Hal Varian, Google’s chief economist, talked about the challenges facing the newspaper business in a recent presentation in Italy, and showed that he understands those challenges better than most media executives.
Google launched the Chrome browser with a comic, and this week used a printed magazine to engage with a group of customers likely to be interested in data, big data, and data science. For those not lucky enough to make the mailing list, most of the content is available on a companion web site. In amongst articles by or about Googlers (including Hal Varian), we also get views from TED superstar Hans Rosling and Open Government champion Nigel Shadbolt. All in all, a nice collection of well-written content, perfect for perusing with your morning coffee.
According to Google, the company’s search and advertising businesses helped generate an estimated $54 billion in economic value for the U.S. last year, an estimate that’s clearly an attempt to promote the company’s value at a time when it’s coming under fire from legislators.
Google’s chief economist Hal Varian told the Federal Trade Commission in a presentation on the future of journalism that newspapers have been in decline since before the Internet, and that one of the ways they can improve their web operations is to engage more with readers.
Newspapers have blamed Google (NSDQ: GOOG) for their woes, and Google, in turn, has helped remind newspapers that they did a pretty good job…