Posted on July 21, 2003 08:55 AM
Just read in NYTimes, "Amazon Plan Would Allow Searching Texts of Many Books"(free registration required).
This is really fascinating news. Just imagine if they are successful in negotiating access to the actual content of all the books they already have in their catalog. There are definitely issues, like having to secure the access to the full text content, a business model(like subscriptions) for allowing portions of the text to be accessible online. I can see publishers benefiting from this as well with perhaps some micropayments, greater access for their potential readers.
One of the shortcomings of our basic library catalogs, is that there is a definite separation of physical and online. What Amazon plans to do will probably effect how people do their research for homework, evaluate for purchasing a book online, and who knows whatever else.
I wonder what search technology they are planning to use. We already know that a parametric search technology(with good metadata) defintiely differs from full-text searching of unstructured information.