"Shall we play a game?"


For the next nine days, Google is having a contest where each day you answer five new questions about literature using "Google Books" and write a new fifty word essay about the future of reading.

The essay does not have to be in the form of a psychedelic children's poem.

The top three essay submissions every day -- judged for clarity and creativity -- will receive Sony eReaders. The first 20,000 submissions will get Google Books laptop stickers. Google will get your address, email, and marketing information.

The purpose of the game is to train you to become comfortable with Google Books and to show you the awesome power of Google's page scan library.

It's clear: the first ereader to be fully aesthetically compatible with Google's scans (including hyperlinks, book covers, and search) will be the one that wins. This "winner" will probably be just a damn netbook computer that you can turn sideways. Is Google working with Sony right now to make this happen? Or are they building an agnostic library and waiting for the hardware manufacturers to come to them, waiting for the whole "ereader" phenomenon to pass over like bad wind?

Will Apple's forthcoming touchscreen tablet require publishers to code in some bullshit proprietary format? Because Google's method of making books available as persistent, browsable web pages is clearly the most elegant solution to the ebook problem. The bigger question is: how can independent publishers compete?

Posted by miracle on Tue, 28 Jul 2009 06:57:28 -0400 -- permanent link

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