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Terry Heaton

Excellent and spot-on analysis. Even now, local media companies are circling the wagons and centralizing resources, the exact opposite of what they should be doing for long-term survival.

mike

"A New York Times article read on Google News does not provide a comparable return for the New York Times."

have you ever used Google News? this sentence makes no sense -- you can't read an NYT article on Google News. Google News provides a link to the NYT, and you read their articles on their site, with their ads.

Chris Tolles

Neither Google news nor Topix provides full articles for the majority of the news articles in their index, instead directing the user to the news site for anyone wishes to read the article -- in fact providing the news site an incremental reader, and inherent value.

I think your analysis needs to account for this -- Topix as well as Google provide opt outs for any publication - it's not clear that the value provided by the aggregators is not pretty important in this age where no one under 30 actually is aware of the newspaper in their area.

You'll note who invested in Topix in 2005 for example...

If a newspaper is getting such a bad bargain, it could easily opt out...so why don't they?

Chris Tolles
VP Marketing
Topix.net

Seamus

Terry

Thanks!

Mike

Agreed, you can't read a full article on Google News (though incidentally on Yahoo News, by far the most popular news aggregation site, you very often can). On Google News, agreed, you can't get the full text so you can't get the full depth of analysis. But you can use it to find out what the news is, and that changes your relationship with your news provider. From there, rather than navigate to "your" newspaper to get the full story, you simply click on whichever link happens to be at the top of the Google News page. The aggregator rather than the originator therefore becomes the first port of call for newsgathering, and the relationship moves from the newspaper to Google (etc). This isn't to say people won't read newspapers online because it's all on Google already: - clearly they do and they will. It's about the value-chain and the relationship and that, as I note above, the newspaper's traditional value is a function of that relationship, not the content per se.

Chris

Surprised you didn't mention the Topix Publisher Platform which, but for a realisation I'd gone on far too long already, I'd have liked to bring into my analysis myself. Your Publisher Platform is one of the most interesting solutions in this model, and by sharing revenues with publishers for full text articles resolves a lot of the "how to monetise every packet of news in a distributed environment" questions.

Re directing people back to the central site...yes, you and Google and Yahoo! etc all do this. My point was not really that aggregators have done something consciously invidious but that the way search has become the gateway to content on the web has pushed content originators down the value chain.

Re "why don't the newspapers opt out?" - some have. Yomiuri in Japan, AFP in France, Copiepress in Belgium otright blocked Google News. Some people such as Steve Yelvington at Morris Digital have taken a more thoughtful, nuanced approach and blocked Google News from spidering wire stories from Morris news sites. ACAP indicates a growing understanding that robots.txt (or any simple on/off, opt-in/opt-out switch) is too blunt a tool for managing the originator/aggregator relationship and that something more flexible might be worth a try. But again, all credit to Topix for taking an initiative in that respect with the Publisher Platform.

Thanks for commenting.

Alex

I came to know that everything is set to Google in the United State, and a hearing was held in Belgium on September 5 when the ruling came out last on Sept 15. But Google has not taken part in the hearings by saying that it is still investigating.

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