Does Easy Web Content Syndication Help or Hurt Web 2.0?
Blogging’s all the rage today – well at least it is for me. It’s still a pure form of expression. But I’m not sure how I feel about web apps like Posterous yet. Posterous (and there are a bunch of others) syndicates our content in multiple places simultaneously. So if I wanted to, I could write this article one time and syndicate it all over the web with the click of a button (Twitter, Facebook, other blogs, etc). Sounds like a good thing right?
Well doesn’t that remind you of spam email? In the old days, if we wanted to “syndicate” an email message to multiple people, there really wasn’t a clean and easy way to accomplish that. Today, you can find an email service provider on every street corner to blast a campaign out the door.
My buddy Chris Brown made this argument for me the other day when he unintentionally posted a photo of his family at lunch to the entire Mortgage Revolution Fan Base, in addition to every other spoke in his web presence. Think of it this way: why are the New York Times and Wall Street Journal considered to be elite publications? The simple answer is that their content is expressly written for their loyal readership. They employ their own journalists and therefore provide a unique mix of content you cannot find elsewhere. On the other hand, lesser respected publications fill their pages with less unique content and more syndicated content (ie: AP, Reuters, etc.).
I want my internet to stay unique – perhaps that’s the traditionalist in me.
But regardless of what I want, simple syndication is here to stay. We’re dealing with issues of clutter with email today (spam filters) and it will be very interesting to see how we deal with the issue of content clutter online (Google?). Does anyone see it differently, I’d love to hear your take in the comments if you do.