Jim Spanfeller is president and CEO of Forbes.com. He is also treasurer of the Online Publishers Association and chairman emeritus of the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
While I certainly thought my post on paidContent two weeks ago about Google (NSDQ: GOOG) and the newspaper industry would create some discussion, I can honestly tell you I had no idea of the levels of interest, anger and ridicule it would spawn. For the record, I remain confident in my thoughts, but that is not the point of this piece.
Reading through some of the comments, I was struck by the underlying motivations. I am sure there were many and well-varied foundations for the comments, certainly what one did for a living being high on the list. (Presumably working for a content creator or Search Engine Marketing firm would suggest radically different feelings on the core topic.) That said, buried in the comments was a more fundamentally interesting and perhaps important pattern: the divide between new and old.
This notion was rolling around in my mind when, lo and behold, one final comment appeared in the comment stream — well after the original post itself had settled into the archives. Which I guess means that the conversation rages on. Fittingly, this last comment dealt in part with this quasi generational divide that I had been ruminating on. Here is an excerpt: