With Google Books being in the news in the last few weeks, I’ve been paying more attention than I have since the Settlement discussion wound down several months ago — In Twitter I’m noticing a large increase in the number of tweets about GBS, especially the number of links to specific book titles in it. Admittedly this is a purely subjective impression, but several months ago I don’t remember this happening frequently. So on Nov 9 I did a small survey of links (below) to GBS that I’ve found, searching in Twitter for google books. This includes a variety of links from the last day, concentrating on tweets whose authors seem to be modest individual tweeters, not “dotcom presences.” I’ve numbered the tweets so that I can refer to them in discussion below.

  1. uflsms: The web reputation systems book (readings) is also at Google Books: http://bit.ly/9HLyPn Not all pages are there, but most are.
    about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck · Reply · View Tweet
  2. berta1974: RT @gasolinero: «La Dificultad De ser Japonés» en Google books con una vista previa de 1/5 del libro http://bit.ly/94C3pW
    about 4 hours ago via TweetDeck · Reply · View Tweet
  3. maramirou: Mabrouk! RT:@zizoo My book is finally on google books :-) -L’hopital Razi de la Manouba et son histoire – Google Books: http://goo.gl/kQFKH
    about 5 hours ago via TnLabs · Reply · View Tweet
  4. dayski: The Alchemy of Air: A Jewish Genius … – Google Books http://t.co/a9YdgtK via @ shr.lc – I like the get this book option on sidebar!
    about 8 hours ago via Tweet Button · Reply · View Tweet
  5. darthconnell: The Origin of Species is available in its entirety from Google Books http://t.co/bmpZFBY
    about 14 hours ago via Tweet Button · Reply · View Tweet
  6. stewartsm: The collected writings of Michael Snow – Google Books: Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press, 1994 http://bit.ly/bwSYVa
    about 15 hours ago via twitterfeed · Reply · View Tweet
  7. atomicpoet: The ABCs of Strategic Life Planning – Google Books http://ow.ly/19ROLn
    about 23 hours ago via HootSuite · Reply · View Tweet

A few observations — of the 7 books linked, 6 of them are recent, copyrighted titles, with #5 being the only public domain library-scanned book. Of the copyrighted books, all have a preview except #3. Interestingly, and consistent with earlier observations, a significant number of these books are in non-English languages (#2, #3).

I’m presenting this little sample not so much to draw specific conclusions about the nature of tweets on GBS, but simply to draw attention to my clear observation that people ARE tweeting links to GBS books more than they were 6-12 months ago. This certainly indicates an increase in awareness of GBS, and goes along with my general impression, especially from statistics provided by Google, that it’s getting heavier use than most commentators, especially anti-GBS ones, are acknowledging.

Eric Rumsey is at: eric-rumsey AttSign uiowa dott edu and on Twitter @ericrumsey

0 thoughts on “Google Books: The World is Catching On

  1. I don’t know who said GBooks was not being used. It has support forums where you can see those who use it pointing out all its bugs (which are legion!). I think those who bray about *books* — with all their conferences, etc — don’t bother to actually use it, however. Otherwise there would have been plenty of blog posts about how Google Editions is bound to be a disaster based on their experience with GBooks.

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  5. I also noticed that some people are tweeting links to GBS books because every time there’s a tweeted link, I automatically clicked on that link and found at that it’s a google book. This year, I can say that GBS is gaining popularity.

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