Google: The De-Valuator

February 13, 2009

First, it was the Terminator. (Remember SkyNet?). Then it was the Governator. (Remember a solvent California?) Now it is the De-Valuator. (Remember traditional media?) Silicon Valley Watcher Tom Foremski reminded me that traditional media are now looking at Googzilla as more than a search and ad company. Going slowly and piecing together data are often prudent. But a 10 year investigation that only now yields insight may be a bit drawn out for the dinosaurs of information. You will want to read “Google Devalues Everything It Touches” here. (I love those categorical affirmatives.) The core of the article is a summary of Mr. Foremski’s ruminations about a Charlie Rose, a name that means zero to me, series on the future of journalism. For me, the most interesting comment in the write up was this quote attributed to Robert Thomson, Managing Editor of the Wall Street Journal (a unit of the hard breathing Murdoch empire):

“Every newspaper is of itself a great brand, and to have brand value on the Web is to have a great advantage.”

Not only is this probably beyond the reach of the Wall Street Journal, the realization that the Web is where the action is comes a bit late in the game. Keep in mind that the Wall Street Journal, like the New York Times, has been trying to crack the online market for a long time. Both companies’ efforts predate Google’s début.

In my opinion, it is too late. None of the US newspapers have a killer online brand. The Financial Times is in the same boat. Google may be a De-Valuator in the world of traditional media. Viewed in terms of new media, Google is the Great Navigator, blazing a trail for other innovators whose services Mr. Thomson probably does not use on an hourly basis. But I wager one quill that the 12 year olds not far from where he resides are busy with,, and and services I can’t pronounce.

At least the traditional media executives have some workable ideas for their memoirs.

Stephen Arnold, February 13, 2009


2 Responses to “Google: The De-Valuator”

  1. sperky undernet on February 15th, 2009 1:01 am is an excellent site to see the face behind a name you’ve found and don’t recognize. There are over 5000 interviews accessible on this page.
    From his “about” page: “Journalist Morley Safer, of CBS’ ’60 Minutes,’ calls the program ‘the last refuge of intelligent conversation on television.’ In any case, this
    is a kind of midspot between the PBS Frontline archives and youtube do-it[to]yourself anarchy.

  2. Stephen E. Arnold on February 15th, 2009 2:42 pm


    Thanks, I am not a TV guy.

    Stephen Arnold, February 15, 2009

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