Techcrunch and Huomah are reporting that Google is looking into launching a Do It Yourself Publishing Service for Magazines.
The patent abstract says that Google is investigating "A method includes receiving personalized content from a plurality of content sources. The personalized content is based on user input. The method further includes receiving a personalized advertisement based on user input, and creating a customized publication including the personalized content and the personalized advertisement."
In a nutshell, Google wants to give the reader the ability to create their own electronic, printable magazine, the equivalent of a syndicated RSS reader but complete with pictures, personalised adverts and possibly videos.
The obvious drive behind Google's patent is advertising and it seems as if Google wants to cover as many segments as possible.
As always, Google would not be producing any content and would instead rely on third party producers like traditional newspapers.
The issue of licensing obviously comes to mind as content producers might be reluctant to give whole articles to Google without a fee being paid.
PR agencies on the other hand would probably PAY Google to get press releases listed on that platform.. but who wants yet another PR vector?
Also, critical to the success of the Google magazine will be the ability to produce quality magazines automatically and document portability.
Obviously, this would nicely dovetail with Google's forthcoming Open Handset Alliance gPhone projects.
Don't bet against a Google Phone which looks like a tablet and allows you to read your magazines and phone at the same time with a Bluetooth headset.
Watch out Amazon.