I'll post about my developing model of the social media analysis value chain soon, but today, the first link in the chain—content aggregation—is making news. Tailrank launched Spinn3r, a blog aggregator that anyone can use (via Matt Hurst).
Here's the short version from the Spinn3r blog:
Spinn3r is a web service that companies can use to index the blogosphere instead of having to write their own spider.Spinn3r is quicker and probably cheaper than building and running your own spider, but it's not free. There's a monthly license based on the scope of your search, with discounts for non-profit, research, and education.
Instead of spending months designing a scalable backend infrastructure and fighting spam you can just start using our spider tomorrow.
From talking with companies who are doing their own data collection, I was about ready to start a pool on when people think spider and crawler traffic will become a majority of Internet traffic (kidding, people, really). If the aggregators do a good enough job, maybe the analysts won't feel the need to compete on aggregation.