Just when you thought it was safe to go outside, you find out that Google is there. The New York Times Magazine's cover story Sunday looked at the effort by Google to own the geolocation industry by mapping the world. Our devices will be beholden and so will we.
The Harvard public relations folks provide a tip on a new, promising book by scholar Thomas Patterson that calls for journalism to reinvent itself as "knowledge-based." You wonder what's new in that? Well, Patterson argues that journalism has lost its focus on trustworthy and useful information and journalists are ill-equipped to do their jobs properly. Standards need improvement.
David Carr's latest Media Equation column stirs the pot considerably with his implicit message that AOL's much-touted hyperlocal news sites, Patch, are heading out of business. Patch has been pruning all year, but AOL has insisted there remain opportunities to be profitable in the service. Carr interviews AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, who suggests there's life left in them yet, but the overwhelming message in Carr's column is that they're done. To deal with this, AOL has reassured employees that it is seeking partners in the operation. TechCrunch notes its collapse would be a real blow to Armstrong's leadership.