‘Cov Con’ Live Blog – Peter Barron Head of Public Affairs Google Northern Europe

By Sean Carson

13.59: What’s next for Peter Barron? Coming in as the runner-up for the recent Radio 4 controller job, Peter will be starting a new role in January as Director of Communications in the Middle East and North Africa. Many thanks to Peter for taking the time out of his busy schedule.

13.57: Are Google in bed with the Feds? Not according to Peter. Google tries very hard not to hand over information and data to the authorities with cases in which it is forced to do so, only handing over the bare minimum.

13.55: Peter on Android. “Android is an open OS unlike the iPhone.” Presenting myriad opportunities for handsets at any price range has Google’s Android OS cornered the cheap smart phone market? With a potential market of 5.6 million users Peter seems to think so.

13.53: Are we going to see a feature about the creation of Google? With The Social Network setting precedent is Google set to follow? Screenplays are being written believes Peter.

13.51: “We live in a world that is ruled by data, that’s just a reality.” Peter says Google never meant or ever intends to infringe the privacy of users or innocent bystanders and that the issue of privacy needs to be addressed across the board. “Transparency, choice and control” is Google’s commitment.

13.48: Google afraid of Facebook? No chance. Not even with Google’s struggle to break into the social media market. “There are some big bets which will decide the future of the web” comments Peter, with Google remaining committed to the fact that social media is definitely going to be part of the future of the web. Watch this space for Googlebook/FaceGoogle.

13.45: Google TV – How will it be policed and censored? “We’re in favour of free speech and expression,” says Peter adding, “there are limitations though.” With 35 hours of content uploaded every minute to youtube, Google guidelines will have to be monitored by users, with any unruly content being flagged up by users. Will this be the most efficient way? As a free system it maybe the only way without monetising the system. Only time will tell I suppose.

13.41: “It was a screw up.” Peter technically outlines Google’s faux pas with the collection of personal data when compiling a list of wi-fi spots.

13.39: What’s next for Google then? Google TV. “TV meets web. Web meets TV.” – bringing the functionality of the web to your TV. Another money spinner for Google or a truly customer-focused product? I guess we’ll find out when Google launches it later this year in the UK.

13.36: The advent of the tablet PC heralds a new era for journalism and life as a whole reckons Peter. Yet another way to charge people for content, widely available on a variety of platforms and increasingly so on smart phones and tablet PCs, apps are the way to coax cash from consumers and generate more revenue for everyone and a facet of modern life that’ll soon be breaking into the world of news.

13.33: It seems as though Google are really launching themselves headlong into making journalism sustainable with huge amounts of funding earmarked by the company. It’s nice to see a large multi-national investing in grass-roots journalism.

13.29: Google has recently put up $5 mil. to search for interesting and innovative products in the field of investigative journalism in line with Google’s business models. Who says big organisations are heartless!?

13.27: Although advertising is growing at lightning pace on the ‘net says Peter, it still isn’t growing at the same rate as online media consumption – there’s a long way to go before advertising catches up with the material produced by the journalist.

13.25: So, to Google news then. Invented just after 9/11, the aim of the site was to bring in information from a multitude of sources to give a more rounded picture of the world. Solely based on algorithms, the site does away with the traditional role of the editor. With one billion clicks per month it sure is successful, generating its revenue from forwarding to outside news sites and putting people in touch with advertising.

13.20: By 2015, smart phones will be the primary way for people to access the internet. Huge numbers of people will have access to the web without ever having owned a PC comments Peter. This is the way forward for the internet. The advent of smart phones and the internet has a huge impact on journalism. It will allow for anyone to become news gathers and publish information on blogs and social networking sites in real-time.

13.18: With the advent of the internet, Peter comments on the huge democratisation of information with “10-year-old children producing material for a world-wide audience.”

13.15: Peter started life as a “humble producer” as John Mair so eloquently puts it, moving over to ‘the dark side’ of PR nearly 2 years ago now.

13.13: So here he is, Peter Barron. Live on CUToday waxing lyrical about Google and privacy.



Filed under Coventry Conversation

2 responses to “‘Cov Con’ Live Blog – Peter Barron Head of Public Affairs Google Northern Europe

  1. Natasha De Silva

    I like the sound of Googlebook/FaceGoogle… Will surely be watching out for that one.

    Btw, well done on the Live Blog Sean… I like it!

  2. Hmmh. Ever notice if you drive on a higwahy or go to a post office it says Surveilance camera ? To notifiy you? I guess websites could have that same thing. A little sign that says We record the following: X Continue? There are also websites that collect your information that isnt quite so innocent. Do you think thats okay, too? If one website records your credit card number (yes, bad example, but you get the point), is that your own fault for not anticipating it? No.

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