Koz Speaks

Web Based Aggregators

The trademark blog has asked to be removed from bloglines, because bloglines is a website which ‘may sell advertising’. While bloglines is the only site mentioned, presumably Martin would have similar complaints about any other web based aggregators such as, my yahoo (which does sell ads) and the rumored MSN aggregator.

Well, I’m not a subscriber to the trademark blog, and thanks to this move I never will be. Even when I’m using my preferred desktop aggregator, it’s retrieving the content from bloglines.

However, Martin isn’t opposed to the concept of an aggregator, in fact he recommends that his readers subscribe “to one of the many RSS programs available”. Martin may not have noticed, but Bloglines is an RSS ‘program’, it just runs on someone else’s computer, allows access from anywhere in the world, from any of the computers I use and it doesn’t cost me a cent.

Scoble hits the nail on the head with this statement:

what happens when desktop aggregators start putting ads on their products because they can’t make enough money selling it? When does this idiocy end?

What happens when the market share of web based aggregators exceeds that of their desktop counterparts, who’ll be reading the trademark blog then… The 160 people just booted out of the trademark blog aren’t going to come back, they’ll just find some other source for similar content. If I were trustic I’d make sure that people who were subscribed to the trademark blog were introduced to several alternative sources through bloglines recomendation engine.

As web applications get more and more common, we’ll see other situations arise where the law and people’s expectations are out of touch with reality. But in the long run, the web will win.