Twenty-first century Internet life has revolved around many things Google. We Google each other. We Google for news. Google Adsense. Googlebombs. Googlaritmentic, I called its ad revolution.
For much of the last century, it was about Life. Life was the premier pictorial chronicler of American life, from its founding in 1936 through much of the century, a living reference, encased on many bookshelves across the country. Think moonshots, Walker Evans, Marilyn Monroe -- many of the iconic shots stuck in our brains -- come from Life.
Now Life -- itself a thin, throwaway weekly newspaper insert, hardly a shadow of itself-- and Google are mating.
Today, at the New York SIIA meeting, Time Inc CEO Ann Moore announced that Google will digitize Life photos, from 1936 on. (For more SIIA conference coverage, check out David Scott, John Blossom and Barry Graubart.)
Moore offered no details, but the announcement sets the mind alight. Digitizing whole mainly anonymous libraries is one thing, but both memorializing and spotlighting Life's riches is something else again. What's the economic model -- buy a reprint of the famous VJ day New York kiss ? Will Google be the photo repository, a preview of Google Base to come? Picture that.