«The Web didn’t kill mediators. It made them stronger», schreibt «Rough Type» Nicholas Carr in einem interessanten Blog-Post:
- «When a middleman [i.e. Google] controls a market, the supplier has no real choice but to work with the middleman – even if the middleman makes it impossible for the supplier to make money. Given the choice, most people will choose to die of a slow wasting disease rather than to have their head blown off with a bazooka. But that doesn’t mean that dying of a slow wasting disease is pleasant.
As Tom Slee points out, Google’s role as the dominant middleman in the digital content business resembles Wal-Mart’s role as the dominant middleman in the consumer products business. Because of the vastness of Wal-Mart’s market share, consumer goods companies have little choice but to sell their wares through the retailing giant, even if the retailing giant squeezes their profit margin to zilch. It’s called leverage: Play by our rules, or die.
Sometimes ‹voluntary› isn’t really ‹voluntary›.
When it comes to Google and other aggregators, newspapers face a sort of prisoners‘ dilemma. If one of them escapes, their competitors will pick up the traffic they lose. But if all of them stay, none of them will ever get enough traffic to make sufficient money. So they all stay in the prison, occasionally yelling insults at their jailer through the bars on the door.
As I’ve written before, the essential problem facing the online news business is oversupply. The cure isn’t pretty. It requires, first, a massive reduction of production capacity – ie, the consolidation or disappearance of lots of news outlets. Second, and dependent on that reduction of production capacity, it requires news organizations to begin to impose controls on their content. By that, I don’t mean preventing bloggers from posting fair-use snippets of articles. I mean curbing the rampant syndication, authorized or not, of full-text articles.»
Alles lesen: «Google in the middle»
- «The problem is that the distribution of content isn’t the real problem for media companies; it’s the growing ability of advertisers to reach people without media companies. Advertising is the disruption that should trouble media companies, not what’s happening to their content. Ad-supported content is simply not a growth business anymore; it cannot provide sustainable growth, because the disruption isn’t about content. […] This is why I advise clients to seek ways to make online money detached from the content they create by connecting consumers with advertisers in ways beyond simply serving ads.
And here’s the thing that’s most irritating to me in bitching about Google. Despite its intelligent algorithms, Google is what I call a ‹dumb› aggregator, meaning items are gleaned based entirely on software. ‹Smart› aggregators involve human intelligence calling the shots, and you’d think by now that somebody would have built one for news.»
Zu Letzterem meint Scott Karp in einem Kommentar zu Heatons Eintrag:
- «With all due respect, that’s entirely wrong, which is the point of my post. Google’s ‹intelligence› is based on reading links on the web as ‹votes› for content. Those links are created by humans, when they choose to link to content.»
Im erwähnten «post» schreibt Karp auf «Publishing 2.0» unter anderem:
- «Google isn’t stealing content from newspapers and other media companies. It’s stealing their control over distribution, which has always been the engine of profits in media.
The key to Google’s monopoly control over content distribution on the web is its ability to judge what’s most relevant in an increasingly large sea of content.
If media companies want to compete with Google, they need to look at the source of its power – judging good content, which enables Google to be the most efficient and effective distributor of content. They also need to look at Google’s fundamental limitation – its judgment is dependent on OTHER people expressing their judgment of content in the form of links.»