Blogs & podcasts gaan pro

Het bleef maanden relatief stil in aggregator land (zowel podcasts als blogs). De laatste dagen (weken) komt er beweging in de zaak. Wie zijn de grote spelers.

iTunes?

iTunes gaat podcasting ondersteunen:

At the Wall Street Journal’s D Conference, Steve Jobs tonight showed ipodder-like features in the next release of iTunes, supposedly available within about 60 days.

He (Steve Jobs, CDS) was slightly dismissive of populist podcasting, describing it as “Wayne’s World for radio”, and celebrating the arrival of professional radio stations into the market, but nonetheless, he was very high on the podcasting phenomenon, and the excitement that millions of users have displayed about it (link).

Het ziet er dus naar uit dat iTunes 4.9 support zal bieden voor podcasts. Windows Media Player zou dan logischer wijze moeten volgen. Het einde voor iPodder, Doppler en iPodderX?

With one click you’ll be able to subscribe to different feeds and have them automatically delivered to your iPod without using a third-party app like iPodder. You’ll be able to search through a directory of available podcasts (link).
Ask Jeeves

Ask Jeeves kocht de laatste weken stevig in met oa. Bloglines en Excite.

Ask Jeeves Inc. provides consumers and advertisers with world-class information retrieval products across a diverse portfolio of Web sites, portals and desktop search applications. Ask Jeeves’ search and search-based portal brands include: Ask Jeeves (Ask.com and Ask.co.uk), Ask Jeeves for Kids (AJKids.com), Bloglines (bloglines.com), Excite (excite.com), iWon (iwon.com), My Search (mysearch.com), My Way (myway.com), My Web Search (mywebsearch.com), and Teoma (teoma.com) (link).

Als we het portfolio overlopen, merken we dat Ask Jeeves vooral in de portal en zoekmachine business meedraait. Hoe past Bloglines daar nu in? Mark Fletcher, de CEO van Bloglines, liet vorige week optekenen in Businessweek dat Bloglines “will release a blog search engine this summer which will surpass the likes of Technorati, Feedster, and PubSub. “The challenge,” he says, “is to create world-class blog search, which we don’t think exists now.”

NewsGator

NewsGator stond vorige week in de spotlights na de aankoop van Feeddemon, de meest bekende én uitgebreide (betalende client) RSS aggregator voor Windows.

NewsGator Technologies Inc., is the leading RSS aggregation platform company. At NewsGator, we offer products and services that retrieve RSS feeds, organizes them, and then serves them up to individuals and companies who subscribe to them (link).

Newsgator begon als een Add-in voor Outlook. Hoe Feeddemon daarin past, vinden we terug op Greg Reinackers’s weblog, CTO en founders van NewsGator.

Way back in the beginning, we had an Outlook add-in – and it was immediately popular. A little less than a year later, we followed with what is now known as NewsGator Online, and thus was born the platform we’ve been building on ever since… See, we still had a hole in our product line. We had great coverage of Outlook, the web, mobile devices, even TV’s. But we didn’t have a desktop client, and we’ve encouontered lots of customers who wanted exactly this. I asked Nick if he’d be interested in joining forces with us in some manner, and he said he would be. Turns out that Nick’s customers had been consistently asking for the same capabilities as those we were building into the next-gen online system… (link).

NewsGator zal na de integratie van Feeddemon over de meest complete RSS-oplossing beschikken die momenteel beschikbaar is op het web.

NetNewsWire

Als niet Apple-gebruiker kan ik geen ervaring voorleggen met dit product, maar bijna iedereen die het heeft over Apple en RSS zegt minstens 1 keer NetNewsWire:

NetNewsWire is an easy-to-use RSS and Atom newsreader for Mac OS X. Its familiar three-paned interface similar to Apple Mail, can fetch and display news from thousands of different websites and weblogs, making it quick and easy to keep up with the latest news. (link)

Waar Feeddemon podcasting ondersteunt maar dit op de markt niet beschouwd als een key-feature (concurrentie ipodders), is dat wel het geval voor podcasting en NetNewsWire.

Toekomst

Het ziet er dus naar uit dat de markt van weblogs en podcasts interessant is geworden voor investeerders. Kleine(re) spelers gaan samenwerken en de grote spelers (Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple, Google) beginnen met de roll-out of integratie met hun bestaande producten.

Het spelletje wie-koopt-wie is zeker nog niet voorbij. Dave Winer formuleerde een interessante bedenking na de aankoop van Feeddemon door NewsGator:

I understand that the motivation was to allow FeedDemon to tie into the subscription-sharing network Newsgator is building. It seems inevitable that they’ll buy a Mac news reader product, they would probably like to buy NetNewsWire, and it would be hard to imagine Brent wouldn’t take a reasonable offer (I have no inside knowledge). This is venture capital at work, not sales revenue. I imagine that Newsgator will roll up with Feedburner (they share an investor), and Technorati may become part of this deal too. The goal? Get large enough to go public or merge with something going public (SixApart) or get bought by Microsoft (link).

Blogs & podcasts zijn echte business aan het worden. De strijd voor de gebruiker ligt nu helemaal open. Olé.

Nota: Bovenstaand overzicht is niet volledig, en houdt ook geen rekening met nieuwe initiativen zoals Rojo, en het nog te lanceren Odeo.

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