Monday, February 09, 2009

New Interview: Jeff Jarvis

For New York.

Here's the tease:

When was Jeff Jarvis not a multi-hypenate? Once the television critic for TV Guide and People, he was later founding editor of Entertainment Weekly, the Sunday editor and associate publisher of the New York Daily News, a columnist for the San Francisco Examiner and the president-creative director for Advance Internet.

But Jarvis' current incarnation fits him best: When not teaching in CUNY's Graduate School of Journalism, the New Yorker oversees, one of the most widely followed blogs on new media. His influence is such that when he chronicled his experiences with Dell Computers' terrible customer service, he ignited a consumer revolt. "What Would Google Do?," Jarvis' first book, analyzes the search engine's genius to show how social networking is changing business forever, and how it represents a blueprint for the successful companies of tomorrow. Before his Barnes & Noble speaking engagement, we took a few minutes to speak with one of the media world's most powerful critics (and yes, we will be Twittering this).

Social networks like Facebook are feeling intense pressure to become profitable. If you were Facebook, what would Google do?
I think Google would find the way to get the maximum value out of what's there. For example, there's knowledge and data there. That has intrinsic value. It has market value where you can sell data. You can say, ‘Hey, here's what we know about the performance of those crazy kids that you can't figure out.' Facebook has value that makes you more efficient. It's like: Is Amazon really a bookstore or a knowledge company? I think it's the latter.

In your book, you actually say Amazon is more Consumer Reports than Consumer Reports. Can you really say that about Facebook?
You can say that about Facebook if you're talking about information about aggregate behavior. When you can say that the page for someone like Sully Sullenberger just exploded, that really tells you something about the country and about knowledge and how they come together.

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