Microsoft is known for its robust methods, but the widespread belief that it is attempting to 'buy' the news, offering to pay Rupert Murdoch's News Corp to de-index its news sites from Google speaks of extreme brutality, even by the Borg's standards. And think, people - if Microsoft really is offering to bribe major publishers …
The Sun and Pay-walls
The article is quite right to question News International's strategy of putting all content behind a paywall. Clearly it can work for highly valued content such as that in the WSJ, but who is going to pay for The Sun and The Screws of the World online?
As it is, he real-world edition of The Sun is practically given away - the cover price can barely pay for the cost of production and printing, let alone the content - even if that is produced really cheaply. We have to conclude that the majority of the paper's costs are covered by advertising.
However, it gets worse: there is nothing in The Sun that is particularly exclusive - if it's recycled new stories from AP is what you want, they're available in many other places (for free), and there are myriad other sources for soft-core pr0n.
What incentive is there to go online (other than, perhaps, to contribute entertainingly ignorant, badly written UGC) and what incentive is there for advertisers to advertise behind a pay-wall?
Recycled news stories from AP?
How Old Skool journalistically.
They should get with the program. Look at your Twitter feed, cross-reference anything that looks like it might be a news story with wobblypedia and cut 'n paste the results. You know, like the Terriblegraph* does these days.
*It's either that or sit in El Vino's with three hundred grand on the off-chance a bloke with a plain envelope full of expenses claims copies turns up.
Groan, coz I'm going to mention Apple. The rumour is that Apple is in talks to sign up publishers to providing content for its (also rumoured) tablet. Maybe Murdoch's move is about shifting focus to that channel. Note also that the Daily Telegraph editor has just transferred over to its digital division. Could it be that this is where the news publishers are all headed?
The Black Cloud
Fred Hoyle's classic.
Briefly the story is about a sentient star-faring cloud that envelopes the sun. It accidentally causes a communication blackout on earth (this was from the days when communication involved radio - not cables). One bright spark foresees this and makes freely available a new type of transmitter which routes all communication through a central hub. This hub effectively determines which countries have access to which data.
Anyway, the moral is that generating data is nice, but controlling access to that data is the key - and whoever controls the access is in the dominant position. Now while Murdoch is in a good position to create scads of "news", or tittle-tattle, that's not a whole lot of use if the eyeballs the advertising revenue depends on are directed elsewhere. So it is with Google. Luckily for Murdoch there's more than one player in town. Therefore, provided he recognises that his position is secondary to the search engines, his only choice is which one he chooses to be subservient to. The only mistake he could make is in thinking that he's in control.
You forgot to mention that Murdoch has said he's going to go after the BBC because he believes they are stealing his news.
If you have free news sites (BBC, ABC, Ananova and others) then the number of people willing to pay is significantly reduced. Yes, the WSJ is a good paper, however, it's owned by Murdoch and like Fox is biased toward the GOP. Bing can get into bed with Murdoch but I'm still not inclined to pay to read The Sun or use Bing, I'll just go to the BBC or other free sources for my news.
Both Murdoch senior and junior can lobby hard and try and harm the BBC, if they suceed people from all over the world will be upset.
Where is the Evil Murdoch symbol ?
"built up a publishing empire..."
In the past tense, and no doubt at the time he was disrupting other news and publishing sources.
Sorry Rupert but with the actual value of general news going down due to the increase in sources (anyone with a camera phone!), you are in the same boat as the film industry.
Improve your offer or someone else will!!!
A new model required?
I do feel a pange of something about the possible future dilemmas present print publishers are likely to face. On the other hand they too had opportunity to participate early in emerging technologies and by doing so seek to influence them or participate in development but ...
Maybe it is a game that should have been played 10 years ago and now has obvious conclusion (printing on dead trees will be less popular for a variety of reasons)
(printing on small screens will be more popular for a variety of reasons)
In either case it looks as if the "I'm going to control your media phenomena is likely to terminate soon?" Or maybe not but just the major players (technology related)?
Rupert believed his own lie
In Rupert's world, he is the center of vast empire of trash....err....content producing organizations. He's used to getting his own way and vain enough to think everything has the value he assigns to it. When he 'discovered' sites like Google stealing his jewels, his first reaction was to make them pay. Asking Google nicely won't work because they'd just cover him in sticky goo about how information wants to be free. So, in a predictable move, he goes to Google's competitor, MS, and wanks widely about a deal. It was really never intended to block Google, it was always intended to force Google to pay thinking in his own perverted little way, that's what he would do were he running Google.
it is all part of Rupert's nefarious plan to take his gold with him when Satan comes to claim his own. The man is 78 years old and not all that spry looking. He has maybe 5-6 more years before his brain is so addled he comes up with schemes to monetize the ineffable. He's just getting in a bit of practice before going 'round the bend.
No excuses - Hypocrisy at work
Either Rupert's badly advised,
or as expected, it's hypocritical behaviour.
It's only 30 seconds work to apply .htaccess blocking to Google's bots.
Prevents all content scraping by Google.
The biggest scumbags join forces
Nothing constructive here just thought that was a fun title! Do you think Rupert has ever seen Citizen Kane?
looks like some one beat murdoch to the punch
don'r know if this is old news but it's on the bbc today that " The Johnston Press websites will either ask users to pay £5 for a three-month subscription to read the full articles, or direct them to buy the newspapers. "
don't know if you want to make a festure of it but i couldn't find the email a story link thingy (it's monday morning my brain doesn't start working till11:30 at the earliest) but makes a good comment any way (if a little late )