Interest level: Adult
Google really generates mixed feelings in me, as it does with many information professionals. The company has truly transformed our world, and continues to amaze and impress. The ad-clicks technology that pays for our searches, the Les Paul guitar doodle we all played at work, the gmail accounts with so much space they didn’t initially include a delete button (reluctantly added when we mere humans demanded the right to delete mail!), Android, Chrome, GoogleDocs and more. There are entire graduate courses on using Google, and courses on Google as an intellectual property topic. You can find shelves of books on Google: using it effectively, why it’s great and why it’s evil. This one takes a journalistic approach – looking at both sides of Google’s history, its culture, its business and its impact. Covering media is Auletta’s expertise, and he dissects Google neatly, revealing the brilliance and dysfunction of the principals, examining both the company’s stated altruistic goals and the devastation it’s wrought on “traditional” media. You finish this book admiring Google and feeling a little dirty at the same time. Perhaps distrustful is a better term. (Oy, the data that could be mined from our TV set-top boxes!) But certainly more informed, and to me, that’s never a bad thing.
More reviews and discussion on this book: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6514908-googled