Bets Are Off
We Chose Scott Prentice over Google

By Bonnie Britt
Chair, Bay Area Editors' Forum
May 2, 2004


Before Silicon Valley again goes gaga (irrationally exuberant) over Google's pending IPO, we at editorsforum.org want the world to know how we feel about Scott Prentice over at Leximation, Inc. We admire Scott's work and he has our deeply felt appreciation. Here's why:

According to an article May 2, 2004 in the Los Angeles Times, "The thing that made Google Inc. famous isn't what's making it rich. ... 95% of Google's nearly $1 billion in sales last year came from advertising. ...Google is becoming the advertising agency for the Internet. Nearly one-fifth of all online advertising dollars spent last year flowed through the Mountain View, Calif., firm."

When the Editors' Forum migrated to our new Web pages in 2004, we installed Google to search all of our site pages that are not a part of our Database of Editors, which showcases the services of our members and has a separate search engine.

With Google installed, we quickly realized it was a train wreck for us because ads for nonmember editorial services turned up every time it was searched. Like so much online advertising these days, Google uses the searched-for words to generate in-kind advertising. We quickly smacked ourselves on our collective head, and concluded that we don't want a search engine that spits up ads that compete for business with our own members.

We looked around for search engine developers. I was way over my head discussing the fine points of search engine technology when our treasurer, Virginia Rich, confided that Scott Prentice was leaving Autodesk, after more than a decade, to strike out on his own. Scott had been TechPubs Tools Developer at Autodesk, where he developed and maintained applications and processes that enable employees to complete their tasks more efficiently. Applications that he authored are used throughout Autodesk publishing departments (in AutoCAD, AutoCAD Map, AutoCAD Civil, and others) for both content creation and localization into 19 languages (including, European, Eastern European, Nordic, and Asian languages).

I spoke with Scott the weekend after he set out on his own and explained what we needed. Scott listened carefully and volunteered to develop a search engine with no outside advertising for our pages. As winter turned to spring, we tried it out then worked with him to refine its capabilities.

Please wander over to Leximation, Inc. to bookmark the services of Scott Prentice for times when there's something you're doing in FrameMaker or Word or other software that you wish could be automated. The man at the helm is a skilled technical writer and programmer. He's low-key and the man to see for tools and solutions for print and online publishing.

 

 

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