What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

Question: Is Google News used more as a substitute for other news sites or as a research tool?

Josh Cohen: Yeah. I mean, we really see our role as a starting point for people when they're looking for news. Our goal is really to try and help people find the information they're looking for. Again, in that way it's no different from what we're trying to do in Web search. You know, we'll share headlines or snippets or sometimes just the source name itself, and then when people want to read that story, we send them directly off to the publisher's site. So within a given month, just from Google News alone -- not even talking about Google, the broader search index -- we send about a billion clicks every single month to publishers worldwide, because that's really consistent with what we're trying to do. We don't have content; we don't have any editors and journalists creating stories. We're just trying to surface that great content that people are creating every single day, whether it's traditional sources that have been around for hundreds of years or new startups that are just fresh to the market.

Question: Rather than indexing all the world’s information, will Google now have to compete to index as much as possible?

Josh Cohen: Yeah, well, I mean I think that we have no intention of paying simply for indexing information. But I think sometimes there is the perception that it's an either/or proposition, that I can put my content on the Web and make it freely available, but if I decide to put up a pay wall, it can't be -- you know, I can't make it discoverable. And that's not the case. And actually, publishers who decide to put up a pay wall can still be discovered within Google. And Wall Street Journal is actually -- is a perfect example of that. Since they've been on the Web they've always had at least some set of their content behind a pay wall, and they've charged subscribers for that. And that content has been available within Google News and also within Google Search as well.

So there are opportunities for publishers if they decide that they feel they can charge for that content -- users are willing to pay for that -- they can do that and still decide that they want to be discovered within Google. So it's not -- I don't think -- there are a number of different options of how they can do so, so it's not a -- I don't think it has to be an either/or proposition. I think it would be a worse thing for the end user if there are certain searches that return certain information and other ones didn't, but a publisher can decide how much access they want to give for different search engines, and do that fairly easily with just a simple bit of code on their pages right now.

 

The Eve of the “Index Wars”?

Newsletter: Share: