Flash Fiction: a complete story
in one thousand or fewer words.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bloggers and News Services

Many bloggers are news aggregators. They find news stories related to the interests of their readers and summarize them. A popular type of news aggregation is the "tech" blog, where the bloggers find geeky news for their geeky readers. They give short summaries of the news and give links to the original sources. This blog is an attempt to find news of interest to speculative fiction readers and writers, although it is not quite as laser-focused as the tech blogs. Readers and writers in general have wide interests, so the spectrum of articles here is wide. This blog attempts to give brief descriptions of cited news articles, add something to it, and link to the original or secondary source.

There is a point. Some of the news services, like the Associated Press, and major newspapers are becoming concerned about news aggregators. (Blogs are not the only type of news aggregation.) Newspapers (and therefore news services) are trying to discern a business model by which they can survive in the new economy. Print ads alone don't seem to work any longer, and subscribers don't seem willing to pay for online services. So, the publishers are feeling a bit robbed by aggregators. They complain that aggregators take their headlines and article summaries without compensating the originators. Bloggers claim fair use rights. Even aggregators complain about other aggregators. (Google News comes to mind; they've gone after heavy-handed aggregators who use Googles' headlines and summaries.) Both sides have arguments; these will not be argued here. This is just to keep the FFO readers and writers informed, since many of them have blogs.

The news incident that prompted this article is AP's new news registry, by which they hope to track copyright violations more closely, as reported by ReadWriteWeb. Bloggers who report their latest writing failures and triumphs, and count and report the burps and hiccups of their children need not worry. (But keep an eye on AP, in case they pick up your article.)

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