With plenty of attention going towards Eric Schmidt's attempt to convince newspapers
that Google is helping, rather than hurting them, the much more interesting thing to read is Danny Sullivan's absolutely brilliant outpouring of frustration
to newspaper industry execs and publishers, thinking back to a presentation he gave to (as he describes it) "a hostile audience" a few years ago -- where they were all missing the point. And, they're still bringing up the exact same wrong points today. Sullivan gets it exactly right. He takes the industry to task for lashing out (incorrectly) at everyone else for their problems, rather than recognizing that they're the ones who need to change in order to keep up with the market. The problems they're facing aren't because of Google or blogs. It's because they haven't kept up and haven't kept serving their market. In fact, he points out how much Google loves
newspapers, and the newspapers are doing everything to spit back in Google's face:
I also explained that unlike virtually all other publishers on the internet, newspapers were given extraordinary special status with Google. They were among the very select few to be admitted into Google News and receive the huge amounts of traffic it could send their ways. That many small blogs with excellent content struggle for admittance that these other publishers just got handed to them on a silver platter.
My favorite part, though, may be Danny's response to the silly idea that newspapers should take their content offline for a week
. We discussed that back in February, but Danny gets to the heart of the matter:
Please get all your newspaper colleagues to agree to a national "Just say no to Google" week. I beg you, please do it. Then I can see if these things I think will happen do happen:
- Papers go "oh shit," we really get a lot of traffic from Google for free, and we actually do earn something off those page views
- Papers go "oh shit," turns out people can find news from other sources
- Papers go "oh shit," being out of Google didn't magically solve all our other problems overnight, but now we have no one else to blame.
Indeed. But there seems to be some sort of incredible "logic blindness" that blocks newspaper industry execs from getting these simple facts.