Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 23rd Nov 2009 14:58 UTC
In the News It is no secret that Microsoft is doing whatever it can to eat away at Google's immense market share of the search market, with Bing being its most ambitious effort yet. Well, it seems the battle just got a whole lot dirtier, as The Financial Times has uncovered news that Microsoft has approached several news content providers, offering them money if they "de-index" their sites from Google.
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Comment by Nycran
by Nycran on Tue 24th Nov 2009 15:10 UTC
Nycran
Member since:
2006-02-06

I spend only a small fraction of my blog reading time on traditional news websites. I'm a gadget and tech lover, so I'm always on sites like this, Engadget, /. and so on. So to me, the *value* of a traditional news site is actually not terribly significant, and I suspect I'm not the only one who thinks this way.

However, clearly society needs some level of reporting. We need to know about events of significance (both globally and nationally) so we can react to them.

So what do you do when you have an important service that no one really wants to pay for? Sounds to me like news should become a tax-payer funded activity, and not a privately run business. i.e, the government employs journalists who publish articles online.

Problem solved.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Nycran
by PlatformAgnostic on Tue 24th Nov 2009 16:17 in reply to "Comment by Nycran"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

Except the whole 'free press' to keep government in check... yeah, I guess the problem is solved.

In any case, it's not like the press we have is independent and agressive enough to question government on matters of actual importance.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by Nycran
by Praxis on Tue 24th Nov 2009 16:19 in reply to "Comment by Nycran"
Praxis Member since:
2009-09-17

Government control of all media outlets? I think not. News has value, people read it and use it. Its up to the content producers to figure out how to monetize it. And they aren't in competition with google for this monetization either, sometimes I wonder if these media people actually understand how google makes their money. Google has search ads, its like putting up billboards on the side of the road, while websites are the destination and can only put up ads at that one place. To continue the metaphor, a lot more people use the road than are going to any single destination, thus more money. While roads might not have much use without a destination, roads make it much easier to get there and therefore have value. Google doesn't steal anything you still have to click the link to get anything more than a justifiable under fair use teaser at most. The ads that google sells aren't ads that would be going to news sites if they didn't exist. If the ad rates that news sites are getting aren't enough to support them, they need to figure out something new, blaming google misses the entire point. I'd love to see them actually try to bring google to court for their 'stealing'. They wouldn't dare because they know they would lose by any standard of law.

Honestly its probably true that news sites won't ever be making the kind of money they did when they commanded media empires, 'real money' as Murdock calls it. But on the other hand the barrier to entry has never been lower in history, and its only going to get lower. Pre-internet you needed millions to start a new newspaper or a hundreds of millions to start to start a new tv network. Because of the high barrier to entry the established players commanded a lot of power. Now that barrier has been torn down, the cost of distribution is down to almost nothing, and content creation is cheaper than its ever been. The old media empires will never be as powerful as they once were, that market has been changed forever, but we are going to see much more completion and innovation in this space than ever before, news has a future beyond being propped up by government bailouts, but it won't be the same the one that came before it, and I think that is a good thing.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by Nycran
by tomcat on Tue 24th Nov 2009 18:52 in reply to "Comment by Nycran"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

So what do you do when you have an important service that no one really wants to pay for? Sounds to me like news should become a tax-payer funded activity, and not a privately run business. i.e, the government employs journalists who publish articles online.

Problem solved.


That's a horrible solution. It means that government can propagandize the news, and put pressure on the news organization through funding/defunding to see things their way. And it *would* happen. Politicians are sleazy bastards.

Reply Parent Score: 2