Thursday, March 6, 2008

Mochila's Moves to Keep Up with the Contextual Content Game

When first I checked out Mochila a couple of years ago they were booting up their business plan around self-service licensing for premium content - largely a storefront approach for licensing individual premium articles and other content that could be used in a Web site. Lots has changed since then with Mochila. While integrating individual items of content from premium sources is still a key component of their solution today the Mochila platform is far more about delivering streams of premium syndicated content via widgets, with licensing pushed to the background as terms and conditions rather than a marketing theme.

In the time that it took Mochila to hammer out this positioning many services have sprung up to deliver contextual ad and content widgets. From Inform to Sphere to Voxant and even traditional B2B licensors such as Alacra there is a broadening mix of players trying to get valuable content in context. Like some of these plays Mochila also offers contextual ad services that can benefit both the syndicators and the licensors, which gives some flexibility in monetization. Mochila also upped the breadth of content being syndicated, including photos and videos in the mix as well. Now Mochila has announced a slideshow player that makes it easy for sites to embed photo slide shows in their sites - a feature already popular for those wanting mashups of celebrity photo-ops.

The bigger picture, though, is that content syndication is becoming far more self-service for a far wider array of publishers, with tools like Mochila enabling content brands to travel further, wider and in a more integrated fashion more automatically than ever before. Syndication used to be more about going into the back end of content services, but in today's federated content environments content finds itself increasingly aggregated on the front end of publishing platforms, with database integration either bypassed altogether or an afterthought at best. In essence the only database that really seems to matter to many online publishers is the index in search engines trying to help people find their sites - and the rich array of content than can be embedded via services such as Mochila.
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