"Kyncl saw thousands of pitches for those," Dale told me. "And he accepted, I think, 96." But when I asked Barish about what it's really like to cut a deal with Google, he laughed. "They start you off talking about how they do 2 billion pageviews a day, and all these things they are going to do for you," he said. "It all sounds really exciting." Barish became nervous that by dealing with the software giant, he would be handing over control of his content without a firm sense of what exactly he would get in return. "It was big-time creepy," he said, and ultimately Google could not address those concerns. Barish passed. "I did not see what I need them for," Barish said. No time for content. If Barish's experience is any indication, Google has a deeper cultural makeover ahead than passing out some cash to lure content creators, as it's doing with YouTube. "I had worked so hard to build DeafNation," Barish said. "Honestly, I felt like I was selling my soul if I did a deal." Google confirmed that a company representative exchanged emails with Barish and his representatives, but declined to comment on the specifics of the deal, other than to say it reviews many such opportunities and makes those that make sense for the firm. Barish is not alone in getting the content heebie jeebies from Google, though. Rich Raddon, of the Venice, Calif-based Zefr, which offers YouTube aggregation tools to professional content creators, posted an open letter this week pleading with producers to have an open mind about joining up. "Recognize it and embrace it, and it will open up new opportunities," he wrote. Which means exactly this for investors: If the Joel Barishes of the world see no need to deal with Google, it should come as no surprise if others feel the same. That means turning a profit in the content game is not just some algorithm Google goes off and creates. Content will be as tough a game for the software giant as it is for everybody else in the disaster pic that is the digital age.