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TheNewsRoom Offers Content And Cash To Bloggers

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Last week, Voxant and The Associated Press announced a deal that will allow Voxant to make AP's licensed content available to other web publishers and bloggers free of charge. The AP is just one of Voxant's partners, though. Reuters, Newscom, HowStuffWorks, Vibe, the CBC, and several others have also signed on as content providers.

What does this mean for bloggers? First, it gives them free and legal access to video, audio, text and photo content that they can use to enhance their own blogs. Second, it offers them a new source of revenue.

How does it all work? It's actually very simple, and it all starts at TheNewsRoom, "the hub of Voxant's Viral Syndication Network". TheNewsRoom is a searchable catalog containing all of the news, entertainment, sports, science, and political stories that have been made available by Voxant's partners. Once you find the story you are looking for, it's a matter of clicking the "mash" button and copying some code into the post you're writing.

Revenue is generated through pre-roll video and banner ads that accompany each "mashed" story. According to Liz Gannes at NewTeeVee, who spoke with Voxant's CEO, Jeffrey Crigler, the revenue is split between Voxant (40%), the content provider (40%), and the web publisher (20%).

Anyone can mash stories or feeds from TheNewsRoom and embed them on their sites, but to be eligible for a cut of the revenue that's generated by those stories, you have to register as a web publisher. It's a very simple process that took me less than two minutes and required just the basic information like name, email address,home address and my site's URI.

I have test-driven TheNewsRoom by embedding a couple of video clips onto my own blog. So far, everything has performed as promised. The Flash-based video player is reasonably plain, especially if you select the compact version, so it does not clash with the look and feel of the site it's embedded on. At least one of the pre-roll ads was interesting enough that I'd probably have embedded it on its own if I'd come across it on YouTube, but the jury is still out on whether pre-roll ads are the way to monetize online video.

I also tested out a couple of text stories, and my sense is that they would work best on a site that was designed to match their layout. They are embedded in their entirety, headline included, and do not necessarily fit with the standard two-column right sidebar layout of most blogs.

What's my bottom line on Voxant and TheNewsRoom? I believe that this is an enormous step toward the future of mainstream news, and Voxant's partner companies should be applauded for taking it. The tumultuous blending of old and new media that is playing itself out in the headlines these days will not end soon, but TheNewsRoom has me feeling more optimistic than I've been in a long time.

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About Eric Friesen

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Great piece, Eric! I think this kind of service will be useful to readers *if* bloggers make careful and tasteful use of TheNewsRoom’s offerings. My concern is that sploggers (i.e. nefarious types) will churn out many thousands of content pages on the hope of driving search traffic and ramping up whatever cash they can out of their 20% of the cut.

  • http://backwardfive.com Eric Friesen

    Thanks, Eric. That’s always a risk, unfortunately. I wouldn’t be surprised to see splogs popping up with nothing but feeds from TheNewsRoom. I’m hoping that Voxant has something in place to combat that.

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    Cool idea that this is, every time I try to fill out the registration form, something there keeps crashing my browser.

    -Glen

  • http://www.thenewsroom.com NicoleS

    Thank you so much for this glowing review of TheNewsRoom. We at Voxant’s Viral Syndication Network are thrilled to see that you have enjoyed our service. Today marks the official launch of TheNewsRoom as well as the release of Campaign 2008, the newest channel of TheNewsRoom, where web publishers are able to find the latest viral videos of national candidates. Feel free to email me if you have any questions.

    (Glen, please contact our Support so that we can better understand the problem you’re having registering. We want to make sure that everyone who wants to sign up is able to do so!)

  • http://www.ilumu.com ILUMU.com

    I have it on my site
    works well

  • http://hi.baidu.com/kaola508 koala

    thank you for you share this program.but very frustrate,in my country,it is very slowly to loin to TheNewsRoom .

  • http://www.thenewsroom.com Lianne

    Thanks for the love! We are working hard to make premium content available to you. Keep checking back for more changes in the future as we move forward.

  • http://www.thechildrenofgod.org/ Pastor Ford

    I think The News Room is great.
    I have it posted on my TCOG website and my members love it as it helps them stay in touch as to what’s going on in the word.

    Keep up the great work.

    Pastor LS Ford
    thechildrenofgod.org
    (TCOG)