Thursday, May 07, 2009

What would Google do about newspapers?

This guest commentary comes from Bill Grueskin, the academic dean of the School of Journalism at Columbia University and former managing editor of WSJ.Com. For an alternative look at Google’s role in the emerging news ecosystem, see this prior post, Don’t Blame Google for Newspaper Woes.

By Bill Grueskin

Marissa Mayer is the Google executive whose rigid adherence to improving the user experience helped vault the company to pre-eminence. But her elliptical comments at a congressional hearing on the sorry state of the newspaper industry revolved around a message that seemed to add up to: “Lotsa luck, fellas.”

Mayer, who is Google’s vice president of search products and user experience, appeared Wednesday at the Senate commerce subcommittee hearing called by Sen John Kerry (D-MA) to consider ways the government might aid ailing publishers.

Mayer’s prepared
remarks weren't easy to decipher – perhaps because Google itself is under such scrutiny these days, including from federal regulators. So, here are some excerpts from her testimony (in bold), along with suggested translations:

"Every day, millions of people search the Web for relevant answers to their questions. In response, search engines strive to connect each user with the right results…. Google is one such search engine that people use to find answers online."

Google is indeed one such search engine. It appears there are others, but it’s been a long time since anyone has said, “I’m going to AltaVista that guy before I go out on a blind date with him.”

"Another service we offer is Google News…. We show people just enough information to invite them to read more -- the headline, a line or two of text, and a link to the news publisher's website."

That’s true, but many Web readers are entirely satisfied with just a headline and summary. They won’t tolerate the painful load time of news sites, and dislike seeing a single story broken into four or five sections just to drive more page views.

"Together, Google News and Google search provide a valuable free service to online newspapers specifically by sending interested readers to their sites at a rate of more than 1 billion clicks per month. Newspapers use that Web traffic to increase their readership and generate additional revenue."

A billion clicks sounds like a lot, until you divide it among thousands of news sources and then figure most of those page views generate a penny each, at best, for the underlying sites.

"We allow site owners to choose whether or not Google can index their sites. … So, while we think inclusion in a search engine can drive a lot of beneficial traffic, our policy first and foremost is to respect the wishes of content owners."

You want someone else to get the traffic? Be my guest.

"By providing relevant ads and improving the connection between ad"vertisers and our users, Google AdSense creates billions of dollars in annual revenue for publishers. In fact, in 2008, that figure exceeded $5 billion in revenue for AdSense publishers. "

“Publishers” is a very broad term here. It includes every blog, site and news organization that uses AdSense.

"The atomic unit of consumption for existing media is almost always disrupted by emerging media. … The structure of the Web has caused the atomic unit of consumption for news to migrate from the full newspaper to the individual article. As with music and video, many people still consume physical newspapers in their original full-length format. But with online news, a reader is much more likely to arrive at a single article."

Now we’re getting to the core issue. In other words, people used to buy newspapers to get disparate chunks of information (sports scores, movie times, local-government coverage, weather forecasts) that papers provided, yet those readers were effectively subsidizing the entire newsroom. By atomizing content, the Web makes each story instantaneously and ubiquitously accessible, meaning newspapers have gone from the profitable front end of the distribution chain to the unprofitable back end.

"Treating the article as the atomic unit of consumption online has several powerful consequences. When producing an article for online news, the publisher must assume that a reader may be viewing this article on its own, independent of the rest of the publication. To make an article effective in a standalone setting requires providing sufficient context for first-time readers…"

So, news sites spend a lot of time coming up with links from current stories to past stories, blog posts, data from other sources, etc. That works great in a search context, where people are often looking to dive deeply into specific topics, but far less well in a news context, where time is as important, or more important, than depth.

"…while clearly calling out the latest information for those following a story over time…."

So good news sites now update top stories constantly, which is incredibly important online, and is also incredibly expensive and time-consuming, with opportunity costs of its own.

"It also requires a different approach to monetization: each individual article should be self-sustaining."

Yes, it should be, but it isn’t. Most mid-tier news sites’ stories get under 5,000 page views. It’s hard to justify a reporter spending even a half a day on that story if it’s going to generate $50 in revenue (assuming a most generous $10 CPM).

"These types of changes will require innovation and experimentation in how news is delivered online, and how advertising can support it."

Lotsa luck, fellas. Even the brilliant minds at Google haven’t figured this one out.

"A much smaller but important factor for online newspapers to consider in today's digital age is the fundamental design and presentation of their content."

Too many news sites are clunky, slow, and packed with links no one clicks on. Why can’t you design a home page with
this kind of elegant simplicity?

"When a reader finishes an article online, it is the publication's responsibility to answer the reader who asks, “What should I do next?” Click on a related article or advertisement? Post a comment? Read earlier stories on the topic?"

A few years ago, the
mantra was, every article page is a home page. So editors bulked up article pages with related links, interactive doodads, and so on. And in the end, they found out that it’s the referrer, not the referree, that still winds up with the bulk of the traffic.

"Preserving robust and independent journalism at the national and local levels is an important goal for the United States. Google is doing its part by driving significant traffic to online news publishers, by helping them generate revenue through advertising, and by providing tools and platforms enabling them to reach millions of people."

Google isn’t to blame for news publishers’ problems, which began long before the company was founded. So, lay off.

33 Comments:

Anonymous Josh Quittner said...

You're shooting the messanger here. Google is a brilliant business and has mastered a platform--exactly the way that Microsoft did until the mid 1990s.

The answer for "big" journalism is: migrate off the Web, where Google doesn't matter. That's why Kindle and all the new e-readers in the wings are important. Blogs are great, Twitter, too. But come on: man does not live by blog alone.

The AfterWeb is coming. :-)

8:22 PM  
Blogger beebs said...

Get firefox. Get the addon "customize google" and turn on the appropriate options in preferences.

Google ads disappear.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Bradley said...

If you really want to hurt Google, make it adopt the innovation-stultifying bureaucracy common in news companies.

10:16 PM  
Blogger Richard Young said...

So many old-school journalists - and particularly academics teaching journalism - have descended into this huffy attitude to the web over the past six months or so. I'm guessing the demise of some venerable print publications in the US has pushed them over the edge. But it's a bit pathetic, to be honest.

The hot news is: the world turns. Journalists now fall into two camps. First, those who think only the old ways work - who think huge newsrooms of time-served, grizzled reporters with a nose for a story and the expense account to stand it up can offer up truths.

The other camp? People who are experimenting with new ways of working - exploiting the fact that data (the kind of data it would have taken an investigation team weeks to unearth back in the day) is increasingly available at the touch of a button. There are plenty of examples of non-print media breaking stories and doing far better analysis than a newspaper could ever do.

The fact is, a lot of newspapers and magazines are going to fail. The main reason? They're not delivering what their readers want. And Google isn't causing them to lose revenue - their own business model is. When the newspapers are gone, other routes for good journalists to make a living will spring up. If the people feel the need to be informed, they'll fund the informers.

So: get over it. The world is different now, and that means re-designing journalism from scratch. Sorry about the newspapers - but as my wise younger brother is wont to say "acknowledge, accept, move on."

2:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that so often when talkinng about the loss of newspapers in readers lives, it all revolves around their need for news. Then I look at the NYT online and check their listing of the "most popular" and it reads more like a magazine or perhaps the content of a Martha Stewart show. What's up with this?

5:52 AM  
Blogger Terri said...

You're comparing apples and oranges. Google will not give me a crossword puzzle in a trash can I can work on the bus. The newspaper isn't the coolest new toy that Google is that I can control exactly the way I want it to.

8:14 AM  
Blogger Marlowe said...

I think the solution is to take content away and starve the blogosphere, aggragators, Google. Without print journalists and news services (AP, Reuters, BBC, AFP) they have nothing to quote.

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The key point made is the news article as the atomic unit of consumption. This has a few powerful implications.

For example, tabbed browsing. I suspect most internet users rarely left-click through links - rather, they right-click and open a new tab just for that page. This is an adaptation most users have developed for slow-loading websites, laden with flash and Java scripts. While they continue browsing the referral site, the referrer site loads in the background. After the user has finished reading the referral site, he/she might have several tabs waiting to be viewed. Those tabs can be quickly scanned - some are dismissed right away - and others read. But rarely does the referee site generate additional clicks of its own, due to the atomization of news to the article level.

What should newspapers learn from this?

1. Simplify the page. Don't put the entire site-directory in the left-hand margin. Serve some ads, have a side-bar of related links. An honest analysis of your own server traffic will reveal how futile it is to have a link to local sports when the article is about restaurant opening.

2. Don't expect traffic from wire news. When the average Google News reader is given two links to the same AP story, Yahoo News and Kansas City Star, that user will almost always choose Yahoo News. Why? Because there is no chance of hitting a subscriber wall, the page will load faster, and its the same AP story anyways. It doesn't matter if the Kansas paper has a fast site or subscriber-less access. The web user doesn't know that.

3. Focus on local news. Unless you're a national paper, the web user is not going to your site for national news. The web user can read every newspaper in the world with virtually equal ease. Very few people care what the Denver Post has to say about European Parliament elections. Reorganize the papers based on locality. Arts and Entertainment should keep the theater reviews, but drop the movie reviews. Why? Locality. The movies are the same everywhere - theater depends on individual companies. Fire the columnists pontificating on the national budget, and keep the ones tearing a new hole in the mayor.

-nondescript

9:47 AM  
Anonymous jydurocher said...

Could any of the genius who are so keen in seeing newspapers die explain in simple terms who will put the bacon on the table?

I'm repeating myself, newspaper are exactly were they were in the 1920 and 30 when radio stations were "aggregating" news...

Most newspapers in the world went into radio (gosh no paper to buy, print and distribute, we'll be richer than ever even during a depression), 70 years later, most heve exited the broadcast fields.

In the tv broadcast side, most network laughed at Ted Turner when he started CNN. They came to realized that CNN had huge ratings when there was a limited national story, aka Simpson, and competed head to head when there was a complete one: 09-11. And by the way, CNN is paid content.

Someone, someday will figure a paying model for internet news content that makes money. Internet news will be a different medium than print, radio, tv.

Now, Google and bloggers are "aggregators" for the most part. If they have to pay for content, the're gone tomorrow. It's nice to have an Huffington Post, let's see how Ariana does when she has to pay her "name".

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The key quote: "Most mid-tier news sites’ stories get under 5,000 page views. It’s hard to justify a reporter spending even a half a day on that story if it’s going to generate $50 in revenue (assuming a most generous $10 CPM)."

Google or not. The economics of this can't function.

10:45 AM  
Anonymous robert ivan said...

uhhh... you haters know that this blog is built on Google's Blogger platform right?

Platform agnostic news orgs are doing fine by the way.

11:14 AM  
Blogger dotcoma said...

deal with it: the news is a commodity. Today, the only thing that has value are:

a)great journalists and their op-ed columns;

b)the community of readers and commenters and bloggers that gravitate, or could gravitate, around a newspaper's website, if one such newspaper went out of its way to help these conversations, foster a community and create value for its readers and for itself. They could *charge* for this service. The future of newspapers is as a service, not as a product. Adapt, or die. But don't whine.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Nan Connolly said...

to Richard Young @2 a.m. - your comments are well taken. as a biz journalist - like toi? - I write, blog, tweet and have moved on from the safe perch of a traditional news org. But I also teach college students reporting and have to say - all us academics (even part-timers) are not grizzled dolts muttering about the old daze.
An issue right now is that young journalism students want the older folks out of the way, and today. Too many think their basic word processing, search and social network skills are sufficient for the news of today. And too few are willing to create their own jobs, such as the new census 2010 site I read about.
BTW - your personal site is a beaut and I wish you well with it.
Want to talk to my class this fall, at UCF in Orlando? Speak up - we meet Monday evenings and would love to have you.
nanconnolly@mac.com

1:45 PM  
Anonymous David Rouse said...

I'm not sure I buy the idea that us newspaper folks could close our websites and Google and the Blogs would "starve."

There are zillions of interesting websites worth reading that aren't newspapers (or use newspaper content). People turning to Google to find out how to pay their taxes, where the nearest Best Buy is, or what to do with their sick pet -- and a thousand other things -- aren't being sent to newspaper sites.

So, if the economics don't work -- if advertising alone won't support a news website -- then yes, it is time to be pragmatic and shutter some sites or move to paid websites. But getting mad at Google and the Bloggers because *we* built free-to-use websites? That just seems silly to me.

If we are going to be angry at anyone, it should be ourselves. If anyone needs to change what they are doing, it should be us.

As far as the Kindle/iTunes ideas go ... not every market in the US is going to have enough people buying those gadgets (I doubt there are 5 people in our county that own one). But way over 90% of the population can pick up and read a newspaper.

Maybe we *are* manufacturers of physical things. Maybe that is what we know and understand best.

2:01 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Google already has a contract with AP. They pay AP for content. That money doesn't come back to the "member" newspapers, though. AP uses it to reduce the fees newspapers must pay to be members. And how much of the content that AP sells to Google comes from those paying members? Hmmmm. Let me see if I have this right: my newspaper pays AP to sell our content and keep the profits for themselves. Last I heard about 60 percent of AP's revenue came from such online deals.

Nonetheless, I still am mystified by how it is Google's fault that they give me what no newspaper can. The ability to find the stories I want without having to spend endless hours wading through site after site seeking that elusive needle in a haystack. They take the material newspapers used to bury in morgues or squirrel away on microfilm and help users find it quickly and easily. Then, those bastards, they actually link back to the originator of the content. And it is Google's fault, apparently, if I can't be bothered to click through on every headline that I wouldn't even be able to find if they hadn't aggregated them. Maybe newspapers should brown-bag themselves at newstands and honor boxes so no one can scan the headlines while passing by.

And with all due respect to Josh, who is a very bright guy I had the pleasure to interview with once, who will help me find what I'm looking for in the AfterWeb? And how will that AfterWeb benefit the vast majority of news publications that don't have the size and scope of Time magazine, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal? The Kindle and other e-readers may provide a healthy revenue stream for BIG journalism. But they won't do diddly for the little and medium guys. What's more, if they aren't simply going to be siloed publications (where you can search within your current edition of Time, but certainly not previous editions or any other periodicals) then somebody will be making a buck off the searchability that spans them. Maybe that will be AfterGoogle.com.

Truth is Google isn't to blame for the woes facing newspaper publishers. And Google is certainly vulnerable to anyone who can out-Google them -- ie give users access to what they want without forcing them to wade through all the other crap to get there.

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sooner all you journalists "starve" us of your content, the better.

I don't need you. If I want to read your reports, I can just go to the Democratic Party website and get it straight from the source.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Herbert Barry Woodrose said...

All of this really presupposes that AP News provides value.

AP News - which, when analyzed line by line as I have done, as this guest author does to Marissa Mayer, is shockingly devoid of sourcing and attention to detail.

More often that not Curley and the AP take their cue directly from the State. It is State Controlled Media. If we say that about Korean news, of course, we just nod along. Say it about the AP and it is tantamount to conspiracy theory, even though a line by line analysis of many articles shows not only no source, no details - but a startling adherence to the very wording used by the White House or the Pentagon. This is, of course, when the AP explicitly avoids mentioning that it is quoting any such source.

I would gladly take up the challenge to prove this if anyone is interested. CNN and the AP are about as guilty as Fox in providing official content that is largely meaningless.

Real news, on the other hand, is being issued around the world.

Real people, who really care about what is going on, are reading twenty to fifty articles a day. You have to, because the only way to get any sense of reality from the news is to read lots of it, from as many sources as you can get ahold. Articles have to be compared to each other, sources have to be compared to each other and to different quoting of the same sources. The AP is some of the shoddiest work produced, and just isn't helpful or useful in an educational sense. Not for anyone attempting a scholarly analysis.

In comparison to the news that is given to us from around the world, the AP looks hilarious. Or it would, if it wasn't publicly subsidized as a supposed "non profit". So, the public pays for this service, and then has to endure Curley slinging accusations about 'his' content being stolen or misused. And so, therefore, the public must pay again. Pay twice to have terrible work, what amounts to State Announcements; not reporting.

As others have commented here - I beg the AP to starve Google. Google will be forced to go elsewhere for news, and Americans will be forced to read coverage - ANY coverage - that has more depth and feeling and, frankly, use. And value.

In other words - if we're going to keep pretending there is such a thing as a free market system, then let it ride. Let it ride. The good people providing real news, who really care about getting attention on important events, aren't complaining about the remuneration, they are just happy someone cares what a Somali pirate really is, or why more civilians are dying in Afghanistan because of US attacks than anything else. They are glad some reader might take an interest in a link that leads to an actual UN report, or Security Council vote. They aren't kvetching about pennies for ads.

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Google isn't hurting my newspaper. We were doing just fine until the economy tanked.

We deliver local community news once a week in your drive-way for free. We don’t have a wire service, just professionally written local news stories about your kid's school, your neighbors, high school sports, local events, local opinion, obits, etc.

98% of our content is not available online or in any other newspaper. If you care about what's going on in our community, you read our weekly newspaper conveniently delivered to your home.

If you don’t care about local news, it doesn't matter whether or not it's in print or online, you're not going to read it anyway.

Independent surveys show our newspaper leads all other local news sources COMBINED.

9:54 PM  
Blogger Racoon said...

Excellent piece, Bill! A doff of the fedora to you.

Newspapers cannot be -and, in an informed democracy shouldn't be asked to be- an encyclopedia for their readers (what all the links & 'context' the web enables.)

Is *everyone* a blank slate, simply wandering a cloud of links? Hoo, boy! -- that's an unsettling picture.

Indeed, if the vast majority of readers only scan a headline and its one-sentence summary, then isn't it a futile undertaking for newspapers to labor over providing all the contextual links for each story, especially if those links produce revenue mostly for others?

5:22 AM  
Anonymous Dhyana Sansoucie said...

As a newspaper journalist I am not upset at Google. They have found a way to live off our work easily and cheaply, but they provide a very valuable service. It's co-dependency, but that's life online.

I think it is right for medium-sized papers that should be focusing on local news to question the value of AP and the dollars we send their way.

It is also right to try to find regional and national synergies with other news organizations that will help fill in the holes that would be missed by not being a member of the Associated Press. Link journalism is one way to do this. Sharing content with people not directly in your market is one way to do this.

Google would probably do just fine if newspapers tried to keep their content from it.

The answers are several:
Better advertising schemes that tap into the large mass of business who can't afford expensive newspaper ads. Mobile ads ARE the answer. Let's get on with creating simple ads that are cheap and easy to sell in mass. The key point here is that they have to be valuable to cell phone users, or the whole scheme falls apart. Geo-located coupon ads and fast news browsing are the answer, combined with better promotion of mobile offerings.

Newspapers also have to work on their community databases to create highly valuable analysis or hard-to-get local data that can be sold at a premium to readers. This and more innovative ad schemes will subsidize some of that other journalism that is worth doing but people won't buy.

There are answers. We just need to start doing them.

7:34 AM  
Anonymous Dhyana Sansoucie said...

One more note ... geo-located coupon ads sounds difficult to implement, but you don't need to know your user's gps location to do it. You need to let readers ask for ads in the area they are in.

If they can do this quickly and simply enough, they will geolocate their own ads.

And you can make some money off of a lot of cheap ads. Just like Google.

7:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The newspapers aren't delivering what people want."

Well, what you don't get on-line are reporters working on stories that might not end up on-line, but are ones that take time to investigate and have real health consequences, like the honey brokering scam where foreign countries with adulterated honey sell through smuggler/brokers to health food store buyers as organic. Big story here in Seattle.

But the thing that people miss the most about why losing newspapers is a BIG thing is "Where are you going to archive all your little articles?" This is becoming a crisis in museums and archives where I work.

I think starting this year will be marked as the year that memory of our towns, cities and country's happenings began to disappear. We just lost the PI, a newspaper over 140 years old, our holder of Seattle history. More newspapers are failing.

What you read on-line is air. You can't store in an attic or pass it down to your children. You can run off an article, but you can get this narrow, little generic thing of about 100 words. What company will keep up a farm of servers to hold for a hundred years? No corporation I know of. And you need electricity.

I'm currently reading 1855 newspapers from San Francisco. Preserved by its editors over time or a library, making it onto microfilm sometime in the 1980s. Its front page is a thrill. My family has a newspaper my greatgrandfather edited in 1860, in better shape than anything published today because it is on cotton rag.

This is the crisis. And the great sadness because people just love their little gadgets and don't see what is coming. I love being on-line and my gadgets, but seeing what is happening to newspapers is a cause for alarm because preserving the now which in a few years will be our past is on the verge of extinction.

7:58 AM  
Blogger Brad said...

One of the things that sort-of baffles me is that there is a big FAT source of revenue that could help newspapers transition to the Internet, but newspapers refuse to advocate it.

The revenue from legal advertising.

Currently, at least in California, legal ads must be place in local newsPAPERS. I look in my local paper and think that legal ads are all that is keeping it alive.

If newspapers would press their state legislatures to allow legal ads to be published in Internet-only local news sites, that would be a big chunk of money to help ease their transition to the Net.

My suspicion is that - amazingly - newspapers are still clinging to the paper past, and don't want legal ads on the Net because that might benefit a new, online-only competitor.

S'matter? Can't you compete with some whimpy little startup?

It's time for state governments to change the rules to allow legal ads in online publications.

- Brad Haugaard

9:07 AM  
Blogger Lex said...

Re: limited AP coverage...I'm sick to death of that stupid,usually redundant Google map art that accompanies each article.

Is that map art part of the Google/AP deal?

I know the US public, reportedly, is severely geographically challenged...but who needs a map to accompany every Washington, D.C., Chicago or L.A. story?

Yet, for a foreign story... like the current devastating floods in NE Brasil...nary a map to be seen in the AP coverage!

What's with that?

I'd like to see which of Brasil's areas are affected...without being forced to check El Globo's site...and use my rudimentary Portugese.

If I thought AP had it together, I might click it...instead of avoiding it altogether.

Lex Wadelski
Austin, Texas

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AP's Plan to index the local news at participating newspapers and sell the index to google will backfire on the AP.

Then maybe AP will see what thier worth really is.

6:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wanna know how the web works in the newspaper trenches.
Local poltician decalres his candidacy at 11 a.m. Saturday morning, but our paper has cut back so much NO ONE is on staff until 2 p.m. and he isn't allowed to post on web site.
Copy editors appear at 4 p.m. but Page ONe, where this story went, is posted at 9 p.m.
Announcement: 11 a.m.
Posted on our web site 9 p.m.

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Bruce Wood said...

Sorry Brad, you're way off base about taking legal notices out of newspapers and placing them only on web sites. There needs to be a legal, uniform standard for publishing legal notices.

There are millions of web sites and the majority are niche sites. How do you make the case to a judge or jury that legal notice was properly given to the citizens of my town with a web site ad when there is no reasonable expectation that a majority of our residents had even seen it?

Government agencies already have too much leeway with our tax dollars. This would make it worse. Besides, many newspapers, including ours, place legal notices on their web sites at no extra charge. It would make more sense to ask all newspapers to place their legal notices online. That way, legal notice advertisers get the best of both worlds when they advertise in newspapers.

5:54 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

Bruce,

Why not post legals on the municipality sites. . .for free?

Why should government regulations force us to hand money over to a private institution when fewer and fewer are reading the publications and we can disseminate information online for free?

Hmmm?

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>> Dhyana Sansoucie said... As a newspaper journalist I am not upset at Google. They have found a way to live off our work easily and cheaply, (...)

Dhyana, can you guess how much Google makes from newspapers? There are millions of webs on the internet, and from them only a small percentage are news websites. And of those, G makes money only if that website put Adsense on their website, which not many do.

So, my guess is, they don't make more that 5% of their revenue from newspaper, maybe not even 1%.

Also, being a software engineer, I can ensure you that build a search engine is not easy nor cheap. If you want your work be respected, I think you also should respect the work of others.

7:01 AM  
Blogger Brad said...

To Bruce and Matt,

Bruce: I don't think determining which websites qualify to publish legal ads would be any more difficult than it has been in the past to determine which newspapers qualify to publish legal ads. In fact, since websites can gather statistics in excruciating detail, it may be easier.

Matt: I understand your point that the ads could be published at municipal sites and bypass newspapers/newssites entirely, but I think that the idea behind legal ads is to push them out into people's faces, something that a news site is probably more qualified to do than a municipal website.

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Dhyana said...

Like I said, I am not upset at Google. They provide a valuable service and have something to show newspapers in UI - the effectiveness of simplicity.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Bruce Wood said...

Thank you Brad! Having municipalities publish legal ads on their web site is equivalent to having the fox guarding the hen house. Since the local newspaper and its web site are usually the main source of local news for that community, having legal ads published in the newspaper and on its web site is still the best of both worlds for now.

6:51 PM  
Anonymous jacky said...

uhhh... you haters know that this blog is built on Google's Blogger platform right?

11:28 AM  

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