Capitalizing on Social Media Channels to Draw Audiences in Specific Business Niches

Aggregage Uses Content Curation in an Online Advertising Business Model

April 7, 2011

How does a marketer capitalize on all the terrific content created by bloggers? Curation, the buzz word of 2011, provides an answer. Still the task is daunting unless the marketer has the subject matter expertise to identify top bloggers and the technology support to eliminate manual aggregation, filtering, and distribution of content. Now there is an out-of-the-box solution called Aggregage. Aggregage handles it all, from finding the curators to filtering and displaying the finished content, in exchange for sponsorship dollars. Check out this new kind of publishing to see if it fits your content marketing strategy.


This is a new kind of publishing. Like the Huffington Post, it relies mostly on third party content. But unlike that major news sensation, it makes no attempt to provide context to the stories or include any original content. The formula draws large audiences in specific niches: one advertiser’s monthly statistics included over 42,000 page views; 20,000 unique visitors mostly referred by search engines; 1,800 click-throughs to the corporate website; and 75 new leads. Not bad for $750.

The keys to this new model are expertise and technology. Bloggers and subject matter curators provide the expertise. SEO, relevancy filters, and social filters make up the technology component. It’s called Aggregage. If you are a niche marketer, you may be hearing more about it.


Aggregage uses content curation to create high quality topic sites that draw and retain niche audiences. Aggregage sells one annual sponsorship for each of its sites. The company typically also sells additional display and performance advertising. Aggregage creates highly trafficked sites by drawing on the expertise of human curators who identify quality sources (usually bloggers) to provide content on an ongoing basis, and/or to provide specific documents or pages for one-off inclusion. This curation of sources is the only kind of curation Aggregage enables.

The value they provide to sponsors goes beyond the audiences they attract. They build relationships between the site sponsors and the quality bloggers whose content they use on the sponsor’s site. The bloggers, because they are so carefully selected, are influencers similar to members of the analyst and traditional media communities, so the relationships have value to the sponsors.

Company Background

Aggregage was founded in 2008 as Browse-my-Stuff and relaunched with the new name and updated business model in February 2011. Robert Flynn, Co-founder and CEO, has spent 25 years building and managing growth companies in the Internet and traditional media worlds. Tony Karrar, Co-founder and CTO, has been defining technical strategy and leading the development of Web and software solutions for 20 years. Both founders have enviable records of success and clear focus on what they want to achieve with Aggregage: bring the best thought leadership to each topic Aggregage curates to form a best-in-class online publication. The company currently operates 10 topic sites and has six employees.

Aggregage’s targets are B2B marketers who want to maximize their return on online advertising through social media channels. The industries the company serves range from eLearning to Diabetes treatment. Their customers, the sponsors of their sites, include Adobe, Rapid Intake, eLearning Guild, Direct Message Lab, Living Social and Xyleme.

Service Offering

Aggregage has a Software-as-a-Service platform for curation, aggregation, filtering, presentation and distribution of content. Sponsors pay $750 a month for each new site. All sites are set up and managed by Aggregage, which also identifies and contacts content sources. The curator for a topic site is a subject matter expert, recognized in his/her profession. S/he points the system at individual sources (e.g., blogs, RSS feeds) that provide relevant content on an on-going basis or at specific documents and web pages identified as highly relevant to the topic. Sources are treated equally, which is a departure from the priority placement frequently given by other suppliers to a sponsor’s or owner’s content. Equal treatment fits with Aggregage’s emphasis on building and maintaining strong blogger relationships.

When content comes into the system, it is de-duped and then categorized into topics and subtopics based on semantic analysis. Social filtering (i.e., number of clicks, views, shares, bookmarks) based on activity across the system and in social networks is used to sequence placement of stories within the topics and subtopics displayed on the sponsored web site.

Aggregage intends that its niche web sites reflect the best online content in a specific business area. Its vision is that of an online publication, presenting new articles and providing access, through tagged content, to earlier articles. It takes full responsibility for branding and configuration of the sponsored site. Information consumers navigate on the site based on editions (daily, weekly, monthly, annual) or based on topics and subtopics. Each of these categories displays most recent and best (rated based on social signals and keywords) content. (See Illustration 1.)

Aggregage’s Social Media Informer Web Site

Aggregage’s Social Media Informer Web Site
(Click on image to enlarge.)

© 2011 Aggregage

Illustration 1. This screen shot of shows the drop down box to navigate by editions in the upper right and the topic and subtopic navigation on the left. The “more” link for continuation of the story takes the reader to the original blog post.


Top-rated content is distributed automatically on Twitter. A newsletter of daily, weekly or monthly content additions is automatically distributed to those who opt in with their email addresses. Currently there is no personalization of newsletter subscriptions, a step which would provide valuable information to advertisers.

Contact Info:
Robert Flynn
Phone: 310-729-6207

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