Πώς Το Google Θα Σώσει Τον Τύπο

01 Ιουνίου 2010 | Κανένα σχόλιο

Διάβασα επιτέλους (online, στο iPad, καθώς τα ΕΛΤΑ ρίχνουν φελλούς σε βαρέλια) το πολυσυζητημένο κείμενο του Τζιμ Φάλοους στον Atlantic για το πώς το Google βοηθάει τις εφημερίδες να τα βγάλουν πέρα. Είναι ένα ενδιαφέρον ανάγνωσμα, όχι τόσο δημοσιογραφικό (ο Φάλοους προβάλλει την προσωπική του γνώμη ως αξιωματική αλήθεια υπερβολικά συχνά) αλλά επειδή δείχνει γλαφυρά τον εντελώς διαφορετικό τρόπο με τον οποίο σκέπτονται οι Googlers από τους εφημεριδάδες. Κάνε ένα βήμα πίσω και δες αντικειμενικά τί περιλαμβάνει το business model μιας εφημερίδας:

“If you were starting from scratch, you could never possibly justify this business model,” Hal Varian said, in a variation on a familiar tech-world riff about the print-journalism business. “Grow trees—then grind them up, and truck big rolls of paper down from Canada? Then run them through enormously expensive machinery, hand-deliver them overnight to thousands of doorsteps, and leave more on newsstands, where the surplus is out of date immediately and must be thrown away? Who would say that made sense?” The οld-tech wastefulness of the process is obvious, but Varian added a less familiar point. Burdened as they are with these “legacy” print costs, newspapers typically spend about 15 percent of their revenue on what, to the Internet world, are their only valuable assets: the people who report, analyze, and edit the news. Varian cited a study by the industry analyst Harold Vogel showing that the figure might reach 35 percent if you included all administrative, promotional, and other “brand”-related expenses. But most of the money a typical newspaper spends is for the old-tech physical work of hauling paper around. Buying raw newsprint and using it costs more than the typical newspaper’s entire editorial staff. (The pattern is different at the two elite national papers, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. They each spend more on edit staff than on newsprint, which is part of the reason their brands are among the most likely to survive the current hard times.)

Χαλ Βάριαν, θεός.