What Would Google Do CoverNow, I know I am not even done with the book yet – but I could not resist writing about it. Jeff Jarvis’ new book What Would Google Do? is really awesome, and I must say that I am relatively new to the tech/career/social media book genre. And I am really loving it!

I got this book because one of the women at work read it. She found it so great that she had the office manager order 3 copies of it for the office. All of the books we have here are the environmental ones – so to have one that was about something different was extremely awesome. I had just decided to review more and more books on here, so I stalked the OM until she gave me the first copy out of the box from Amazon.

I must say, I am tempted to hold onto it and not give it back. Jarvis is a long-time blogger, and a tech/media/web guy that really knows his material. His writing is straight forward and concrete, and really made me amazed at how many people were using the internet for cool things – well before everyone else. He explains how he wrote a blog post about the bad customer service he received at Dell (which, yep, I have a Dell Latitude story I could tell myself) – and the blog post found its way all the way to the top of the company’s chain.

Many people responded to Jarvis and his frustration about customer service, and in turn, Dell responded. This is how the book opens – and it definitely had me hooked. So far, (I am only at page 47) Jarvis has focused on the ways in which we have to work with and not against the almighty Google. I didn’t realize until I had begun reading how much volume of web content Google controls. It was truly insane.

The idea of working within this framework may make some uneasy (“I am giving in to the corporate line!”) but I was actually encouraged by his point. Google has done things no other company has, and as a result, we are an innovative and knowledge seeking society.

You’re right – not all of us. We all don’t love the idea of a widespread knowledge base, and we all don’t have equal access to it. I also believe that everything I have ever done and said should not be Google searchable. I will reserve those moments for my husband to make fun of how annoying I am being, or for family members to have to deal with me.

As a nonprofit worker, I am constantly trying to think of the ways in which technology shapes our relationships to other humans. For the family in Southern Mozambique trying to get their dial-up to work, the world of Google is not as transparent. What type of world would it be like if it was?

I am waiting to see if Jarvis addresses these types of issues, and even if he doesn’t, he has certainly opened the door for me to think about them.

Ultimately, we watch to see what Google will do, and follow suit. How can we use Google – and befriend it – to better those in the world without such access?

Looking forward to the next couple of hundred pages.



  1. November 6, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Thanks so much. I hope you like the rest!

    • bethoc
      November 9, 2009 at 1:31 pm

      Wow! I am so happy that you came across this review. I am really loving the book. Do you ever speak in the DC or NY area? I would love to hear your opinion on many similar issues..


  2. December 4, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Okay, so speaking of Google and areas of the world where there is a lack of internet:

    Now I’ve got another book on my “to read” list. 🙂

  3. December 5, 2009 at 12:50 am

    Just realized you moved your blog to your own domain! I’m copying/pasting my comments now.

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