Thursday, July 10, 2008

and one news site to rule them all

Jeff Jarvis makes a very compelling argument that newspapers need to get out of both the paper industry, but also the website industry as well. Let them do what they do best--news--the argument goes, and leave the hosting and the technology up to the company that does that best: Google.

There's fault in the argument for sure--most notably, it creates a massive monopoly on Google's part; secondly it still doesn't address the redundancy factor completely--but it's an interesting, innovative take on the whole problem.

Much of the argument is built on the backbone of Googler Bob Wyman, who explains it most effectively:

An online paper isn’t much more than a complicated If Google can provide free hosting to the “citizen journalists” who are making life difficult for the newspapers, Google should be able to host the newspapers for free as well. The newspapers would certainly generate more revenue than cat pictures! The idea would be to have each “newsroom” focus on whatever it does best and then link them all together into a larger whole which is greater than the sum of the parts. Google has search engines, alert systems, video serving, annotations, database services, AppEngine, more scalability than you can imagine, etc…. Ideally, every newsroom would be able to think of Google, and all its capabilities, as their own. It just doesn’t make sense for hundreds or thousands of newspapers to try to craft their own versions of all this stuff.

Yowza is right.