Disrupting the Traditional News Syndication Model

Originally published on Nieman Journalism Lab

Clay Shirky predicts that in 2011 traditional news syndication will see widespread disruption. I couldn’t agree more. But I don’t think the disruption will happen the way Clay describes it.

Clay’s prediction assumes that news consumption will continue its shift from traditional media to the traditional desktop web, where the hyperlink rules and news consumers bounce from hyperlinked page to hyperlinked page and from site to site to site. I think that assumption is wrong. In 2011, we’ll see open acknowledgement of what has long been understood about the traditional desktop web as a platform for consuming news content — it sucks.

The desktop web has been a revolutionary platform in terms of access to information, the democratization of publishing, and the socialization of media. But as a medium for consuming news content, from a user interface and user experience perspective, it’s problematic at best and downright awful at worst. News consumption has begun a major shift from the traditional desktop web to apps for touch tablets for a simple reason — the user experience and user interface are so much better, as the recent RJI survey of iPad users reflects. Consumers are choosing tablet apps over the traditional desktop web based on the quality of the user experience and the overall content “package.”

News organizations are already shifting their strategies to take advantage of that consumer shift. But few have thought about the role of syndication in news apps. With the immersive, hands-on experience of a tablet news app, the value of syndication changes entirely. Apps that deliver nothing but one news organization’s content will not compare favorably with the content richness of the web, no matter how good the UI is. And apps that bounce users around from site to site with an in-app browser, mimicking the traditional desktop web model, will fail for precisely the reason why users chose the app in the first place.

But news apps that can deliver full content, curated from a wide range of sources, within a cohesive, optimized — even breakthrough — UI for news consumption, will win because users will have the best of both worlds. Syndication in news apps will not be about republishing news that everyone else has. It will be about combining curated news with original content in order to create consumer packages that are deeply engaging and in many cases worth paying for. With this shift, news organizations will stop ceding to aggregators the huge value creation of curating and packaging news. Instead, news organizations will start defining their editorial brands as curators as much as they define them as original content creators.

It’s important to note that this new paradigm for news consumption isn’t necessarily anti-web on the back end. It can work with an HTML5 site that creates the same immersive UX/UI as a platform-native app, and can be distributed with an app front end via app stores to support the news org’s business model. Web pages are also still necessary for links shared via social networks. But for a news consumer’s primary daily news consumption — for news orgs they have a direct relationship with — syndication that includes the full content in an immersive app experience will be an essential driver of success.

The other reality that Clay overlooks, on the other end of the news evolution, is that syndication for print newspapers still matters because the print product is generating the cash that’s funding the digital transformation. Reducing the cost of filling the news hole in print with disruptive syndication models will generate more cash for digital. In the near term, that will have a significant impact on how the business of syndication is reshaped.

In that context, here are four predictions for how traditional news syndication will be disrupted in 2011:

Social network for news distribution

Traditional syndication is based on a hub-and-spoke model, where a newswire middleman takes in content from many sources, combines it with original content, and redistributes it. This is an inefficient, obsolete model and will be replaced by a model that has proven wildly successful in the consumer world — the social network.

News organizations have already been forming direct distribution networks to route around the traditional newswire middleman. In 2011, these networks will evolve beyond ad hoc email distribution to become truly scalable in a way that only a Facebook-like platform can enable. News organizations will create a network of trusted sources, the equivalent of “friends,” but where the relationships are based on distribution and the affiliation of editorial brands. I call this the “Content Graph,” the analogue to Facebook’s “Social Graph.”

The business of syndication and news distribution will be reshaped by the power of network effects. Why is that important? Watch this Sean Parker talk.

Human editorial judgment redux

Contrary to Clay’s devaluing of the wire editor’s judgment in selecting content, the value of human curation is actually becoming more important in defining the value of news brands. Google’s algorithm has dominated news distribution on the web (ask any news site what percentage of traffic comes from Google), but it’s being overtaken by social curation — links shared through social networks (ask any news site what percentage of traffic comes from Facebook and Twitter).

The same will happen with news organizations, as editors curate their Content Graph and create better editorial products than any algorithm can ever hope to create.

What social networks have proven is that people value most the judgment of other people they trust. You can trust a friend. You can trust the editor of your favorite news publication. But it’s about people. Syndication based on human curation will prove far more valuable to consumers than syndication based on faceless algorithms.

Free content disrupts again, but differently

The news industry has been disrupted by the explosion of content on the web and having to compete with free sources. A new model for syndication turns this disruption on its head by enabling news organizations to publish free content from high quality web publishers in exchange for branding and links back (a model that Yahoo, for example, has used for years).

News organizations can also barter content with partners to trade the value of content they have already paid to produce for content that they need. Syndication based on a barter economy will be extremely disruptive to traditional newswires charging for content.

Free syndicated content will also help the print product generate more cash in the near-term. (Never underestimate the importance of cash flow in business transformation.)

News organizations take back control

News organizations will increasingly take back control over how their own content is syndicated. This begins with taking back their rights from newswire middlemen, so they can have full control over the business strategy for their content syndication, whether they choose to barter, sell, or keep some content out of the syndication market entirely.

News organizations will also take control over how their content is packaged by aggregators, starting by taking control of their RSS feeds. The first big realization will be that RSS is dead as a consumer technology but has growing value as a B2B syndication mechanism. News organizations will start to take down the consumer feeds from their websites as they realize 99.9 percent of their audience who wants their “feed” is following them on Facebook or Twitter.

Instead of working ad hoc with aggregators and other partners, with no control over their B2B RSS feeds, news organizations will look for ways to more efficiently manage the commercial syndication of their content through a common platform that gives them both control and network scale.

The Content Graph and the Future of Brands

Yesterday, two stories from Aol’s DailyFinance appeared in the Sunday print edition of the Daily Telegram, a newspaper in southern Michigan. These stories appeared on a business page that would otherwise have been produced almost entirely with stories from the Associated Press. The Daily Telegram got permission to publish these Aol stories not through a big corporate content deal, but directly through a peer-to-peer relationship — The Daily Telegram simply subscribed to DailyFinance’s newswire in Publish2′s News Exchange.

Now I’m going to tell you why what you see on this page of the Daily Telegram could play a decisive role in the race between Aol, Demand Media, and Yahoo to win the prize of big brand advertising on the web, and why it is also pivotal to the future of news.

It’s about a big idea that I introduced at TechCrunch DisruptThe Content Graph — an analogue to the Social Graph, where high quality content brands create a large scale distribution network that could rival search and social media as a distributor of content.

In the Social Graph, you’re defined by your friends. In the Content Graph, a content brand is defined by its distribution relationships with other content brands.

The Content Graph is about leveraging the brand equity and consumer trust that is the greatest asset of every traditional media company. It’s about building a content brand’s reputation through distribution.

The news industry’s business model broke after it lost control over the distribution of news, with news brands suffering one wave of disintermediation after another.

The Content Graph puts news brands back in the game, but not as a return to monolithic monopolies, rather through the power of networks — a network of content brands. (This network includes independent journalists who cultivate their own personal brands.)

Ultimately, the Content Graph could be a map for brand advertising on the web, that enables advertisers to tap into a network of high quality content brands, at scale.

Sound interesting? Let’s dig deeper.

To understand the potential of the Content Graph, let’s look first at the race to become the most efficient, largest scale producer of high quality content in the world.

Demand Media has Aol and Yahoo in its sights to win this race. So declared Joanne Bradford, the new chief revenue officer for Demand Media, and former head of U.S. ad sales for Yahoo, who knows as well as anyone why the race is on — Demand Media, Aol, and Yahoo are positioning themselves for the huge tide of big brand advertising that is expected to flood the web and digital media in the next 10 years. Bradford talks about advertisers like HP and General Mills appearing in “contextually relevant” pages of Demand Media content.

The first race for ad dollars on the web was won by search and its dominance of contextual relevance. But for the next wave of ad dollars, contextual relevance won’t be enough, because these are BRAND ad dollars, and big brands will seek out the most trusted, highest quality content brands.

That’s why Bradford states the goal of Demand Media like this: “We want to be the biggest, best destination for brands.”
It’s about brands, and it’s about quality, as you’ll see in the first paragraph of Yahoo’s announcement of the Associated Content acquisition: “This strategic move extends Yahoo’s ability to provide high quality, personally relevant content for the benefit of more than 600 million users as well as tens of thousands of advertisers.”

And Aol’s goal, according to CEO Tim Armstrong: “AOL is planning on being the largest high quality content producer for digital media.”

Bradford boasts, “I believe our quality stands on its own.”

See the recurring theme? But with all the posturing, here’s the big question: Who will be the arbiter of content quality? How will big brand advertisers decide which content brands they can trust with their brand?

To get big brand advertisers, you’ve got to have reach, but to really get brand advertising at scale, you’ve got to have the highest quality content brands — because it matters to advertisers:

“I think these guys are not building trusted media brands,” Brian Monahan, senior VP at Universal McCann, said of the general landscape of low-cost content. He sees these entities as closer to niche enthusiast magazines rather than newspapers. “They’re never going to take the place of a Condé Nast or some other trusted premium editorial voice,” he said.

Just ask all of the traditional media content brands that still get a disproportionate share of big brand advertising, and whose brand power is a big reason why those dollars haven’t followed consumers onto the web… yet.

It’s no surprise, then, that Demand Media and Associated Content have eagerly pursued distribution deals with the trusted content brands that can burnish their brands in the eyes of consumers and in the eyes of advertisers. Brands like San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, Atlanta-Journal Constitution, and USA Today. These are the content brands that already have the trust of advertiser brands, and it’s this trust that the new breed of demand-driven content producers rightly covets.

Demand Media, Associated Content, and Aol’s Seed are aiming to revolutionize the efficiency of content production. But a huge leap forward in efficiency won’t win the race unless they can also build brands that can attract brand advertising. Search may drive enormous traffic, but it doesn’t build content brands (ask any branded content site how well search visitors convert to loyal readers). Social media distribution (i.e. Twitter, Facebook) replaces the value of content brands with the value of personal relationships.

That’s where the Content Graph comes in.

Aol just took a huge leap forward by efficiently leveraging the Daily Telegram’s brand to build the DailyFinance brand, taking the place of the Associated Press, one of the most widely known and trusted content brands.  And, critically, this happened without the kind corporate content distribution deal that is entirely lacking in the efficiency that Aol, Demand Media, and Yahoo are pioneering in content production.

For every revolution in content production, there is a corresponding revolution in content distribution.  The Content Graph is the revolution in efficient content distribution.

Daily Telegram, a node in the Content Graph, forged a direct connection with DailyFinance. Aol got free branding. And Daily Telegram not only got free content but lifted up its own brand by running better, more interesting content from DailyFinance than they could get from the AP.

Now, imagine DailyFinance content appearing in hundreds of newspapers around the world, rivaling the Associated Press as a primary source of business news — imagine the huge brand equity that Aol could build by being distributed by all of those trusted content brands.

Now imagine every high quality content brand, connected in the largest brand network in the world. Imagine the Content Graph at scale.

The Content Graph defines content quality for newer brands by mapping how their content is distributed by established brands. And it further defines the quality of established brands by mapping how they distribute newer content sources.

Think about how valuable that network would be to media companies for efficiently building and positioning their brands, to ensure that their content is distributed to the broadest possible audience in a way that delivers maximum brand value.

I highlighted the example of the Content Graph in print because there’s a huge near-term opportunity to build the Content Graph through a massive improvement in the efficiency of content distribution to print, and to leverage the value of those trusted brands while print still reaches tens of millions of news consumers.

But the Content Graph is entirely multiplatform, and ultimately a map of a global digital distribution network.
On the web, the Content Graph isn’t just about the linking — it’s also distributing branded full content, rather than the inefficiency of content brands re-writing each other’s stories without attribution or writing a cheap knock-off post that has a link but is meant to serve as a substitute. Instead, publishers could mutually benefit from the efficiency of distributing each other’s content — with permission and full control over terms of use — so that they can realize brand value of this distribution through the Content Graph.

Full content distribution on the web would of course still come with links to the source — the goal is to build the Content Graph in parallel with the link economy. Google could eventually use the Content Graph as a guide, e.g. to identify canonical sources.

The Content Graph also extends to mobile platforms, where publisher apps can be greatly enhanced by distributing content from a wide range of sources.  It’s about content brands as curators of the best content, anywhere, not just the content they can produce.

And what is the mutual business benefit for content brands in developing the Content Graph?

Think about the value of the Content Graph to a big brand advertiser, looking to not only maximize their reach on the web, but as important if not more, to maximize their brand value. Imagine how an advertiser evaluating DailyFinance could use the Content Graph to measure the brand’s distribution across of hundreds of trusted newspaper brands… and what if the ad dollars followed DailyFinance throughout the Content Graph?

And that gets to why this is a pivotal moment in the future of news.

A newspaper like The Daily Telegram can get ahead of the curve to benefit from the disruptive power of the web and the efficiency of content created for the web. If they had run this Walmart college story from WalletPop in place of the AP story that appeared on the page, they could have gotten the content for that page entirely for free (along with the Dave Ramsey column), all by leveraging the value of their brand. And it’s by unlocking the value of its brand that newspapers like The Daily Telegram can survive and ultimately thrive in the digital age.

The Daily Telegram can become part of the largest network of high quality brands — the Content Graph — a network formed by the news brands themselves (not a middleman like the Associated Press), which can capture big brand advertising dollars as they migrate to the web.

And that is the future of news… a network of trusted news brands. And the corresponding future of brand advertising is in harnessing the power of this brand network.

The New Associated Press for the 21st Century

This week, at TechCrunch Disrupt, we’re announcing the launch of Publish2 News Exchange, a platform aimed at disrupting the Associated Press monopoly over content distribution to newspapers. With Publish2 News Exchange, newspapers can replace the AP’s obsolete cooperative with direct content sharing and replace the AP’s commodity content with both free, high-quality content from the Web and content from any paid source.

With Publish2 News Exchange, we’ve created what the AP should have become, but can’t because of a classic Innovator’s Dilemma. The New AP is an open, efficient, scalable news distribution platform. We’re enabling newspapers to benefit for the first time from the disruptive power of the Web, and from the efficiency of content production on the Web.

Read more about the New AP at the Publish2 Blog now.

High-End Brand Publishers Need to Sell Scalable Premium Ad Solutions, Not Commodity Ad Space

Newspaper online advertising has not benefited greatly from the recent upswing in online ad spending, according to the New York Times and most of the recent newspaper company quarterly results. This is no surprise because most newspaper websites sell SPACE for commodity advertising — display ads and classifieds — and thus are hard pressed to compete with ad networks that specialize in selling commodity ad space by the megaton (or giving it away for free, in the case of Craigslist).

Back when newspapers where the only game in town for ad space, they could charge whatever they wanted. Now the web has near infinite ad space, and newspapers find themselves playing the wrong game. They’ve got ad sales staff that specialize in commodity order fulfillment and not premium advertising solutions.

So what distinguishes a premium ad solution from commodity ad space? It’s a premium solution if not every site can deliver the value. Any site can slap a display ad on a page — that’s what makes it a commodity. High-end brand publishers like newspapers  really have only one way to distinguish themselves from every other web publisher on the planet — their ability to create high quality content that attracts a targeted, high quality audience.

But… there are many sites that specialize in creating “good enough” content that can attract segments of that high quality audience, and then selling that audience at a much lower cost.

But wait, you say, high-end brand publishers should be able to sell the ad next to their higher quality content at a higher price. Isn’t that the whole principle behind premium publishing?

Not when it comes to display advertising. Display advertising isn’t more valuable when placed next to premium content because display advertising has so LITTLE value to begin with. In fact, display advertising creates so little consumer value that it actually SUBTRACTS value from high quality editorial content when placed next it. Ever see those belly fat ads on top tier news sites? Dancing Martians lowering your mortgage payments? Whiten your teeth? It’s a total train wreck.

In fact, many ad exchanges are focused on bundling and selling audiences in a way that exploits this commodization of display ads and effectively cuts out the value of the publisher.

So what’s a high-end brand publisher to do?

The answer is to offer advertising solutions that give advertisers the opportunity to create REAL consumer value; the kind of value that complements and even enhances the value of high quality editorial content; the kind of value that high-end brand publishers specialize in creating.

Many advertisers have sought this kind of premium value from high-end brand publishers, and most publishers have responded with customized solutions like the classic “microsite” or one-off customized ads. But that too can be a losing proposition. Case in point from Mercedes:

It was a good day for newspaper Web sites when Mercedes-Benz USA introduced its updated E-Class cars this summer. Mercedes bought out the ad space on the home pages of The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and had those sites create special 3-D ads for them, at an estimated cost of $100,000 a site.

When Mercedes advertises its more basic models next year, it will largely avoid newspaper Web sites and rely on networks. That lets Mercedes “be very targeted and efficient with our dollars,” said Beth Lange, digital media specialist for Mercedes-Benz USA.

The problem with these solutions is they don’t scale — they are expensive for publishers to deliver, and they are expensive for advertisers to buy. The result is most advertisers are lured back by the siren song of commodity ad network cost efficiency. So while high-end brand publishers do well for big splashy launches, they can’t compete when advertisers go into the post-launch mode of consistent, continuous, high ROI value creation.

What high-end publishers need is a way for advertisers to create premium value for consumers that scales and can deliver a consistent, continuous ROI that justifies a premium over commodity ad networks.

What would advertisers be willing to pay a consistent premium for? The holy grail of every advertiser — to become media, i.e. to create high quality content that attracts and retains an audience of current and prospective customers. Advertisers would also pay a premium to align the value that they create for the consumer with the value that high-end brand publishers create for consumers — just like on a search results page, where the ads are as valuable as the “editorial” content.

But if every high-end brand publisher tries to deliver such a solution by themselves, it won’t scale for advertisers. The key is to scale across many high-end brand sites while still delivering the kind of premium value that commands premium pricing.

That’s the next generation of premium online advertising. More in my next post.

Content Doesn’t Matter Without the Package

In response to the launch of Google’s Fast Flip, I observed that Google is correctly focused on creating a new user interface for news, when most media companies are not. A lot of people responded that Fast Flip is not an innovative or effective UI for news — which may be true, but that misses the point entirely.

It doesn’t matter so much whether Google succeeds or fails with this particular experiment. What matters is that they are trying to solve the right problem.

The challenge for media companies is not to figure out what to do with their content — content in and of itself doesn’t matter. It never has.

It’s all about the package.

Newspaper articles don’t matter without a newspaper. Magazine articles don’t matter without a magazine. TV shows don’t matter without a broadcast or cable channel.

Newspapers’ inability to generate the same revenue online as in print has nothing to do with content. It’s because on the web they are no longer in the business of packaging content, and that’s what the newspaper business, like every other media business, has always been about. Instead, media companies put their content on the web and let search and other aggregators package it.

An individual content item on the web, without a package, has marginal value approaching zero — and attempting to charge for an individual item of content is unlikely to change that. What you CAN charge for is the package.

Media companies need to be doing what Google is doing — experimenting with new ways to package content, which in a digital media world means new UIs and new ways to aggregate.

The nature of innovation is that many experiments will fail along the way. The key is to be aimed at solving the right problem.

Focus on the package. Whoever controls the package wins.

Ask newspapers. Or Google.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of Fast Flip, lots of people overlooked one of the key words in the product name — FAST. Why does fast matter? How long does it take to get a result when you search on Google? Not long at all. In fact it’s darn FAST. (You can even see how long your Google search took in the blue bar across the top of the search results page.)

That’s why it matters — to the tune of $20 billion.  Here’s Marissa Mayer on the importance of being fast. Google has the most successful UI and content package in the history of the web, that created one of the most lucrative business models in the history of media, so don’t write them off too quickly.

What Google Understands About the Future of News and Publishing That Publishers Do Not

Google knows a lot about the future of news — more than many publishers. It’s evident in Google’s new product, Fast Flip, which allows news consumers to “flip” through news stories. What’s striking about Fast Flip is that Google is innovating precisely where publishers used to lead innovation.

Fast Flip is a new package for news.

The publishing business has always been about packaging content. Newspapers. Magazines. Newsletters

In digital media, on the web, the news package is now a function of software — which is why Google is innovating precisely where publishers are not.

Fast Flip is, more accurately, an attempt to create a new UI for news — a better way to consume publishers’ content than publishers provide on their own sites.

Most publishers are focused on how to charge for news. But there’s very little talk about how to innovate the packaging of news, much less a new UI for news. There’s very little talk about how people consume news on the web, about the value of aggregating articles from multiple sources, about solving consumers’ problems rather than publishers’ problems.

That’s why Google is taking the lead on figuring out how to create the new news package, and why they will continue to control the lucrative front end of distribution, while publishers are left with far less profitable back end of content creation.

Google is sharing revenue with publishers because Fast Flip goes way beyond linking to actually partially reproducing entire web pages. And publishers will have to be content with the revenue that Google shares.

Unless they finally decide to compete on the real playing field that will determine the future of news and publishing.

The Briefing: Start at Y Combinator, finish at EveryBlock

It was a busy Monday morning in two corners of the hacker journalist community: EveryBlock is acquired by MSNBC, and Y Combinator announces a “request for startups” to address that whole “future of journalism” question hanging out there in the open air.

Want to catch up?

Start here:

Msnbc.com acquires local news Web site
MSNBC.com | August 17, 2009
Ryan Sholin says: MSNBC acquires Everyblock. This brief includes a reminder that they bought Newsvine some time ago. Not a bad stable of news sites to have around.
Tags: Media & Journalism, EveryBlock, msnbc, Adrian Holovaty, hyperlocal

MSNBC.com acquires EveryBlock
blog.everyblock.com | August 17, 2009
Ryan Sholin says: From Adrian’s post at the EveryBlock blog: “MSNBC.com has hired our whole team, and they’ve made it clear to us that we’ll be driving the site’s strategy and implementation, and that our site will remain an independent destination as a community service.”
Tags: Media & Journalism, Adrian Holovaty, msnbc, EveryBlock

knightfdn: Wondering if EveryBlock’s code remains open-source? Yep. Download it at the links posted here: http://kflinks.com/everyblock
Ryan Sholin says: The source code, as it was when the Knight News Challenge grant expired, will remain available. I wouldn’t expect to see an open-source fork maintained by the crew now employed by MSNBC, though.
Tags: Media & Journalism, EveryBlock, knight news challenge, msnbc

Msnbc.com acquires EveryBlock, what it means for local media
Lost Remote | August 17, 2009
Ryan Sholin says: Cory Bergman of LostRemote and MSNBC on the EveryBlock acquisition: “One of our first conversations will be how we can share EveryBlock data with local media partners. Our plan is not to compete with the local news ecosystem, but identify ways to reinforce it. After all, data complements coverage.”
Tags: Media & Journalism, EveryBlock, msnbc

Msnbc.com Acquires EveryBlock… Welcome Brother!
Mike Industries | August 17, 2009
Ryan Sholin says: Here’s Mike Davidson of Newsvine — acquired by MSNBC a ways back — on the EveryBlock news: “The organizations that succeed in local news will be the ones who respect all of the great journalism and increasingly available data in cities and neighborhoods across the world while creating better ways for people to consume it.”
Tags: Media & Journalism, EveryBlock, msnbc, Newsvine, Mike Davidson, Technology

YCRFS 1: The Future of Journalism
ycombinator.com | August 17, 2009
Ryan Sholin says: The first YCombinator “request for startups” asks: “What would a content site look like if you started from how to make money—as print media once did—instead of taking a particular form of journalism as a given and treating how to make money from it as an afterthought?”
Tags: Media & Journalism, ycombinator, journalism, newspapers, Technology

Y Combinator Starts Seeding Ideas To Startups
Ryan Sholin says: MG Siegler pens the TechCrunch post on Y Combinator’s new “Requests for Startups” including the first one, on the future of journalism: “This RFS is just the first of 3 to 5 that Y Combinator hopes to get out there before the October 26 Winter 2010 class application deadline, Graham tells us. Startups applying specifically for these RFS ideas will be able to indicate that on their applications.”
Tags: Media & Journalism, Technology, startups, funding, Business, ycombinator

Y Combinator’s “request for startups” in journalism
Wordyard | August 16, 2009
Ryan Sholin says: Scott Rosenberg on the “future of journalism” request for ideas from Y Combinator: “Graham’s challenge is elegantly simple: Instead of starting with the journalism and then puzzling out how to support it, start with the plan for revenue, then figure out what journalism might complement it. Recognize that the realm where innovation is most needed is the business side and how it relates to the journalism.”
Tags: Media & Journalism, ycombinator, startups, journalism, Technology, business model, Business, Scott Rosenberg

And, two links related to last week’s posts on tr.im’s near-death experience and the FriendFeed/Facebook status update:

Tr.im to Go Open Source, Community Owned
ReadWriteWeb | August 17, 2009
Ryan Sholin says: Now tr.im is going to open-source their code, open their data, and give away their domain to a nonprofit to be named later? Sounds great. Let’s see what happens next.
Tags: Technology, tr.im, URL shorteners

VIDEO: The Secret Behind The Real-Time Web

rosstmiller on YouTube | August 13, 2009
Ryan Sholin says: In this video, FriendFeed (comically) reveals the secret little orderly process that keeps updates flowing through their network in real-time. A little industrial for my tastes, and proponents of the DRY principle in programming might throw up in their mouths a little bit. (Spotted via ReadWriteWeb.)
Tags: Technology, FriendFeed, video, legos

(Curated with ease using Publish2, thanks especially to Social Journalism features.)

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