Distributed commenting is another MSM killer

Mike Butcher at TechCrunch writes that RSS reader fav.or.it has launched in beta. No big deal there, huh? Just another RSS reader (sung to the tune of “Just another manic Monday”).

Not so. Here’s Mike:

With Fav.or.it you can make comments on blog posts from within its reader – no need to click into a browser to the original post.

I’m guessing publishers will need to use a distributed commenting system for this to work, but that’s not the point.

Many traditional news outlets have been slow to adapt to RSS, because the concept itself is contrary to mass creation (they think) and control. I think it’s safe to say that most — if not all — mainstream news organizations use RSS as a way to drive traffic back to their “sites,” where users can be exposed to display advertising. I honestly can’t point to one publisher who distributes full content feeds via RSS.

So distributed commenting extends the disconnect to a publisher’s ad ecosystem by further separating readers/users. Hell, if I can’t even get people to commit to my “site” to leave comments, why should I even have comments in the first place?

The real problem here is the reluctance of institutional media to play in the world of RSS advertising, and this mystifies me. Whether we distribute ads as RSS items or embed ads in the feeds themselves, there’s money to be made in the distributed world.

Fav.or.it may or may not be a winner, but the idea of moving all media content to a user’s “home” is a horse that has already left the barn.

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