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April 25 2012

16:27

July 19 2011

05:50

Will David Cameron have to quite over phone-hacking scandal?

Political Betting :: There’s increased speculation from Iain Dale and The Telegraph that David Cameron may end up quitting over the fallout from his relations to Coulson, Brooks and Murdoch. Political Betting writes: "it’s worth considering who might takeover as leader of the Conservatives. The specific nature of this crisis hasn’t been reflected in the betting markets yet. I believe there is one candidate representing outstanding value. ... ."

At this point no one really knows how the crisis will further evolve and it is also hard to predict:

Guardian :: Speculation that the (phone-hacking) affair could eventually bring down David Cameron seems utterly fanciful - although anyone who claimed to be able to predict with confidence exactly where this will end would be a fool.

Continue to read www1.politicalbetting.com

Continue to read www.guardian.co.uk

July 18 2011

01:42

What’s next for News Corp. and its worlds

There’s no telling how the News Corp. saga will turn out, but I’ll try. Here’s a scenario that leads to the breakup of News Corp., the Murdochs out of power, the deflation of institutional journalism, a break in the too-cozy media-government complex, an unfortunate rise in regulation of media, and a fortunate opening for newcomers. This story of legality and morality will quickly shift to one driven by business.

A week ago, I speculated that News Corp. would need to get out of the news business. Not so crazy. Since then, the FT’s John Gapper speculated similarly, as did John Cassidy at The New Yorker.

And since then, News International head Rebekah Brooks resigned and was arrested; Dow Jones head Les Hinton resigned; Murdoch gave up on BSkyB; the Murdochs agreed to testify before Parliament; and the revelations of corruption between News Corp. and police and government get only worse, leading to the resignation of the head of the police. What looked so far out doesn’t look so far out now. So how could this progress?

* Start with the end of a Murdoch succession plan. Rupert’s defense aside, James Murdoch’s handling of the scandal has been irresponsible, short-sighted, cocky, and dangerous. The trail of scandal is lapping at James’ feet. Whether or not he is investigated or arrested for crimes, there can be no confidence in his leadership. None of his siblings is in any better position and they are feuding anyway. Rupert Murdoch is looking more lost and his testimony Tuesday at what will appear (to Americans, at least) like an impeachment hearing will only implode his stature yet further.

Meanwhile, more importantly, News Corp. lost more than $7 billion in market cap over four scandal-filled days. That number may go up or down but it’s ominous in any case. Shareholders are suing. There will be a call for professional and independent management of the corporation, sooner than later. If I were an “independent” director of News Corp., I’d be scared to death right now.

Buh-bye Murdochs? As unthinkable as that may have been only two weeks ago, it’s now quite conceivable.

* Off with the headlines! That professional management will quickly conclude that the news divisions of News Corp. are a costly drag and will try to divest them, starting with the UK properties and then spreading elsewhere. News Corp. is an entertainment company. Professional management will focus on that and get rid of Rupert’s bully pulpits. If they previously did bring clout and regulatory convenience to the Murdoch’s business strategies, now all they bring is grief and the attention of lawmakers, prosecutors, competitors, and detractors. News is clearly not a growth business; it is, as a friend in the trade said, profit-challenged. So stop the presses already.

I said in my post last Monday it may be difficult to find a market for the properties. But they become costlier to News Corp. by the day, so the desire to unload them will only grow as their value declines. In the UK, the Sun has been eclipsed online by the Daily Mail. Murdoch gave up on strategies of growth and advertising when he put The Times behind a paywall, its audience shrinking from millions to a reported 100,000. An egotistical oligarch might buy either.

* In the U.S., the right-wing depends on Fox News and is surely getting nervous about its fate. It is becoming — if one can imagine this — even more of a laughingstock than it already was as it ignores or defends Murdoch in the scandal. I could imagine Roger Ailes assembling rich Republicans to engineer a leveraged buyout and keep it safe for them in time for the election. Then there could be no doubt of its role as a propaganda arm of the right.

The New York Post loses tens of millions a year and lives only to give Murdoch his toy and pulpit. Professional management cannot justify that. It will die or find its egotistical oligarch (its Conrad Black or Robert Maxwell … I cannot imagine even the Murdoch heirs allowing their patriarch to hold onto it and eat into their fortune yet further).

The Wall Street Journal is in quite the pickle. Again, professional management will want to get rid of it because it is not a good business; its ROI, if any, is worse than The Simpson’s. But who would buy it? Recall that no one else but Murdoch would buy it for the price he offered, an overeager amount he soon had to write-down. Last week, I suggested that if Murdoch wants to rescue the last shred of his legacy, he should put the Journal into a trust, a la the Guardian and its Scott Trust. Past that, it’s hard to imagine its fate. Would Bloomberg or Reuters buy its financial data businesses? Is there a fire-sale buyer for the paper and its web site? They’d better hurry before it is ruined by delusional editorial such as this one defending Murdoch.

News Corp. is also in the business of coupons and circulars distributed in newspapers. That business, too, will shrink as those transactions go digital and mobile. I’ve been told by major marketers that their need for FSIs (free-standing inserts) will disappear within two years — another blow to newspapers’ kidneys. Someone will buy that business to consolidate the trade. Though it, too, has News Corp. cooties. David Carr says this division has paid out $655 million to get rid of charges of espionage and anticompetitive behavior.

In publishing, that leaves HarperCollins. Murdoch tried to sell it sometime ago; no such luck. Who’d buy it now? I couldn’t imagine. (Disclosure: My last book, What Would Google Do?, was published by HarperCollins. My next book, Public Parts, was set to be but I pulled it when I found myself being highly critical of News Corp. as the antithesis to a company that operates openly.)

There’s been much speculation that illegalities abroad — or, if they are found, in the U.S. — could lead to News Corp losing its domestic TV licenses. I don’t think that would happen. If professional management replaces the Murdochs and the scandal-ridden news divisions are ejected, then it’s hard to imagine the FCC — which basically never revokes licenses and would take a decade to try — pushing News Corp. out of the local TV business. Besides that, there is nothing I’d call news on Fox stations. They are entertainment distribution outlets.

* The only thing left in the publishing arm is Australia. Various politicians of lesser or greater power are calling for reconsideration of the incredible newspaper holdings Murdoch has there. I could see the company holding onto this for old time’s sake if there isn’t too much political pressure. Or I could see it being spun off to family, again for old time’s sake.

* So then News Corp. would be an entertainment company and a successful one.

* The next big impact will be regulating journalism in the UK. As I said here, I would lament that. The regulators didn’t bring Murdoch to the bar; journalists did — namely Nick Davies of the Guardian. We don’t need more controls on journalism. We need more journalism.

In the US, you can bet we’ll hear more about regulating media consolidation. But that’s not the issue. Morality is.

* I believe the biggest long-term impact of l’affaire Murdoch will be the diminution of institutional journalism and its cozy relationship with institutional government. That is good news. It opens opportunities for independents: for us.

* None of this could happen. Murdoch will hold on as long as he can — witness Murdoch’s “interview” with the Wall Street Journal claiming that the company has handled all this well and also the denial in the Wall Street Journal editorial just published, which tries to shift the blame for shoddy journalism to Murdoch’s competitors and critics. The longer Murdoch holds on, the less his empire will be worth. Just how stubborn is he?

July 15 2011

17:22

News International's new chief executive Tom Mockridge: a portrait

Guardian :: Tom Mockridge started his career as a national newspaper journalist working for the chief rival to Rupert Murdoch's interests in Australia. Yet since joining the Murdochs in 1991, the native New Zealander and former economics editor of the Sydney Morning Herald has risen through the ranks of the global corporation to run Sky Italia, a pay-TV business that is almost twice the size of News International's operations in the UK in terms of staff and profits.

"He has a strong journalistic background," said one insider. "He understands newspapers and the business of newspapers."

A portrait - continue to read Jane Martinson, www.guardian.co.uk

November 25 2010

13:17

“THE DAILY” (3): WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT NEWS CORPORATION FIRST USA NATIONAL TABLET PUBLICATION (3)

Who is Jesse Angelo?: The leader of this project is a former managing editor of the New York Post, a tabloid that has been losing a lot of money since Murdoch bought this competitor of the New York Daily News. Angelo is a Harvard graduate and lifelong New Yorker. He began as a freelance reporter for The Post’s Page Six in 1999. He was hired full time as a news reporter, then moved to the business desk, where he quickly rose to deputy business editor. Angelo was named metropolitan editor in April 2001.

Murdoch on The Daily one week ago: “I’m starting a paper in six weeks. A brand new paper. It will be a bit like the New York Post. But it will be national. It will only be seen on tablets. It will only employ journalists – and maybe eight to 10 technicians.”

Promotion: Amazing. Learning from Apple, News Corporation is almost silent, but the viral marketing is going crazy. Serious newspapers like The Guardian have been trap in this noisy silent-strategy publishing rumors with no facts.

Is this paper another example of “Dead On Arrival”?: That’s the main view of all the blind experts, people that have not seen anything and are killing the baby before birth.

My own take: Give them a chance. They have will, money, resources and talent to try this only-tablet national publication. If Murdoch wins, expect a lot of replicas around the world. If he fails, all of us will learn how to do it better. So, let’s wait and see. My only concern is that the time has been too short: a huge project like this cannot be done in six months.

October 14 2010

09:58

Guardian: Murdoch’s media fightback over letter to Cable

A letter signed by numerous media organisations including the BBC and sent to business secretary Vince Cable earlier this week, calling on him to intervene with a planned bid by Murdoch for the remainder of BSkyB, has sparked quick responses from Murdoch’s other media outlets.

According to a report by the Guardian, it was first an editorial in News International’s The Times yesterday, which claimed that BBC director general Mark Thompson had made a “serious and surprising error”.

By lending his name to the campaign to prevent News Corp from purchasing those Sky shares that it does not already own, Mr Thompson has made a serious and surprising error. He has embroiled his taxpayer-funded organisation in a political and commercial battle that it should have nothing to do with.

Then today the Sun’s columnist Kelvin MacKenzie added that Murdoch should be encouraged, not stopped.

The fact that Sky is so successful is due to his three-word mantra: invest, invest, invest. When you look at the list of business duds opposing him, what’s quite clear is they have chosen to survive by three other words: Cut, cut, cut. …It’s hard to know why Vince Cable wouldn’t nod the deal through as Rupert has always run Sky thanks to his near 40% equity ownership and the right he has to pick the chief executive.

… The reality is that Sky owns very few of the channels it broadcasts and many of the stations have minute audiences – especially compared to the state monopolists at the BBC. The issue for our nation should not be how to stop Mr Murdoch investing in Britain but how to encourage him – and many more like him.”

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September 11 2010

08:54

September 01 2010

20:00

SULBERGER VERSUS MURDOCH: IT’S THE (DIRTY) WAR!

05hacking-span-articleLarge

First, The Wall Street Journal confronted The New York Times.

So today Sulzberger launched his first main assault to Murdoch in his own British market.

With Tabloid Hack Attack on Royals, and Beyond, a 6,00- word story written by Don Van Natta Jr., Jo Becker and Graham Bowley, three big guns of The New York Times, Sulzberger tries to destroy the reputation (?) not of the News of the World, the Sunday gossip tabloid of News Corporation, but the reputation of Rupert Murdoch as owner of this popular paper.

The war is here.

My only question is this:

Why British newspapers, magazines, radio, television, blogs… didn’t cover the story in such a powerful way?

The New York Times is again the “solo” paper producing first class real investigative reporting.

A lesson hard to learn by other more complacent rivals.

(Picture by Lewis Whyld/Getty Images)

April 14 2010

15:09

TABLETS VERSUS PRINTING PRESSES

etched-and-painted-wine-bottles

Roy Greensland writes a good headline:

Would Murdoch have spent £650m on a print plant if the iPad had been around?

Well, his response will be YES.

But as Burda or Rusbidger, I am sure that they know that these are tha last huge printing presses that the buy.

Printing is not our business.

Vertical integration is not the right strategy.

Universities need buildings but they don’t own construction companies.

And the cars of Ford needed tires and many years ago owned big rubber plantations in Brazil.

fordlandia_carjungle

Yes, the 10,000 km² of land of Fordlandia!

So are the new mobile digital tablets going to be the next BIG IDEA?

Yes.

But no media company needs to become an Apple, Microsoft, Samsung or Nokia…

We are not in the bottling business.

We are in the wine business.

Content matters.

Platforms, no.

Newsprint will survive.

Printing presses will survive…

But journalism will not need them like in the past.

More cheap, green and efficient digital platforms will be available in less than three years.

So cheap that media publishers will be more than happy to give these devices free to their subscribers.

When you see than in less than 10 days the photo application of The Guardian has generated 50,000 downloads, you know that the iPad and the digital tablet are here to stay.

January 25 2010

09:41

Re-tweet rumours: Is the Times and Sunday Times up for sale?

It looks like everyone has about as much as we do on this one – from Michael Wolff’s tweets alone. On Saturday the Vanity Fair columnist and Murdoch biographer suggested, via Twitter,  that News Corp could be looking to sell the Times and the Sunday Times: “Rumor in London banking circles: Times and Sunday Times up for sale.”

Before long, @michaelwolffnyc’s short message was on the re-tweet circuit:

But if Wolff knows more detail, he’s keeping it to himself for now. Meanwhile he’s asking other journalists if they know more…

@johngapper [Financial Times columnist] Working it right now. Being characterized as “strong rumor among private equity” that Times and Sunday Times could be on block.

@janinegibson [Guardian.co.uk editor] Funny how that happens. Have you heard anything – beyond tweets?

Michael Wolff on Twitter…

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December 15 2009

16:57

Google will give Murdoch what he wants if he renames the Sun as the Wapping News Journal

Has anyone pointed out the workings of Google Scholar to Rupert Murdoch? He’s going to have a fit when he finds out (first published here) …

Imagine if Google offered a deal like this to news publishers (as you’ll have guessed, this is exactly how Google Scholar works):

  • Where content is behind a paywall, Google will index it all and include it in its web results even if searchers who click through to the page are then told they can’t read the story without subscribing.
  • Google will work out which is the authoritative source of a story and show that – so newspapers breaking exclusives get priority over bloggers etc.
  • Google won’t differentiate these results in any way – searchers will think they’re going to see the content they can see in the Google results, but actually they’ll hit a paywall.

As I say, that’s exactly how Google Scholar works – but it’s not a deal that Google’s offering to newspapers.

How Google Scholar works

Here’s an example of the Google Scholar scheme in action. I did a search for “innocent purchasers” (don’t ask) and saw this result – notice the snippet of text showing some relevant content:

Google result

Google result

However, when I clicked through to the page, all I saw was this:

This is al you see

This is all you see

Surprisingly, the text from the snippet is nowhere to be seen (it’s not in the meta data either). All that’s shown in the issue details.

Google says that sites in Google Scholar must abide by this rule:

Google users must be offered at least a complete abstract. This is a crucial component of our indexing program. For papers with access restrictions, a full author-written abstract will help users choose among the results which paper is the most likely to have the information they are looking for.

But it seems you can get away with a few lines about which issue it was in.

How this differs from the normal search results

This sort of arrangement isn’t on offer to news organisations.

In Google news

News sites with a paywall can appear in Google News. They can either take part in first click free (explained here) in which case they must offer full access to the story for searchers coming via Google News (ie they must allow them through the paywall). As Google puts it:

To implement First Click Free, you need to allow all users who find a document on your site via Google search to see the full text of that document, even if they have not registered or subscribed to see that content. The user’s first click to your content area is free. However, once that user clicks a link on the original page, you can require them to sign in or register to read further.

Alternatively, they can appear in the results without offering the content, in which case the result shows a subscription tag, and when you click throu you’re told to subscribe.

Google web results

With its standard Google web search, first click free is still available to site publishers. They can have paywalls but, if they want Google to index their content, they must allow searchers who click through from Google to see it.

The second option described above is NOT available for Google’s normal web search.

Google’s very clear that, for its main web search, you cannot show search engines one thing and users another – so you can’t let Google index the pages but not let users see the content when the click through:

Don’t deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, which is commonly referred to as “cloaking.”

So what’s the difference?

The difference is this. In its normal web results, as opposed to its news results, Google will only index paywalled content if you abide by the first click free rules – so you must let users see the content if they come via Google.

With Google Scholar, the rules are different:

If your works are already online, we may need nothing more than your permission for our crawlers to visit your site. As noted above, an abstract (at least) of each work must be available to non-subscribers who come from Google and Google Scholar.

If you’re in the Google Scholar program, it will still index the content even if you don’t let searchers see it. And this content appears in the normal web results, not just the specialised Google Scholar search.

On top of all this, Google tries to work out the primary version of a work for content in Google Scholar:

When multiple versions of a work are indexed, we select the full and authoritative text from the publisher as the primary version.

How this would help Rupert Murdoch

So if Murdoch wants to put the Sunday Times or the Sun behind a paywall but still wanted Google to index his content for the main web index (as opposed to just Google News), he would have to join first-click free.

If he decides the Sun is really the Wapping News Journal and joins Google Scholar, then the rules would be different. He could have his content indexed without having to let anyone see it unless they paid a subscription. On top of which, Google would give his content priority if was the original source of a story.

December 01 2009

13:00

Compare/contrast

Tweet: Compare/contrast Rupert Murdoch on the internet (and me) then and now.

In 2005, Rupert Murdoch gave a rousing speech to the American Society of Newspapers Editors calling on them to listen to digital natives. Yesterday, his deputy, Les Hinton, gave a speech to the World Association of Newspapers in India warning them to beware geeks bearing gifts.

Murdoch in 2005:

Like many of you in this room, I’m a digital immigrant. I wasn’t weaned on the web, nor coddled on a computer. Instead, I grew up in a highly centralized world where news and information were tightly controlled by a few editors, who deemed to tell us what we could and should know. My two young daughters, on the other hand, will be digital natives. They’ll never know a world without ubiquitous broadband internet access.

The peculiar challenge then, is for us digital immigrants – many of whom are in positions to determine how news is assembled and disseminated — to apply a digital mindset to a new set of challenges.

We need to realize that the next generation of people accessing news and information, whether from newspapers or any other source, have a different set of expectations about the kind of news they will get, including when and how they will get it, where they will get it from, and who they will get it from….

The challenge, however, is to deliver that news in ways consumers want to receive it. Before we can apply our competitive advantages, we have to free our minds of our prejudices and predispositions, and start thinking like our newest consumers. In short, we have to answer this fundamental question: what do we – a bunch of digital immigrants — need to do to be relevant to the digital natives?

Murdoch deputy Hinton yesterday:

We are all allowing our journalism – billions of dollars worth of it every year – to leak onto the internet. We are surrendering our hard-earned rights to the search engines, and aggregators, and the out-and-out thieves of the digital age.

It is time to pause and recognize this – Free Costs Too Much. News is a business, and we should not be ashamed to say so. It’s also a tougher business today than ever before. We have survived other perceived threats – radio, television, cable TV. But this time it is different.

How can it be that the Internet offered so much promise and so little profit? I guess a lot of newspaper people were taken in by the game-changing gospel of the internet age. It was a new dawn, we were told. A new epoch, a new paradigm. And we just didn’t get it.

Like an over-eager middle-aged dad, desperate to look cool, we ended up dancing obediently to other people’s tunes. For a while. You can almost hear the music – an algorithm and blues soundtrack – accompanying the harbingers of the new economy with the new rules of the new age. Their rules.

These digital visionaries tell people like me that we just don’t understand them. They talk about the wonders of the interconnected world, about the democratization of journalism. The news, they say, is viral now – that we should be grateful.

Well, I think all of us need to beware of geeks bearing gifts.

Listen to digital natives or beware them? Which is it?

On a personal note, see Murdoch on me in 2005 (a plug I was given because I helped Murdoch’s then speechwriter, Gary Ginsberg, with the substance of the talk):

Instead, they want their news on demand, when it works for them. They want control over their media, instead of being controlled by it. They want to question, to probe, to offer a different angle. Think about how blogs and message boards revealed that Kryptonite bicycle locks were vulnerable to a Bic pen. Or the Swiftboat incident. Or the swift departure of Dan Rather from CBS. One commentator, Jeff Jarvis, puts it this way: give the people control of media, they will use it. Don’t give people control of media, and you will lose them.

Now see Hinton referring to me yesterday:

Or as Jeff Jarvis, one of the leading proponents of the information-must-be-free imperative puts it: The content economy is over. Is it really?

(By the way, I’m not part of that crowd. Jay Rosen would challenge Hinton for a link.)

November 27 2009

17:50

Rupert has balls

Tweet: Rupert has balls. Well, he used to.

That’s the essence of Murdoch: balls. It’s the essence of the culture of News Corp., which I learned from working there (at TV Guide): Australian macho seat-of-the-pants instant decision making.

That is the secret to Murdoch’s success. It is also the secret to his failure: Sometimes his balls land on red, sometimes on black. Murdoch plays the odds but he does it by making big bets. He can do that because he’s a mogul; they’re his balls. Companies that are ruled by task forces don’t act like him; they overthink to convince themselves they’re making smart decisions (like merging with AOL). News Corp. underthinks.

So I don’t buy the worship of those who think that Murdoch must know something we don’t know, that he’s inscrutable and brilliant and so one mustn’t question his actions – as in the case of pay walls and Google – for fear of missing some Yoda moment. No, sometimes Murdoch wins his bets, sometimes he loses.

He almost lost the company once with bad bets with debt. He bet big on U.S. satellite (and then said, oh, nevermind). He bet huge on China but now admits it’s tough. He wasted a fortune and a decade and any hope of an internet strategy on Delphi (where I worked) and Iguide. MySpace – need I say more?

But he bet big on sports and keeps winning as a result. He started a fourth network against all odds. He launched successful satellites elsewhere in the world and won. He won and lost but so far has still won more than he lost and that’s why he’s a winner.

What’s sad about the Murdoch family’s pathetic mewling about Google as if it were a big, bad bully kicking sand in their face and their desperate, cliff-grabbing speculation about pay walls is that neither is a big bet. Neither shows any vision. Neither shows balls. That’s why I have no faith in the argument that Yoda – or Jabba the Murdoch, if you prefer – has one more up his sleeve. No, son James Murdoch just said News Corp isn’t a news corp anymore but a TV company. They’ve given up. They’re just hoping to squeeze one more pint of milk out of old Bessie before they turn her into fajitas.

You want to look to an executive who has a strategy and fearlessly executes it, look to Jobs. Bezos, too. You want big-picture vision, see the Google boys. Charisma? Obama. Experience? Well, that was Jack Welch, until the value of experience expired.

Murdoch? He has balls. Big ones.

November 23 2009

21:26

Murdoch madness

I’ve had a fair number of press calls on the Murdoch/Bing sillliness and here are the points I’ve been making:

Were Bing to pay News Corp. to drop Google, it would be a double-play in Google’s favor: Microsoft would lose money and gain little. News Corp. would lose traffic, shifting away from the search engine with more than 60% penetration in the U.S. and more than 80% in the U.K. to one that has 10 percent here – and that’s just the search engine; it doesn’t account for the disparate popularity of Google and Bing News.

See this post: WSJ.com would lose 25% of its inbound web traffic, according to Hitwise, which also says that 15% of the people who come to WSJ.com on the web come from Google immediately prior and 12% come from Google News.

Would Google be hurt? Note in that same post the German consultancy’s calculation that all the top publishers in Germany, representing more than 1,000 brands, account for only 4.1% of top search results vs. 13.6% for Wikipedia. Let me repeat that: Wikipedia comes up in the most valuable position in search three times more than all the top publishers of Germany combined.

News Corp. leaving Google would be a mosquito bite on an elephant’s ass. It won’t affect Google or the audience. For there will always be – as Murdoch laments – free competitors: the BBC and Australian Broadcasting Corp, which he and his son complain about, not to mention the Guardian, the Telegraph, NPR, CBC, and any sensible news organization worldwide.

This silliness is emblematic of the end of the Guttenberg age, the industrial age, the age of control, the age of centralization, Murdoch’s age. The problem here is that Google-virgin Murdoch simply does not understand the dynamics of the link economy. He roars against them.

But let’s not forget that this all may be so much macho strategizing: business chest-thumping. News Corp. must renegotiate its reported $300 million guarantee for MySpace from Google, in which MySpace reportedly underperformed badly. Much of media is falling for the spectator delight of watching Murdoch, Microsoft, and Google in Tokyo Bay. But I think it’s bullshit. If it does happen, few will notice or care…. except media reporters forced to write this up.

November 19 2009

22:57

Gained something in the translation

Tweet: A tweet paraphrased my link-economy line and showed me I’ve been saying more than I thought I have. **

In Twitter today, one @rpaskin paraphrased something I’ve been saying – and said again in my talk at Web 2.0 Expo Tuesday (generously covered in that link by Aneta Hall). My line has been that in the link economy, value comes from the creator of the content and from the creator of a public (formerly known as an audience). That is, Rupert’s wrong with he says that Google takes content; it gives attention.

Anyway, @rpaskin tweeted this: “In a link economy, there are values from creating content and linking to content. There’s no value in just reproducing content (Jeff Jarvis).”

I didn’t say that exactly but I think it better expressed what I have been trying to say. Or at least it added a perspective and raised a fundamental and important question, namely:

Is there value anymore in reproducing content? Is the six-century-long reign of Guttenberg and the industries he created really over?

Wow. Maybe so. In my discussions of the link economy, I had been concentrating on explaining and defending the side of the value equation brought by Google, aggregators, blogger, Twitter, et al rather than on the loss of value brought to those who reproduced – rather than created – content. But in looking at the entire equation, what @rpaskin says stands to reason: There is no value left over for the copiers. Indeed, online, if one copies, one is considered a thief because it’s only the thieves who copy.

The problem is, of course, that it was through the making and selling of copies that monetary value was extracted and that is why it is so upsetting to those who did so that they can’t do it anymore. It’s upsetting that they don’t see other ways to recognize value. It’s what makes folks including Murdoch say silly things that betray ignorance about the workings of our new world.

I’m sure Rupert knows exactly how the scribes Guttenberg put out of business felt.

ALSO: Speaking of speaking of Murdoch, you can hear me doing so – along with Michael Wolf and Steven Brill – on Murdoch’s tilting against Google’s energy-efficient windmills.

** Once again, I’m experimenting with using tweets about posts as subheds summarizing those posts.

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