Type “Newstex” into a search engine and not only do you pick up a number of hits on the company itself, but you’ll find links to individual bloggers proudly announcing their affiliation with Newstex’s Blogs on Demand. This pride is justified, because Newstex doesn’t add just any old blog to its network. Its mission is for quality, not just quantity.
Newstex employees scout the internet for blogs that provide worthwhile content on a variety of topics. When they find a blog they like, Newstex licenses the content and sends the editorial out to subscribers on XML feeds. The content on the blogs is treated in the same way the company handles content from traditional news sources.
Blogs on Demand offers blog networks and individual bloggers a syndication business model, which enhances their exposure. Those who agree to have their blogs syndicated via Blogs on Demand sign a publishing agreement and are paid a royalty. “Some people make a nickel, some people make hundreds of dollars a month,” says company president Larry Schwartz. “Blogging can be a money-making venture.”
Yet the Newstex service is not just a way to increase a blogger’s audience and income; it makes blogs a more usable content source for employees working in companies, financial firms, and government agencies. Currently, Newstex provides subscribers the content from 1,075 text blogs, with more than 8,000 blog posts per day.
Schwartz sees blogging as a complement to traditional news media. “It’s the twenty-first century news ecosystem. Bloggers comment on the news stories, and they start controversy,” he says. “They are rumor mills.” Sometimes those rumor mills dictate the direction “real” news takes, whether it is stock tips or a president lying about his affairs.
Blogs aggregated by Newstex may be written by famous or industry pundits, like Gawker, or by ordinary people who provide solid, well-written information. You won’t find navel-gazing, soul-searching journals on a Newstex feed, but rather insights on a variety of topics that can be used in a professional setting. To ensure editorial quality, all blogs are reviewed each quarter.
Blogs on Demand is a perfect companion to Newstex’s Content on Demand, which delivers targeted real-time news and commentary from a variety of publishing sources. Newstex collects full-text digital news and commentary feeds, standardizes the format, adds stocks and people tickers, and delivers the text via XML or RSS news feeds.
Customers can—and do—request specific types of content to be included. “We had someone ask for nothing but green blogs,” says Schwartz. “He didn’t mean blogs with a green wallpaper, but environmentally green, of course.” Another benefit of the Blogs on Demand service, Schwartz adds, is its search capabilities. Newstex is able to provide more powerful search applications than services like Technorati .
Newstex was established in 2004 to deliver high quality but affordable real-time newsfeeds. In addition to innovating ways to professionally leverage blog content, the company takes a very forward-thinking approach to the workplace. “We’re a totally virtual company,” says Schwartz. “Everything we do is online, so what do we need offices for? Our employees are based all over the country.”
It seems to be working. In April 2007, Newstex was awarded the Software and Information Industry Association’s annual Codie Award for Best Blog Aggregation Service, recognizing its Blog on Demand partnership with LexisNexis.
LexisNexis was the first client to distribute Blogs on Demand to its subscribers. This partnership also made it clear that internet users are integrating blogs into their regular searches for news and financial information. “Blogs are business mainstream,” says Schwartz. “Professionals in every industry need to know what’s being said on influential blogs, and there is money to be made by the many players in the blog distribution channel from creation to consumption.”
Now that Blogs on Demand has proven successful, Schwartz says there are more innovations on the horizon for Newstex. “We’ll be extending from full-text feeds to blog alerts, based on the topic,” he says. Another launch in the work is a video project; Schwartz thinks video blogging has the most potential in a political arena.
“People are reading blogs,” says Schwartz, “and they use blogs to comment on the news.” Therefore adding blog content to Newstex feeds was a natural progression in the evolution of content aggregation, which this company seems to be taking to the next level.
Fun Fact: Company co-founder Larry Schwartz first started blogging in support of his daughter’s equestrian activities.