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Ken Auletta Has Done It Again

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Ken Auletta has written another enlightening book that explains what's going on in the media: Googled: The End of the World as We Know It. If you want to understand the new world, buy it and read it.

Auletta explained how the three major television networks lost viewers and squandered opportunities to get into cable by massive-ego-driven infighting in his 1992 classic Three Blind Mice. In Googled he documents how two Stanford Ph.D. students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, changed the media landscape and, in fact, changed the world while executives in the old media world squandered opportunities to get on the internet and whined about the death of their magic world - media history repeats itself.

Auletta invested two-and-a-half years thoroughly researching and writing , and no one could have done it better. The Columbia Journalism Review, in ranking him as America's premier media critic, concluded, "no other reporter has covered the new communications revolution as thoroughly as has Auletta," and New York Magazine described him as the "media Boswell."

Executives, managers, and creative people in the media are not going to like what they read in this book because Auletta writes that at Google and in the new internet world engineers are the kings and queens and are the new creators that drive the business, not the marketers, salespeople, writers and directors who drive the dinosaur media.

Engineers believe in data and they ask tough questions. They ask "why can't we make information free and accessible to everyone?' Or "why can't we put the needs of consumers first and not worry about making money right away." This kind of thinking will drive greedy media moguls nuts. They'll probably be happier watching "American Idol" or WWE Wrestling.

But you're smarter than that. Read Ken Auletta's Googled and don't miss the final chapter, titled "Media Maxims" that he did not include in the book because it thought the 25 maxims (what he learned from writing the book) are "not organic to the book's narrative, and because I feared it [would] muddy the book's purpose, casting it as a How-To book."

The final chapter containing the 25 maxims is available in a .pdf format on his Web site. Don't miss them; they will give you almost the equivalent to a masters degree in media management.