Thursday, August 04, 2011
Gone from Google: Hawaii’s “paper of record” leaves Internet, retreats into 19th century
by Larry Geller
So APEC 2011 will be studying Hawaii as a place to do business… guess what… their primary tool for doing that has taken itself off-line. When they Google for Hawaii news from the Star-Advertiser--whether business, economics, whatever--they will not know we exist.
You live on the Internet, don’t you? For most of us, our smartphone or computer is our portal into news, weather, maps, driving directions, restaurant info, etc. Some people even have a “second life” in Second Life—one Internet life isn’t enough for them.
Our Internet lives no longer have a local newspaper.
Checking Google for Hawaii news this morning, the Star-Advertiser was absent except for some breaking news.
Usually, the primary local newspaper is the face that a place shows to the world.
If so, we’ve just disappeared. Obviously, APEC delegates can’t get local delivery in Beijing or Jakarta. Not that they would—the way business leaders learn about the world is the same way we all do—by checking news sources on our computers.
So APEC delegates may think we’re some kind of a backward banana republic without even decent local news coverage.
Maybe we are. Unbelievably, our “paper of record” has taken us off the Internet.
As someone who collates and links the morning news every weekday for All Hawaii News (www.allhawaiinews.com), I too am confused that the Star-Advertiser is not using URLs or permalinks pointing to its stories, but one general paywall link. If its tech folks would just fix the links, googlers could at least get a taste before hitting the paywall as other media outlets do.
Meanwhile, I'm keeping the story ledes on my site, even though the link is pretty much useless, especially for someone choosing to buy just one or two articles.