Sometime over the next day or so we’ll be introducing a new feature, with posts from Publicola (and eventually, other JOA blogs) occasionally appearing “cross-posted” to HA, and vice-versa. Of course cross-posting is nothing new—I occasionally cross-post to Huffington Post—and on the surface, it won’t appear like much of an innovation to the casual reader. But JOA’s new integrated cross-post works a little differently.
How is it different? Well, when I cross-post to HuffPo, I create two separate posts, one here and one there, with two separate comment threads and two separate audiences. But a JOA cross-post is a single post that merely appears in multiple places; edit the source on Publicola, and the changes instantly appear on HA. And more importantly, a JOA cross-post has a single comment thread, allowing JOA sites to not only share content, but also, share community. So don’t be surprised is click on post at HA and find yourself in a comment thread on another blog.
This is admittedly a baby step toward a much larger vision, but a step nonetheless, and a demonstration of where I think this little experiment of ours needs to go. Ultimately, the goal is to share revenue as well content, and integrated cross-posting could play an important role in efficiently distributing quality content to the widest audience possible while proportionately rewarding both content producers and traffic drivers for the value they create.
In a monetized environment, cross-posts, links and even block-quotes all have monetary value: if I link to Publicola, I should get a piece of the revenues generated from the page views I create, while Josh should get a proportionate piece of the revenues generated from my page views that include his content. How big a chunk each partner gets should be left to the market, but I’m pretty sure that it is only through the creation of a shared co-operative that a market for shared content can be created without giving up the largest chunk of the revenue stream to the entity who sets the rules and facilitates the transactions.
But I’m getting way ahead of myself. Look for the new cross-post thingy. And look for more new features coming soon.