Blogwars 2.0

John Hartigan set off a flurry of comment this week when he took the opportunity to rubbish News Ltd’s competitors during his address to the National Press Club. There were sledges at Crikey, complaints about people stealing News’ valuable content and it led to a bunch of barbs thrown back and forth on websites, blogs and twitter.

Let’s put aside for a second the fact that any website on the planet can easily stop google from accessing their content, which News has chosen not to do, and compare for a second News’ words and actions.

The most profitable sites, in fact the only ones making serious money are the sites that aggregate news, like Google and Yahoo.

They pay nothing for content produced by newspaper journalists but make money by supplying it in easily searchable forms online. – John Hartigan, National Press Club – July 1, 2009

The Australian - July 4th 2009
The Australian - July 4th 2009

Somebody get that man in the expensive suit a facepalm, stat!

3 thoughts on “Blogwars 2.0

  1. Hartigan’s got so much egg on his face with that speech, the mind boggles that his minions are rushing to defend him, like over on Punch and the editorial of the Oz.

    I mean, seriously! You can’t defend his speech because it’s got massive holes in it!

  2. I wonder what the quality of information reaching Hartigan is like? In big organisations it’s often like Chinese whispers attempting to get a message through layers of management, so it wouldn’t surprise me if Hartigan truly believed that News’ online strategy actually conformed with his views.

    As for ‘who pays for content’, Australia’s small population does make that a more difficult challenge as niche publications by their very nature have a limited audience to either sell or use as subscribers. Crikey has, however, proved that it can be done, although it’s worth remembering that it almost sent Steven Mayne to the wall building the business.

    Daily Kos is an interesting model as their subscriptions are now paying for fellowships for bloggers, a lot of whom are doing on the ground reporting.

    The reality is that disruptive technologies change things in ways that we can’t even imagine as they emerge.

  3. The only clear picture I got was spin, spin and more spin. I thought the guy was commendable as he did not glance @ any notes whilst delivering that speech. Turns out there was a gigantic tele-prompter scrolling in the background.

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