Time. Collective Action. Google. Gillmor. Attention.

LordganeshA discussion of three related topics.  The first is the concept of Google as content provider, the second is the Gillmor focus on an “attention economy“ and the third is collective action.  The battle matters for the PR practitioner and social scientist alike because it provides the filters to discern the winners.

Google as Content Provider

Google originally created a valuable brand through buzz from alpha geeks using a minimalist interface that worked.  It worked, it helped us find stuff, because it leveraged something under the radar which was, at the time, hard to game or trick.  That thing was described as page rank which to oversimplify means links to your web site (content) are votes for your site and therefore the site is probably more relevant.  So links about a topic mean this content is good and you probably want it so we (google) will direct you (you) to it.  They provided a service to help us make the best use of our time seeking stuff.

We cared about google because we lack long attention spans and don’t want to waste time going through 5 pages of search results to get to the answer.  We are smart and impatient and want what we want and we want it now.

[Sidebar: that elephant is Lord Ganesh the Remover of Obstacles which just seemed appropriate for this post]

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NYT – Google controls more advertising revenue that MSM

Google Wants to Dominate Madison Avenue, Too

<snip> This year, Google will sell $6.1 billion in ads, nearly double what it sold last year, according to Anthony Noto, an analyst at Goldman Sachs. That is more advertising than is sold by any newspaper chain, magazine publisher or television network. By next year, Mr. Noto said, he expects Google to have advertising revenue of $9.5 billion. That would place it fourth among American media companies in total ad sales after Viacom, the News Corporation and the Walt Disney Company, but ahead of giants including NBC Universal and Time Warner.

I can see the suits on Madison Avenue shaking all the way from Texas.  Happy Halloween guys.  The article goes on to talk about some of the potential conflict ahead.

Not content to just suck advertising dollars from Web search, Google is using its windfall to pay for an eclectic range of ambitious projects that have the potential to radically disrupt other industries. Among other things, it is offering to build a free wireless Internet network in San Francisco, plans to scan nearly every book published and is testing a free classified advertising system it calls Google Base.

CNN also covered Google Base in a very no-nonsense manner pounding home the conflict this will cause with Google’s clients like eBay and Craigslist.  Nothing like a good fight on the horizon.

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