In the great Internet blame game that has settled in as a sturdy subplot to the story of the decline of newspapers, Eric Schmidt is on the short list of bad guys right up there with Craig Newmark and Arianna Huffington.
Schmidt, the CEO of Google, has addressed the subject in public remarks on several occasions this year. He has said that publishers will likely have to begin charging for content, but, generally, his advice to the legacy media has been to innovate your way out of the current decline — do more with data, customized news presentation, better ads — you know, the stuff Google’s really good at.
Schmidt and other Googlers have been meeting with news organizations for some time to develop new models for digital news, and the Web giant today unveiled the first product to emerge from those partnerships.
Well, not a product, exactly. Living Stories, a dynamic, unified model for presenting information that would be scatted across several news stories on a subject in the traditional print model, made its public debut today as an experiment in Google Labs, with the New York Times and Washington Post as inaugural partners.
“Living Stories try a different approach that plays to certain unique advantages of online publishing,” Neha Singh, a Google software engineer, and Senior Business Product Manager Josh Cohen wrote in a blog post.