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When Google TV was first announced, I wrote that it "might be one of the most important things the company has attempted." If successful, Google would do nothing less than realize the dream of television-web convergence.
But I also noted that execution was key, and there was no shortage of skeptics who questioned whether Google would be able to put it all together.
Newspapers? Dying? Television? Might as well die too. New media? That's where future empires will be built.
At least that's what some have been claiming since blogging and 'new media' became a mainstream phenomenon. And to be sure, new media's future does look bright. But is it as bright as many had predicted? Perhaps not.
Google may be the most dominant search engine in many parts of the world, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't have its work cut out for it in meeting future challenges.
One of those challenges: tapping into all the links that are being shared on services like Facebook and Twitter. After all, the links sharing that takes place on these services represents a potentially valuable 'signal' that Google can factor into its algorithm.
If you're the head of a struggling newspaper, The Huffington Post has an enviable business model. While content production is almost always the greatest cost in running a publishing/media business, it largely relies on the writing of an unpaid army of contributors. The value proposition the HuffPo offers them: exposure to a very large audience.
It's a model that has been the source of controversy. After all, the HuffPo is a for-profit business, yet it doesn't pay the vast majority of the individuals who labor for it. That's an especially interesting thing for a company founded by a person who wrote a book entitled "Pigs at the Trough: How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption Are Undermining America."
Microsoft has largely been absent during the rise of self-publishing and social media. But that doesn't mean that it hasn't tried to compete. In 2004, it launched its own self-publishing/social networking platform, MSN Spaces. Today, that platform is known as Windows Live Spaces. Or, more appropriately, is not known as Windows Live Spaces.
That, of course, is because Windows Live Spaces is hardly a prominent platform in a world dominated by more successful publishing and social networking platforms.
Many large tech companies file lots of patents each year and although many, if not most, of them aren't very interesting, every once in a while somebody stumbles upon an interesting one.
Case in point: a pay-to-preview patent Amazon filed for in 2004 and which was granted earlier this week.
Despite the fact that many publishers have struggled to transform ad-supported content into profit, many publishers have opted to keep the ad-supported content, and forgo a paywall.
And there's a good reason why: it's entirely unclear to many publishers whether a paywall will be profitable or not, and once a paywall goes up, a publisher's audience will almost certainly drop. For many publishers, ad-supported content and a large audience is still more attractive than paid content and a smaller audience.
Rupert Murdoch's News International may still have a long way to go in convincing the world that it can succeed by putting its newspaper websites behind a paywall, but that doesn't mean that News International isn't confident that it will eventually succeed with the paywall model.
In a sign of its confidence, it is putting the website of the UK's top-selling Sunday newspaper, News of the World, behind the News International paywall in October.
While major fashion brands unveil their latest styles this week in New York as part of Fashion Week, Twitter yesterday unveiled a new look that is as eye-catching as some of the fashions you'll see on display on the runway.
The goal: provide "an easier, faster, and richer experience". The plan: role out some major changes to portions of the Twitter userbase over the next several weeks. The reaction?
Make no doubt about it: AOL CEO Tim Armstrong had his work cut out the moment he became the leader of one of the most storied names in technology in the past two decades.
The former head of ad sales for Google is tasked with nothing less than to revitalize a brand that in many ways represents what the internet once was, and perhaps represents little of what most of us think it will be. Increasingly, Armstrong's task looks impossible to carry out successfully.
The newspaper business may be old and stodgy, but it's quite evident that its future depends on embracing the internet. And internet technologies.
One of those technologies: web analytics. Yesterday, The New York Times detailed how newspapers, once leery of web analytics, is increasingly taking a second look, recognizing that the real-time consumption data web analytics can provide is too valuable to ignore.
Is paid content the online future of the newspaper business? While there's plenty of discussion and debate on the subject, if you listen to enough newspaper executives, you might come away with the impression that they think it has to be.
But while many newspapers contemplate paid content and talk up their plans, The Financial Times has actually been executing a paid content strategy.