the Birthday ParadoxPower Law and the Long Tail now have meaning - ask the Mermaids from Coney Island, see Flickr.

Shirky claims we now have the tools to change the world - is he right? Read this book and find out. As history states, the medieval scribes were none too happy about the printing press. Shirky has many videos at ted.com - see one on groups here.

I am not a fan of Facebook, but group organisation was in action when an X-factor winner's song failed to reach number one in the music charts.

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