Do a search for a current news story with a popular news aggregator/search engine, and you’re likely to get a large number of results. But the catch is that most of the results are likely to be the same or very similiar, because all the news sources that have picked up the original Reuters or Associated Press wire story are usually listed near the top.
These results are useful when you want to get a quick sense of a story or get the latest on a breaking news event. My take on the blogosphere is that it has the potential to bring new depth to the news reporting. By combining major news sources and wire stories with on-the-scene “citizen journalism”, personal opinions, analysis, and a glorious and occasionally stinky concoction of conversation, arguing, pontificating, punditizing, and storytelling along route; a richer, deeper view of a news event emerges.
Now a company called Mochila offers a service that allows bloggers to republish AP stories, with a three-way split of any ad revenue that results.
I think this idea is a loser in several respects. As I mentioned, there are already countless ways to get your eyeballs on AP stories. In fact, it's hard to avoid them sometimes! As a consumer of news, I want there to be fewer and better organized places to read AP stories, not more. Sites like Newsvine are a great solution if you’re a wire story hound and looking for a community to hang out with at the same time.
Further, legitimate bloggers seldom feel compelled to republish entire articles. What's the point, aside from grabbing 30% of potential extra revenue? As Techdirt rightly points out, a prime source of business for Mochila may well be nefearious sploggers who are looking to flood the Internet with oceans of AP stories in an effort to snag search engine traffic.
I think that smart traditional media companies who survive and thrive in the web 2.0 and post-web 2.0 era will actually eschew wire stories (because they're pervasive and therefore don't add a great deal of unique value) in favor of niche coverage, unique coverage, and value-added coverage. In other words, the traditional media world – both print and online – will co-opt the best aspects of the blogosphere. And that competition will in turn be good for the blogoshere.
Therefore, my advice for bloggers is: don’t get hoodwinked by the promise of a few extra cents on top of your adsense revenue. It’s not worth it, and it really isn’t what you got into the blogging game for in the first place. Avoid the company of sameness. Stick to writing about what you’re passionate about and add something good, glorious and bold to the Internet conversation.Powered by Sidelines