Blog News Aggregators: What’s the Point?
The Great Echo Chamber:
In typically contrarian style I’ve been struggling a long time with a conundrum that has been spinning round and round in my head. So this time the Bloke has a question of his own to ask.
I’ve been grappling with why a-list blogs are so popular, and it seems to me that many of them are little more than what I would call blog news aggregators (no I don’t mean newsfeed aggregators, aka newsreader software either).
I mean, all they do basically is just collect the news from various sources and regurgitate it. So I have to ask myself, can’t I get the same information by subscribing to the original sources like CNN, Yahoo News, Google News, Reuters, et al? (Rhetorical question).
Now some might argue that these blogs don’t just regurgitate, they also filter the information. Well, my comeback might be something like… can’t I do the same thing with the filters in my newsreader?
Answer: Of course I can.
Some are also what I would call web information scrapers, cutting and pasting bits and pieces that can be found by googling the net according to their particular niche. Whilst others are just dusting off old books from their bookshelves and throwing their own spin on it. And then to add injury to insult they aggregate their best posts and make a book out of it.
Another rhetorical question: Doesn’t this remind you of the good old days when during an insomniac attack you watched those late night paid-for TV shows selling their booklets chock full of information that is readily available at the local library?
Everything old is new again. It’s kinda like the Beatles regurgitating the same old songs every time a new technology came out. First it was LPs, then it was remastered and direct-to-disk records, then it was tape, CD, DVD, MP3 and so on and so forth. Paul McCartney laughed all the way to the bank (and now it’s Heather Mills turn who is determined to take a big chunk of that change, so who is laughing now).
Every time a new technology comes along somebody thinks of a way to recycle money out of the unsuspecting’s pockets. Now it’s the blogosphere’s turn.
So the million dollar question is if I can find the same information (like I know that I can), why then are these blogs so popular? What’s the point?
Is it perhaps because their subscribers don’t know where to find the information for themselves? Just wondering.
It’s no wonder why they call the blogosphere the Great Echo Chamber. But even better perhaps we should be calling it the Great Regurgitator/Recycler?
Filed under: instabloke, blog, blogging, blog resources