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Content aggregation sites are popping up everywhere. In short, they do little
more than assemble others content and enable you to triangulate off
read it (in other words – determine how hot the content is and what you should
be paying attention to). The latest being Gather. Gather is like a big chat room without
the chat. Instead of chatting, you write and post. Others read. And the more
they read, the more money you make. You can leave comments if you are a
member. Others include Newsvine.

Jim Manzi is behind Gather and had this to say in the Boston
: ”No longer must I accept much of my content from what I have called
the Literary Industrial Complex, that group of concentrated media organizations
with their small elites and self-reinforcing arbiters delivering my news and
information ‘top-down,’ ". He has written
on this over at Gather.

Ah, yeah Jim. If they are so evil and unnecessary, why choose to
announce your venture in the Literary Industrial Complex and not in your own
blog? Actually, where is your blog mate?

Looking at Gather, I’m not sure their cluttered design and jamming of content
into the limits of the browser is any improvement on conventional news sites.
And if I am going to read the thinking of ordinary people I’m (personally) more
likely to read, well, Blogs than a site like Gather.

I also wonder how this will influence PR going forward – at what point do the
PR Pros start looking at the more prominent writers (the best paid) and target
them as a core element of programs. Assuming that Gather can gather readers, you
can pretty much bet on that happening. At which point, I wonder how Gather will
gather its writers and manage the editorial quality.

Kareem suggests
that revenue sharing won’t hook bloggers. I’m with him. This is a conversation
for me (and indulgence).

Techcrunch covers this
as does Mathew
. Steve
there is a Web 2.0 crash coming. He is as right on that as predicting
the Sun will come up tomorrow. Steve is also right that unless they plug into
the ecosystem they will fail. Information is a commodity in the Web 2.0 market
and commodity markets depend on creating convenience for the buyer. No Adsense =
much fewer sales. No tags (external, not just internal) = fewer readers. Much
fewer readers.

To this point, Gather is a very closed ecosystem. Their opportunity was to
make it open. Tag not just Gather content but all content. Enable trackbacks and
show who is linking and commenting outside of the site. This is more akin to
Yahoo or AOL than a blog.

Whether Gather succeeds or not is pretty much a crap-shoot – although I am
sure they have a more determined sense of the outcome. What matters is that they
are innovating, testing new models, learning and adapting. Those that don’t will
die. The rest learn.

Remember WebVan?

4 Responses

  1. By David on January 19th, 2006 at 1:10 am

    There’s lots of different recipes for success in what’s effectively communication. No one has all the answers. But I think the end characteristics that’s a winner is “Passion”. If there’s genuine passion and not just a sense of ‘let’s blog because everyone’s doing it’ or just to earn money then that’s a clear path to success. Come to think of it, it’s the same in business..

  2. By David Rossiter on January 29th, 2006 at 1:09 pm

    I wonder about these sites. Those using aggregation sites are allowing others to control their choice of content in much the same way as editors in MSM do. They’re doing the same job – they should recognise that.

  3. By note on March 27th, 2006 at 7:27 pm

    I was searching the web and found your entry . I think it’s the same in business. it worth time reading through.

  4. By miniskirt on April 2nd, 2006 at 6:56 am

    Good post

    I have foud them for a long time

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