Yesterday's surprise announcement that AOL is buying The Huffington Post for $315m sent shockwaves through the blogosphere.
The deal is not only one of the biggest in the consumer internet space
in the past several years, it's one of the biggest online publishing
acquisitions ever involving a 'blog'.
Few traditional publishers like aggregators. They never have, and they never will. The problem: consumers do.
While publishers have made a fuss about aggregators for years, for the most part, there has been little they can do. And for all of their efforts, aggregation, in all of its various forms, isn't going anywhere. But a lawsuit filed by Dow Jones & Company could signal a tougher fight ahead if Dow Jones wins.
News organizations are getting hip to social media. For many of them,
figuring out how to use social media hasn't been easy, but a growing
number of them have seen the light and realize that social media
platforms can serve as valuable tools for journalism.
But should news organizations require that their journalists use, say,
Twitter and Facebook? The director of BBC Global News, Peter Horrocks,
apparently thinks so.
In the face of defeat, America's news outlets continue to find ways to innovate. Mind you, they aren't ground-breaking innovations. But they're innovations none-the-less.
This week online news magazine Slate launched a new aggregator called Slatest. It's not great, but at least it's something. I just wish I could say the same for British media.
Yesterday, ZDNet's Sam Diaz called RSS a "Web 1.0 tool" and voiced the opinion that "there are better ways now". He noted a Forrester Research study showing that only 9% of adults in the US use an RSS reader monthly -- a 2% drop from 2008.
Diaz's comments were in response to a Google blog post announcing the release of the second annual Google Reader Power Readers, a collection of the sites various influential individuals call their favorites.
Earlier today I wrote about whether a news aggregator could be a success in the UK. Prospects are not good, and even Briton Nick Denton, founder of Gawker.com, says he wouldn't dare do it.
However, despite the pessimism, there exists an interest in giving it a try. The first major entrant into the UK news aggregation scene looks to be Cambridge-based Broadersheet.com.
Americans and the British are quite similar, but also quite different. Jokes that make Americans laugh may not make a British person laugh; food that a Brit might love could repulse an American; and so on. It seems the way the two nations consume news online is different, too.
News aggregator Newsnow has recently released a version of its website optimised for mobile users.
Newsnow uses a wide range of sources, I find it useful for keeping up with football news for instance, so how well has it translated to mobile?
There are some tasks that computers and software programs just can't perform. Sometimes, these tasks are tedious or the 'resources' required to complete them require more man-power than you have.
Recently, Tim O'Reilly asked "Is Linking to Yourself the Future of the Web?"
In his post, he observed that many online properties are linking to themselves more than they're linking out, oftentimes by building aggregators of some form or another to do so.