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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    MarksAngel (profile), Oct 28th, 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 thread ]

  2. identicon
    NYT, Oct 28th, 2009 @ 2:31am


    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 thread ]

  3. icon
    Richard (profile), Oct 28th, 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 thread ]

  4. icon
    KGWagner (profile), Oct 28th, 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 thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2009 @ 6:20am

    that is shoking

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

  6. icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Oct 28th, 2009 @ 6:38am


    ellokwently stated

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

  7. icon
    jsf (profile), Oct 28th, 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 thread ]

  8. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 28th, 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 thread ]

  9. icon
    Liberty Newsprint (profile), Oct 28th, 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 thread ]

  10. identicon
    Marshall Kirkpatrick, Oct 28th, 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 thread ]

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