Search guru John Battelle thinks Google has just undergone a major mutation, but I’m not so sure I agree. Here’s his case:
Now Google has in effect become a subcontractor to libraries who will be deciding what to put on line from their collections. It’s still the library’s decision, Google is just providing technical help (and getting paid for it, I’d imagine?).
As Battelle notes ‘Google has announced that the results will be included in the index, not separated out in a vertical book search engine.’ There is an issue as to how the stuff is ranked at first, although Google Scholar gives us some hints. Over time, it gets linked to like everything else and it seems to me the problem shrinks, no?
they key problem to me is that google will eventually de-hierarchize traditional assumptions about what is knowledge, what is ‘good’ information, what should be read, and what should be scanned, etc. if slashdot is on the same plane as a peer-reviewed academic journal, then, i think there will be some issues to resolve in the educational infrastructure, moreso than we have now.