Content Aggregation

Greg at Open Stacks posted a great post about content and podcasting, prompted in part by Michael’s post.

I was chatting with Michael today about a similar topic… and when I read Greg’s post, I thought I’d share some thoughts. Greg supplies some good pointers – here’s the two I want to focus on:

1. If you provide regularly-updated textual content, provide an RSS feed.
2. If you provide regularly-updated media content, audio/video/whatever, provide a podcast feed.

All this – RSS for text, podcasting and video podcasting for media, Tivo for television is Content Aggregation. Greg argues that the term “podcast” isn’t maybe the best term, and I’d agree with that. And probably “aggregation” isn’t the best term, either. But it IS one term that describes what’s going on – someone writes text, records audio or video, and makes that available for other people. Then, anyone can “subscribe” to the feed and get new content (video, audio, text, etc… whatever etc would actually be). And then the content can be absorbed, scanned, studied, ripped apart, or deleted when it’s convenient for the (uh-oh) “End User.” So all you’re really doing, then, is “subscribing” to “content.”

It’s up to us librarians to figure out what our content is, and how to provide our customers the ability to aggregate that content.