Saturday, April 30, 2011

Video: Google’s Secret Class System (and it does mention digitization)

Gizmodo has an article and link to video (below).  The article states:
Google [employees] work under a caste system: employees wear different colored badges to indicate their status. That's not new or surprising, and doesn't really mean much, other than that you can spot a Google intern (literally) a half a mile away. They're the ones in green. White badges are full-timers, and red badges—numbering in the thousands—are contractors...there are the yellow badges. A class of employee that exists largely apart from the rest of the Google hive, sequestered to building 3.1459~, denied the benefits that nearly everyone else shares in.
As it turns out, those with yellow badges are reportedly scanning materials for Google Book Search.

The video is Andrew Norman Wilson discussing how he stumbled upon this information.  In the video, Wilson's delivery is purposefully flat, perhaps to take the emotion out of the piece and leave you focused on the words and images (both on the screen and those being created in your mind).  It is both a news story and an art piece

If you decide to watch the video, be sure to read the Gizmodo article too for a slightly different perspective.

BTW Andrew Wilson is a 2006 graduate of Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Communications, which makes me even more interested in the video and story. (Go Orange!)


Mitch said...

Wow, this is phenomenal, so of course I retweeted it. I would have never thought of such a thing occurring; I'd be speechless if I weren't so irritated.

Susan said...

Well, that was certainly depressing. How can scanning books be more "secret and confidential" than the work of those employees developing software for Google?

This video adds to my already mixed feelings about libraries' involvement with Google Book Project.

Fred said...

Here is the thread on reddit... <a href="> reddit </a>