Nothing happening here. Move on.

Mike Arrington writes about Google’s new patent. Specifically,

  The solution, Google says, is to give users the ability to search and browse their own content, and receive an electronic or hard copy version of the final product. And that final product will include advertisements highly relevant to the user.

First, I think Google is just patenting everything that can possibly be done with advertising. They’re an advertising company, and a big one. Patenting everything is pro forma at your bigcos.

Second, magazines are ecosystems comprised of editorial, advertising, printing, distribution and readers. All are interrelated and have long-established expectations of each other. Big changes are happening there, but don’t expect to see any of those parties or their core practices going away soon. The challenge for all parties to the magazine process is to get more involved with readers and others in the ecosystem of each magazine’s core subject. In other words, to become Net-native.

Third, I don’t even know for sure what my own “content” is, much less why I want to make a hard copy of stuff I search for in it, unless it’s something so mundane as printing out something to read on the bus or the plane. In any case, seeing advertising in that, even if it’s “appropriate”, is something that would make me not want to print it out. Except maybe unless I got paid for it. There may be a pony in here somewhere, but it’s probably not being driven by an advertising model.

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2 Responses to Nothing happening here. Move on.

  1. Don Marti says:

    Magazines are basically assign-write-edit, and web sites can choose to be assign-write-edit (CNN) or write-link-edit (Slashdot). This might give magazines a chance to pick an alternate model, too. Don’t make users pick article by article, like buying stamps, but let them grab the articles on someone’s “playlist”. Individuals could put together virtual magazines on obscure topics.

  2. Patenting is standard because you can’t rely on the US patent office to refuse to issue a patent for something obvious, or something already invented. They’re pretty good about not issuing the same patent twice (although that’s happened before, e.g. on a Lempel-Ziv compression variant), and it’s cheaper to patent everything than to break a single patent.

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