Mainstream media merges with social media, including the rise of news aggregation

By Ross Dawson on January 31, 2007 | Permalink

Alex Iskold and Richard McManus have a great piece on Read/ Write Web titled “Mainstream Media Usage of Web 2.0 Services is Increasing”. The article details how many major media organizations are regularly including “Digg this”, “Tag on del.icio.us,” and other “web 2.0” features that we’ve grown used to seeing on blogs. Alex says:

It appears that we are nearing a tipping point for the mass adoption of prominent web 2.0 services, like digg and del.icio.us. Endorsement by mainstream media opens these services up to millions of people who otherwise would either not know about them, or not take them seriously. So these are not just links, these are literally endorsements – or recognition of additional value for mainstream media.

Alex’s piece includes the following chart which shows web 2.0 functionality on major media sites.
mainstream_30jan07b.png
As it happens, Future Exploration Network did a similar research exercise as part of a recent strategy project we did for a global news organization regarding the future of one of their online news sites. While we came up with some similar results to Alex, we also focused on personalization and aggregation functionality. At the moment the only major news sites that offer the ability for users to select their own news feeds from any media source are USA Today and Fox News. I haven’t yet had a chance to see the personalization features of MyTimes – the New York Times personalized news site, which is still under Beta. However I presume that it will offer this capability as well. Until very recently this open third-party aggregation functionality was only possibly from pure online properties, notably Yahoo! News, Netvibes, and of course any of a host of browser-based RSS aggregators. Big media content providers wanted to be just that – content providers. Now they are beginning to realize that providing quality content IN ADDITION to allowing readers to aggregate the best of the web creates a far stickier relationship. They can have the best of both worlds.
All of this reflects what I’ve written before about the symbiosis of mainstream media and social media – each learns from the other, integrates their best features, and feed off each other, until the boundaries between them are blurred beyond recognition.

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