An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Eric Schmidt on News and Blogging

Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s made a speech two days back at the American Society of News Editors conference in Washington DC. He was trying to assuage the fears of the journalists about how Google is disrupting their livelihood.

Well, what he said was Punjabi equivalent of “Koi na.. Koi Gal hi nahin hai Bhaaji.. Tussi Daro mat.. Main hun na!”. Being a Delhi-ite and having seen such behavior from close quarters, you know when a Punju says this.. there is EVERY F**KING REASON to worry!!

And that is where I see the Journos! Their world is getting destroyed thanks to Blogging and News/Blogging Aggregators (using RSS and other technologies). But Schmidt puts down blogging – with I am sure some applause in the crowd – not realizing that his company provides some of the more powerful tools for blogging. This is what he says:

We’re not in the news business, and I’m not here to tell you how to run a newspaper. We are computer scientists. And trust me, if we were in charge of the news, it would be incredibly accurate, incredibly organized, and incredibly boring. There is an art to what you do. And if you’re ever confused as to the value of newspaper editors, look at the blog world. That’s all you need to see. So we understand how fundamental tradition and the things you care about are.

The news business has two components: News and Analyses. News is commodity (something like BPO in IT world) and Analyses is what people are looking for and paying for really. The second part is where the “cream” is!

Blogs are taking over the cream and converting it to a commodity. However, unless one has quality, he/she will not get through the vast eyeballs. And that is where the disruption is. Some bloggers are incisive. More than the journos who lived with a chip on their shoulders.

So, if you need to be in the “News” business, you are now “on your own”! You are as good as you write.. not which News Agency or paper you work at!

The News business as we know it will change dramatically and radically. Punju-ishtyle assurances of Schmidt notwithstanding.

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