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Filtering by Category: "syndication"

Dangerous Moves - Google news cutting content deals?

Added on by Chris Saad.
According to Techcrunch and the rest of the Techmeme world:

"Scotland's Sunday Herald is running a story reporting that Google has secretly
reached deals with several large UK news groups to formally license content for Google News."
They go on to write
"The issue is not Google's alone. In theory any site that indexes and provides snippets of content from big media companies could easily face the same problem. Topix and Digg immediately come to mind, let alone the many smaller startups and personal sites that index news from the mainstream media."
Kevin Burton from Tailrank and Spin3r posts in the comments:

"You're wrong that Google News would face problems if they ran ads. These publishers needs Google News more than they need them.

Even if they DO run ads everyone wins. Google News only shows a small fraction of he article mandating a clickthrough . A rising tide lifts all boats.

We run a pretty deep crawl with Spinn3r (and have similar issues with ads running on Tailrank) and we've only had a few people ask to be removed.

Unless these deals are about expanding Google's rights beyond fair use (i.e. the right to use full content rather than just snippets), this is a dangerous move for the syndication and aggregation ecosystems who rely on fair use and opt-out mechanisms

As Duncan says on Techcrunch, this can affect all sorts of services everywhere and if Google makes these deals it could:
  1. Set a precedent that could be destructive for innovation and fair use.

  2. If Google makes moves to make the deals exclusive the implications could be even more significant.

This is an unsettling move that should be followed closely.

Maybe professional journalism is dead?

Added on by Chris Saad.
The Scobleizer is once again (for the 495th time by his count) launched an attack against partial text feeds.

The most interesting part of his post, however, is the comments - in which he tells the guys at ZDNet that their content is good, but he would rather read coverage elsewhere because of their partial feeds.

The ZDNet guys claim they can't make money from full text - they need the traffic back to their page.

This comes back to a more long term question - how does one make money from the long tail.

In my post on the subject I quoted Chris Anderson who wrote:
Producers. Effect: Largely non-economic. I responded to a good Nick Carr post on this last year with the following: "For producers, Long Tail benefits are not primarily about direct revenues. Sure, Google Adsense on the average blog will generate risible returns, and the average band on MySpace probably won't sell enough CDs to pay back their recording costs, much less quit their day jobs. But the ability to unitize such microcelebrity can be significant elsewhere. A blog is a great personal branding vehicle, leading to anything from job offers to consulting gigs. And most band's MySpace pages are intended to bring fans to live shows, which are the market most bands care most about. When you look at the non-monetary economy of reputation, the Long Tail looks a lot more inviting for its inhabitants."

So four questions arise from this statement in the context of ZDNet and partial feeds.

  1. Are ZDNet part of the long tail? After all, they publish mainstream IT news. Perhaps the long tail can be seen as replacing the head?

  2. Is the Publishing/Advertising model dead as long as content, in its full form, is syndicated and repackaged by an aggregator resulting in little need for users to head back to the source and generate page views?

  3. Will we tolerate (and can we monetize) ads in the feed? The ZDNet guys say feed ads do not pay the bills.

  4. Do Aggregators have a social responsibility to somehow give back to producers?

This ties into another debate that has sprung up on Brian Oberkich's blog about his feed being used as part of a collective newspaper. He claims that it was OK with him until it seemed like the newspaper was running ads (which was against his CC) and he was being grouped with commentators he did not want to be associated with.

That page is, in essence, a single topic aggregator. What responsibility does it have to the publisher?

If professional publishing can't be monetized to sustainable levels, are we biting the hand that feeds us (as aggregators)? Or are we 'all the media' now and we don't need professional journalism?

Update: Brian says that the "Edge is not about content".
"You could always publish something to the Web. Now someone can acutally find it in real-time, relay it through their own attention signal systems (blogs (including link and tumblelogs), email, bookmarking services, social news sites, twitta, etc.) and help the collective swarm around things it finds useful."

FeedBurner Feed Reading Stats

Added on by Chris Saad.
The Moral of feedburner's latest round of stats for me is this:
  1. If you want to get lots of subscribers - get on some default fead reader lists so that your feed is bundled with all new accounts.
  2. Google Reader and Bloglines are winning in the feed reading space
  3. There is a huge difference between having subscribers and having (Feedburner's definition of) engagement with your audience.
  4. Does someone want to bundle our feed or the Media 2.0 Workgroup feed? :)

I think there is a another way to find your audience.

Media 2.0 Roadmap

Added on by Chris Saad.
I have been thinking a lot about 'Media 2.0' lately. So I quickly wrote up a roadmap from the distant past media landscape to our near future opportunities. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Distant Past (Local Radio Stations)

  • Distribution: Costly, via radio towers and dedicated ‘wireless’ receivers
  • Content: Local news and radio plays
  • Advertising: Local sponsors

Past (National Radio Networks and TV Networks)

  • Distribution: Costly (via radio and TV towers, TVs and Radios)
  • Content: National shows targeted at demographic groups
  • Production: Costly
  • Audience: One way broadcast from the top to the masses
  • Content: ‘What’s popular’ (as decided by editors) is on the air – segmented by broad demographics
  • Advertising: Local and National sponsors

Recent Past (Internet – Web 1.0)

  • Distribution: Cheaper (via modems and PCs – unstructured content in HTML)
  • Production: Costly (in terms of time and skills)
  • Audience: One way broadcast from the top to the masses – now also on the web
  • Content: ‘What’s popular’ (as decided by the editors) is on the air – segmented by more niche demographics
  • Interaction: Interest groups and communities trapped in silos
  • Advertising: Local and National advertisers splitting revenue across web, tv, radio.

Now (Internet – Web 2.0)

  • Distribution: Mostly Cheap (existing TV, Radio towers and across multiple devices using the Internet – structured content via RSS)
  • Production: Cheap (just click publish on your blog)
  • Audience: Two way participation within the audience (‘the bottom’) with democratic editorial control in the grassroots
  • Content: ‘What’s popular’ (as decided by the audience) as measured using services like Technorati, TechMeme and Digg etc. Segmentation in the mainstream continues by more thinly sliced Demographics)
  • Interaction: Interest groups unbound by silos (due to RSS)
  • Advertising: Context sensitive Ads targeted at the page – served by Google, Yahoo and Microsoft

Coming (Media 2.0)

  • Distribution: Cheap (across multiple devices using the internet as the ‘universal pipe’ – structured content via RSS). Aggregation is the main user interface.
  • Production: Cheap (just click publish on your camcorder and mobile phone)
  • Audience: The audience is gone, only participants are left: Two way participation with all stakeholders and democratic editorial control of what’s on the web and what’s on the air
  • Content: ‘What’s popular’ (as decided by the participants and measured by services like Technorati, TechMeme and Digg) is played on air. Segmentation by niche interest groups.
  • Relevancy: With hyperchoice, ‘What’s personally relevant’ becomes far more interesting that 'What's popular' – Audiences of one.
  • Advertising: Ads targeted at the individual – served by aggregators

Web 3.0 - Are you serious?

Added on by Chris Saad.
I am starting to get a little sick of talking about versioning the web - as I'm sure you are. But I've just found something that has forced me to address it again.

Have you seen this? It's a search from the Web 2.0 Workgroup website on Eurekster on their hottest topic at the moment - Web 3.0.

Web 3.0? Are you serious?

Apparently a lot of people are. More than I imagined.

It seems from the search results, though, Web 3.0 is some sort of Web 2.0 - except with more of everything. More mainstream users, more revenue (or finding a way to get revenue in the first place), more programmable etc.

First let me restate my case about Web 2.0 (*sigh*). 'Community' is not Web 2.0. Community is as old as Newsgroups and IRC (pre web) forums (web 1.0) and have merely changed shape with more sites dedicated to 'user generated content' (ugly term I know). So the community aspects of YouTube (for example) are not what make it Web 2.0.

The Web 2.0 part is more complex and profound - yet it all has a common theme - the participant is the most important entity in every transaction. You and I are in control.

It's about how the creative and editorial power is shifted from a central editor to a community of millions.

It's about making the site content portable through embedded players and syndication.

And it's about the CEO bloging about what they're doing so that the community has a transparent way of understanding the motives, intentions and direction of THEIR platform.

YouTube, however, is still not a fully realized Web 2.0 platform. It still tries to trap the user on their site. To drive traffic to their pages and to create a community on their terms.

The ultimate Web 2.0 solution is when I create my own platform and video is only part of my self-expression and community. Where my friends are my friends, irrespective of the tools they use or the content they create.

This platform is already emerging - to date they have been called Blogs, but I think blogs are much more important than people think. Maybe the name needs to change to suggest something grander than a 'Web Log' - but ultimately blogs are the ultimate form of participant power.

They are not a forum, yet there is a discussion going on.

They are not video hosting site, yet there can be video there.

They are not a photo sharing site, yet there are photos there.

They are not mySpace yet I have a list of subscribers (read: friends) and contacts (read: blogrolls).

They are not social news, yet Technorati and TechMeme seem to know what the top news is.

Blogs are the purest example of Web 2.0. They are decentralized, syndicated (and then aggregated), social, self-expressive personal islands that connect via a great ocean called the blogosphere.

So if we have not yet properly recognized, commercialized and leveraged Web 2.0 - why the heck are we talking about Web 3.0. Especially when it seems like the definition seems to be 'Web 2.0 for the masses'. If Web 3.0 is Web 2.0 for the masses, then that sounds to me like Mainstream adoption of Web 2.0.

I am queasy just writing all these version numbers.

Dreaming up the future is one thing, but trying to create a new buzzword so that you can be the first one who thought of it is quite another.

Web 2.0 represents something much more fundamental than a bubble of new software online. Web 2.0 represents the democratization of information and media. It is a change in the way we tell stories and connect to each other.

More importantly than that, however, It is a symptom of a cultural change in the civilized world from top down hierarchy to distributed participation and freedom of expression. Where the storytellers are no longer just manufactured celebrities – but you and me. Where what’s newsworthy today is not what’s popular for my demographic, but rather what is personally relevant to me.

Let's not trivialize this cultural change (it's greatest example being Web 2.0) by trying to jump ahead to some fantasy version number just because some of us want to pretend to be pioneers.