Bots, Aggregation and Content Creation

There is a helpful post of Richard MacManus over at Read/Write Web that takes a balanced look at the topic of Bots and Content Creation / Aggregation.

It’s a touchy subject for many bloggers who see some automated content creation systems (particularly those that aggregate RSS feeds) as a threat to their own livelihood.

Richard looks at a number of Content Creation systems and ends up taking some middle ground, liking some systems and being very wary of others. It’s worth a read as this is a topic we’re going to have to grapple with more and more in future. In fact in the past two days I’ve had emails from 4 different software makers announcing these sorts of packages. In all cases I promptly deleted them as I could see that they were being pretty blatantly marketed to spambloggers.

As Richard notes in his post – systems like these can actually be used in positive and helpful ways (he gives examples) – the problem is that they can also be used to rip off the content of others and to clutter the web. I guess it comes down to the individuals using them to make a call on how they’ll approach their content creation.

What do you think about these systems?

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  1. jim says:

    Wait until the Google News’ “bot” starts aggregating from major blogs in addition to news sources… then it’ll be interesting.

  2. Allan Burns says:

    These sorts of software are almost always used for spam like content creation. The aggregation of RSS feeds can be done properly to offer a value added service to web visitors.

  3. IO ERROR says:

    Google News already subscribes to major blogs.

  4. Well, as a writer I do gag at this sort of thing. But when words are monetized (by AdSense), it’s an invitation to skew them anyhow to maximize returns. That’s how business works. We shouldn’t complain, especially if we benefit ourselves from the system.

  5. Google is well aware of these fly by night spam artists, but they are a moving target, and expensive to keep up with.

    That is why they are giving us the tools to report them now. They need all the help they can get.

    I for one have no problem reporting abuse where I see it. From there, Google can decide.

    I think we are all responsible in making the world (and the web) a better place.