When I posted about Channel9 going live, I im’d Robert Scoble about it. He was kind enough to respond. Please also note from feedster (I have a feed looking at my name, how selfish), that RoudyBob responds as well. (Is that the beginning of a nice discussion or what?)
Let me explain a bit more what I mean by two way syndication. You have current syndication portals, like the http://weblogs.asp.net portal. They effectively aggregate content from the people hosting blogs on their servers. This is simple and effective when you look at it from a syndicator perspective. But what if we are to look from the author perspective? If I publish content on my blog, on specialized web sites, on msdn, and have a bunch of interviews of myself on channel9 (which would be really cool by the way), what happens? All this content is hosted by different tools, with different rights. Reprinting and redistributing of this content doesn’t always depends on the license I decided. My contract with msdn (well, when I’ll have one that is) may force me to publish with a more restrictive redistribution (no right to republish after xx months on another web site, exclusivity, etc).
Should my web site then become an aggregator of myself? Here we don’t necessarily fall into copyright hurdles (as I’m still holding part of my copyright, shared or not with my publisher, unless I am fool enough to get rid of it altogether). We fall, as Bob underlines it, under a licensing, or lack of licensing of the content. My content has no license, so I’m under the default copyright. It means that I could attack anyone republishing my work fully without asking permission, or making content available for money. I will change that (when my content will be valuable enough that anyone will actually care to reproduce it). MSDN will have another license towards its readers.
My point in the previous post was that: people come to my website to see if I have something interesting to say. They don’t come for a company, but to see if I am providing something that is of any interest to them. When my content is diluted across blogs, magazines, aggregators, people can’t find whatever is related to me easily. My point was that, as I put the content, the company should automatically give me:
1. A license letting me redistribute my own content by my own channel. This can be negotiated when you’re Ingo Rammer, it is much more difficult when you’re Sebastien Lambla;
2. A technical need by which I can aggregate, on my own site, whatever is related to me, which is a feed of all the content which have any relation to me on the web site.
Obviously, both licensing and copyright isssues are to be discussed. The discussion I tried to launch was about the technical merits of such two way integration.
Think about cross blogging as another problem. When I subscribe to the weblogs.asp.net aggregated feed, but I also subscribe to the original feed of one of the authors, I read twice the same data. PDCBloggers is even worse as the format doesn’t let me recognize easily that the content is something that I already read about. Two way syndication is about me publishing my content on my web site, even if I have to be tied to a specific license with each of my publishers.