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    Location: Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom

    I am the owner and managing director of Information Automation Limited (IAL), a company that specialises in research, consultancy and training for the information profession. We are particularly interested in all forms of electronic information resources (e-journals, e-books, etc) and I teach a course in electronic publishing at the Department of Information Studies in Aberystwyth. Drilling down still further(!), my interests centre on the quality and evaluation of electronic information, and in the thinking that underpins activities in library and information science.


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    Tuesday, September 25, 2007

    New social book

    A new social e-book - The Googlization of Everything by Siva Vaidhyanathan - has been announced. A social book is one in which society - you and I - take part in the writing; in this case it is being developed on a blog. It is the latest project of The Institute for the Future of the Book:
    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?
    Writing a book is normally a slow process, arguably the social interaction will slow the process down, and one has to wonder whether this is such a book of the moment that its immediacy will be lost over an overly protracted writing process. But it is an experiment. The blog begins:

    Hi. Welcome to my new book. Well, it’s not a book yet. In fact, it will not be a real book for a long time... I have never tried to write a book this way. Few have. Writing has been a lonely, selfish pursuit for my (sic) so far... As I compose bits and pieces of work, I will post them here. They might be very brief bits. They might never make it into the manuscript. But they will be up here for you to rip up or smooth over.

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