Earlier this week, New York Times media columnist David Carr asked the question that is on the minds of moguls everywhere: Is Google a media company?
Google flat out rejected the description. Here’s Hal Varian, Google’s chief economist, explaining the rationale to Carr: “We are in the business of media distribution, but I don’t think that we would be very good at media creation. I think it’s one thing that we have astutely avoided in the last 12 years.”
Umm, well, not exactly. The search behmouth just unveiled an online magazine called “Think Quarterly” that has a very high brow, old media vibe to it. The idea behind the quarterly publication? It’s best said by Google (and sounds suspiciously like old media):
In a world of accelerating change, we all need time to reflect. Think Quarterly is a breathing space in a busy world. It’s a place to take time out and consider what’s happening and why it matters.
The fist edition, which they are calling a “book,” is all about data and certainly looks and feels like a magazine. There’s long form journalism such as a profile of Vodafone U.K. Chief Executive Guy Laurence, photos, and Q&As.