Posted on: February 14, 2019

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Owen Williams' sad tale of Google News reminds me of the scene in The Godfather where the undertaker Bonasera visits Don Corleone on the day of his daughter's wedding. Bonasera's daughter has been raped. He went to the police, they tried the rapist, but he got off with a suspended sentence. Bonasera seeks justice from the Godfather who gives his first great speech in the movie. "We've known each other many years, but this is the first time you ever came to me for counsel or for help. I can't remember the last time that you invited me to your house for a cup of coffee, even though my wife is godmother to your only child. But let's be frank here. You never wanted my friendship. And you were afraid to be in my debt." In Williams' tale of woe, the Godfather is the open web, other news orgs, his readers, and the legal system is Google. We have to work together Owen. The web made all you do possible, you can't go over its head to Google to get what you think you need. And though you disparage RSS in your piece, it, or something exactly like it, will be the glue that routes around Google and Facebook and eventually makes networked news work. BTW, the dialog is on Wikipedia and the video clip is on Youtube.
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