Google UK has released the first issue of a new in-house magazine, entitled Think Quarterly.
The 64-page publication — Google calls it a book — is only available online. Readers can either browse in a Flash-based pseudo magazine format, flipping pages with their mouse, or can read web-optimised versions of each article.
The whole thing is beautifully designed and well put together. The theme for this first issue is “Think data”, and articles include an interview with Vodafone UK CEO Guy Laurence, and another with “data superstar” Hans Rosling.
Matt Brittin, Google’s UK boss, says: “In a world of accelerating change, we all need time to reflect. Think Quarterly is a breathing space in a busy world. It’s a place to take time out and consider what’s happening and why it matters.”
The Think Quarterly Twitter feed is pretty interesting, too. Not just the TQ team communicating with the world, but also posting interesting and bizarre little data nuggets.
Google isn’t about to become a publishing company, so what’s this project really all about? In short, it’s a marketing exercise. Printed copies of the book were sent to a few hundred of Google’s top partners and advertisers, notes Josh Halliday in The Guardian. When you’ve spent all that money making something interesting and beautiful, there’s no point keeping it to yourself. Putting it on the web for all to read is a very Googlish next step to take.