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Should you let others syndicate your content?

February 19, 2006

Darren Rowse at Pro Blogger asks “Should you let others syndicate your content?” Arose out of Darren’s commenting on BlogBurst, a service that allows bloggers to submit their feeds to top tier news outlets (like Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle and Houston Chronicle) for republication/syndication.

If all you want is to promote yourself and perhaps find new readers then this is a service to consider as when your content is used it will receive a byline and link.

HOWEVER you need to keep in mind that you’re not going to make any money out of it and that others are. BlogBurst charges the people that will be using your content for the privilege – but they don’t put any money into the hands of the bloggers whose content they sell.

I’d recommend bloggers consider their options and go back to thinking about their blog’s goals and objectives. If you’re blogging to raise your profile then this could be a useful service. If you’re in it for money then you might not go though. Also worth considering is the implications of your blog’s content appearing in multiple places online (consider duplicate content), especially on sites that are likely to have a higher page rank than your own.

I raised the same concern in commenting on USALaw’s Blog Network, which takes blog feeds without seeking permission. Admittedly USALAW does not sell content and does not take full feeds. But the question still must be asked if you want others to benefit from your blog feeds, probably for their financial gain, without compensating you and in some cases without asking for permission to take your content.

Large aggregators such as Google Blog Search, Technorati, IceRocket, NewsGator and PubSub are places you’ll want your feeds to be aggregated. That’s where the media and the public get their feeds. Those aggregators are akin to search engines – you have to be there.

But low trafficked aggregators or blog networks not being used by the masses to monitor Internet discussion are another thing. The benefit to them outweighs any benefit to you. In those cases, consider your options and certainly require your permission for use of your feeds.

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