Google and the Mission to Map Meaning and Make Money

(via Google Blogoscoped)
Google and the Mission to Map Meaning and Make Money is the title of a new book on Google by Bart Milner.

This book is a brief history of Cyberspace and Google’s fundamental contribution – a new search method that gives almost immediate access to the contents of billions of web pages.

It covers the the rivalry with Yahoo! – once their closest partners, the competition with Microsoft and the success that made Google’s 2004 launch on NASDAQ inevitable and the struggle by the company’s founders to prevent that success from ruining their vision of how a 21st century engineering enterprise should be organised.

It traces the origins of the Internet in the work of Vannevar Bush, Ted Nelson and Tim Berners-Lee and the serendipity of the Google founders’ breakthrough discovery of a technology of hypertextual and contextual search developed at Stanford University, after the failure of dozens of earlier Search engines, and their subsequent development of targetted advertising which is already fundamentally transforming the future profits of both the Internet and printed newspapers and magazines industries.

The first chapter of the book is available to read online. Once I’ve read it, I’ll comment. I suspect it won’t sufficiently address the social implications of Google’s dual goal of “mapping meaning” and “making money” – something I hope my dissertation will rectify.

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