Embracing Traffic From Those Darn Aggregators

from the let-it-flow dept

With the new effort by newspaper folks who are unable to come up with a business model to blame news aggregators with big time executives from media companies insisting that aggregators “steal” from them by sending them traffic, it’s time to brush away that myth. Take, for example, the excellent tech/social media blog ReadWriteWeb, who recently had an article about Eric Schmidt’s predictions for what the web will look like in five years. Soon afterwards, the Huffington Post “aggregated” that story and posted the opening on its own site with a link to the full article. For over a year now, we’ve been hearing mainstream publications complain about this sort of thing by the HuffPo, with the NYTimes digital boss Martin Nisenholtz complaining about this activity just last week.

But, of course, all this sort of activity does is bring in tons of traffic. The Huffington Post gets an awful lot of traffic and a link from the site drives traffic. Marshall Kirkpatrick, from RWW, noted that the single HuffPo link drove 10,000 page views in just four hours, and basically begged HuffPo to “steal” more content like that. Indeed, it’s still really difficult to understand why mainstream publications are so up in arms over other sites helping to promote their articles and send them traffic — even to the point of looking to pass laws to stop such activity.

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Companies: huffington post, readwriteweb

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Comments on “Embracing Traffic From Those Darn Aggregators”

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10 Comments
MarksAngel (profile) says:

I have a choice Now

The Problem is that on the Internet I have my choice of where my news comes from. I stopped watching local news, and even looking at the paper when I found that I so many more choices of where to get my information from.

All my news is put into one place google reader, where I can sift through headlines of on topics which interest me, if I see an article worth reading I will click the read more link because I prefer to read the article on the website which the article came from

The choice presented to the consumer makes it harder for the business, but is this actually a bad thing?

KGWagner (profile) says:

Soundbites Rule

I know the reality is different, but I wonder if the newspapers are worried that today’s reader gets 90% of their news from the story’s headline. Assuming someone reads past that, the rest of the story is usually in the first paragraph. So, if the aggregators snatch the headline and first paragraph, they’ve got pretty much the whole thing and nobody will click through to read the filler tripe.

Not that the newspapers care if you read the copy in the first place, but they do want you to see the ads and give their servers a chance to do their spyware thing.

jsf (profile) says:

It's about the physical paper

I think part of the problem with newspapers is that they still think in terms of physical newspapers sold. So they don’t actually see traffic going to their web site as a good thing unless it sells more physical papers, and the people that go to their site via aggregators are highly unlikely to then buy a physical paper.

Basically many newspaper folks still don’t get the internet at all. They are still stuck on the idea that they must sell a physical item to make money.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: It's about the physical paper

So the papers think that is they stop people from going to their site then those people will buy a paper instead?

Considering that the news industry is congenitally unable to understand why people are turning away from traditional news sources, I wouldn’t be surprised if they believe that web hits are lost revenue.

Liberty Newsprint (profile) says:

Ligitimize Content Aggregators

Thanks for bringing this subject up. Its about time that content producers realize that today’s aggregators are tomorrows content distributors. Aggregators are a basic element of a new media newsflow platform. How people get their info online is so fragmented you need aggregators to market to and attract readers. Think of them as cyber newspaper stands distributing to e-mail, twitter streams, e-readers, and home media systems.
Content producers need to start working with the aggregators to create a platform for a personalized and custom news readers. A good example is http://www.Feedjournal.com and an the RSS Feed Aggregator Newspaper we’ve been creating at http://www.Libertynewsprint.com

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