If you haven't noticed, Silicon Valley giants, like Google and Yahoo, and a host of two-man shops are attempting to fuse and apply the user-generated Wiki-model, the expert-driven About.com model and the social-networking News Corp's MySpace blog model. Whether all of this turns out to be the next growth engine for online advertising remains to be seen, but the end results are beginning to remind me of that most prosaic advertising vehicle, the brochure.
In some ways the collaboration involved in these efforts recalls the efforts needed to compile any reference work. In particular, it reminds me of Simon Winchester's two books: "The Professor
Admittedly, the creation of brochures sounds absolutely boring. And any contribution to such promotional material seems far less noble than submissions to the next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. But it doesn't make these brochures less useful. They're big money generators too, though did you know that a 20-volume OED edition costs $1,600 a pop? Last year,
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