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.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: aggregators, traffic
Companies: huffington post, readwriteweb


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    MarksAngel (profile), 28 Oct 2009 @ 2:13am

    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?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    NYT, 28 Oct 2009 @ 2:31am

    "Choice"

    Choice? What choice?

    It's all about protecting our revenue stream. We're not gonna let some little sodding upstart meddle with that.

    Geddit now????

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Richard (profile), 28 Oct 2009 @ 5:29am

    In a related development - Newspaper sues street corner vendor for copying headline onto a billboard.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    KGWagner (profile), 28 Oct 2009 @ 5:43am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Oct 2009 @ 6:20am

    that is shoking

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    jsf (profile), 28 Oct 2009 @ 6:44am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 28 Oct 2009 @ 7:25am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Liberty Newsprint (profile), 28 Oct 2009 @ 11:52am

    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

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Marshall Kirkpatrick, 28 Oct 2009 @ 4:57pm

    Got picked up by a Dutch aggregator too and post is now at 60k views in 24 hours! Three cheers for aggregators! lol

    Thanks for the kind words, Mike.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Sponsored Promotion
Public Money, Public Code - Sign The Open Letter at publiccode.eu
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.