Google has launched its own Web and mobile magazine and wonder of wonders, it isn’t a news aggregator! It’s a currently UK-exclusive publication called Think Quarterly and according to Google, it’s “a breathing space in a busy world. It’s a place to take time out and considering what’s happening and why it matters.”
Don’t try accessing the online magazine though – it’s for the eyes of UK business partners and advertisers Google partners with only. From the sounds of it, the Web giant is giving some insider info to those it deems most deserving. And it’s more than just a look inside Google’s offices or anecdotal interviews with Larry Page. According to a UK press release, the first issue is 68 pages of content all written by in-house Googlers and hired freelancers that is referred to as more than a magazine – Google choose to call it a book.
The “book” will be released, as you can assume, four times a year and is a product of a collaboration between Google and design agency The Church. If you are one of the masses not privy to Think Quarterly, check out The Church’s site where you can get a peek at the first issue. The magazine (ahem, “book”) is artsy infographic-heavy and business-minded at the same time – and more surprisingly, nothing about the interface screams Google. The agency describes it as “a snapshop of the digital future seen through Google’s eyes – a conversation about smart people and cool ideas.”
That fact that it appears to be a Google-funded project and not a Google-focused one is what makes it difficult for the Mountain View company to continue insisting it’s not in the business of media production. A New York Times columnist asked Google that very question recently, to which the company’s chief economist Hal Varian said, “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 they we have astutely avoided in the last 12 years.”