Blog syndication: Should you or shouldn’t you?

By Steve Outing

Mark Glaser has tackled a topic I’ve been meaning to research. (Thanks, Mark!) In a long entry on his MediaShift blog for PBS, Glaser ponders the pros and cons of going with one of the new blog syndication services, Blogburst and ScooptWords.

The appeal for a blogger in signing up with a syndicate is added exposure. Blogburst, for example, will get a blogger’s work on some traditional and high-profile news media sites. The pay-off to the blogger is zero when it comes to cash at this time, but the syndicated blog content will feature links back to the blogger’s site. ScooptWords has a different model, selling blog content to specific media sites and then sharing the revenues.

I’m considering whether or not to use Blogburst with my own company’s blogs, and I’ve been leaning against it. Glaser’s analysis makes me lean further in that direction. He concludes his piece this way:

“Full disclosure: I did sign up for syndication of MediaShift content through BlogBurst, but didn’t get very much pickup of my blog. After learning more about the rights issues, I’ve decided to cancel my account with them.”

Yep. The broad rights given to publishers who carry the syndicated blog content is worrisome. Also, the credit given to the bloggers is too subtle. ScooptWords doesn’t even require that syndication clients give bloggers credit! The deal for bloggers needs to improve.

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!

4 Responses to "Blog syndication: Should you or shouldn’t you?"

  1. Graham
    Graham 11 years ago .Reply

    But Steve, some mainstream media outlets don’t run the bylines of journalists for profesionally sourced material. We believe it is highly unlikely that an editor will NOT want to run a byline from any SW sourced content, but we have to allow for that possibility to fit all possible needs.

    Having said that, it is something we will definitely review as the service grows as we very much want to see bloggers sell their words with their name atttached and not anonymously.

    We’ve only just got the site up for testing, so please bear with us :)

  2. Steve
    Steve 11 years ago .Reply

    I’m of the mind that blog syndication likely won’t make me a lot of money immediately — and that’s OK. What I’m interested in is wider exposure of my blogs’ brand. Thus, I want more visibility. That’s the value that really appeals to me at this point in time. Down the road, if my blogs are going great guns and attracting lots of traffic, then I’ll be more interested in the money potential of syndication. For me, the no-byline thing is a deal killer. FWIW.

  3. David Carter
    David Carter 11 years ago .Reply

    Good insight into these syndication tools, thanks. I agree that broad exposure is a good thing. Of course money is good too. :) I’m not a huge fan of broad syndication where blog posts are treated like “bulk”. There are tools that let publishers have relationships with bloggers, not just shot-gun searches across blogs for keywords.
    I think publishers can engage the public into becoming bloggers/contributors and not mine them like data.

  4. Graham
    Graham 11 years ago .Reply

    Steve, sorry I didn’t pick up on your reply at the time. Co.mment, or my bookmarking, clearly failed.

    We’re about to rejig the byline T&Cs. Basically that means we’ll only deal with publications that offer a byline. This will cut out some publications, but not a huge amount. We’ll also leave a clause in for bylineless publications to be dealt with on an individual basis.

    Interestingly, about your blogs’ brand… I was talking to an editor this week about sourcing journalism commentators. Yours was one of only two names I mentioned as possibles. He’s quite switched on and he’d heard of you. You were kinda seen as almost ‘mainstream’ in that your ‘brand’ (your name) is already well established. Your profile is high enough for editors (this editor anyhow) to know who you are, what you’re about and he felt easy about approaching you for work if he wanted to in the future.

    What he wants us to do is source smaller voices with big ideas that aren’t getting heard. So, you missed the gig :( but in a good way…

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