For anyone who can’t keep up with the dizzying torrent of service announcements from Google (or anyone wondering what $400+ a share gets you), CNET News provides a nice chart that summarizes its many products and (public) initiatives under way.
Meanwhile, John Heilemann writes in his New York magazine column about the concept of Googlephobia: the growing fear and perception that Google is becoming a tool of U.S. cultural imperialism.
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I'd hate for my question to the Google guy at your local show Tuesday to be misinterpreted (as it may have been by Peter Zollman). I wasn't asking Mr. Rao to feel sorry for newspapers somehow by asking him whether he feels our "pain" in the wrenching transition to a world where free classifieds are the norm. What I was trying to express was the newspaper industry's ambivalence towards an erstwhile "partner" that seemed eager to compete with us over the cash cow in our local markets. Many newspapers currently participate as partners in the Google AdSense service — happily. But if the virtuous circle looks like this: classifieds revenues buy reporters which create content which Google searches for its users — something breaks when the next step is Google leverages great content to enter businesses that make it more difficult for news organizations to create content that build Google traffic (and that of other portals like MSN, for that matter).
Do newspapers have to invest more in the classifieds business? No question. Will they find a value proposition that works for both users and advertisers online? Undoubtedly. But it takes awhile to turn an industry whose true "value proposition" is serving the public interest. We are in this business not only to make money but to build our communities.
Can Google still say the same?
Also see:http://blog.kelseygroup.com/ yesterday's post "Has the worm turned?"
Sorry. That URL was: http://battellemedia.com/, Nov. 29th post.