Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Being eaten from two sides

The Register has an interview with Colly Meyers of AQA. AQA offers an SMS answer-any-question-for-a-quid service, is apparently a phenonomon in the UK, and makes a decent profit. The interview centers on the 'demise of Google', though it might be a bit early for that, and Andrew Orlowski is always keen to predict the is nigh for the big G - you've got to look through that (not always easy, but worth it with El Reg).

From a library POV, the interesting thing is the service. This is a service which is on our turf! This is the work of the good old reference librarian, and here they are charging a quid and making profit with nine heads aboard.

Two observations. First, this once more establishes that there is a market for information, which includes a segment that is willing to pay good money for quality. Second, why have libraries left this to the market?

It's a wake-up call. We are being eaten, and not just by Google on one end, but on the other as well.

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