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Digital Book Images and the Ultimate Portal

A less poetic, but no less interesting, take on the bookimaging battles heating up among Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and Amazon … from The Economist, here.

Upshot: The bookimage is simply another inducement to draw visitors and thus drive up advertising revenue. A taste:

In the quest for visitors, and the advertising revenues they bring, the big portals have rolled out inducement after inducement, from instant messaging, e-mail and web telephony to picture-sharing, games and a host of other new services. By adding yet another feature, they hope to win business from each other—or at least ensure they don’t lose it.

As folks say, read the whole thing.