Vast Active Library and Information Science blog. From a recent library science graduate in Wellington, New Zealand. A focus on reference and current awareness tools and issues, especially free, web-based resources.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Ad-Supported Free Online Books  
Infotoday has the story. The book Go It Alone! The Secret to Building a Successful Business on Your Own by Bruce Judson has been published online, in full, for free by HarperCollins. The book is supported by contextual text advertising, provided by both Yahoo! and Google. The publisher and author will share revenues.

This is an interesting idea, and apparently the first time that a major publishing company has conducted such a project. On the one hand, I welcome this (who doesn't want free information?). On the other, I wonder what influence advertisers could potentially have over the content of books? Possibly the fact that the ads are automatically generated from the text of the book might lessen this risk - it wouldn't be the same as an advertiser threatening to pull a full-page ad from a magazine that contained content that the advertiser didn't approve of. (And it would be kinda funny to see ads for brand-name sneakers all the way through No Logo, for example).


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