What Google does best

What Google does best: “The complete plays of Shakespeare. Now at your fingertips.” I’ve quit trying to keep up with all those non-search things Google does. Too confusing. However, when they do something like this, it reminds me how great they can be when they do what they do best: helping me simply find and organize the incredible things on the web. And in the process (see the links on the bottom of the page) they even help me figure out how all the stuff they do can be focused on one topic. It’s not that they’ve put together all the works of Shakespeare — I have a copy of that in a book on my shelf — at my fingertips. It’s the simplicity of the interface and features and how search can be so much more than putting keywords in a box and hitting return.

(via: TechCrunch. Sidenote, the comments on that TechCrunch item imply that the growing geek vitriol towards Google makes it hard for some to realize it when they do something worthy of praise.)

Update: While I’m in my rare “Google praising” mode, here’s another one: The update of Google Earth (which came out a week or so ago) makes that incredible product even more incredible.

  • victor

    The problems that are confronting Google as it attempts to digitize Shakespeare’s works (as well as other books) is best summed up by the blog “Reflective Librarian” and his posting at http://reflectivelibrarian.blogspot.com/2006/06/google-botches-shakespeare-ebooks.html

    His posting explains the many problems with Google books, its short comings, and its many problems……sloppiness being the biggest one.

    I should know because I have been involved in producing ebooks on the web for a number of years. (see http://www.bookyards.com ). When Google announced their digital project, I felt that there was no longer any purpose in doing our digital project. This perception was wrong….Google’s project is too ambitious, resulting in the confusion and mess that it finds itself presently in.

    If you want Shakespeare (for free), just go to
    http://www.bookyards.com/search_results.html?type=books&author_id=596&author_name=Shakespeare%2C%20William

    We have also compiled a good collection of other digital libraries with books available for downloading. Just go to Bookyards “Library Collections – E Books” at http://www.bookyards.com/links.html?type=links&category_id=1780
    There are approximately 350 digital libraries separated alphabetically and by category, with over 200,000 ebooks……ebooks that are vastly superior and better organized than what Google books is offering.