Xtra Internet Thoughts

The syndication revolution sparked by the rise of search

I am seeing this phrase, syndication revolution, more and more lately–largely related to the growth of Blogs and RSS.  However, I believe that this event will wash over the Web in a way that is much bigger than what have seen so far.  In a recent meeting with Michael Eisenberg of Benchmark Capital last week, he expressed an idea he had been encountering/formulating with other Benchmark portfolio companies that I thought was so powerful it was worth trying to encapsulate.

Simply put, the so-called syndication revolution can be viewed as a natural response of web-based businesses to the rise of search.  While the historical web monetization model has been to try and capture users within the confines of your website, search (Google in particular) makes its money by spraying users all over the Web.  Dave Winer’s earliest (pre-Google) posts on syndication characterize search engines as concentrators,  but in hindsight, the effect has been the exact opposite.  It is now easy to find zillions of small, low-traffic websites (like this blog) simply by typing in the right keywords.  Taken in this light, the coming syndication revolution (and it IS coming, it is just beginning) is really just about following your audience by pushing your content out to the rest of the Web and engaging them offsite, because despite how compelling your service might be, that is where they are going to be spending the bulk of their time online.

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