The Web This Blog

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Google: Media Company (Pt. Two) 

What Is Google, Anyway?

Dan Mitchell weighs in on this burning question in the NY Times.

Grab: Sure, Google is a media company, except when it isn't. The other answer is: It doesn't really matter anyway.

Now that's settled.

Better Grab: Google delivers content to consumers, against which it sells advertising. That's the very definition of a media company. That Google sometimes also acts as a service (search, Google Groups, Froogle, etc.) does not change this at all.

I generally agree, except to note that there are media companies which don't sell advertising.


Thursday, June 16, 2005

Searching the "Deep Web" 

New Yahoo service searches subscription sites - Yahoo! News

Yahoo! is testing a new engine which searches password-protected sites. Check it out here.

If you're a subscriber to the content provider, you get access to the information. If you're not, you're directed to the content provider's subscription or one shot sale page. There are only seven content providers up, but more on the way, including Lexis-Nexis.

This is an interesting project, which protects the value of paid content while providing the additional value of web search. Yahoo! apparently doesn't yet have revenue sharing arrangements with the content providers it's searching, but probably will soon. And if Yahoo! can drive subscription sales and one-shot download sales, they deserve a piece of the action.

If you have password-protected paid content, and are interested in participating, click here.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

More on Digital Magazines 

Circulation Management : Grow Circ with Digital Editions

Cimarron Buser of digital delivery company Texterity points me to this article (linked above) from Circulation Management, which offers some case studies on the deployment of e-zines from Penton and EH Publishing. Worth a read, and thanks for the tip, Cimarron!

Grab: Ultimately, the readers will decide how they want to view the content. The digital journey continues. It may lead to creating custom digital publications depending on what content people want and then extracting the content from a database to create it very easily. It may lead to something not envisioned yet. It all comes down to information overload and delivering our content to the readers. Digital editions are just one of those delivery options.


Scoble on Blog Credibility 

To Blog or Not To Blog

Robert Scoble keynoted a Business Development Institute (BDI) event in May on “Blogging Goes Mainstream: Is Your Company Ready?” His advice on building credibility for a corporate blog is summarized in 20 bullet points in the link at the top of this post, and is well worth a look.

Note: I like the BDI, and my friend Guy Alvarez and his partners have done a great job creating a useful business development networking and events company.


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Perfect Media Storm 

Media revolution to be digitized, on demand

Excellent piece from The Hollywood Reporter's Diane Mermigas, which outlines the key issues media executives face in the near future.

As she notes: it is sink or swim time for all players: Hollywood studios and television networks, broadcasters and cable operators, publishers and video game makers, recorded music producers and advertisers.

Via IWantMedia.


10 Best Blogs 

MarketingSherpa's 10 Best Blogs for 2005: Winners Named + Hotlinks for Your Surfing Pleasure

MarketingSherpa's readers chose the 10 best blogs covering marketing, advertising and PR. Congrats to the winners. I look forward to checking them all out.


Google: Media Company? 

My friend Rex Hammock doesn't think Google is a media company.

Others do.

I think this is the wrong question. Google may or may not be a media company, but its impact on current media company business models is undeniable, and mostly difficult to predict over the next five years. Google doesn't pay for content creation, doesn't field teams of editors, reporters, scholars and pundits. But Google generates income from that content, adding value through search and aggregation, and sharing only a small bit with content owners and creators (via AdSense).

I think the critical question is: How does the Google model affect media in general? In a world where content is becoming increasingly free, and ad blocking is becoming de rigeur, how do media companies generate enough income to continue to produce content and a profit?

In some ways, Google reminds me of the spider who procreates and then consumes its mate. So if Google isn't a media company now, it will have to become one to sustain itself, since its content mates may be dying off, one Google ad at a time.

Side Note: Media hasn't had a free enterprise business model for all that long, in the great scheme of things. Will media creation return to its roots, produced only by those with wealth and leisure time, or with a patron? Will sponsored content become the norm, as it was in the early days of television? Will a completely new business model emerge for the next generation of content creation and delivery? (To this last question, I answer yes, and wish I knew what that model was going to look like. I'd be rich, I tell ya, rich!)


Speed and Depth 

Can Google News robot rival the newspapermen?

Interesting piece from The Times (London) on Google News and its impact on newspapers and newspaper editors, by George Brock, the president of the World Editors Forum.

Grab: A reader chooses how to trade off timeliness against mature reflection. That means that newspapers have to be clear about where they sit and what their readers expect of them in the balance between speed and depth. Newspapers confused about this are those most liable to die.

Via IWantMedia.


Monday, June 13, 2005

Blog Aggregation 

Answering the "Blogs Don't Scale" Dilemma

Shore Communications blogger Jean Bedord comments on John Battelle's FM Publishing, which will "aggregate high authority blogs into an advertising network, focusing initially on technology arena. This will be a win-win situation for both advertisers and bloggers as publishers, since large advertisers have difficulty dealing with individual blogs, and bloggers want to retain control over the advertising that would appear on their site."

B2b publishers should be doing this on their websites, pulling together the top bloggers covering their market/markets, and sharing a piece of the ad revenue. See Paul Conley for an idea of how to do this in the agriculture market.

Aggregation provides the possibility of a realistic revenue stream for blogs. It's the business model behind Gawker Media. There's a German version in the works (note: Hugo Martin's post is in German. You can right click and 'translate this page' to get a reasonable facsimile of a translation.)

But most important, aggregating relevant blogs can help a b2b media company build web traffic, increase the relevance and importance of its websites and avoid disintermediation by new media publishing tools.


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