14 August 2012

The difference between being 'frugal' and 'cheap'

During my commute this morning the following story made my head spin:


NPR's business news starts with a travel deal for Google.


GREENE: Google is buying the Frommer's travel guide business from a New York publisher. The search giant is trying to offer more robust travel-related results and, of course, sell more ads.
Here's NPR's Wendy Kaufman.
WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: When Seth Kugel, who writes the Frugal Traveler column for The New York Times, first heard about the deal, he thought...
SETH KUGEL: Great. I mean, if Frommer's content ends up on line for free, that will save cheapskates like me a lot of time sitting on the floor of the local Barnes and Noble and scrolling down notes from guidebooks there.
KAUFMAN: Frommer's is a huge name in travel. It's been producing authoritative guidebooks for well over half a century. They're based on rigorous research and are written by pros.
That's quite different from what's found on sites like TripAdvisor or Travelocity. Last year, Google bought Zagat another well-respected travel and leisure publication.
Google isn't saying exactly what its plans are for Frommer's - but some observers are wary of the company's increasing market power in online travel. They fear search results could unfairly favor Frommer's or Zagat's content over material from other sites.
And writer Seth Kugel has another concern.
KUGEL: I definitely know some quality writers that write for Frommer's and I'm certainly worried that they will no longer have the same resources to use to travel and do real travel writing and real criticism.

Wait!  Let me see if I understand this correctly.  Mr. Kugel thinks that we should all hear his opinion on this Google/Frommer deal.  He has some concerns about the deal itself.  He''s concerned that the working folks at Frommers might not have enough resources to do a high-quality job.  But.....he already admitted (above) that he doesn't even pay for their work.  He sits in a brick-and-mortar bookstore and reads their books for free, defrauding both the folks who work at the store itself as well as the staff of Frommers.

Did I miss anything?

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