Google in the content business?

From Dave Farber’s mailing list come this comment:

  • “TechMeme founder Gabe Rivera makes an interesting observation on the Google News story all over the blogosphere today.
    One thing that bugs me: they’re now hosting original news content, yet they prohibit other aggregators from crawling it (per robots.txt restrictions and TOS). Of course Google News relies on the openness of other organizations with original news content.”

To which I responded:

  • Dave,

    The bigger issue is that Google has positioned itself as not being in the content business since inception. With this move they may not be producing content, but they are certainly curating it. Couple that with YouTube’s Presidential debate and media companies are going to start scratching their head I predict. These issues make it particularly hard for a Google sales person to come into a company like the New York Times (or a smaller publisher) and say “we’re not competitive with you because we don’t make content and Yahoo is competitive with you because they do make content.”

    Yahoo on the other hand, clearly is in the content business despite what their executives claim (i.e. their gaming content: ). This is a problem for Yahoo’s Publisher Network and their partners because by partnering with Yahoo’s advertising network you’re giving a large % of your revenue to someone who produces content to compete with you. Google could start facing this issue if they expand this program.

    With regard to the scraping of comments, fair use would allow the quoting of these experts in large part so Google would be much better off if they simple offered these comments to the public under a Creative Commons, non-commercial license.

    best, j
    Jason McCabe Calacanis

I think Google’s position is clearly shifting to “we don’t make original content… we just curate it.” Which I’m 100% fine with… clearly with my current project I believe curation is the next great publishing model.

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