The next few chapters of this book will discuss some specific XML applications rather than the generalized toolkits for processing XML documents examined in previous chapters. The first such application is content syndication. Traditional content syndication, by companies, such as the Associated Press and Reuters for news, King World and DiC Entertainment for entertainment, and King Features Syndicate and United Feature Syndicate for editorial columns and comic strips, is a business-to-business enterprise. Many distributors—newspapers, radio stations, television stations, etc.—do not have the resources to pay the salary of an Oprah Winfrey or a Scott Adams, so they license this content from a content syndicator for a fraction of the overall cost.
With the advent of the Web, content syndication changed in four dramatic ways:
The Web empowered thousands, if not millions, of content providers—basically anyone with a web site.
Electronic distribution of content in the form of content feeds all but eliminated the barrier to entry for new content syndicators and enabled content providers to become their own syndicators.
Thousands of new distribution outlets were opened, many in need of some level of syndicated content.
Unlike newspapers or television and radio stations, these new distribution outlets are not limited by geography and thus are able to compete with one another. Because the barriers to becoming a distribution outlet are so low, some syndicators ...