Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 07, 2016, 02:39:41 AM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: Murdoch and Microsoft: When no one wants to buy your content, take it offline!  (Read 7367 times)

zridling

  • Friend of the Site
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 3,292
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Rupert and the last buggy whip maker....
http://www.ft.com/cm...78-00144feabdc0.html
http://www.businessi...-from-google-2009-11
http://www.dailytech...ent/article15906.htm  (earlier story from August)

11785_murdoch.jpg

Good luck with walling off the internet. Basically Microsoft is going to pay companies for the sole right to index their content. I'm guessing that aside from being a waste of money, I'm pretty sure "I won't index you if you ask me politely not to" is more of a courtesy than a concern arising out of genuine copyright claim fears. Reminds me of professional sports in the US: charge more and more until fans stop coming, and when the fans don't show up, blackout the games from TV viewers, too! Now ask them to pay for news and stories about teams they won't watch and can't see.

Makes sense! Not. If you ask me, Rupert should pay the subjects of his stories since they're the ones creating the actual content he's writing or reporting on (and making money off of someone else's life and work).

40hz

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,768
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
This is going to end up being an absolute bonanza for all the bloggers out there.

When polled, something like 70% of the people under 30 say they never bother reading/watching (or trust) the major news sources. Most say they prefer to get their news from smaller independent sources such as bloggers and "focused topic" websites.

When the TV screenwriters went on strike, the major networks countered by dropping a lot of their scripted content and replacing it with cheap to produce 'reality' and talk shows. Once the strike was over, the writers got much of what they asked for in their new contract. Unfortunately, they got a better contract in a market with significantly less demand for their services than existed before they walked out.

If my revenue stream was shrinking, I'd be the first to allow - nay insist - that Google and every other search engine out there index my stuff. I'd also try a reverse strategy of sorts, by having some content available only in print as opposed to on the open web. Web 'exclusives' lured print readers onto many magazine websites when they first came out. I'm wondering if a similar strategy could get web readers to purchase print editions.

And it should come as no surprise Microsoft is toadying up to Murdoch's scheme either. Microsoft has been actively seeking out (and paying large sums for) exclusive rights to content over the last several years - probably as a hedge for the inevitable day when they can no longer sell their operating system; or convince people they want the newest - and even more feature bloated version of Office.

I have no problem understanding why Murdoch would like his readers to pay for his content. But it's a complete mystery to me why he seems to feel that restricting who can index it will benefit him or his business. When business is hurting, the absolute last thing any sane company wants to do is give people a reason to go out shopping for an alternative.

But then again...who ever said Murdoch was sane? :P

About the only possible temporary winner I can see would be Microsoft (typical for a Microsoft deal!) since Murdoch's action might have the short-term benefit of forcing people to use Bing instead of Google for some of their web search needs. This could also be beneficial to Microsoft in the long run since it helps damage the public perception of Google as the sui generis search engine. When people think "web search" they almost always automatically think "Google." Microsoft would very much like to change that way of thinking. And the best way to do that is to make sure it can't be used for everything. Teaming up with Murdoch to balkanize web searching is a step in that direction.

I think it will only be a matter of time before Murdoch realizes the truth of the saying: Walls can't shut things out - they only shut things in.



« Last Edit: November 23, 2009, 07:34:04 AM by 40hz »

zridling

  • Friend of the Site
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 3,292
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Exactly! Having a position on the Google News home page -- at no charge to any content provider -- is probably the single best way to drive vast amounts of traffic to Murdoch's own sites, where he does get advertising revenue. If no one "sees" Murdoch's content anywhere, how will they know it exists to subscribe to?

How long before NewsCorp says, "You helped us, but we've been thinking about it, and not only do we not want our content on your index, but we don't want to see you serving any sites that rewrite or offer synopses of our content/reporting." Where would that leave Microsoft Bing? Recall when the NYTimes walled its columnist and Sunday content off, there were dozens of anonymous blogs that reprinted every word within 30 seconds of their posting. I never missed a word if I wanted. No matter what NewsCorp writes about, a hundred other blogs will discuss it, adding their own take and research.

Instead of partnering up with Murdoch to scrub its visibility from Google, Microsoft should have frank talk with Murdoch about a more rational future for online content, newspapers, and subscription revenues.

Jimdoria

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 256
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
I too thought that shutting out Google was sheer, ornery stupidity. But when I heard Murdoch was giving exclusive search rights to Bing, who would pay him for results, a light went off for me.

It's ideological. Maybe Murdoch is going for the big win here.

I know this isn't a political forum, and I don't want to roil the waters, but it's hard not to at least suspect a political motive when RM is involved.

Right now, people choose Google because it's widely regarded as "the best". For people like us who know computers, and possibly something about algorithms like PageRank, we consider "best" to mean "returns the most relevant links for my query" or "most likely to find what I'm looking for." But there are plenty of people who have no idea how Google does what it does, and for them "best" just means "most popular."

But popularity is fleeting. Google has been accused in some circles of being politically left-leaning. They certainly seem to embrace an "information wants to be free" hackerish worldview. And don't they run with that open source crowd, who are shameless communists?

Many of Mr. Murdoch's content properties cater to those on the right end of the political spectrum. It's a big group, and tends to be fiercely critical of those on the political left, and willing to back up its criticism with financial support. If he can get a substantial fraction of this demographic to turn against the idea of "unpaid search" or "freeloader search" on ideological grounds, this could be a big kettle of fish. It could take the corrosive left vs. right culture that has been so detrimental to politics in the U.S. and elsewhere, and bring it into something that was previously neutral territory.

If Google can be re-cast as a "leftie" search engine, and Bing as a "rightie" search engine, than people will make their choice based on which group they identify with, not on technical merit. Ideology tends to short-circuit actual thinking. I suspect nobody knows this better than Murdoch.
- Jimdoria ~@>@

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who divide everybody into two kinds of people, and those who don't.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2009, 09:48:00 PM by Jimdoria »

Ehtyar

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,237
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
I keep hearing about the mess and mistakes made by traditional media in the digital age (to which they seem so inexplicably unaccustomed a decade on) and just keep wondering when they will stop committing acts of mass stupidity and join the rest of the planet in a time beyond the 1980s.

Then, I come across stories such as this. All I can say is "good riddance to bad...toilet paper?".

Ehtyar.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2009, 10:15:43 PM by Ehtyar »

JavaJones

  • Review 2.0 Designer
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,717
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Wow Jimdoria, that's actually a really interesting and plausible possibility. Good post!

- Oshyan

zridling

  • Friend of the Site
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 3,292
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Good points, Jimdoria. It's no secret here in the US that Google wants what's best for it, which happens to be on the left side of many issues. Among them net neutrality, DMCA/copyright law revision (how come copyrights only go in one direction: up?), and they run their server farms on their own version of Linux. Much of that behavior does directly compete with Microsoft's (business) interests, who has enjoyed a hegemonic control over software and standards.

Yet I don't see what Microsoft gains from the partnership. Murdoch's not in the business of sharing money.

app103

  • That scary taskbar girl
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2006
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,666
    • View Profile
    • App's Apps
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Oh, good luck with that Murdoch. You'll be worse than experts-exchange when visitors get smacked with the "you have to pay to read this" notice. Most don't even want to register to read NYT articles for free.

Yet I don't see what Microsoft gains from the partnership. Murdoch's not in the business of sharing money.

Bragging rights, which they hope will lure more users away from Google to Bing.

zridling

  • Friend of the Site
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 3,292
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Yea, I just wish Microsoft wouldn't pay them for the privilege. Book reviewers don't pay novelists; Murdoch doesn't pay the content creators of his newspapers' reports and stories; so why should Microsoft be the only one paying?

I'm sorry. I get Murdoch's 'Fair Use' point. What he's not telling you is that you can copy any WSJ.com headline, paste it into a Google search, and then read the entire story without paying a dime. At this point, he doesn't even want Google to post the first sentence or two of a report. Oh well.

app103

  • That scary taskbar girl
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2006
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,666
    • View Profile
    • App's Apps
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
What he's not telling you is that you can copy any WSJ.com headline, paste it into a Google search, and then read the entire story without paying a dime.

This is why he is pulling his content from Google. They can't adopt a 100% pay to read model and still be listed in Google. It goes against Google's rules.

Google has rules against showing one version of a page to their spiders and another to anyone that clicks through from search results. In order to get around that, Murdoch would have to remove his content from Google and go with an alternative, such as Bing, where Microsoft is dumb enough to pay Murdoch for the right to bend their own rules and do this.

There is no way Google would pay Murdoch for the "priviledge" to break Google's own rules, spidering their full content and then linking to "you have to pay" pages in search results.

The day Murdoch tries to force it on Google, even for free, is the day Google would slap them hard and drop them, no longer listing any content from their site.

And that is the full reality of this situation.

app103

  • That scary taskbar girl
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2006
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,666
    • View Profile
    • App's Apps
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
If you are curious as to whether or not you'll ever miss News Corp related content in Google, take a look at this: http://valleywag.gaw...no-big-loss/gallery/

zridling

  • Friend of the Site
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 3,292
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Wow, that explains a lot. Thanks April.

zridling

  • Friend of the Site
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 3,292
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Can anyone setup a greasemonkey script to exclude all of Murdoch's sites from Google search results?  :P

app103

  • That scary taskbar girl
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2006
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,666
    • View Profile
    • App's Apps
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Can anyone setup a greasemonkey script to exclude all of Murdoch's sites from Google search results?  :P

Sounds like a coding snack. Make a list of all the sites and post the request. (I'd use it)

EDIT: I found this one but I am sure it doesn't block it all, and it's only for Google News: http://userscripts.o...g/scripts/show/61545
« Last Edit: November 26, 2009, 09:24:46 AM by app103 »

Jimdoria

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 256
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Thanks to Oshyan's kind words, I expanded on this idea a bit and reposted it on Facebook. Here's the gist of what I added.

I think what Microsoft gets out of this is market share. Google owns search right now, and MS can't break in.

But if search can be "politicized" to the point whera a large number of conservatives feel they have a reason to stop using Google, they'll take their business elsewhere - probably Bing, since that's where the Fox stuff is. This would be a big win for MS. They could gain a substantial amount of market share all at once - and the increased ad revenue that comes with it. It would be a much bigger piece of pie than just the revenue from ads served up next to NewsCorp content.

Ruthless marketing has always been the MS ultimate weapon. It's how they best competitors - even the ones that are technically superior. In fact it wouldn't surprise me to learn that this idea originated with them.

The whole thing is at http://www.facebook....t-up-to/213335101214 if anyone cares to read it.
- Jimdoria ~@>@

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who divide everybody into two kinds of people, and those who don't.

app103

  • That scary taskbar girl
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2006
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,666
    • View Profile
    • App's Apps
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
But who is going to care that Bing has the listings if they all lead to "you have to pay" pages? They will just consider all Murdoch's sites to be equal to search engine spam.

This isn't going to help Bing at all. In the long run I can only see it hurting.