John Andrews is a Competitive Webmaster and Search Engine Optimization Consultant in Seattle, Washington. This is John Andrews blog on issues of interest to the SEO community and competitive webmasters. Want to know more?

johnon.com  Competitive Web & SEO
September 2nd, 2007 by john andrews

Google’s Creative Class

Some time ago I wrote “content is king“. Simple enough. But I wasn’t echoing the staid SEO mantra of “just write good content“. I was saying that content, compared to everything else you generate as a web publisher, is the only asset you own and control. It is the content, and not the process of publishing that content, that matters.

Not everyone agreed, and I didn’t bother to argue or even explain. If I was wrong, it was a temporary condition caused by Internet economics.

In person, when asked about my work as a competitive webmaster and publisher, I allude to the fact that the local newspaper is my biggest competitor, and that I am a threat to that very politically-powerful local newspaper. I often get odd reactions. Why would I be a threat to the newspaper? Why would I consider myself to be in competition to a newspaper? Was I publishing a newspaper myself? People didn’t understand; many still don’t. But the newspapers do. My local city has a newspaper. The nearest big city is Seattle, which has two big newspapers (owned by the same people?). I compete with them, and I am a threat to them, both as a content producer and as a new-age content consumer.

As a photographer I have been very depressed and frustrated by photography as an industry, yet very excited by professional photography as an endeavor. For the same reasons. After ten plus years of coercion and dominance of the photographer by the media (especially “new” media), the tide is shifting. Why? Because content is king. During the past ten years professional photographers have signed away their rights in exchange for the bread and water they needed to feed themselves and their families. It turns out, those rights were everything. Ever read the Flickr terms? The YouTube terms? The Picassa and Blogger terms? Upload your content and you give away rights.

Good thing for photographers, the human brain has an insatiable appetite for imagery. Visual memory is so efficient that we have immediate recall of “remembered” images. Faster than we can think, we can recognize an image we have seen before, and “feel” emotions associated with it. Likewise, we “feel” the impact of new, never before seen imagery. No matter how many images Bill Gates “owns”, it will never be enough. We will always need more. A picture is worth a thousand words, even if Google is still basically a text engine.

So now Google has (finally?) moved to disintermediate the news wire services. Oh sure it’s billed as a positive collaboration that cuts out the newspaper as middleman, but isn’t it really a disintermediation of the news wires themselves? I mean really, folks, the news wires are nothing more than vertical googles for news, with allegiance from foot soldiers corralled by the newspapers. The need for news wires came from the newspapers. The support for news wires came from the newspapers. The funding for news wires came from the newspapers. Once Google 0wnz the news wires, it will pigeon-hole them the way it has been pigeon-holing web publishers. They will start to specialize, so as not to overlap. They will be dis-empowered, and eventually eliminated. And the newspapers? They will become more beholden to Google than ever. And Google, naturally, will begin to restrict and “manage” the newspapers that don’t fight back effectively.

Google’s disintermediating the supply channel. Nothing new there.

There are way smarter people than me looking at the Google dominance of media. But what about me? Why am I a threat to the local paper, and why is the local newspaper my competition?

Because content is all we own. Whether it is editorial, expository, or visual, the content we produce touches the reader and evokes a response. The pen is mightier. Words teach, images move. The newspapers, like Google, simply aggregate and deliver content to consumers who have expressed an interest. I am a content producer, because I write and I capture life as digital imagery. Professionals monetized that sort of creativity by selling it to the aggregators. Artists didn’t bother… they often kept their art to themselves, and stayed poor. Gallery owners play the middleman role there, but don’t collectors represent the market demand? Collectors are consumers, hindered by that inefficient distribution channel. The value is in the content.

And Google needs more artists.

Google owns Feedburner, which is the “wire” for blog content. Google owns Picassa, which is a “wire” for many people’s family photos. Google reader…YouTube, Google.com, it all makes great sense. So far Google has offered to share profits with “publishers” and not “content producers”, simply because Google can’t do it all and needs the content to be at least minimally prepped for distribution. I think YouTube was the weakest play, swapping hosting and bandwidth for digital rights. That was a very weak, short-sighted play, no? I mean, more bandwidth is just around the corner, right? Or is it? Obviously there are smart people out there banking on the public staying asleep so they can control the new economy. Fast pipes into the home are good for who, exactly? Content producers, looking to feed the hungry consumer. But if YOU are tomorrow’s content producer, who besides Google will reap the rewards of giving you that fast pipe easy Internet access? What economic system actually delivers wealth directly to the individual? Who’s going to pay the ISPs and cable companies?

You “artists” out there generating content will have to learn to publish if you want to participate in the Internet economy. Maybe that’s why Google spends so much trying to help the Internet advance… because it helps Google disintermediate the middlemen. When will Google bring us fast quantities of ISP-free, wireless bandwidth?

One day there will be no more middlemen. And then, Google will squeeze you for more profits. After all, growth needs to come from somewhere, right? When all the middlemen are gone, what’s left? You are. For every producer there are hundreds of consumers hungry for more. Will Google offer rewards for you to procreate? Of course it will. It has to. It’s Google’s destiny to manage the creative class.

★★ Click to Share!    Digg this     Create a del.icio.us Bookmark     Add to Newsvine

Competitive Webmaster

Wonder how to be more competitive at some aspect of the web? Submit your thoughts.

SEO Secret

Not Post Secret

Click HERE



about


John Andrews is a mobile web professional and competitive search engine optimzer (SEO). He's been quietly earning top rank for websites since 1997. About John

navigation

blogroll

categories

comments policy

archives

credits

Recent Posts: ★ SEO Industry Growth, Widespread Failure, and SEO Industry Challenge ★ Do you want to WIN, or just “Be the Winner”? ★ 503: GONE ★ Cloud Storage ★ Identity Poetry for Marketers ★ PR is where the Money Is ★ Google is an Addict ★ When there are no Jobs ★ Google Stifles Innovation, starts Strangling Itself ★ Flying the SEO Helicopter ★ Penguin 2.0 Forewarning Propaganda? ★ Dedicated Class “C” IP addresses for SEO ★ New Domain Extensions (gTLDs) Could Change Everything ★ Kapost Review ★ Aaron Von Frankenstein ★ 2013 is The Year of the Proxy ★ Preparing for the Google Apocalypse ★ Rank #1 in Google for Your Name (for a fee) ★ Pseudo-Random Thoughts on Search ★ Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, or a Blog ★ The BlueGlass Conference Opportunity ★ Google Execs Take a Break from Marissa Mayer, Lend Her to Yahoo! ★ Google SEO Guidelines ★ Reasons your Post-Penguin Link Building Sucks ★ Painful Example of Google’s Capricious Do Not Care Attitude 

Subscribe

☆ about

John Andrews is a mobile web professional and competitive search engine optimzer (SEO). He's been quietly earning top rank for websites since 1997. About John

☆ navigation

  • John Andrews and Competitive Webmastering
  • E-mail Contact Form
  • What does Creativity have to do with SEO?
  • How to Kill Someone Else’s AdSense Account: 10 Steps
  • Invitation to Twitter Followers
  • …unrelated: another good movie “Clean” with Maggie Cheung
  • …unrelated: My Hundred Dollar Mouse
  • Competitive Thinking
  • Free SEO for NYPHP PHP Talk Members
  • Smart People
  • Disclosure Statement
  • Google Sponsored SPAM
  • Blog Post ideas
  • X-Cart SEO: How to SEO the X Cart Shopping Cart
  • IncrediBill.blogspot.com
  • the nastiest bloke in seo
  • Seattle Domainers Conference
  • Import large file into MySQL : use SOURCE command
  • Vanetine’s Day Gift Ideas: Chocolate Fragrance!
  • SEM Rush Keyword Research
  • ☆ blogroll

  • Bellingham SEO
  • Domain Name Consultant
  • Hans Cave Diving in Mexico
  • Healthcare Search Marketing
  • John Andrews
  • John Andrews SEO
  • SEMPDX Interview
  • SEO Quiz
  • SEO Trophy Phrases
  • SMX Search Marketing Expo
  • T.R.A.F.F.I.C. East 2007
  • TOR
  • ☆ categories

    Competition (39)
    Competitive Intelligence (15)
    Competitive Webmastering (547)
    Webmasters to Watch (4)
    domainers (63)
    Oprah (1)
    photography (3)
    Privacy (16)
    Public Relations (187)
    SEO (398)
    Client vs. SEO (2)
    Link Building (3)
    Search Engines vs. SEO (1)
    SEO SECRETS (11)
    SEO vs. SEO (1)
    ThreadWatch Watching (5)
    Silliness (24)
    Social Media (7)
    society (31)
    Uncategorized (23)

    ☆ archives

  • November 2014
  • September 2014
  • December 2013
  • October 2013
  • September 2013
  • August 2013
  • May 2013
  • April 2013
  • March 2013
  • February 2013
  • January 2013
  • November 2012
  • September 2012
  • August 2012
  • July 2012
  • June 2012
  • April 2012
  • March 2012
  • February 2012
  • January 2012
  • November 2011
  • October 2011
  • September 2011
  • July 2011
  • May 2011
  • April 2011
  • March 2011
  • January 2011
  • December 2010
  • November 2010
  • October 2010
  • September 2010
  • August 2010
  • July 2010
  • June 2010
  • May 2010
  • April 2010
  • March 2010
  • February 2010
  • January 2010
  • December 2009
  • November 2009
  • October 2009
  • September 2009
  • August 2009
  • July 2009
  • June 2009
  • May 2009
  • April 2009
  • March 2009
  • February 2009
  • January 2009
  • December 2008
  • November 2008
  • October 2008
  • September 2008
  • August 2008
  • July 2008
  • June 2008
  • May 2008
  • April 2008
  • March 2008
  • February 2008
  • January 2008
  • December 2007
  • November 2007
  • October 2007
  • September 2007
  • August 2007
  • July 2007
  • June 2007
  • May 2007
  • April 2007
  • March 2007
  • February 2007
  • January 2007
  • December 2006
  • November 2006
  • October 2006
  • September 2006
  • August 2006
  • July 2006