Simon Dumenco wrote this column for AdAge last month about the Twitter trending popularity of Apple’s WWDC announcements vs. Rep. Anthony Weiner’s weenie-pic scandal. It got picked up by Techmeme, and then by the Huffington Post:
HuffPo’s aggregation, titled “Anthony Weiner vs. Steve Jobs: Who
Won On Twitter?”, consisted of basically a short but thorough
paraphrasing/rewriting of the Ad Age post — using the same set-up
(i.e., pointing out that Apple had the misfortune of presenting
its latest round of big announcements on the same day Weiner
resigned from Congress) and the bulk of the data presented in the
original Ad Age piece. HuffPo closed out its post with “See more
stats from Ad Age here” — a disingenuous link, because HuffPo had
already cherrypicked all the essential content. HuffPo clearly
wanted readers to stay on its site instead of clicking through to
So what does Google Analytics for AdAge.com tell us? Techmeme
drove 746 page views to our original item. HuffPo — which of
course is vastly bigger than Techmeme — drove 57 page views.
As Gabe Rivera (the guy behind Techmeme) argues here, Dumenco has an interesting comparison here, and his main point is absolutely spot on: there is no ancillary benefit to having a massive site like Huffington Post rewrite your story, even if they include a link, because almost none of their readers click such links. They’re stealing attention.
But Dumenco shouldn’t be calling what The Huffington Post did (and does, all day, every day) “aggregation”. Paraphrasing/rewriting is not aggregation.
★ Thursday, 14 July 2011