Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Saur December 10, 2007

The Google Effect: Googling, Blogging, Wikis and the Flattening of Expertise

Tara Brabazon
From the journal

This article presents the consequences to librarians and teachers for the flattening of expertise, or the Google Effect. As blogs continue to fill the Web with the bizarre daily rituals and opinions of people who we would never bother speaking to at a party, let alone invite into our homes, there has never been a greater need to stress the importance of intelligence, education, credentials and credibility. The problem is not only accuracy, but also the mediocrity initiated through the Google Effect. The concern is not with the banality of information – there has always been a plurality of sources in the analogue environment. The concern is the lack of literacy skills and strategies to sort the trash from the relevant. This paper addresses not only the social choices about computer use and information literacy, but the intellectual choices we make in our professional lives as teachers and librarians. In such a time, the Google Effect raises stark questions about the value of reading, research, writing and scholarship.

Tara Brabazon is Professor of Media Studies in the School of Computing, Mathematics and Information Sciences at the University of Brighton and Director of the Popular Culture Collective. School of CMIS, University of Brighton, Room 610 Watts Building, Lewes Road, Brighton BN2 4SG, England. E-mail:

Received: 2006-06-11
Received: 2006-07-15
Accepted: 2006-07-28
Published Online: 2007-12-10
Published in Print: 2006-September-22

© 2006 by K. G. Saur Verlag, Federal Republic of Germany