Thursday, November 19, 2009

a billion dollars, one nickel at a time

Now we know newspapers are in trouble. Ad revenues are declining, readership is dwindling and they are gradually being left behind as a trust source of unbiased reporting (not to mention the debts they have from bad investment decisions made less than a decade back, when they didn't read the writing on their 'Facebook' walls*). So forget them making serious money quickly again, in fact... forget them making any serious money over a longer time period either!

* Yes, I know Facebook wasn't round a decade ago, but you understand what I mean!

And who do they blame for their troubles? Well.... Google of course (my particular favourite is Robert Thomson, editor of The Wall Street Journal, calling search sites such as Google “tapeworms.” - I jest-ye-not!).

Its all their fault for, errr.... ;
- allowing people to search openly across a number of sites & archives
- aggregating their headlines alongside other news sources
- making content more transparent (AKA removing the smoke & mirrors)
- providing links back to their sites
Yes, the site that takes tiny amounts of money from advertisers per use is the biggest threat to newspaper revenue and existence.

However, can the newspapers learn from Google? Can they actually create and maintain a local or hyper-local news search service that would rival and better the search giants?
Surely they have the content and could (or just perhaps could have once) allow people to search openly across a number of their own content, etc. and could also charge micro-payments for this. Or to quote author and blogger John Battelle, newspapers once had the chance to earn "a billion dollars, one nickel at a time".
Post a Comment