Top positive review
15 people found this helpful
The Real Question is "What did Jarvis do?"
on February 28, 2009
Books like What would Google Do? frustrate me. They are contradictions.
Take an author, in this case Jeff Jarvis. He models a new world. In this case, the world created by Google. He, with his unpaid internet collaborators, develops 40 rules for operating in this new world. Then, because he does not like the fact that the new rules will not pay him, he returns to the old world rules to ring the register.
You could not make up this scenario. Yet, it is accurate rendition of the promises and perils of the "New Google Age." Viewers do not want to pay for content. They expect it for free. I have always hated the term "freelancer." I would politely remind clients what I do is not "free." On the contrary, my service is very expensive. It took me time, money and lots of sweat to develop my domain knowledge. In the "New Google Age", however, it is indeed free. In the last decade we have chosen to turn our backs on centuries of Intellectual Property law, tradition and practice.
Jarvis understands my frustration. He came up with a great idea: a blog chronicling the rise of Google, the fastest growing company in history. Smart people helped him develop those ideas by freely posting their insights. Volumes of research demonstrate this is the most effective way to develop an idea. Yet, when Jarvis cannot monetize his site, where does he turn? You guessed it. To the very "old media" he devotes countless pages of his book pronouncing dead. To his credit the author sheepishly admits this contradiction somewhere in the back pages of his treatise.
I read every page of the book. The 40 rules are consumer driven and solid, but the author fails to answer this "New Google Age's" deepest question: how do we compensate the content creator? If Jarvis's actions with this book are a model, then the "New Google Age" requires serious revision.