Blogs will not save old media alone


Since being alerted to Blogburst by Ben Metcalfe, I've had a RSS search filter running through-out the day. I've seen some really interesting posts filter through.

Well first what is blogburst? The tech crunch guys have pretty much got this covered, but there post has sparked a lot of coversations about there covering of Blogburst. For example Scott Karp over at Publishing 2.0.

Michael Arrington declares that BlogBurst Can Save Big (print) Media. To suggest that the lack of blog content is all that ails Old Media is deeply naive. Old Media needs to follow bloggers into the new content creation frontier, but that in itself will NOT solve the problem of business models.

And he's very right, its not about simply adding blog content to a already ageing medium. Anyone who does is seriously mistaken if they think thats the end of the deal. Its about a conversation not simply publishing. Scott moves on.

But why do publishers need BlogBurst as a middleman? Why can’t publishers hire an editor whose job it is to go out into the blogosphere and pull in the best and most relevant content, which is already easily and freely available through RSS feeds?

Agreed, but for some reason this does not happen. I can't work out why, theres already enough tools to keep a track of whats going on in a given subject and RSS can make these things more automated. But back to the point it simply does not happen. Like Scott says I will give BlogBurst credit for the understanding that the blogosphere needs a human filter to extract value. and thats where I totally agree too. Blogburst is a human filter on the blogosphere and this is a welcomed new model.

The rest of Scott's post is about Tech Crunch which I'm not that interested in, but yes this could reflect badly on Blogburst if taken out of context. Mark Evans talks about the sign up issue for bloggers.

nother question is why would a blogger sign up unless they really, really want exposure and/or traffic. Blogburst takes a blogger's content and provides the following: “visibility and exposure”, “new readers”, “authority and credibility” and “the opportunity to take your blog to the next level” (whatever that means). The downside is there's no economic incentive for the blogger and little guarantee readers are going to visit your blog unless they click on your byline. For anyone really trying to build a brand, they should want and encourage people to visit their blogs.

Point taken, its a interesting question which I personally don't have a complete answer for yet. Blackfriars' Marketing talks about the scale issue and how effective human filtering is at the million plus mark.

This is a system that works great with 100 or 1,000 blogs, but collapses under its own weight with 100,000 or a million blogs. No editor or reporter is going to wade through a reading list of 1,000 entries, but that could easily happen with big categories like News and Opinion or Technology. If that happens, editors will go back to reading or

One second, who said they were using Memo or tailrank? I certainly don't see any signs that this is true. Anyway moving on…

My suggestion to BlogBurst: take a page out of Web 2.0 and allow members of the newspaper community to vote feeds and stories up and down in the rankings. Otherwise, a successful BlogBurst could do just that — burst.

And I'm in total agreement, its about collabrative filtering.

What I find most interesting is BlogBurst's powerful Publisher Workbench. Its a API between there system and the internal content management of the mainstream publishers. How effective it is, we shall see but its a good move and being SOAP and XML (rest) means any internal development team could work with there service. I'm hoping this will cause Bloglines to release a API for there Citations service. I'm also wondering when Feedster and Blogdigger will consider collabrative filtering as another option with there machine filtering? Back saving old media for the closing. Old media needs to engage in the conversation if they would like to be saved as such. Its no good just dipping in and out of these conversations. The smart ones are already moving out of the slow decending circles. Hint hint.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser. Can be found at, and