What is news anyway? And what’s it worth?

There is so much talk and debate going on and flip flopping of newspaper and news sites regarding allowing search engines to crawl their pages for information.

This led me to think, what the heck is news anyway? Well more accurately, what should the news sites charge for and what should they let remain free of charge?

Today there is nearly 24/7 connectivity to information sources. News, information, ideas, etc. travel at light speed. If something happens, you find out about it. On Facebook, Twitter, or even the company water cooler.

If there is a major event, or any “newsworthy” event for that matter, the word will get out. Quickly. For a news site to hide that content so that search engines can’t crawl it and display it does not make sense at all. People will find it at the next available source, at the very same time.

I know for the newspapers, it’s not about the traffic as it seems they have a hard time monetizing it. Shutting it down is cutting off the nose to spite the face. You can’t monetize nothing either.

Charging for the content might not help either. Unless the content you are hiding and are charging a fee is truly unique and highly interesting. Ask Newsday, who got 35 paid subscribers in 3 months. Their content was not unique enough or interesting enough to get more than 35 people to pay for it. It’s gotta be GOOD!

So perhaps the newspaper and news sites should keep the general common stuff open, and only charge for the good stuff–which still might be a tough sell.

Real Time Web. What and who is it good for?

I followed along online to TechCrunch’s CrunchUp earlier today. Two thoughts popped into my mind during the parts I was able to follow. First is regarding real time web and its importance. Second is how much thought and energy is put on how real time web will be abused my malicious netizens (which I’ll cover in the post following this).

Ok. Real time web’s importance. First, what information needs to be broadcast and received in real time? Second, who needs it?

I really have a tough time finding any vital uses for real time web. Today, information goes out, gets filtered, and gets consumed. Pretty quickly. How long does it take a breaking news event to reach the media? Not long. Faster the better, right? Perhaps on the surface, but is it better? If there is an earthquake in San Francisco, what good does it do me (in NY) to find about it in real time vs. 15-30 minutes for it to reach the major news sites? My life is unaltered by finding out about events, news, opinions, or anything else in real time.

So then, who really needs it? And what does it do to serve the greater good? Traffic? Weather? hmmm.

I’m a flip-flopper

I now use Chrome as my browser and I’m warming up to Twitter.

I said I wasn’t using Chrome here. And I was done with Twitter here.

I give up on Twitter

It’s just not for me. Even this trick didn’t help me engage with it. I know it’s one of those things that you get more out of the more you interact with it. But I could not find a real purpose for it. For “following” interesting people, I much prefer FriendFeed.