Monday, May 28, 2007

How Librarians Can Make Money

Because librarians haven't taught everyone in the world how to search the Internet effectively, some clever entrepreneurs are making big bucks, and we need to figure out how to cash in.

A story in today's NYT entitled "Millions of Addresses and Thousands of Sites, All Leading to One" discusses NameMedia and other companies that own millions of Internet addresses and thousands of websites. Many of the addresses are empty of anything but ads, and lots of them just click you through to one of the content sites. How do people make money from the failure of librarians?

"Behind this suddenly active business category... is the recognition that not all Internet users turn to a search engine when they are confused about where to find something online. Rather, 5 percent to 10 percent of people will simply type in a name that sounds as if it might suit their needs."

So ignorant people just type names into the address box on their browser hoping to get lucky. "Honey, I typed in 'www.wheredidileavemycar.com.' How come I can't find my car?" This is definitely a failure on the part of librarians. It's probably because so many librarians just hang out at the library waiting for people to come to them. Now it's obvious that librarians need to get out there and start teaching people how to search the Internet. There's still 5-10% of people searching like complete nincompoops. So no more of this passive waiting - get out there and do your job! Start going door to door if you have to. I promise not to slam the door in your face when you get to me, and I might even give you some chocolate.

The article continues: "The so-called direct search or direct navigation approach is seldom fruitful for users, nor has it been particularly profitable for owners of the sites that they visit. An obscure Web address may have four or so visitors a month, and perhaps half will click on an ad.
'But if you have hundreds of thousands of those, it adds up,' Mr. Conlin said. 'It’s an inside-out way of creating volume.'"

Here librarians are trying to teach the ignorant, counsel the needy, and other works of mercy, and there are these Internet parasites growing rich from ignorant and needy Internet searchers. Clearly we're in the wrong business. I don't know about you, but I sold out to become a librarian, and I want to start profiting from it.

Librarians should start their own shadowy Internet company with millions of addresses and thousands of sites. Then they should begin teaching people to search the Internet by typing their searches directly into the address box on their browsers, and avoiding any browsers that let you search that way. After creating this company - LibrarySearchAds, inc. - librarians should do their best to make sure people never find the information they're looking for without going through one of LibrarySearchAds advertisement-rich sites. Then maybe we can all retire with ease.

7 comments:

Faithless Minion said...

You'll be excited (in a manner of speaking, of course) to learn that as of THIS MOMENT none of librarysearchads.com,.net,.edu,.co.uk, OR .ru are taken. But this could change. The latest Business 2.0 had a cover story about this whole cybersquatting stuff too.

Anonymous said...

AL,

Your blog is so funny. I just discovered it recently. I always thought there was something wrong with me for finding library work so darn boring and mundane. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks it's a profession that is not worthy of a graduate degree!

Brent said...

I read that Business 2.0 article, and apparently he owns god.com and satan.com. He is really religious. Anyway, I don't see anything innovated coming out of him.

So, let's not give the business community too much credit. Mark Cuban is a billionaire after all.

disgusted librarian said...

I think you're on to something. Will you lead the way?

I noticed annoyedlibrarian.com or disgustedlibrarian.com isn't taken.

AL said...

i've thought of taking annoyedlibrarian.com, but if I did I'd have to get someone else to purchase the domain or else reveal my true identity. I don't want to do either.

Anonymous said...

where there's a will there's a way... unfortunately it escapes me.

Dances With Books said...

Hmm, now if we expand that to cover the ever important Infoporn Literacy, could we then create a company to do that with adult oriented ads and thus rake in some serious money? After all, if someone has to go out and teach the masses, and we know the masses (at least a good number of them if the locals that frequent my library now and then are any indication) want porn, well you get the idea.

Just wondering.