Monday, February 28, 2005

Your own AP wire

In another sign of major change at the venerable Associated Press -- now you can get the wire on your desktop, sort of.

AP has launched its own RSS feeds.

There are 13 feeds, including top stories, U.S. national, world, politics, technology and sports. There's a "featured feed," which right now is Pope John Paul II, and one labeled "strange." (I haven't brought that up on my newsreader yet, so can't tell exactly what it is, but sounds like news of the weird.)

What's more significant to me is that when you click on a story link from your RSS reader, it does not take you to a member site, but to an AP site -- WITH ADVERTISING. This is signficant for the nonprofit news agency that has always kept its wires clean of such things. Welcome to the new world order.

Jim Kennedy, AP's VP of strategic planning, told Rafat Ali at Paid Content. org, that for now the RSS feeds picked up from AP's corporate site go to a generic AP hosted page. The idea is that eventually these feeds will be geotargeted to drive traffic to local member sites. But I can't help wondering that if AP finds it gets enough traffic to its generic site -- and if it's getting revenue from those ads -- how eager it will be to move folks away from there.


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