It's Official: Free Online Content Distribution Helps Analog Counterparts

As a few readers of this blog have noticed (judging by my blog statistics), I have modified the layout slightly. I have removed the "Popular Posts", "Labels", and "Archives" widgets from the sidebar to clean it up; I have created pages in their stead (and replaced them on the sidebar with a "Recent Comments" widget) — "Archives" is now its own page, while "Popular Posts" and "Labels" have been combined in the "Popular Posts" page (but each has its own subheading). Furthermore, I have created a "Useful Links" static page, and this is where the content of this post comes in: the "Useful Links" page has a collection of links that I would recommend readers of this blog to read for a better understand of the economics relating to open source, free culture, etc. There are also 3 useful videos (dealing with similar things) that I have embedded on that page, one of which I will also embed in this post, as it has to do very much with the topic. I got the idea for this post from TechDirt's article on the same, which also includes this video:

A Presentation regarding Online Content Distribution's Impact on Analog Counterparts

TechDirt's article does a very good job of summarizing the key points of the video (as it's a long video), so I won't repeat them here. Please do read that portion of the original article (and if you are so inclined, by all means watch the video).
A couple commenters on the TechDirt article said things like, "Of course things like this would be presented at a Google conference because this is exactly what Google wants to hear!" At first, though I generally disagreed with this statement (as the research itself doesn't appear to be funded by Google), I couldn't shake the possibility out of my head. Then, I found this Washington Post article written by Howard Kurtz about how online news articles and videos supplement newspaper/newsmagazine readership and TV news viewership. The article goes on to discuss perceptions of bias (among other things) in the mainstream media by people of various ideologies and political affiliations. I think it's interesting that this story should come out so soon after TechDirt's publication of the video on its website, as it talks about how people get their news (which the video does not discuss) and it does not seem to be funded by major Internet companies. The article does note that while newspaper readership is down by quite a few percentage points from just a few years ago, this doesn't seem to be caused by the presence of online counterparts; in fact, the online counterparts is in some cases increasing print readership, which is an effect similar to one discussed in the video where a TV showing of a movie increases its DVD sales almost immediately.
Mr. Murdoch, are you still thinking of taking your websites off of Google's indexes? If so, I can say (with a fair amount of confidence, especially when compared to before) that you are shooting yourself in the foot.

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