Rupert Mudoch is on to something..

On Monday the Guardian wrote up a story about Murdoch blocking Google from listing stories from his newspapers. This in addition to him changing his newspaper websites from being freely accessible to sitting behind a paywall made plenty of people think Murdoch was crazy.

It is true this could turn out to be a gift to his competitors as this blog mentions. Indeed the Telegraph on whose site that blog is hosted must be rubbing their hands in glee.

Maybe.

For me, I believe this is an opportune moment for newspaper publishers and one that may not come again for a while. Rupert Murdoch is taking advantage.

Rupert Murdoch is right to say that when Google first started indexing the web; publishers were not aware of what they were signing up to. In fact I think we can safely say they were completely blind to the consequences of what they were agreeing to. Countering this of course is the  fact that Google delivers 100,000 clicks every minute via Google News and its search engine. Removing itself from Google search is surely a surefire way to deliver more clicks to News International’s competitors right?

Definitely.

But it is an extremely short term view which will not help news publishers in the long term and that is where the opportunity that is available today comes from.

The key company mentioned in the comments made by Murdoch were that he would remove his websites from Google (my emphasis). In recent months, Microsoft launched Bing and gained enough traction that people are starting to believe Bing might go somewhere. It has of course a long way to go but one of the things Microsoft is doing is using its financial power to help it win the battle. Not just through its significant investment in R&D but also through partnerships. Witness Bing’s first mover deal with Twitter (which was quickly responded to by Google).

I believe either through a bright idea internally at News International or through a direct Microsoft approach that News International will strike commercial terms with Microsoft Bing and deliver its content through its news aggregation channel and through its search engine.

That will reset the relationship between search engines and news publishers and possibly lead to the newspapers being freely available on the web. I wonder how long it will be before Google agrees commercial terms with News International?

My bet is it will be quick enough that News International articles will never be removed from Google..

[update] The Financial Times is reporting that Micrsoft are in talks with News International to index their news stories in Bing.

Social Media 09 – mashup

Just got back from the latest mashup event – Social Media 09. Think Simon and Tony would agree that this was a very different event to previous mashups – though it did feel like a bit of an elevator pitch of case studies! Presentations were 7.5 mins long which presenters seemed to struggle with and it felt like there were dozens of them. Despite the early niggles (couldn’t see the screen and it was very hot) and the feeling of being bombarded with different topics too quickly by the end just the great quality of some covered up some of the others which felt a bit stale and dated.

The highlight for me was the directlive campaign which managed to do a great social media campaign without even using twitter which for good or bad seems to be mandatory these days. But there were plenty of others and it helped crystalise my thinking in several different areas. All of which should spur on a number of blog posts to completion.

So all in all a good event. Now onto writing the rest of those blog posts. Oh and for those interested – here is the twitter stream for the event. It was up on a screen during the event and some definitely made me chuckle – just a shame I couldn’t tweet and respond/retweet with my iphone’s battery on its last legs and work emails taking priority 🙁