Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Licensing Bloggers Content

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There has been more and more talk about "licensing" and syndicating blog content lately mostly driven by two things:

1. Services that are trying to monetize blogger syndication like BlogBurst and Lisensa- a good overview and comparison here.
2. the fact that traditional media outlets are starting to augment their coverage with blog content

As someone who works for a content aggregator whose customers are more and more asking for blog content to round out their information delivery services in the enterprise i am certainly interested in what is going on. I remember early on when Web content started making an appearance on intranets and issues of copyright were raised. Blog content in some ways is the same but it is the aggregation models that have changed because bloggers are now syndicating their own content via RSS and there is no need for scraping of sites which was common back then.

Andy Lark's blog pointed me to the news that Reuters has invested in Pluck's BlogBurst blog syndication service. The BlogBurst blog provides an overview of what they think this means for them and their members. According to this article from Reuters, Pluck operates the world's biggest blog syndication network, called BlogBurst, which connects newspapers and other media sites to 2,800 selected blogs, helping traditional media supplement their journalism with blog viewpoints.

Reuters getting into this business - sort of takes 1 and 2 above and makes it look a lot like traditional media with syndicators potentially making decisions from an editorial position as to who makes their list- not that there is anything really wrong with that as long as there is a balance. There are other folks out there like Greg Narain of Social Roots who is creating "An open marketplace for locating social media creators and sourcing content" perhaps to get that balance.

Andy Lark's post asks an important question for syndication models that do not follow the models that some of the services i mention follow- which make bloggers 'register' and set their preference. What if bloggers don't want their blog distributed or syndicated? Will something like the Creative Common License be enough?

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