I wrote this post almost nine years ago, before our investments in Twitter, Tumblr, Wattpad, SoundCloud, Kickstarter, and a host of other bottoms up media businesses.
I can remember the moment. I was in my home office in our old home at 11 West 10th Street. That was a sweet office, top floor, with windows facing front and back. I wrote it on my laptop on the conference room table that I took from Flatiron’s offices when we shut that firm down. I have no idea what happened to that table. I’m going to find out what happened to it.
I recall the feeling of writing this post. I was filled with inspiration. It was as if I was Moses and God had just handed me the ten commandments, but there were (and are) only four.
I still think it’s one of my best posts. I hope you agree.
I have seen the future of media and it looks like this:
Mashed Up Blog Posts at tech.memeorandum
Mashed Up Funny Videos at delicious
Mashed Up Playlists at webjay
Here is the future of media:
1 – Microchunk it – Reduce the content to its simplest form. Thanks Umair.
2 – Free it – Put it out there without walls around it or strings on it. Thanks Stewart.
3 – Syndicate it – Let anyone take it and run with it. Thanks Dave.
4 – Monetize it – Put the monetization and tracking systems into the microchunk.Thanks Feedburner.
Leaving aside the rights issues, which I know are large, if I were a television executive right now, I’d take my content, microchunk it, put a couple calls to a video ad server in the middle of it, and let it go whereever it wants to go, safe in the knowledge that whenever the show is viewed, I’ll get to run a couple 15 second spots in the middle of it (which I could change whenever I wanted to and which I could measure).
This is where media is going and its not going to be stopped.
I know that Jason Calacanis hates the really simple stealing that goes on with Engadget or Autoblog posts. But you know what? He’s not going to stop it. What he should do is monetize each and every post with an ad of some sort and a tracking mechanism of some sort and let the content flow.
RSS is a new medium. It’s not like the web any more than the web was like print. Remember back in the late 90s when the media execs tried to use the web to sell more papers? It doesn’t work. Content wants to be consumed in the media its delivered in.
So RSS content is not going to be used to send people to the web. It’s going to be consumed in the RSS medium, whatever that turns out to be.
The data is pretty clear about this. The publishers that put only an excerpt of their posts/stories in their feeds get pretty low click thru on those excerpts. Those that put the full post in get a lot more readership.
So the trick is to figure out how to monetize RSS right in the medium, not as a way to send traffic back to the web where it can be monetized with the traditional web techniques.
Why did I decide to write this post today? Because in the last week I have gotten between five and ten requests to use my RSS feed in some sort of syndicated and mashed up RSS or web service. I’ve told all of them to go for it.
Here is the deal with my RSS feed. Anyone is free to use my RSS feed to produce whatever content they want to produce with the following exceptions. I do not want and will not allow my content to be used in pornographic or hate related properties. And the posts must be shown in their entirety with any advertising and tracking tools that I decide to use in them. And I must be given attribution for my work.
Other than that, go for it. Take it. And build something great with it.