Kernel of Truth
Jaron's opinion of Google has little changed since 2007, though he is focused on larger issues these days. I'm sure he can't be complaining about the ease with which we find his articles and book reviews, talks and so forth through a quick Google search of his name. Yet, with all things Lanier, his argument always contain a kernel of truth.
I'm old enough to remember typed submissions, manilla envelopes with the address of a magazine editor, and rejection slips returned via snail mail. These days and those prior held a certain distinction for writers, with a highly competative market, and also bigger paychecks for some. However, while I sympathize with Jaron's early criticism of Google and similar monstrosities, we must move forward and these days, when you submit writing for consideration, the first thing most editors do before even reading your piece is Google your name to see how well you're known, what else you've done and whether your online audience is a valid asset.
Now, I don't chase publication anymore since I turned to focus entirely on tech, but I do believe that the model of my nostalgic years and the new model of the online text mills have valid and important components. After all these years, not much has changed since this article was written, but I feel more optimism for the platform than ever as technologies like WordPress, Drupal and the move to electronic formats as Linux Magazine has done in recent years are helping writers take control more than ever, and allowing them to get their work more quickly reviewed/rejected/accepted than ever.
And, imagine that, Google has actually helped writers get their words out there to a wider audience; maybe it's not all about money, after all. Maybe we should look at the words themselves and whether we care more about the message as writers, or the paycheck. For me, it's the message. I'll keep my day job.