Ken Doctor (whose blog, Content Bridges, is syndicated by Newstex) has released a new book and supporting Web site called Newsonomics in which he offers his take on the emerging business of digital news, including his 12 laws that will shape the news we get in the future.
Ken’s 12 laws are:
- In the Age Darwinian Content, You Are Your Own Editor
- The Digital Dozen Will Dominate
- Local: Remap and Reload
- The Old News World is Gone- Get Over It
- Mastering the Fine Art of Using OPC
- It’s a Pro-Am World
- Reporters Become Bloggers
- Itch the Niche
- Apply the 10 Percent Rule
- Media and Marketers Find New Ways to Mix and Match
- For Journalists’ Jobs, It’s Back to the Future
- Mind the Gaps
In Newsonomics, Ken includes a chapter for his fifth law, Mastering the Fine Art of Using Other People’s Content, that talks in detail about Newstex and content syndication. Following is an excerpt from Ken’s book that describes how the art of using other people’s content has evolved.
Newstex President Larry Schwartz operates on Newsonomics Law No. 5: The Great Gathering; or, The Fine Art of Using Other People’s Content (OPC). He saw newsy content that needed to be organized, gathered and made sense of. In this case, he made sense of the high-end blog content market. The market–his customers, who provide news content in turn to libraries, schools, and corporate workplaces–wanted it to be organized. Technorati had been the first to put together a much-used blog search engine, but then Google’s blog search trumped it. Both sorted through the blogosphere and made it available to all of us who use the OPen Web, but neither harnessed its value well enough at the top end.
That high end consists of libraries, schools, and corporate workplaces that pay a lot of money each year to get “full feeds” of news, well sorted and well organized, to provide to their patrons, their students, and their workforces. It’s a world that lives in parallel to the Googles and YUahoos of our time, and there’s a good amount of money in and around the business. Newstex, though, doesn’t just supply companies that you may not come into direct content with; it is now feeding blogs to the ever-popular Kindle.
If the resellers of news content needed a pipeline of increasingly interesting blog content, then individual bloggers, who produce the content, had no easy pipe to put it into. Bloggers willingly agree–small checks and a little more notice don’t hurt–to Newstex aggregation. By aggregating smartly, Newstex gathered well and gathered first, making it hard for competitors to get into the market. Internet marketers favor efficiency, and those that get something done well and right and on a big scale often can keep competitors at bay.
So Newstex laid the pipe, and that’s the classic role of the middleman. As we’ve seen, the Internet had taken out many middlemen,–think ad agencies, newspaper distributors, and manufacturers of presses. Yet, inevitably, what new technologies take away, they create. New middlemen are needed to grease the wheels of the digital economy.
We all know the industry-leading companies that use the same principles. Amazon is one, bringing together critical mass of products, reviews and tools. eBay is another, creating a major merchandise marketplace. Apple’s App Store brings together tens of thousands of different tools you can get on the Web, and makes them all easily addable to one single device. The shopping mall–the one you drive to–is probably the best example of commercial aggregation so far invented.
What’s important is aggregation: having more than the other guy. Just as in the old saying from the greedy eighties aobut toys, in the news world, he who has the most good content wins.
Ken goes on to describe how Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL, Facebook, and YouTube follow similar models of aggregating other people’s content in a single location to great success. Newsonomics is a great read, and you can pick up a copy at book stores or online (here’s the Amazon link).