Saturday, February 14, 2009

WSJ Editor Claims Google Devalues Everything | Techdirt

@ Techdirt:
thanks to Jim Lyons for putting the link on his blog.

"WSJ Editor Claims Google Devalues Everything
from the no-wonder-no-one-uses-it dept

This has been clueless newspaper guy month around here, and it's kept up with the appearance of Walter Isaacson (yet again), Mort Zuckerman (owner/publisher of both the NY Daily News and US News & World Reports) and Robert Thomson (managing editor of The Wall Street Journal) on the Charlie Rose program, where they spend plenty of time whining about the way things used to be and why people have to start paying -- but never touch on any reason why people should want to pay. Still... that's a dead horse at this point. Instead, I wanted to focus on the rather stunning claim from Thomson concerning Google:

But one of the -- Google -- I mean, the harsh way of just defining it, Google devalues everything it touches. Google is great for Google, but it's terrible for content providers, because it divides that content quantitatively rather than qualitatively. And if you are going to get people to pay for content, you have to encourage them to make qualitative decisions about that content.

This is wrong on so many levels it's hard to know where to begin. . . .
People, people, we have to stop whining and worrying and get real. People don't buy newspapers for the golden thoughts or unique information available. They buy newspapers because Print is a toy, a tool, or a token.

A Toy = crosswords and anagrams.
A Tool = who, close by is running a sale
A Token= "people like us, buy a paper like that"

People always have and will continue to willingly buy toys, tools and tokens. Information? Nobody needs more information to make life even more complicated than it already is.

Unless of course if it's gossip or the weather report.


  1. Here's the video.

    At 9:20 Robert Thomson says, “Google devalues everything it touches” and I cannot help but think that he sounds like a local store owner complaining about WalMart. In the mean time everyone is shopping there and the company is single handedly responsible for most all innovation in store / product logistics. Rickles and Bamburgers went out of business for a reason, the free market spoke.

  2. Robert,
    Exactly! Thanks for stopping by.

    For our viewers, if you take the click on robert ivan above, it will take you to metaprinter.

    The description at the site is: is a newspaper industry news blog focusing on innovation and convergent technologies. We provide commentary and analysis centered on the changes in media information streams, particularly as they relate to newspaper print media and the rise of multimedia and digital environments. We provide regularly updated posts concerning the state of the media as well as interviews with media industry professionals. There are also education, trade organization, and industry links available. Our mission at Metaprinter is to inform our readers of current industry practices as well as provide them with information to anticipate future trends.