Content aggregation sites are popping up everywhere. In short, they do little
more than assemble others content and enable you to
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
Globe: ”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
moreon 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.
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
thinks 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
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.