Spiral Bound

Notes that are Spiral Bound. A collection of clips that catch my attention at at point in time; reposted - no editing with my own title and categorization.


Spiral Bound: Ross Mayfield on Syndication

April 14, 2004

Ross Mayfield on Syndication

Jason Kottke makes an interesting point that RSS/Atom shouldn’t be called Syndication because this:

BBC content —> regional UK newspaper —> readers

…is becoming this…

BBC content —> readers

…and because the data is more specialized and structured than HTML with smarter edges using them.

What he is describing is the vertical disintegration of content industries. Long ago, Kevin Werbach wrote how Syndication meant a trend towards directness and looseness that would reshape industries.

But before we go naming anything, lets consider these evolving forms:

BBC content <--> readers

…and this…

BBC content <--> users

| X |

users <--> users/developers

What’s changing is the economics of group formation and property. A syndicate is a group or association with rights to redistribute. The cost of group formation has fallen to the point where the marginal cost of adding or losing a member is nominal, so individuals dynamically organize networks. It turns out that the most valuable form of personal property is, indeed, personal. When a house is on fire, you save your photos. We value content in the context of social capital, as converation. Our peers encourage the production for the commons. The abundance of free leaves little scarcity only for the spot (e.g. real-time market feeds) and that differentiated by reputation. It’s a powerful force for vertical disintegration. It also drives the local entropy reversal that lets more complex forms emerge. A symbiotic relationship between content and reader/writer or forming syndicates that are less association and more group.

I’m not brave enough to venture a new term for Syndication, but unless one is found, there is a lot of explaining to do.

Posted by Stuart, April 14, 2004 6:06 PM
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