Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Trying to Put Me Out of Business

Enter search term

So all forms of traditional media or tradmed, are dying and we know that, this is not a shocking statement. Newspaper circulation is falling so fast and old line newspapers are shuttering at such a pace that it is difficult to keep up with it. Television news has long been transformed into a profit center, thus becoming more like Wall Street, run by quarterly ratings and not by differentiation, quality or tradition. Cable news has become dominated by partisan personalities, CNN is now paying the price of last place for its naive insistence that middle of the road reporting will draw eyeballs.

You may have seen over the past couple of years that Google has found itself in the middle of the media death throes with large media conglomerates like News Corporation and coalitions of tradmed screaming bloody murder that Google Search and Google News make money on the backs of the tradmed by featuring links and stealing eyeballs that never wind up at the news site in question and that would have resulted in increased pageviews which in turn is the metric used to sell site advertising.

Setting aside the fact that no enterprise news gathering organization can make enough money selling in page web advertisements, the tradmed thinks Google is drinking its milkshake. And it is, but not for the reasons the tradmed thinks it is. Google is the dominant player because it is an aggregator by subject, not affinity, but that is another story.

In an effort to stave off a decade of litigation and in reality to save the tradmed from putting the final nail in its own coffin, I mean really, when the best idea the New York Times and Washington Post can come up with is to demand that Google drop them out of News and Search returns, that is like a starving surgeon lopping off his own leg to eat it, Google has begun to partner with media firms.

The first big thing to come out of these budding partnerships is a thing called Google Living Stories. Wisely, Google has taken the approach of looking at how news is delivered, not how it is gathered, read about the background and the project here.

Currently only the New York Times and the Washington Post are participating, and there are only eight living story threads, The Struggle Over Health Care, The Politics of Global Warming, Executive Compensation: How Much to Pay, Washington Tackles Health Care Reform, Fixing DC's Schools: Michelle Rhee Takes Charge, The War in Afghanistan and... The Redskins Face a Season of Troubles.

These single topic living stories are top down chronicles of their subjects, with timelines, links, summaries and images...



Despite the mock angst of the headline, these types of new media forays will only serve to strengthen the hand of alt media like the little site you are reading now. Why? Because they are becoming more like me than I am like them. For diehard Redskins fans, they now can, and should, bookmark this link and check it out every day to see what the writers and editors at the Washington Post are churning out.

Then get back out on the wildnet and see what the bloggers are saying about all that.

Google girl from here.