“Aggregator” Is A Bad Word. How Original.

BL Ochman and her buddy Steve Hall, believe blog space is sacred space. That it need only be filled with precious “original” content.

Adrants’ Steve Hall told me yesterday that he believes Technorati and others are “measuring the wrong thing.” What they should measure, he says, is how much original content is on a blog.
A large percentage of blogs just aggregate other bloggers’ content, or provide links to articles of interest. But the meat in the blogosphere is the original thought — and there’s very little of that going around.
If the blogosphere is to continue to grow, and to have impact as a communications medium, more bloggers have to do the work to create more original content.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: There is further edification from Hall on Ochman’s site. Please read it there.]
Let me ask you, what is this purely original matter? Is it the reworded press release that passes for a blog post? Is it the hard-scrabble journalism of old? Uh, not exactly.
It’s perplexing to me that Ochman and Hall want to dictate such stringent bloatospheric standards, while the story of the day in marketing circles is customer empowerment. I know it has, in part, to do with competition for ad revenue. These two A-listers are looking over their shoulders (and down their noses) at so-called “aggregators” that would dare tred on their turf.
So, BL and Steve, I get that it’s just business, and nothing personal. I’m sure we can all have a beer or two someday and laugh about it. In the meantime, I’ll continue looking to our customers here to tell us what’s working, what’s fair and exactly how they take their content.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. It’s not always about original content. I like some blogs for the perspective they provide through the arrangement and collection of related (or disparate) information–stuff I wouldn’t normally look at or things that I don’t have time to research.
    As long as there’s some personal touch or interesting framing of the other content, I don’t think you can be considered an “according to Hoyle” aggregator.

  2. Sure, David, some day let’s all have a beer and a laugh.

  3. As soon I as I get myself invited to one of these fancy blogger’s conferences, I’ll be buyin’ rounds.

  4. I like reading original content, but I also like to see link-bloggy stuff. Reading link posts composed by someone I trust enables me to surf the web with some recommendations.

  5. Exactly, Francois. Kottke is a perfect example and it’s why he’s so popular. How is “link-bloggy stuff” any different than WOM?
    “If the blogosphere is to continue to grow, and to have impact as a communications medium, more bloggers have to do the work to create more original content.”
    This seems like a silly thing to say given our understanding of how information is disseminated amongst humans. Not everyone has authored a book, but I can make a list of my favorite books and that may have value to someone who respects my opinions.