« IPTV UK inches closer | Main | Web media start-ups hunted to extinction »


Napsterisation of news - eloquent anachronism of the month

While members of the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) may be doing an NUJ* on news aggregation, being masters of good copy they still know how to punch pithy, lashing out at Google News as the "napsterisation" of news and less catchily as "stealing".

Key to undermining their own argument, they should look at what "napsterisation" actually did to the music industry - and still is doing. I bet the WAN-ist who came up with the phrase is hoping that everyone would go back to getting their content direct form the source website, better still paying for it. Or maybe they were imaging an iTunes for news content, where they would earn a few cents per story?

Dream on.

iTunes wasn't the salvation for the record labels,one industry insider told me the other day, it was a way of making some money out of the over 25s. No one under 25 buys music anymore, they said - iTunes is a stalling tactic, a way of slowing the haemorrhage of cash from the old music money model while they try to think of another one or check out places to retire.

Jeff Jarvis (he of Buzzmachine) is on form this morning in Media Guardian discussing all of this - take a look at his column here. He rightly says that Google is the world's front page - which is my candidate for genius-seer quote of the month. Instead of moaning and acting like they can stand in the way of the web, Mr Jarvis says:

Sane publishers are, instead, engaging in the black art of the age: "search-engine optimisation" (SEO), which means making your content easily findable via Google and company. I am a believer. Full disclosures: I work with the New York Times Company's About.com, which has become a top-10 site via SEO. It is a wonder. I am also working with a startup that, not unlike Google, organises news, because I believe this will help bring readers to relevant reporting. And I advise newspapers that all their content - including their archives - should be online, for every search engine, aggregator and blog to find.

SEO means changing even the content on pages so it can be read not just by humans but by machines. For example, if you're a newspaper with witty headlines people appreciate, you also should consider writing patently obvious headlines that say exactly what stories are about so a computer robot can find and understand them and guide people there to appreciate those witty headlines. And maybe telling people what a story is about at a glance isn't a bad idea, either.

Spot on. And take note PR colleagues, for as I am fond of saying these days: search is media. If you don't know one end of search engine optimisation campaign from another you are risking being outmoded very, very quickly...

* See Witness Contributors. The horses have bolted, chaps. The fact that of complaining loudly about the open door, much less closing it, is all the proof you need.

technorati tags: , , , ,


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Napsterisation of news - eloquent anachronism of the month:


The comments to this entry are closed.