My latest Media Guardian column — this one about the foolish publishers trying to shut themselves off from Google … and thus the public — is up here (and here). A snippet:
The World Association of Newspapers is portraying Google as an enemy of news. I wouldn’t say that. I’d call Google something between a necessary evil and a friend – and if news organisations are smart, they will learn how to befriend the beast. …
At this month‘s Online Publishers Association conference in London, WAN managing director Ali Rahnema asked: “Could this content exist if someone else wasn’t paying to create it?” Well, in the quaint Americanism of my hillbilly roots, I’d say Rahnema got this bassackwards. Instead, we soon will be asking, “Could this content exist if someone else wasn’t linking to it?”
Ali Rahnema, managing director of the World Association of Newspapers, is pitching the OPA on WAN’s initiative to go after Google News and the aggregators. He acknowledges that some comments he has gotten are positive and some are angry that they are just a dead-tree industry trying to protect themselves. I vote with the latter. They don’t get it. Rahnema asks, could Google News exist if this content were not created by those papers?
That is so much the wrong question. The real question is: Will news organizations in the future exist if they are not found on Google and company?
If you want to boycott search and links, then you will die on paper.
: Rich Karlgaard of Forbes asks the OPA audience whether they agree with Rahnema about Google. Very few raise their hands. He asks who disagrees A vast majority of hands go up. Thank goodness for good sense.
: Obnoxious blogger that I am, I get up to challenge the protectionist panel and said that with their attitude, I fear for the future of the industry and of journalism because the distribution of today is about being found in search and links and aggregation and if you are not there you are not found.
Zach Leonard of Timesonline.com said that aggregators are like newsstands and they are a place to be found.
Steve Baker talks to adman Rishad Tobaccowala of Denuo (Publicis):
He maintains that Google is out to become the eBay of advertising, but with one crucial difference: “eBay makes the market but doesn’t take sales,” he says. “Google is the seller and the market. Eventually, someone has to wake up and say, ‘This is [BS]’.”
And we have to wake up and create the open marketplace that will compete with Google’s coming monopoly. We have only ourselves to blame.
So Google starts a page creator. Haven’t we been there, done that?
I might be more interested if they had:
* Tied this with Blogger to create freeform blogs.
* Tied this with Google Base to let people create structured data.
* Tied this with RSS to create feeds.
* Tied this with Google Video and podcasts to create homes for many media.
* Tied this with Google Mobile to enable me to create any of the above for my phone, or yours.
* Tied this with Google Groups to allow creation of collaborative content.
And so on, and so on….
The power of Google is not in creating a bunch of separate things but in making connections. But not unlike other big media companies, they now seem to be finding it difficult to spell synergy. [via Squared and Scripting]
I’ve been arguing for sometime that the real competitor to Google will not be the next big thing but lots of little things, like Oodle, for job search and now see more specialized searches at Kosmix for health (it’s prett good), travel, and politics. [via TechCrunch]