by Jeff Jarvis
I have two podcasts to plug this week:
* The latest Guardian Media Talk USA podcast is up. David Folkenflik, NPR correspondent, and John Temple, ex editor of the Rocky Mountain News and now a damned fine media blogger, and I talk about the AP, the TechCrunch/Twitter affair, and news as charity. I also interview Josh Cohen, product manager of Google News.
* Leo Laporte, Gina Trapani, and I recorded the inaugural edition of This Week in Google (TWiG). You can watch it in video here and listen to the podcast here. We discuss all kinds of things: Apple (AT&T) blocking Google Voice; the importance of Google Wave and the live web; the AP (again); Gmail getting rid of that damned “on behalf of”; Microsoft Office (finally) going into the cloud. Great fun.
I wish I could embed both of them here (hint, hint) but go take a listen and please subscribe.
I interviewed Josh Cohen, product manager for Google News, this week for the Guardian MediaTalkUSA podcast (out early next week) and asked him how many clicks to news sources Google News causes. The answer: a billion.
And then I saw this PaidContent report on URL-shortener Bit.ly thinking of offering a breaking news service. That doesn’t seem so crazy when you hear how many clicks it causes a month. The answer: a billion.
It so happens I just wrote this in my Media Guardian column, coming out Monday, about the Microsoft-Yahoo search lashup:
Oh, search still matters. But it is beginning to matter a little less. Venture capitalist Fred Wilson recently pointed out that 14% of traffic to his blog, avc.com, comes from Google, down from 29% the year before. Wilson argues that the difference is Twitter—that is, links from people over algorithms. (Note that Wilson is a Twitter investor.)
Now I’m hardly saying that Google is being overrun by the power of mankind. Nor will I argue that every link Bit.ly sends to is news – except more of it is than news organizations would admit if they were wise enough to expand the definition of news to the hyperspecific, a word a commenter below suggested I start using instead of hyperlocal. Your friend’s concert photos are news to him and you. Note also that Bit.ly isn’t the only source of human-powered live links; there’s the rest of Twitter and its other clients, not to mention Facebook and fresh blogging.
But I do think it’s significant that given the platform to collect the power of links by people, it can quickly match the power of the algorithm. I also think there’s even more power in bringing the two together.