Technology! Good? Bad? Okay?

Those of you who have read any of my posts to date will have noticed no doubt a certain duality. A belief that technology offers an interesting and exciting future for book publishing combined with fears that new and different gatekeepers will be ready to choke off the opportunities that present themselves.

The gate keepers I most fear are search engines who have managed through foresight and perseverance to place themselves between the audience and content. Yes there are challengers to the crowns of Yahoo and Google and their few mega companions but in truth they are few and they serve to prove the rule.

In pondering this I have been reading widely about how search works and was guided by “Melanie’s Round Up” in John Battelle’s Searchblog to a fascinating article in IEEE Spectrum on pagerank and how:

While search engines do not make for a level playing field, their use partially mitigates the rich-get-richer nature of the Web, giving new sites an increased chance of being discovered.

It is tough but rewarding read and can be found in its entirety here. I am still torn between a dream and reality but I am perhaps a little easier in my dreaming.

A little clarification

Those of you who read my links post yesterday may have seen my link to Plagiarism Today which I praised highly. Author Jonathon got back with a comment that I think it only fair to post on the front page:

Jonathan Says:
May 31st, 2006 at 4:31 pm e

I just wanted to say thank you for the link and for the review. It means a lot. However, I am probably not the world’s best choice for balance. I do support the Creative Commons initiative and most sharing of content, it’s just plagiarism and outright content theft that bothers me.
Still I am very glad that you enjoy the site and found it useful. I hope that I can continue to please.