Aggregators, Like Skateboarders, Are Unwanted By Pedestrians

We aggregate content from traditional media sources, although it is a practice that is fading as our relationships with news makers and PR pros develop. Which is probably a good thing, because the big boys don’t like blogs nibbling their content without some form of monetary compensation.

According to Nieman Journalism Lab, 29 major news organizations have signed on as investors in NewsRight, a newly launched company that helps publishers to license and track their content on the web.

David Westin, the president of NewsRight and former head of ABC News, says news organizations are suffering even though demand for news on the web is exploding, calling it an “imperfection in the marketplace.”

I do realize we all need to be paid for the work we do, but it’s a funny argument, this. Where do ideas come from, and how exactly are stories born?

Stories, until very recently, were oral. That is, they were “owned” by the community, not the storytellers. The storyteller, historically, was merely the vehicle for the information. Of course, the idea of private land was absurd not too long ago, as well.

Ho hum.



About David Burn

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.