John Robb has one of the most important observations on news aggregators that I’ve seen. And not just because I agree with it.
He argues that:
“One thing everyone needs to understand is that in this syndication debate, the juice [is] in the aggregator tool space and not with weblog tools. Weblog tools are the weak sister in this relationship.”
“Additionally, the writing tools are much less important than the tools by which you aggregate and manipulate the data you subscribe to (the ratio of readers to writers will always be 100 to 1).”
He concludes, perhaps, ahem, controversially:
“A smart approach for Microsoft would be to embrace the quirky weblog world’s RSS syndication format, put an advanced RSS aggregator with a world class search engine on everyone’s desktop, and extend the RSS format into everything else.”
In the legal space, I’ve been trying to argue that the excitement is in newsfeeds and news aggregators, far more so than in blogging itself. I’m not finding many takers, but I’ve just finished an article on news aggregators and newsfeeds for the ABA’s Law Practice Management magazine that makes my best case to date for aggregation. It should appear soon, but not soon enough.
Here’s one thing I’ve noticed about blogging – it drives me crazy at times, such as now, when I have good articles written and awaiting publication in print that would contribute to the debate of the day, and I have to wait and honor the publications’s right not to be scooped because I release the article early.