Author Topic: The web behemoth that’s Google from three revealing standpoints  (Read 4235 times)

Joe Carillo

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These past few months, three books have been published in quick succession about various facets of the web and business behemoth that’s Google. Here they are, in what I think is their order of interest to Forum members and general-interest book readers: Douglas Edwards’ I’m Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 432 pages), Steven Levy’s In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works and Shapes Our Lives (Simon and Schuster, 424 pages), and Siva Vaidhyanathan’s The Googlization of Everything (and Why We Should Worry) ((University of California Press, 280 pages).

Edwards’ I’m Feeling Lucky offers a personal account and first insider’s view of Google as a company that achieved phenomenal growth from a just a handful of people in January 1996 to tens of thousands of employees 16 years later. As Google’s first director of marketing and brand management, Edwards was on hand to experience what he saw as a bizarre mix of camaraderie and competition in the maverick company. “I was a forty-one-year-old middle manager thrust into an unfamiliar world ruled by two brilliant founders with a unique management style, and the book details how difficult it was for me to make the adjustment,” he says.

Read excerpts from Douglas Edwards’ I’m Feeling Lucky in The Wall Street Journal now!

Read an interview of Douglas Edwards about the book I’m Feeling Lucky in now!

Levy’s In the Plex is a knowledgeable and evenhanded but often surprisingly revealing account of Google’s growth from a “feisty start-up to a market-dominating giant” under the stewardship of its two founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Writing from a technology standpoint, Levy, senior writer of the technology magazine Wired, focuses on the development, operations, infrastructure, and management of Google as an advertising-fueled “money machine.” He authoritatively tells the story of how an audacious business became a corporate behemoth, in the process inadvertently showing its once-maverick founders as now suffering from the post-wunderkind blues.

Read the prologue of Steven Levy’s In the Plex in now!

Read in Michael Rosenwald’s review of Steven Levy’s In the Plex in BusinessWeek now!

Vaidhyanathan’s The Googlization of Everything critically examines the highly pervasive influence of Google over modern society, urging the users of the service and the public at large to be cautious about the publicly traded, revenue-driven firm’s great potential for social control and surveillance. A professor of media studies and law at the University of Virginia, Vaidhyanathan argues that by valuing popularity over accuracy and established sites over new ones, Google sets its own agenda regarding what information is most relevant to users, thus altering their perceptions about value and significance.

Read Chapter 1 of Siva Vaidhyanathan’s The Googlization of Everything in the University of California Press website now!

Read Daniel Soar’s review of Siva Vaidhyanathan’s The Googlization of Everything in the London Review of Books now!

« Last Edit: October 03, 2011, 04:18:16 PM by jciadmin »