∞ The Business Insider traffic grab

A thoughtful piece from Reuters Ryan McCarthy on the practice of re-publishing entire portions of articles for the sole purpose of keeping pageviews.

So why does Business Insider risk undermining all that highly original, distinctive content for what appear to be roughly 18,000 article views? When media companies are asked to grow at a meteoric pace — and Comscore indicates that Business Insider’s unique visitors have nearly doubled this year — the line between original content and borderline theft gets awful blurry. The editorial mission quickly transforms from “What can I link to?” to “How much can I take?”

Marco Arment posted a separate piece on Business Insider’s practices last night:

But what offends me even more than rewriting my titles and burying my links is how their layout so strongly implies that I’m a Business Insider writer and I endorse my name and writing being splattered all over their site

John Gruber’s take on the practice:

Sites like The Huffington Post and Business Insider are the inevitable result of an advertising model that counts page views.

Like Gruber and Arment, I want to give my readers interesting content. Most of time that means that I send my readers to another site to read, but I’m fine with that. If someone has written a good piece, readers should go to that site and read the original.

My job is not to repurpose a story into another story so readers will stay on my site to read it, and hopefully not click a link and leave. My job is to provide my readers with interesting links, opinions, news and commentary, whether on The Loop or another site.

I believe that if I do my job well enough, and people enjoy what I’m offering, my traffic will increase too.