Like the French, Germans to Challenge Google Print

Jun 6th

Not too long ago there were many reports of French trying to rival the Google print program. The International Herald Tribune reports the same thing is now happening in Germany.

Then this year, when Google started wooing publishers to sign on for its own digital book project, that German executive, Matthias Ulmer, decided the time was ripe to seize control with a homegrown counterattack.

Now Ulmer and a five-member task force of the German book trade association Börsenverein are organizing their own digital indexing project, Volltextsuche Online. The effort of the 6,000-member association of booksellers and publishers comes in reaction to Google's plans, unveiled in December, to start digitizing books in the world, with the first step being major university library collections in the United States.

Ultimately variety is going to be important to keep the free flow of information possible. A few companies controlling the information supply is a scary thought, though it looks as though it is where we are headed.

The scalability of search and requested ad networks requires that anyone jumping into the market either

  • creates a strong brand in a niche, or

  • jumps in big

It will be hard for Google and others to appease publishers as they try to convince them to allow others to control free copies of their content, which at the least will transform the publishing business model and could eventually undermine large segments of it.

Even if some of the uprising forces have little effect on the outcome being a leader in an outraged group helps market the leaders as being market leaders. An article with "challenges Google" in the title is bound to get syndicated thousands of times.

If you can find some angle where you can go against Google which others find nobel it might be some of the cheapest marketing you ever experience.

Whether or not people view Google's desire to control information as evil it is hard to deny that they are at the forefront of pushing others to modernize data.

Published: June 6, 2005

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