Aggregation Can Be a Beautiful Thing

27 Oct Aggregation Can Be a Beautiful Thing

At the recent Inland Press Association meeting in Chicago it was clear that many owners, publishers and newspaper managers believe that aggregators are the enemy, right up there with Craig Newmark, or perhaps Satan himself.

In truth, however, aggregation is more friend than foe.

I am old enough to remember a time when the daily newspaper, augmented perhaps by half an hour spent with Walter Cronkite, provided all the news you needed in a day. As late as 1967 the newspaper industry delivered 122 daily newspapers per 100 households in North America, meaning that 20% of all households got more than one newspaper. Papers were vital. It was a great time to be in the newspaper business.

Of course, things have changed.

Newspaper consultant Jim Chisholm presented at the Inland conference on Monday. The next morning he allowed that he was disappointed after reading the New York Times. Why? “There’s very little international news, unlike the International Herald Tribune, which I read daily, and its reporters are all New York Times reporters!”

Fact is we have laid off so many people, slimmed down the pages both in size and in quantity so much, and focused so intensely on “local” that no newspaper today is a complete go-to source for all the news people want.

That’s where aggregation comes in. On your web-site not only can you publish all of the contextual information, photographs and overset that no longer fits in your paper, you can also aggregate content from other sources on the web to offer a far more complete, in-depth package than ever before.

This is not illegal. It is not immoral. In fact, it is a beautiful thing.

Done correctly both you and the original content source get to count the page views, impressions and unique visitors. Both sides of the equation can make money. It is a win-win for your paper, for the original source of the aggregated content and most importantly for your site visitors and advertisers.

This technique can enable your paper to become a go-to source for your readers once again. You provide the crucial local content. Aggregation provides the depth of content. A company like Content That Works provides original topical content that changes daily and helps differentiate your site from competitors who also aggregate.

Here’s just one example this concept at work for the holidays:

You can apply this technique to any niche-content area that’s important to your readers and valuable to advertisers. We can help make it happen quickly, at a very affordable price and with virtually no work, no learning curve and almost no risk on your part.

Aggregation is neither Craig nor the Second Coming. It is, however, a tool that can help make your paper more important and attractive in lucrative niche categories.

Why force your site visitors to go elsewhere when you can give them everything they want and need right on your site? This is your chance to out-Yahoo! Yahoo!, out-Google Google. . . your chance to fight back. Why not start today?