We wrote here a year-and-a-half ago about the new use of the term “syndication.” While that used to mean “getting paid by publications to reprint writing,” it has now come to mean “not getting paid by publications to reprint writing.” We wrote that some “sites, which make a good deal of money, now are trying to have two tiers of writers. There’s the ones they pay (some well, some less well) and then there’s everyone else, who now they don’t pay at all.” Instead, you get paid in a link.
Now, here’s an analysis by Marco Arment of what being “syndicated” in this way has meant to him—specifically, syndicated by Business Insider, which just took in $7 million in additional funding this week, which is, in my modeling, about $6 million more in funding than a healthy editorial property should be taking on. But Marco, who’s the developer of Instapaper, publishes his work under a Creative Commons license, so anyone can “syndicate” his work just with credit. His conclusion was that this syndication process was worth pretty much nothing to him. And then… Business Insider syndicated his critical post. And then they took it down. UPDATE: Pop some popcorn, because Business Insider swipes back! God, what did we used to do for fun before all these people and their WEB DRAMAS? I mean, probably we bought books at local bookstores that are going out of business.