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Content Aggregration March 25, 2007

Posted by Daniel Gardner in Business Ideas.
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Accurate, Timely and Reliable data sources are a make or break part of creating a content based site such as a vertical search engine or a content aggregator and the demand for this data is increasing as the complexity of setting such sites up decreases.

Companies like Kapow are going the right way with regards to making it easy to get content from websites though they are still restricted to only getting the content that is available on there website, in almost every case metadata that is used by sites that are being aggregated is not available and so a full user experience cannot be offered not to mention the fact that the data is not available ‘now’.

I think there is certainly an opening in the market for a company to exist that would provide data to these web mash-ups, providing a single source for all the sites they wish to mash up that both contains the raw data as well as cleansed data.

Data would be sourced either directly from the content provider (preferred) or from scraping the website, either way it would allow easier access to the content for the mash-ups and would reduce the providers Server load by reducing the amount of spiders crawling there site, allow a greater viewership of there content due to it’s ease of use and possibly even provide them with an opportunity to sell ‘premium’ data services that provide either additional content, deliver more timely content or provide better data access (e.g. direct database access instead of XML feeds) all without needing to manage advertising, security and maintenance of these services.

For entrepreneurs creating a new web mash up they would normally need to identify what data is available, where it is coming from, how they are going to get it and find out the frequency of updates, often this is a guessing game without spending many hours analyzing the data or doing data extracts, with an aggregated content company they can see exactly what data is available, the frequency of updates and other important data without any more effort than firing up a web browser and searching for the data they want with an online web preview available.
Having the data available from an easy to use single source helps reduce the hassle of maintaining these services and can speed up the time to market for the addition of additional data sources or the initial launch.

With regards to monetization of this service, it could use the aforementioned idea of having ‘premium’ services for paying customers or simply requiring all sites that use the data to display a small icon down the bottom of there website possibly linking to affiliate websites or other consumer based services specializing in this area.

Anywhere the idea is there, I wonder if anyone will take it…