Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Thursday, July 13, 2006

News Aggregation Is Online Independent Publishers Natural Next Step

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If you have mastered the blogging paradigm, have made your blog an authority and a reliable source of information, commentary or news in your selected field(/s) of interest, it is about time to "scale yourself up" - Work Less and Look More At The Bigger Picture (= See the Future).

Photo credit: Peter Gnuskin

Haven't you noticed how your effort to keep trying to follow each and all the new things happening out there is less and less successful? There are already way too many new products and services popping up on a daily basis for you to follow with any real-depth and understanding.

There are also a growing number of blogs, news sites, search engines and other bad and good online resources that provide information on the very topic you have originally chosen to cover. Many, and an increasing percentage of them carry only garbage, fake, cloned and stolen content with no links or credit to the original source. Lots of time is wasted going through this junk and to weed out the bad and outdated stuff from the new, good quality content.

This is the main reason why talented niche bloggers and online writers with noteworthy competence in some specific areas need to scale themselves up to a new level of participation and contribution.

Scaling yourself up means transforming your role from one of contributor, writer to one that is more focused on being a filter/collector/aggregator of news from other sources.

With the amount of news and information coming to us daily, this is a space that someone will need to fill in any case. The value provided to others by having someone filter and select ahead of them relevant news fitting a specific topic/ theme will increase its value by orders of magnitude in the near future.

This doesn't mean that, if you are or intend to be an independent online writer/author you need to give up this role. Not at all.

But see, one thing is to try to follow all of the stories and new releases happening out there, often in combat with yourself on what to choose and what to leave out, and one is to follow those stories as a researcher who can test and try-out these new solutions without the pressure and constrains that "having to go to press" before others do, inevitably draws.

A newsmaster, as I call it, is the role of this new breed of news-jockeys. There have been many, exemplary forms of newsmastering work that have gone unlabelled and unnoticed as such for a long time. Great examples have been Robert Scoble's link blog as well as many other bloggers so-called linkroll, daily link list, linkstream or whatever they chose to name their daily selection of news headlines from other sources out there.

That activity, in and by itself, has so much value that few have yet realized it and taken it to its next level.

Because, no matter what you say, there is just way too much information out there, that is of relevance to you and me, and that no matter how many RSS feeds you read, you are going to miss out on something.

Those best set to scale up are those who have learned all the tricks of monitoring and scanning the news, those who have become expert at writing on blogs, who have thousands of visitors per day, and can see forest from trees as often as they can look and write at the latest new tools or service.

These may very well be the very best candidates for this newsmastering role.

In the meanwhile everyone else out there is managing the ocean of news coming at them by:

  • visiting 10 or more web sites each day,

  • checking systematically saved searches on major search engines,

  • looking at their RSS feed reader/aggregator

  • monitoring email-based newsletters

  • serendipitous encounters, word of mouth, etc.

But if you can do all that work for them, like Slashdot, Techmeme and, or like Stephen Downes' OLDaily or John Blossom' Shore do for their own specific audiences, then you become a much more valuable resource in the network at large.

Not only.

By learning how newsmastering can exponentially increase your value to the network as a news-curator, you will also free up a significant new time and energy which you had frozen into daily writing activities.

And that precious time can be used to "scale up" also the use of your analysis and research abilities. If you are looking always at the details of this or that technology or issue, can you ever look or spend time exploring the "big picture"? Hardly so.

That is why, for those who can, the move to mini news hubs, provides not only great value for their niche "vertical" audiences, but give them greater opportunity to provide real insight, opinion and commentary that goes beyond the daily issues.

That is what scaling up as an online independent publisher means to me.

Roles are changing, more opportunities are opening, and the universe of small, micro online value-added independent publishers grows by the day.

Bloggers, at least those that seriously work on thematic news writing, could be seen as street news reporters, the guys out on the front line reporting early on everything they see and put their hands or eyes on to.

But not everyone needs to be a front line reporter. We need also editors, and news-jockeys to look at these and select the important from the superficial, the original from the cloned, the fresh from the replay. We need human aggregators and newsmasters to categorize, comment and annotate their news streams in ways that makes their work more analogous to the one of a trusted disc-jockey or flower designer than to that of a typical media department editor. We need information strategists and industry analysts to be able to wrap their future-looking goggles and to see those individual stories as a map rather than a set of individual road lines.

This is why the time are mature for scaling up: for some, from spectators to bloggers or online independent news reporters, for others, from bloggers to newsmasters, news-jockeys and news curators of specific news and information areas.

How to do it?

Join me for a live webinar about how you can start doing this yourself, next Friday July 21st at 9am NY time.
From Blogger to Newsmaster: How To Create Your News Hub


Stay tuned as the shift is taking place here too.

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posted by Robin Good on Thursday, July 13 2006, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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