It started out routinely enough with this New York Times Past Tense California special section last month.
It’s a fascinating pictorial journey through the Times California archives, but then comes the money (screen)shot on page 2.
Okay, so what we have here is a collaboration between the Times and Google – not all that unusual in this day and newspaper age. What is unusual is how aggressively the Times is flogging the project.
This triple-truck ad ran last Monday.
And this triple-truck ran yesterday.
Here’s the intro copy from the first ad page for those of you keeping score at home.
The introduction by Walter Mosely, the photographs with their annotated “metadata” on the back – it’s all extremely engrossing and very nicely done.
In the end, is there anything inherently compromising about the Times hooking up its Past Tense series with Google Cloud? Not really.
But is Google’s nose under the tent? Sure looks that way.