In yesterday’s entry on Pearl Jam I wrote:
I don’t worry about content thieves that much anymore. Most of the time when someone takes an article from here they at least provide a link back to the site and I have to wonder how many people are reading my content on my site versus the number that reads it elsewhere? I’m guessing not that many even bother to read it elsewhere and if they do and like it, there is a good chance they will come here to the original source and stick around. In a twisted form of logic when we complain about content thieves (the ones that provide proper attribution) we are acting like Sony who doesn’t want their content being seen in as many places as possible.
And I mean what I say. If you want to syndicate my content on your site with proper attribution (a link back to me) then by all means go ahead and do it. I’m a producer of content and I can only see the benefits of having my content in as many places as possible. One of the best podcasts around is Ask A Ninja could easily just keep their videos on their own site, but instead they use YouTube to distribute them which also allows their audience to post their videos on their site as well.
Now if you like what you see you will more than likely go and look for more episodes which may or may not be on my site, but eventually if you become a fan of the series you will go directly to them to get the content because there is no need to wait for me to post it. You produce content and you want as many eyeballs on that content as possible so why limit the places it can be seen? Maybe your concern is in a drop in pageviews, but what kind of effect do you really think a system like this has on your site? Maybe since your sole model of revenue revolves around advertising (entry coming up on that) you are a bit concerned with where your content is being viewed.
The folks over at WebDev FeedHouse use my full entry feed to post my content on their site and this doesn’t irk me one bit. What happens if someone reads that site and subscribes to their feeds instead of mine? It’s definitely a possibility, but they are still reading my content, but they are missing the ensuing discussion, which should entice them to come to my site. Either way my name is getting out there. I start to get concerned when content I produce and am expecting payment for starts to get passed around for free. Even when that starts to happen I am going to try and find as many channels to stick that content in as possible.
The FeedPass Dilemma
Today, Mike Arrington wrote about FeedPass and how it monetizes the content we work so hard to produce. Unsurprisingly, some members of the blogosphere are not too happy with this because they feel as though another company is making money off of their content. It seems they have jumped to conclusions.
If you look closely, FeedPass only post excerpts of your content and the last four items from your feed. Hardly dangerous to me and it seems that it helps push more subscribers to you then pull them away. Now are people really concerned because their excerpts are on their along with an ad that FeedPass is banking off of them? When did we become so greedy with our content, yet so willing to share it with feeds and post YouTube/Google Videos on our site? I can’t say I see a use for FeedPass, but really I don’t see the harm in it either. For further discussion of FeedPass I suggest you read Pete Cashmore’s take on it along with the ensuing discussion.
Tools to Spread
So if I am encouraging people to post my content on their sites what tools can I provide to help them with the process? Better yet, there has to be a 1,001 sites that do this kind of stuff already so if you know any please let me know.
Please don’t walk away from this entry thinking that I believe all content should be free and anybody should be able to do with it what they want. I’m just saying that with the content I produce on this site I don’t really have an issue with it being spread across the web as others might. I see more pluses than minuses when looking at the bigger picture.