Gestalt IT: an IT magazine, syndication style

Last week, a new web-based enterprise IT magazine launched: GestaltIT.com, and the whole thing is based on blog syndication.

Gestalt IT consists of some of the best enterprise technology bloggers syndicating their content under one roof. These guys have been blogging separately on their own individual blog sites, and I’ve long subscribed to Stephen Foskett’s blog on storage. All of their topics relate to each other, and if you follow one of their blogs, you’d probably enjoy reading all of them.  That’s where the syndication magazine format comes in.

Each of these individual bloggers figured out that they’d get a better audience, reach more people and cover more topics if they teamed together.  Syndication makes all of this painless for the reader.  When you surf GestaltIT.com, you don’t realize that this content is being sucked straight off their personal blogs and presented as a seamless magazine.

Gestalt IT has needs very similar to SQLServerPedia’s blog syndication, but the execution is a little different.  SQLServerPedia is designed to get more readership for great blog entries: our authors focus on solving specific technical issues or giving implementation tips, and they want to get those tips out to as many people as possible.  They don’t want to be blogging in the dark, so to speak.  When readers surf SQLServerPedia syndicated blogs, each blog can have plenty of links driving traffic back to the individual blogger’s site to read other articles.

GestaltIT, on the other hand, has a more traditional magazine style: the articles don’t link back frequently to individual bloggers.  It’s designed so that the readers see the whole thing as a self-contained magazine, no different than any other enterprise magazine. This approach works really well for guys like Stephen who have written extensively for magazines, and who are familiar and comfortable with that professional style.

I like this approach a lot: for example, I could envision a ‘Business Intelligence Magazine’ web site where the best SQL BI bloggers teamed together and syndicated their content.  Heck, I could even imagine some of the SQLServerPedia bloggers syndicating their own content over at Gestalt IT.

And here’s the best part: if you run your own blog under your own domain name, you have the freedom to syndicate your content any way that you please.  It’s your content, your rules.  Over time, as syndication catches on, there will be more sites like SQLServerPedia and Gestalt IT that would love to work with authors to collect great content under the same roof.

I talked to Stephen about the syndication concept as he was in the process of building Gestalt IT.  We talked about everything from the blogger benefits to the mechanics of WordPress syndication.  Stephen and I both had to make some of the same choices as we built our site, and it was funny that we came to the same conclusions.

For example, placing commercial ads on syndicated blogs opens a Pandora’s box of issues.  If ads are shown next to a blogger’s content, how do you share revenue?  Both Stephen and I were lucky enough to avoid that entire problem.  At SQLServerPedia, Quest just eats the cost of the entire site, and at Gestalt IT, they’re doing it to build their own personal brands.

But if I was blogging for free and someone was showing ads next to my content, I’d probably start asking questions.  Furthermore, what happens if the blogger decides to leave the syndicated group?  Do they still get a cut of ad revenue, or do the posts go away completely?  And what about ads on shared pages that have multiple posts on them?  There’s a lot to think about, and sooner or later, somebody’s going to put ads next to syndicated blogs, and I’d hate to be involved in the bean counting.  Accounting bores me to death.

Networking, storage and virtualization interest me to no end, though, and if you’re like me, go check out Gestalt IT.

Via Stephen’s shared items.

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About Brian Greenberg

Brian Greenberg is a senior strategy consultant specializing in whole systems design and leveraging technologies to advance the goals of organizations in the public, private, academic and not-for-profit sectors. An information systems and technology leader, Brian has 20 years experience in information systems design, architecture and business operations.  Brian holds a B.S. in Philosophy & Applied Computer Science and a M.A. in Whole Systems Design – Systems Theory. As a frequent industry speaker, Mr. Greenberg addresses how organizations can better align legal and business requirements with IT and has presented several papers and participated at conferences. Brian also sits on the Board of Directors of EcoMyths Alliance, a consortium of environmental education partners.