Home Web 2.0 Weekly Wrap-up, 11-17 Apr 2005

Web 2.0 Weekly Wrap-up, 11-17 Apr 2005

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This week: Aggregators trendy, Yahoo News vs Google News, Rupert Murdoch on the
Mount, RSS Readers in bloom, new kinds of Kool-Aid.

Aggregators Trending Upwards

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) and analyst firm Outsell
released a report
on the Information Industry
this week. They estimate the industry is worth $250
billion. What stood out like a sore thumb is that “General Aggregators, Distributors &
Services” was up 25% from 2003 to 2004, the largest percentage growth
among the segments tracked.

With preliminary 2004 Revenue of $33,002 million, General Aggregators is now the
third-largest segment in the Information Industry – behind News & Trade ($88,970
million, 8% increase) and Education & Training ($34,574 million, 7% increase).

Now it’s not entirely clear how the SIIA and Outsell define “General Aggregators,
Distributors & Services” (presumably you have to pay for that information). In any case, it’s a fair bet that it’ll make more inroads
into “News & Trade” in the 2005 year…

News about Yahoo News and Google News

I wrote about the Yahoo News
this week. Basically I was very impressed with their RSS adoption and use
of topic feeds. Yahoo also recently introduced custom
RSS feeds
for Yahoo News. So they’re making all the right moves, as I noted in
yesterday’s post RSS and The
Big 3

Meanwhile Google News has some issues – they’re being challenged
by Associated News (AP), they’re inconsistent about which news sources
they allow onto their pages, and they rather strangely don’t offer RSS feeds.

Rupert Murdoch’s Sermon From The Mount

What happens when the high priest of mass media preaches the Gospel According To
Jeff Jarvis
? The media faithful listen intently, that’s what (and perhaps pray). This week aussie media
tycoon Rupert Murdoch delivered a
to the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Quoth Rupert:

“What is happening is, in short, a revolution in the way young people are accessing
news. They don’t want to rely on the morning paper for their up-to-date
information. They don’t want to rely on a god-like figure from above to tell them
what’s important. And to carry the religion analogy a bit further, they certainly
don’t want news presented as gospel.

Instead, they want their news on demand, when it works for them.

They want control over their media, instead of being controlled by it.”

Amen to that brother!

May a Thousand RSS Readers Bloom

There are a lot of RSS Aggregators out in the market right now. Just this week I saw
two new names: YellowBrix and AggRead. Rojo recently went out of beta and BlogBridge was released to the wild too.

Given all the competition in the RSS Aggregator market, it’s really important for new
entrants to differentiate themselves to users or target a particular niche market.
Another thing new players should focus on is solving some of the crucial issues in RSS
aggregation – for example filtering out duplicate results (when a number of people link
to the same thing and it turns up multiple times in your Aggregator).

Techie Post of the Week

Sometimes it helps to step back from the hype, take a deep breath, and get a little
perspective. That’s how I felt when I read Avi Dronamraju’s post called The
Aggregation Kool-Aid
. In it he cautions that although we should appreciate “the power
of aggregation”, we need to move beyond that and “solve relevance/matching

I agree. It’s time for the next level of RSS Aggregation products and services to step
up. We need to find ways to filter out the rubbish from our topic feeds, make it
easier for non-geeks to subscribe to feeds, discover better methods for delivering
personalized information. All these things and more are still searching for a solution

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