People-to-people solutions

People-to-people solutions: Thanks to Jeff Jarvis for helping me learn more about the work of Spirit of America (You can learn more in Dan Gillmor’s Sunday column about it.} Frankly, as someone who reads a fair amount of history, especially early American history (a benefit from part of the day job), it is frustrating to witness the shrilly defeatist realtime coverage of the aftermath of the war in Iraq. Pick up any of the great books written in recent years about our nation’s founders (my current favorite is Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow) and it will strike you as miraculous that our nation survived the decades following our own Revolutionary War. The aftermath of any war is hell. It is chaos defined. Why those who analyze and report this war think it should be any different boggles me.

Yet rather than stew in my frustration, I have decided to join forces with Jeff and other supporters of Spirit of America…to at least do something positive about helping to the address the current chaos. First, I will be contributing (and encouraging others to join me) to the organization’s efforts to match the needs of everyday Iraqis with the generousity of everyday Americans. These are people-to-people, grassroots efforts. Spirit of America has already responded to many requests of in-country U.S. military forces and other U.S. personnel for humanitarian, educational and technological resources needed by Iraqi citizens surrounding them.

I hope you will join me in supporting Spirit of America and in letting others know about its (or better: ours, yours and mine) efforts.

Is Google bad for business (to business publishers?

Is Google bad for business (to business publishers)? A big chunk of Google‘s revenue is business-to-business advertising dollars. What is the dramatic growth of such online advertising expenditures doing to traditional print-based business-to-business publishers? Frankly, no one knows the answers yet, but Pat Kenealy, CEO of IDG, is at least asking the questions…and suggesting other business-to-business publishers start asking the same. This may seem like an esoteric issue, but it is important for publishers to follow the nuances of this issue. As Pat leads one of the world’s largest business-to-business media companies, one that has always been an aggressive leader in putting its content on the web, free for all Internet users to access, it will be important to watch what IDG does if Google gains a larger and larger piece of the budget pie from traditional IDG advertisers. Would it be too far-fetched to imagine a day in which IDG and other business-to-business publishers who offer their content free to web users not allow Google to index their websites? If IDG cuts off their content from Google, would they be shooting themselves in the foot…or would they be making the only decision that makes sense? I know some people believe, “you don’t exist if you don’t allow Google to index you,” but the content produced daily by the hundreds of technology writers and analysts employeed by IDG will be found by those in the IT world who depend on it, Googled or not. I don’t know the answers, but this will be interesting to follow.