Saturday, July 5, 2014

Long Reads #24 Special Edition: Understanding Media through Google

Hey, if you read my review yesterday (or follow me on Google+), you'd know that I'm taking this course called Understanding Media by Understanding Google. It's a really interesting course, and since this is the last week, I thought I'd share some of the readings that we were given. Click on the titles to get to the different articles(:

Pay to play: Can YouTube succeed with its paid channel subscriptions? by Janko Roettgers - I haven't had to pay for anything on Youtube, but I know of shows I will be willing to pay for. For example, if Toggle decides to charge to watch Phua Chu Kang (local Singapore comedy - I watch it whenever I'm feeling homesick) on Youtube, I would. Especially since Toggle doesn't stream it outside of Singapore. But, as a past Crunchyroll view who stopped once they started paying, I can say this much: If it's free somewhere online, I may not want to pay for it.

Is Google Making Us Stupid?: This paper talks about whether the Internet is changing how our brains work. For example, does it decrease our ability to absorb long essays and novels? Well, judging by the number of book blogs, I would say not. But what if we're an anomaly? I'd actually like to see some data for this, the statistical calculations would be fun to do.

The Freight Train That Is Android: What is Google's business model? This paper argues that not only does Google use a castle-and-moats strategy (castle = great business, moat = defence), they also scorch the earth, making it impossible, or at least very difficult, for others to compete with it. If you're into business, you'll want to read this paper.

Google+ Won (Or Why Google Never Needed a Social Network) - This is a short article, but it looks as Google+ not as a competitor to facebook, but as "the connective tissue between all of Google’s formerly scattered services." If you look at it this way, then despite all the complaints, yes, Google+ is a success.

Minus its leader, what's left at Google+ - After Vic Gundotra left, there was a lot of speculation about what would happen to Google+. One of the speculations in this article is that the Google+ stream would disappear. Say it isn't so!

This is really just a small selection of the readings. There are also quite a few books to read (I got my hands on two, the second review will come soon! The rest, I will find when I go back to Singapore). If you're interested in Google and/or Social Media, you should definitely take this course the next time it's available.

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