Monday, June 26, 2006

The new phone books are here!

Federated Media's concept of an "author" has been bugging the hell out of me.

Like many people who work (or worked ...) in the publishing industry, I developed the quaint idea that an "author" was a person who wrote articles or books - or maybe plays and movie scripts. Since the weblog explosion, it's easy enough to stretch the definition of author to include people who post items on their blog.

Battelle's venture seems to share this non-controversial definition, at least on the Federated Media (not the real one) website:

An FM site has influence not because its author is well known, but because the author has earned the trust of an influential community.

Good! So what are some of the top FM sites, as far as traffic?

Beyond the Boing Boing enterprise, the handful of popular sites include Fark, Digg, Metafilter, Newsvine, Reddit and PopURLS ... all sites based on either news links submitted by readers or robot-submitted news links.

In other words, where's that author again?

Battelle's name made its weekly Mainstream Media appearance in a June 23 article in the San Francisco Chronicle about -- one of those "author" sites championed by the brave speculators at Federated Media.

I couldn't care less if Battelle's latest Bubble Machine sells ads for a Pat Robertson BBS or some pedophile picture-trading site run by Pentagon staffers, but it is simply dishonest to trumpet "authors" when your main business comes from selling ads on pornography message boards like Fark.


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