Now that Bloomberg owns Business Week, having bought it from McGraw-Hill, it is laying off about 100 staff people. One casualty was the library. And, according to Stephen Baker, who wrote one of the seminal articles on the importance of blogging in the corporate world, published in Business Week, reporters are being advised to take their research needs to Google. That is, for those reporters who are left. Baker, for one, will no longer be with BW come December 1st. Other columnists and reporters let go by Bloomberg include such well-known names as Jon Fine (media), Damian Joseph (innovation & design), Rob Hof (Silicon Valley), Lauren Fine (finance), Steven Wildstrom (technology), and Amy Choi (small business).
This is so sad.
I’ve been thinking about the wierd things that happen in theoretically stable online environments. Karen Blakeman mentioned recently that, in a hotel in England, her Google connection was suddenly German. Turned out the telephone provider to the hotel was German. I had the same experience in Prague once, only my Google there was French. Same reason, though, the telephone provider to the hotel was French. In trying to circumvent seeing web pages in languages other than English, I’ve long tried entering www.google.co.uk in these situations, trying to invoke the UK version of Google. Last year I experimented with www.google.us, which almost always works. I don’t know if the .us version actually replicates the .com version I get on my home machine, but it’s close enough for horseshoes (as my Dad used to say).
Over the weekend, a frequent author for ONLINE and a talented book author, Michael Banks, asked me if I could see the Search Within the Book feature on Amazon. I could on my laptop, but when I checked it on my office desktop, the feature had disappeared. It seems that Amazon is experimenting with the feature. Mike’s workaround is brilliant. He goes to www.amazon.ca (the Canadian version of Amazon) or www.amazon.de (the German version). I checked the UK version, www.amazon.co.uk, and Search Within the Book was there.
I’ve been annoyed for the past few days with Twitter search not finding people I know are signed up with Twitter. Today it worked perfectly. Everything I couldn’t find last week I found today.
Lessons learned: Nothing is always as it seems. Patience is a virtue. Look for the workarounds.