Monday, March 31, 2008

Selling out?

Habitual readers may be interested in knowing that I will soon be joining the ranks of Newstex, a blog syndication service that aggregates content and sells it to legal information services such as LexisNexis, EBSCO, CanWest MediaWorks, Thomson Financial, and Thomson Business Intelligence.

I am quite chuffed by their invitation for many reasons. Firstly, this means that I might actually get paid for blogging (granted, it will just be enough to buy me a cup of coffee, but the thought is nice). Secondly, it is a service offered through invitation after a content review, which must mean that someone somewhere finds the information useful. Thirdly, I will be joining many blogs that I admire. And fourthly, there is some form of validation involved in such an endeavour.

This has got me thinking about Web 2.0 in general. One of the clich├ęs attached to the participatory web is the fact that it is part of content democratisation. Everyone is a publisher, everyone is a content provider, everyone is a content-owner, etc. Yet, vast most of the terabytes of digital content available online goes unnoticed and unread by the masses. We develop small niche islands of shared interests that never see the light of the mainstream. This is a good thing in my opinion, but then, why do we all get so worked up about mainstream recognition? Are we all just like those alternative musicians who like to perform for free, but who secretly yearn for that phone call from the music industry?

Anyway, I can promise that this will have no bearing on the content. I hope that I can still be as quirky as usual, although you may expect some more pictures of llamas.

Everyone loves llamas.

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