dickens-2012-HPSome blogs are making a big deal out of how the recent 200th-birthday Charles Dickens Google Doodle linked, not to a general Google search for its subject as other such doodles have in the past, but rather to the Google Books search for Charles Dickens. CNet’s Chris Matyszczyk (rather smarmily) calls it a “pure, straight-up piece of commercial communication.”

You might not see today’s Google Books-pointing doodle as a moneymaking effort. After all, these Dickens e-books are free. And yet, surely, the aim is gravitate your mind and habits over to the Google eBookstore, where money is exchanged for enlightenment.

It seems clear some people will grasp at whatever straws they can find to make whatever Google does fit with their preconception that anything it does must be evil nasty commercialism. Come on! Dickens was known for his books, and Google has a great collection of them available for free. Why not link to them? Maybe someone will click through and read one, instead of just glancing at the Wikipedia entry about the man.

But no, Google must be crassly commercial for daring to give away these e-books that are undoubtedly infected with some sort of memetic virus that will make people want to come back and pay Google money.



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