By billy.cripe on May 16, 2008
techdirt - one of my usual blog reads - has an article HERE that got me thinking. The article talks specifically about how news aggregators (think RSS news feed collectors like Google News or your personal collection) are the scourge of mainstream (old school) news media outlets.
The crux of the article is this:
What aggregators do is make it a lot easier for readers to find new news sources. That's good for an up-and-coming site with a lot of great content, because aggregators enlarge the potential audience for the content. But it's not good for a mediocre site with a large readership based largely on inertia.
This is an interesting point when you remove the context of News Media. Replace "readers" with "employees", "news" with "business information" and "site" with "intranet" (or other favorite internal enterprise information portal). What you get is a good idea of why information aggregation matters in a business context. Our new paragraph would read:
What aggregators do is make it a lot easier for employees to find new business information sources. That's good for an up-and-coming intranet with a lot of great content, because aggregators enlarge the potential audience for the content. But it's not good for a mediocre intranet with a large readership based largely on inertia.
The reality is that most internal corporate information portals (aka intranets) fall into the latter category. They're mediocre with a large audience simply because the audience is captive. However, business intranets are not *competitive* the way online news media is. This means there is no reason to fear the aggregator within the enterprise. What aggregation does is to expose lots of otherwise hidden but relevant information. That means aggregation drives better business decisions, better business intelligence, better *business*.