K. Matthew Dames gave one of the last sessions at CIL. To him, Google is not a search engine or an ad agency, but a peer-to-peer (P2P) multifaceted computing system on the web. It is the company's backroom technology and processing capabilities that allow it to do what it does.
Dames compared Google to a database company, pointing out the similarities and differences. Generally the differences has to do with its computing power and flexibility.
He noted that where Google plays is often an indication of what direction the company is going in. Right now, Google is "playing" as a marketer, content aggregator, publisher and service provider.
Dames says that the opportunities for librarians are to be the "pro" Google, or -- in other words -- to enhance Google with our skills and capabilities. Words that stood out from that part of his presentation where classify, cluster and contextualize as well as create or co-opt services.
BTW Dames has two blogs that I follow: CopyCense and OpenWyre. And -- yes -- we're doing workshops together this spring, so I'm slightly biased when I say it was a good session! The workshop we did at CIL went well (see this posting for info).
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