Monday, November 23, 2009

Is Murdoch mad?

A recent news told that News Corp. was going to work with Microsoft/Bing to take down Google, which Jeff Jarvis named it Murdoch madness. Jeff is a great journalist, researcher, and thinker. His recent book What Would Google Do? is very much thoughtful and I am reading it now. Despite all the respect I am to Jeff, however, I tend to think of this issue in a different way. I fully understand Jeff's passion, especially his being an enthusiastic Google-advocate. On the other hand, my own theory of Web evolution makes me think of the issue in another angle.

Repeatedly I have mentioned, a major problem of Web 2.0 is the lack of production in exchangeable value. Web 2.0 surely has engaged lots of people. But it does not have a general answer on how we may convert the human engagement to value that is exchangeable and consumable. The advertisement business model is a solution to the no-solution. Such a business model is insufficient in representing the recent achievement in Web technology. Some real breakthrough is expected.

Murdoch is trying to figure out a solution. What I agree to him is that the value of the knowledge of professional journalists surely must be greater than zero. It thus means their work is worth of being paid, probably even being worth of being decently paid. How to make a balance between the value of profession and the call for the free knowledge, this is a great challenge to all of us. I would rather not fully agree to Murdoch's action in specific. But I certainly understand his action and partially support the action under the condition that he must have had a smart execution plan.

We need to create user-generated asset instead of the straightforward user-generated content only. This is my argument and it is also Murdoch's intention. Although I also feel that the action itself seems a little bit too trivial, this News Corp./Microsoft deal likely has started a new page in the history of the Web. Web content with creative thoughts is a type of asset that is worth of being paid.

Recently I received several comments and emails encouraging me to continue blogging. I sincerely appreciate these messages. I, however, am very busy in a personal issue in these two months. Hence I have to say sorry to my readers. But I will come back regular blogging in the beginning of the next year. Thanks all who love this blog and look forward to your continuous support.