Why Not Aggregate Yourself?

from the can't-think-of-any-reason-not-to-do-so dept

With various news publications complaining about online aggregators somehow being unfair, back in August, we wondered why those big mainstream publications didn't just aggregate or, as they prefer, "parasite" themselves. For example, they complain about other sites writing up short "bloggy" summaries of their long and in-depth news reports -- but why can't those publications create their own shorter versions as well?

As if proving that point, the website Gawker (who has been accused of such "parasiting" before) apparently tried this approach itself recently. It had a 2,000 word story that it purchased from a guy who had worked with Richard Heene (the father behind the "balloon boy" stunt). But rather than just leave the 2,000 word story, it also created its own shorter bullet-point version, which is likely what it would have written up if the original story had been published elsewhere. And, while the original story still got a ton of traffic, the summary post still scored a lot of pageviews -- more than the average Gawker post.

If anything, this supports the idea that publications really have nothing to complain about with these sites that summarize their longer stories. There's absolutely nothing stopping them from doing it themselves as well -- and, who knows, it might augment their traffic as well.

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  • icon
    John Duncan Yoyo (profile), 30 Oct 2009 @ 6:21am


    In the scientific literature they call this an abstract. In business they call it an executive summary.

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

  • icon
    johnjac (profile), 30 Oct 2009 @ 6:36am


    Not really sure if this is technically Aggregation, but the idea is still valid. Give the viewers what they want.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2009 @ 9:05am

      Re: Aggregate?

      I agree...I don't think this is technically aggregation.

      If the newspapers wanted to aggregate, they would just suck the first paragraph and headline out like any other existing aggregator does...no need to create summaries or abstracts or whatnot.

      Put the damn feed right on the newspaper landing page...hell, they could even aggregate from other publications...if, indeed, the money is in aggregation and not the actual hosting of the full content (which is their assertion), then they'd be making money AND "stealing" revenue from their competition...win win!!

      Better yet, why not just buy the aggregators out?

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

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