I've been concerned about this switchboard vs. repository issue very specifically with Google Book Search… it's essential that Google remember their heritage, as a distributor of attention, rather than trying to make their sites sticky (Web 1.0). Because publishers have been slow to put their books online, there's been nothing to search. Now that Google has gone to the expense of creating an online book repository, will they have the courage to set that content loose…in the case of public domain content, releasing not just the scanned images but also the text? Will they create an integrated search that includes other online book repositories (Amazon's, or publisher sites like Safari), or will they insist that book search means only "Google book search"?
These are unresolved issues, and I do worry that the YouTube acquisition moves Google's model from switchboard to repository.
Google’s $146 billion market cap, its business model and its free content acquisition via fair use and safe harbor philosophy, in fact, are all fueled by Google’s grand worldwide content repository designs, and Google has no intentions of changing.
Following Google’s YouTube acquisition announcement, I asked “Google: Should we cheer it or fear it?”
Fear Google? Unthinkable to most, but real to many. Why? Google is steadily realizing its unflinching objective to control the world’s content (information) and then use that content of others to its own strategic and profit objectives while determining how it is made available, stored, manipulated, accessed…
Google proudly proclaims its desire for worldwide content domination.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Google Q2 earnings conference call:
we are in the search business, so we need all of the information…ultimately our goal at Google is to have…all the world’s information
Google defines “all the world’s information” literally.
Schmidt at the Search Engine Strategies Conference in August:
If you think about it, all the world's information includes personal information.
Google aims to be the world’s repository, I warned:
Isn’t it time we started thinking about the long-term consequences to businesses and individuals of a consolidation of every piece of public, private, and personal “information” within one $122 billion (and growing) market cap corporation’s “cloud” and worldwide server farms?
In “Google, YouTube: multi-billion dollar “fair-use” risky bets” I put forth how Google is the repository for all the world’s Web pages:
Google makes a duplicate copy of the entire content of each Web page it crawls for indexing and then keeps the copy it created, and subsequently controls, within its own storage facilities. Google’s caching of third-party Web content, and display of the copied, cached content in Google’s core search results without content owners’ explicit permission, usurps management, control and ownership of the content from the actual creators and owners of the content.
If a Web site owner removes an expired Web page from its own site, the expired content will remain alive and well within Google and will be indefinitely available to be presented as a Google search query result. Google’s copying, caching and displaying of third-party Web page content makes Google the must-go-to destination for the world’s expired content, while also stripping content owners of full interest in, and control of, the content they created.
In "Free Google GMail: The high price you pay" I put forth how Google aims to be the repository for all the world’s inhabitants’ email communications:
Do you believe the contents of every personal and business email you ever write or send should be recorded and permanently archived on third party servers located in countries throughout the world, to which you have no access?
If you are one of the millions of GMail users, you have indicated to Google that you most certainly do…
GMail users are enabling Google, a $115 billion market cap corporation, to create and perpetually archive histories of their personal and business communications. Google will have and control more data on individuals than individuals will have on themselves.