I’ve built a list of Internet sites that I find interesting. Most are the sites themselves, like Arstechnica, NY Times, The Verge, Science News, NASA and many career related professional journals.
Some years ago, my list only included the sites themselves. A entirely new class of of sites has emerged over the past few years. The are sites which list other sites, and headlines from them that drive traffic to them. The are Meta-web sites, in that they generally offer little real new analysis on their own. Their value is making it easier to wade through all of the News and information developed on the web each day.
Taking advantage of the Internet ‘crowd’ to sift through the internet and share their findings has propelled sites like Reddit, del.icio.us, news vine, digg, techmeme on to center stage. This is especially true for Internet journalists and bloggers. Think of the sites as Super-Google sites, that categorize other web sites, by the articles and news produced there. If it sounds confusing consider there are 100s of millions of web sites out there today to scan through. Google and other search engines scan these sites and index their content, so when if decide you want “Did Beyonce lip-sync” News, you can get it. Likewise if you want “prices for homes in Arizona” you can get that too. Search engines interpret what you mean in a search and go match it against the vast database they produce.
These new Meta sites are scanning the web for you. Producing web-searches for you, categorizing the results and organizing those into easy headlines and drop downs.
That leads me to Buzzfeed. While Buzzfeed offers links to a wide array of information, driven by potential popularity, BuzzFeed is shifting it focus. Wired Magazine has as well. Both are finding that *popularity* drives ad revenue and that means reaching out to those who will re-post and ‘share’ their headlines. And this could be the slippery slope that Old Media fell into. Chasing dollars based solely on the public’s response to a post isn’t the best journalism, or is it?
Is there an evolution coming to make finding things on the Internet easier? I think so. But its my opinion, it isn’t BuzzFeed. It is a model of what we are doing right here in San Juan County.