The Circle

How a sci-fi dystopian vision can improve the future

10 min read

Futurists deal with scenarios. With a single future for any industry or important issue impossible to predict accurately, the best way to forecast what is years or decades ahead is by working with multiple (plausible) scenarios, and going from there — say, to developing solutions to societal problems that accompany respective scenarios (of climate change,…

Google Plus

Google+: Just use it! (Carnival of Journalism)

5 min read

This month’s “Carnival of Journalism” asked the question: “What does Google+ mean for journalists, today and tomorrow?” Of course, I don’t have all the answers; I’m not sure yet that I have one really good answer. Google+, Google’s first serious threat to Facebook in the social-media space, is so new that we’re all grappling with…

Google Fast Flip: This sounds familiar

4 min read

Google Fast Flip launched this week as a public Google Labs beta, and I’ve been surprised at some of the skepticism about it. The main complaint is that it takes a step backward by displaying screen captures of popular articles from a selection of media websites and makes them the entry point to finding the…

Why Google soars, and newspapers sink

2 min read

Hint: It’s the leadership and corporate culture! Check out this video of Google CEO Eric Schmidt being interviewed for’s “On Leadership” series by Steven Pearlstein: Wow. I hadn’t heard Schmidt talk about the Google corporate culture before, but watching this video interview made me realize why his company is so successful, and how the…

To Eric Schmidt: What happened to ‘Don’t Be Evil’?

5 min read

I’ve tried to make the case in the last couple of blog posts that it’s in Google’s interest to share ad revenues with news providers, by opening up Google News fully to advertising and offering a story-clickthrough-based rev-share program for participating publishers tracked by the service. Without throwing a good-sized financial bone at the news…

How can newspapers help Google?

5 min read

What goes around, comes around. … Sometimes when you’re having trouble coming up with a solution to a difficult problem, it helps to turn things upside down and get a new perspective. I’d like to see the newspaper industry, especially the big metro dailies which are in the most trouble and closest to collapse, look…

Google could come to the rescue, but won’t?

8 min read

I was disappointed in Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s keynote speech to the Newspaper Association of America today. (Audio here, courtesy of Bill Densmore. Transcript of Q&A portion of Schmidt’s session, thanks to Oh, it was a fine speech and Schmidt educated some of the backward-thinking publishers in the audience, no doubt, about what’s ahead….

I need your help writing an Open Letter to Google

1 min read

Over on, I’ve just posted the beginnings of an “Open Letter to Google.” It’s in wiki format, and I’m asking your help in writing it. Read about it in more detail over there, but briefly it’s in response to Google CEO Dr. Eric Schmidt’s public fretting about the state of newspapers and investigative journalism,…