Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Twilight of Information Middlemen: Article Lost in the Sunset

In a mad rush to the airport Sunday I missed an article in the New York Times entitled "Twilight of the Information Middlemen". The article was the focus of several discussions at this week's excellent SIIA Content Forum. I'd have to agree with Alacra's Steve Goldstein that this is a pretty shoddy piece of journalism - the article is a heap of unsubstantiated truisms and reads as if someone had attacked a month's worth of our weblogs with a scissors - but it's at least an effort to acknowledge that the intersection of content and technology that's changing how content value is created is worthy of more mainstream media attention. The Times does a good job of covering many aspects of the content industry,so this is not a blanket indictment of their editorial output, but here was the fun part - I couldn't find the darn thing on their Web site. Jet lag from the redeye had knocked the title from my mind so I tried some obvious words and combinations: content and information, content and aggregators, and so on. Miserable results. Google's news search, not much better. A major news aggregator's database, zilch. Where to go? Steve Goldstein's weblog on Alacra's Web site, of course. Sure enough, the link was there. The editorial value of trusted people in a weblogging community is a powerful tool that helps to place highly focused Web content in a very usable context via this now-familiar linking and blogging process. As for the Times, well, better luck next time with the coverage. And the indexing.
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