Google vision

February 17, 2009 | 2 Comments | Joshua Gans

Jonathan Rosenberg at Google offers some thoughts about the future. Here is a taste:

This is a problem, but since online journalism is still in its relative infancy it’s one that can be solved (we’re technology optimists, remember?). The experience of consuming news on the web today fails to take full advantage of the power of technology. It doesn’t understand what users want in order to give them what they need. When I go to a site like the New York Times or the San Jose Mercury, it should know what I am interested in and what has changed since my last visit. If I read the story on the US stimulus package only six hours ago, then just show me the updates the reporter has filed since then (and the most interesting responses from readers, bloggers, or other sources). If Thomas Friedman has filed a column since I last checked, tell me that on the front page. Beyond that, present to me a front page rich with interesting content selected by smart editors, customized based on my reading habits (tracked with my permission). Browsing a newspaper is rewarding and serendipitous, and doing it online should be even better. This will not by itself solve the newspapers’ business problems, but our heritage suggests that creating a superior user experience is the best place to start.



2 Responses to “Google vision”

  1. Peter Williams on February 19th, 2009 11:05 pm

    Well. That’s easy for someone from Google to say, since Google are one of the few companies making money from free online news content.

    The NYT, the SJ Mercury and just about every major newspaper are suffering from declining ad revenues.

    I thought the major economic lesson of free online content was that spending money to produce something then giving it away for free and hoping to some make money from doing so later was not a reliable business model.

  2. Psst, no one has ever sold information : Core Economics on February 20th, 2009 11:07 am

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