The Associated Press, fresh from its dust-up with Google (GOOG) over “misappropiation” of its content, is considering trying to beat the search giant at its own game. The AP may build a news portal of its own, one that leads people to “authoritative sources,” AP CEO Tom Curley told BusinessWeek.
They can build it. But will people come?
First off, we’re not sure what Tom means by sources deemed “authoritative,” but we’ve never heard anyone who doesn’t work at a traditional media outlet complain about the sources aggregated by Google News.
We’d also have to assume an AP site would be entirely human-edited, which is expensive. Tom may think Google “has a wacky algorithm” to collect news stories, but, again, we don’t hear Google News users complaining.
Also, would an AP site link to the AP’s competitors, like Reuters, Bloomberg, and non-AP newspapers? If not, even if an Internet user could be induced to try the AP aggregation portal, why would he or she switch? Why would you use an aggregator that drew on fewer sources?
We understand that the AP is desperate to do something to stop the collapse of the industry that owns it and distributes its copy, and we understand its frustration at having missed the boat on online aggregation. But this idea is dead on arrival.