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FeedPass Makes Money Passing Off RSS Content

There’s quite a lot of flak surrounding Feedpass, a new service that provides an RSS subscription page (landing page) where users can quickly subscribe to your RSS feed for a variety of News Readers.

Techcrunch was the most scathing with a post entitled “Feedpass Does Absolutely Nothing“. They were outraged with the fact that anyone can add their feed to Feedpass and make money off it.

I decided to take a contrarian approach and point out that anyone can do the same with Feedburner:

I don’t want to ruffle any feathers amongst my esteemed colleagues, but uh, can’t we basically do the same thing with FeedBurner?

I can (for example) take Dave Winer’s feed, convert it to Feedburner, add my Amazon ID, (yes it works) and voilà I got my own instant bank machine.

(Don’t worry Dave I won’t publish the link so please call off the law dawgs ;-)

Yes, it might be unethical and perhaps even illegal, but why all the confab over just Feedpass? Let’s keep our perspective boys and girls.

Sure, there are differences and I doubt if it was ever in Feedburner’s business plan. Nor am I accusing them of anything either. But the point is we can still make money off another’s feed if we wanted to and isn’t that the bottom line?

Instead of just attacking Feedpass, perhaps they have done us all a favour and opened up a much broader can of worms that needs to be looked at?

Related links: blog bloke, instabloke, blog, weblog, blogging, blog tools, computers and internet, technology, tech, rss, newsfeed, feedpass, feedburner

Written May 24th, 2006 by | 2 Comments | Filed under: Make Money Tips

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There are 2 Comments so far to “FeedPass Makes Money Passing Off RSS Content”

  1. Blog Bloke. We noticed that the Feedpass you created (insta_bloke) contained an illegal character (an underscore) and did not work. So, we created a new one for your readers to be able to see here

    Nice catch on how easy FeedBurner can make it to literally re-burn anyone’s feed. Although this had also been pointed out in other blogs this week, nobody had said how easy it would be to add an Amazon ID to it and begin to monetize. Since your site makes available full feeds, FeedBurner would burn them in full and allow them to be viewed by anyone without having to click through to your site.

    Feedpass, in stark contrast, never shows full feeds. In fact, we only show the titles of the last 4 posts, along with brief excerpts of the content, never more than 400 characters for posts over 800 characters long, and only 1/2 for posts that contain less than 800 characters.

    Is showing titles and excerpts unethical or illegal? If so, then indeed Feedpass will have opened a “can of worms” that will shake the entire blogging world down and bring on new content restrictions that will cripple the blogging economy.

    Why, because most blog sites aren’t built 100% on their own original content. In fact, without linking to other blog story titles, and often summaries, many blogs would remain forever in obscurity.

    Imagine a blogging world in which all of the ads on your page are legally required to be blocked from view if your page contains a title and excerpt of anyone content that you didn’t create. That’s the “brave new world” proposed by some of the anti-feedpass crowd.

    Now just take a look at sites like TechRepublic.com (a CNET company). They get the benefit of being found in tools like Feedster because they tie in to content from blogs all over the web. A classic example is the debate over Feedpass. Check out this link.

    Looks to me like CNET is profiting from content titles, summaries, and links that it didn’t create. Shocking! Where’s the uproar here? Quick…summon the legal team!

    In another shocking revelation, we went to Technorati.com and did a search on Feedpass.

    What comes up? Blog titles and excerpts, including the most recent one–your post from Blog Bloke. And sitting right next to it…advertising!

    So really, if what Feedpass does is illegal or unethical or immoral or just just doesn’t feel right, don’t you think the same now of CNET and TechRepublic? And they are just a couple of examples. The list goes on and on.

    So apparently the real problem here is that some of the “A-list” blogosphere, like Michael Arrington of TechCrunch and Dave Winer of Scripting News, and others that blindly piled on the anti-feedpass bandwagon, simply don’t want just ANYONE to be able to make money by linking to blog content. Maybe they think it’s only okay for the big boys to do it?

    That’s what Feedpass does. Well, that and educating the average internet user to help him understand RSS enough to even want to click a subscribe button or request a feed in his email.

    Read more from Randy Charles Morin, in his post titled “The Blogoshpere Mob

    Randy gets it.


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  2. Actually Jim I didn’t make a Feedpass. And I suppose therein lies the rub. But as I pointed out I could do something similar with Feedburner.

    You stated that we could claim our Feedpass if somebody else makes it based on our feed. I would like to do that for my feed. So how would I go about doing that? I already forwarded an email in this regard. Thanks.

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