Copyright © 2008 O'Reilly Media, Inc.
April 1, 2008
Web aggregators select and present content culled from multiple sources, playing an important taste-making and promotional role. Larger aggregators are starting to compete with mainstream news sources but a new class of niche and do-it-yourself aggregators are organizing around specific interests.
Niche aggregators harness the power of the internet to build communities previously separated by geography or institutional inertia. These micro-communities serve a trend-setting role. Understanding their operation is critical for those wanting to understand or predict cultural change and for those who want to harness the power of the long tail by catering to niches.
Online public niche communities and what I might call the “folksification” of the IInternet has exploded in recent years as more people have come to publish their own content. The low costs and ease-of-use of the new Web 2.0 tools have made it easy for those without technical background to start blogs, post pictures, make videos and launch podcasts around a range of niche subjects rarely covered in such depth in any other media. Various types of aggregators and portals are arising to give a public face to the informal networks of these new content creators, providing amazing outreach and advocacy functions which are developing ...