I’m currently reading The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture (OpenWorldCat) and just recently finished the history/background section that went over the rise and fall of many of the options out there including Altavista, Excite, etc. The stories were often the same of a great idea either before it’s time, poorly executed (growth) or management/leadership that just didn’t understand and ended up destroying it. I’m sure some ALA members can see parallels with the latter.

One of things that keeps coming up is the portal thinking and how others, who started with search, ended up ruining what they had by trying to compete with Yahoo and it’s portal offerings. This left a void in actual search that many people wanted, which Google filled. When I got home (was reading at the laundromat) and checked my aggregator I came across this:

I think this is true for many endeavors, not just companies. Sometimes re-branding can get you by for awhile and sometimes you have to make more drastic changes to stay afloat. It seems many in the library world are afraid of such drastic changes and I wonder how it will all pan out.

More updates regarding the book as I get around to reading it, which will be within the next month as to avoid over due fines ;-)

Note for OpenWorldCat: Since you have nice link URLs available it would be good to have a permalink available in the record so it can easily be linked to (I couldn’t find one at least). I used the link Google had above so hopefully it works. I’m not going to go to the trouble of constructing links after the trouble I have to go through just to search it.