The Gated Community Approach
Ah, the private party — where only those hand-picked can attend and everyone else… sorry. This approach works well in the real world. Think about exclusive events such as the Oscars or popular nightclubs… people clamor to even get a peek into the venue. The gated community approach also has some success online. Think about Google’s developer previews. The search giant creates the basic framework of an idea and outsources it to the developer community to improve upon before it is then launched to the greater audience.
The gated community approach is not effective, however, for most information. The web has made information ubiquitous and free. This principle of the web has directly led to the downfall of newspapers. Even online news sites have learned they cannot charge for something that is free elsewhere. So why is Rupert Murdoch trying to create a gated community with his sites?
In the interview below, Murdoch suggests hiding his pages from Google so he can monetize them through other search engines, such as Yahoo or Bing. Murdoch believes his information is so sought-after that search engines would pay to index them. In an era where information is ubiquitous, the media mogul thinks he can create a gated community around his information.
Murdoch has failed to see how the times have changed. The web is a completely different media environment that abides by a completely different set of rules. Murdoch cannot wrap his head around these new principles and consequently, could jeopardize his media empire.